My name is Dr Nicole Gehl and I am an experienced psychotherapist with a private practice in St John’s Wood. I am committed to providing counselling and psychotherapy in a safe, confidential and non-judgemental environment.
I work with adults, children and young people on an open-ended basis or for an agreed time period, with the aim of enabling you to enhance your life and to live it more fully.
I am experienced in helping clients who have experienced difficulties with :
My core orientation is existential psychotherapy, but I am also an accredited cognitive behavioural therapist and benefit from training as an integrative practitioner.
Traditional CBT (cognitive behavioural therapy) is a short term, structured psychotherapy. According to NICE guidelines it is considered the most effective approach for a variety of problems (including depression, stress and anxiety). It integrates neuroscientific research into therapeutic practice. The premise of CBT is that thoughts, feelings and behaviour are learned, and therefore may be modified, or unlearned.
My experience as an existential psychotherapist allows me to construct a specific, unique approach for each client, supplementing empirical CBT approaches with philosophical exploration. I believe that an individual’s involvement with the world is complex, and cannot be reduced to a simple therapeutic technique.
Existential analysis addresses tensions around the universal themes of the human condition and investigates the many paradoxes one encounters in life, while emphasizing personal responsibility and choice. Basic issues of existence (eg freedom, purpose of life, isolation, meaninglessness, the inevitability of death) often provoke depression and anxiety and are a source of conflict within the individual. Wellness is seen as the ability to tolerate the challenges inherent in human living with psychological flexibility, and not resorting to attempts to control, suppress or ignore reality.
Over your course of therapy, I will assist you in illuminating your assumptions, and underlying belief systems so that you can decide whether you wish to further explore, challenge or leave them. We will work together to formulate new adaptive leaning experiences to challenge old ways of being. The process is designed to guide you in discovering your own answers through the use of thought-provoking questions, shared dialogue and the trying out of alternative behaviours.
My way of integrating CBT and existential psychotherapy utilises evidence based, technical aspects of change whilst supplementing the process with a deeper philosophical discussion, aimed at discovery of the meanings you create, and how they impact how you experience your life.
I am an experienced existential-integrative psychotherapist, with specialist training in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy CBT for children and young people. As a member of the Priory Healthcare Team I see patients at their acute hospital in North London. My private practice is based in St. Johns Wood.
I am a senior accredited member of the British Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy, the British Association for Cognitive Behavioural Therapies, and registered with the United Kingdom Council for Psychotherapy. I’m an active participant of the Society of Existential Analysis, The International Society for Mental Health Online, and The Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy Online. In addition to my qualifications, I have specialist training in the therapeutic use of technology from the Online Therapy Institute.
The standard length of CBT or psychotherapy sessions will be 50 minutes at a consultation fee of £130 per session. Sessions are to be paid for in full by cash, cheque or bank transfer on the day of the consultation. Please give at least 24 hours notice if you require a cancellation to avoid being charged for the session.
Please contact your individual provider for details as to your policy and whether or nor not it covers you for psychotherapy, counselling and/or CBT. Please note that unfortunately I no longer accept BUPA UK, AXA, Vitality, Simply Health or Aetna due to the limitations on session numbers and/or financial caps imposed by them.
We frequently process claims from the following providers: Aviva, BUPA International, Allianz Worldwide Care, Cigna UK, GeoBlue and WPA. Details are subject to change, and we may be able to process claims apart from those listed.
In the initial consultation, should you decide to proceed with psychotherapy, we will agree to work together for a specific number of weeks, with a realistic time scale for changes to occur, and then we will review to see if it would be helpful to continue working together. Should we agree to continue, we will contract another specific number of weeks as appropriate. We agree to prioritise having consultations at regular intervals, to offer you a sense of stability.
For telephone, online and face to face consultations, the full fee will be charged for less than 24 hours notice. This policy enables me to offer you flexibility when you need it, as well as recognising that both parties have rights and responsibilities for clear and respectful boundaries to be mutually honoured.
I will always do my best to offer telephone or skype consultations in place of sessions, for whatever length of time you require, where unexpected circumstances mean you cannot see me face to face….or find an alternative time for you to see me face to face, if this is your preference.
Everything that passes between us verbally and in writing will be treated as strictly confidential, including email, texts and my therapy notes, with the proviso that I have an ethical responsibility to work in partnership with your G.P. and/or psychiatrist if you have one, for your well-integrated care. I also have a legal responsibility to inform an appropriate authority should I have reason to believe that you may cause harm to yourself or others. I am also legally required to take my caseload to supervision, in which your identity will be kept confidential.
After an initial consultation, you will be recommended a plan of future treatment based on your individual goals and expectations from the therapeutic relationship. You may choose to proceed with this treatment in face-to-face sessions, or through online counselling, depending on your preference and convenience. Many people will typically choose to have a initial contact by e-mail, followed by subsequent communications moving closer in likeness towards face-to-face sessions. Sometimes it feels right to express different parts of oneself through different mediums, so the next session you book does need to be through the same method as the last. This is your therapy, working through your feelings at your pace, through whichever means you find most productive and comfortable.
“We came to Dr Gehl as a family living with a child with Autism and serious behavioural issues, she worked tirelessly with both our son and with the family as a whole, to help him cope with his challenging behaviours and with us to support our son and the larger family. Dr Gehl was the first therapist we had been to and she amazing; she was calm in a crisis and always gave great advise and support to us all – four years on and we are certainly in a better place, this would not have happened without her.”
“Dr Gehl was instrumental in helping me navigate a challenging relationship. She was empathetic and approachable, she adapted her method to my needs by combining both Cognitive Behavioural Therapy and conversation. She quickly built trust and immediately made me feel comfortable. I also really appreciate Nicole remaining available ad hoc. Feeling very thankful and couldn’t recommend Dr. Gehl more warmly.”
“Nicole was recommended to me by a close friend of mine when I started to experience frequent panic attacks and generalised anxiety. She helped me understand and overcome these emotions and ultimately identify the root cause. Several years on, i still use these tools when going through anxious periods in my life. I honestly could not recommend a warmer, more accepting and expert psychotherapist.”
“My therapeutic journey with Nicole began about 10 years ago. I wanted to make sense of my inner world and external experiences and she has been insightful, intuitive and sympathetic in this journey. She is highly academically qualified and our conversation is often rooted in the existential approach in which she trained. A session with her could involve humour, tears and huge insights as I make connections across my lifewhich she subtly and gently expands on. Our sessions have helped me to change how I handle my friendships, work and life goals. As a result I’m better able to forgive events in my past, identify my triggers, self manage, accept myself and therefore lead a much calmer, contented and peaceful life.”
“Nicole has worked with me and my two daughters over the years, ever since I was diagnosed with cancer in 2017 and I knew our family was about to head down a long, dark road.
Nicole created a safe space for my girls (who were both in their teens) to work through the anxiety, worry, and pain of watching their mother go through something life altering. My girls could not have been more different in their responses to the situation and Nicole helped them both navigate this period with a deep compassion and understanding, combined with genuinely helpful practical ideas and coping mechanisms.
The girls trust her so much that they have returned in times of need for her wise counsel and sympathetic ear when dealing with really tough life moments – from coping when a friend committed suicide, to processing the loss of thei grandmother, to finding peace when their stepfather figure left their lives.
Nicole is quite literally one of a kind. I too have come to trust her implicitly, when coping with my own daunting mountains to climb. She is filled with incredible kindness and humanity, she develops a deep and nuanced understanding of the individual, and she has an innate ability to help you face into uncomfortable truths without knocking your confidence. I honestly don’t know what we would have done without her in our lives.
My only hesitate in giving Nicole a glowing reference is that I am not at all sure we want to share her! A truly unique and gifted therapist who is a shining light of her profession.
“I had the very fortunate opportunity to see Nicole as a therapist during a very difficult, dark time in my life. She offered me a sanctuary of safety where I could comfortably explore patterns, changes, behaviours and be validated for my felt experiences. Being able to speak my truth through art, poem and conversation really helped me in this therapeutic process. Nicole worked in perfect harmony using psycho education, empathy, compassion, curiosity, and challenge. Without Nicole’s help and nurturing approach, I’m certain I’d be stuck in a very negative cycle. She helped me rebuild my inner strength to manage a chaotic life, make choices for myself and be able to take accountability for them. In turn, this has enabled me to reubild a much better life for myself. I could not recommend Nicole enough! She was my pillar of change for the better and I will eternally be grateful to her!”
“It was wonderful to work with Nicole as she was able to take a holistic view of my challenges and hone in on the real issues lying behind them. Her empowering and positive approach helped me leave our discussions feeling clear and energised.”
“Nicole implicitly understands my emotional state and its relation to my current circumstances. She listens very sympathetically and when it’s necessary gives poignant council. She has changed the entire course of my life and I am truly grateful to have met her”
Grizzly and Lily are my Pomeranian dogs that sometimes serve as emotional support dogs in sessions.
I’ve found that the presence of emotional support dogs in therapy sessions can open a channel of emotionally safe, non-threatening communication between client and therapist, easing tension in situations that can be stressful.
For adults and children alike, interaction with animals may increase self-esteem and self-confidence, as well as assist in the development of empathy and help develop nurturing skills. Psychologically, when a person nurtures, his or her own need to be nurtured is being fulfilled. Humans rely on touch to feel connection, for bonding and sensory input. The touch of an animal can be safe, non-threatening and pleasant, particularly for survivors of abuse who might not otherwise have experienced positive, appropriate physical contact. Children often view the dogs as their peers, and feel comfortable talking to or projecting their feelings onto them.
With the therapy dog, “what you see is what you get,” they live in the here and now, and offer unconditional love and acceptance.
Single Counselling Sessions £130 per session (50 mins)
For telephone, online and face to face consultations, the full fee will be charged for less than 24 hours notice of cancellation.
This policy enables me to offer you flexibility when you need it, as well as recognising that both parties have rights and responsibilities for clear and respectful boundaries to be mutually honoured.
My private clinic is in the heart of St. John’s Wood, in easy reach of residents of Primrose Hill, Maida Vale and Hampstead.
58 Acacia Road
St John’s Wood
My office is within moments of the St. John’s Wood Underground Station, and St John’s Wood High Street and close to the American School.
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The Yellow Brick Road to Better Living: A CBT Workbook for the Young and Young at Heart
CLICK HERE to download my FREE workbook in EPUB format. For other formats (PDF, Word, Mobi) contact me.
The Yellow Brick Road to Better Living is a retelling of the Wizard of OZ written to help you deal with your challenges using cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT) and other evidence based techniques tested by behavioural scientists shown to offer relief from a wide range of emotional and behaviour problems.
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I take your privacy seriously and I am fully committed to ensuring that your privacy is protected. I hope this policy is everything you need to know about how I use and protect any information that you give me, from when you first make an enquiry, right through till after therapy and coaching comes to a completion.
Third party privacy statement
Your information does not get shared with anyone else within my private practice, as I manage my practice myself, and operate my business as an independent ”sole trader”.
From the moment you get in touch with me I will never try to obtain information about you from any third party without your knowledge and consent.
I will never share your information with any third party – unless you have explicitly told me that you would like me to, in order to help you get good support or healthcare.
I am required to have regular supervision with another specialist therapist as part of my ongoing accreditation with the British Association of Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapy (BABCP). I never disclose any personally identifying information about my clients within supervision.
There are only three lawful exceptions where I do not need your consent to share information to a third party: child protection, court order and risk to life. I’ll explain this more – read on!
The lawful basis for processing your data
I only use information about you in ways that are legally and ethically essential for me to fulfil my role as an effective, safe and responsive CBT therapist to you.
I never keep or use your information in non-essential ways. For example: as a matter of principle, I do not have any social media linked to my website and I do not send newsletters or marketing campaigns.
Under GDPR regulations 2018, I am what is known as the ‘data controller’ and also the ‘data processor’, and I have specific responsibilities and requirements, accompanying these roles to protect your privacy.
My business is registered with the Information Commissioners Office, the UK authority for upholding data protection, (www.ico.org.uk). I am bound by their policies with regards your privacy, as well as the British Association of Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapy (BACBP) code of professional practice.
Disclaimer: Your role in protecting your own privacy
You acknowledge that the privacy of your communications and personal information can never be completely guaranteed when it is being transmitted over the internet.
You therefore acknowledge and agree that you share information via the internet at your own risk.
You agree to take responsibility for your own role in safeguarding your data privacy in the email address you choose to use and whether or not you choose to password protect information you send to me.
My policy is to request that clients to take the following actions wherever possible:
To email me from an email address that does not have your full name in it
To only include your first name in any documents you send me
To password protect documents that you may send me
How do I obtain information about you?
I obtain information from:
what you choose to share with me when you first contact me via my website’s contact form, or you phone or email me to make an enquiry.
what you choose to share with me – information you send me by email (and attached documents) and over the phone (text or voice message)
sessions we have together in person face to face, by phone and online (Skype, Facetime or Zoom)
your health insurance company or healthcare provider, if relevant, and with your consent
If we agree to ‘go for it’ in teamwork together, I will of course want to get to know you, your needs and aims and life context so we can work really well together, with a really good shared understanding!
Your privacy in our teamwork together
Emailing each other
Once we’ve agreed on a day/time for our first therapy or coaching session together, I’ll ask you for an email address to send your ”starter pack”, which has all the information you need to create an effective start. As emails from me identify me as a therapist, and I’ll be sending you documents like an initial questionnaire to help us collaborate well together, please choose an email address with this in mind!
You’re most welcome to bring paper copies of completed forms and questionnaires – one for each of us – if you’d prefer not to return them password protected by email.
Skype and FaceTime services have updated their privacy measures to ensure they are fully compliant with GDPR regulations 2018.
Sessions where we meet in person
The rooms I use on a weekly basis are dedicated therapy rooms, situated within mixed office spaces, and are therefore very discreet as you will not be heading to a clinic. There are no therapy signs on the door.
Obtaining information from third parties
If your therapy is being funded via a health insurance company, your insurance company may provide me with information, but this would never be without your prior knowledge and consent, in accordance with your agreed contract with them. Insurance companies typically encrypt or password protect sensitive information that they share.
On occasion, with your prior knowledge and consent, I may have reason to ask to obtain information from other healthcare providers involved in your care, for example if you are working with a psychologist, psychiatrist or another therapist. This will only be to ensure I am providing the most appropriate, safe, responsive and effective therapy for your needs.
If you’re working with another healthcare provider, such as a psychiatrist or psychologist, you or they may wish for me to have information about you, but this is highly unlikely to ever be without your prior knowledge and consent, because, from 25 May 2018, all organisations and businesses will be required to ensure their privacy policies are fully compliant with GDPR directives. Nevertheless, you can make sure you know your privacy rights with each party involved in your care by asking them directly about their privacy policies.
In rare and exceptional situations a family member, partner or friend may contact me, but that could only happen if you decided to share my details with them. All actions from that point would need to have you at the centre, with your full consent and you guiding appropriate therapeutic decisions at every step of the way.
I will never knowingly receive information about you that you have not given permission to be shared.
What type of information do I collect about you?
I will collect the following personal information from you if we decide to work together, because, as a registered healthcare practitioner, I would be reasonably expected to have this in case of an emergency:
Your name, contact details and date of birth
Who should be contacted in case of an emergency (GP and next of kin)
If health insurance is funding your sessions I also need your name, date of birth, address, plus your membership and authorization codes to pass security checks with your health insurance company.
Given the nature of healthcare related data, some of the information you may share with me is likely to be classified as sensitive. I’m legally required to take strong measures to protect your confidentiality with any of the following sensitive information that would be important for me to know in order to help you:
Your mental and physical health
Use of alcohol, prescribed and non prescribed drug use
Any criminal offences or alleged offences
If you choose to share any information with me about your relationship or sexual history or orientation, your family, lifestyle, employment, religion or cultural background, this is also respected as ‘sensitive information’.
What do I use your information for?
I may at times need ask you about some of the above sensitive information with the specific purposes of ensuring that:
the service I provide to you is properly responsive to your specific circumstances and needs.
I make safe and effective clinical and therapeutic decisions
I respond to you in the most considerate way
we communicate openly with one another to make wise and appropriate decisions together in a teamwork approach
With regards personal and sensitive information, I don’t need to have a written record of everything you share with me! In fact, I keep my own note taking in session to a strict minimum, in order to stay fully present, attentive and connected to you, as these are far more important aspects of transformative teamwork than writing notes!
I keep my note taking outside of sessions to a minimum too, and, instead encourage my clients to keep their own notes of useful ideas, insights and reflections. As they relate to you and your progress, it’s much more relevant and helpful that notes are written by you and stay in your possession!
There are of course some things that I must, legally, have a written record of, if it is in direct relation to your safety or the safety others, such as emergency contact information, or information related to suicide risk, child protection, domestic abuse, or other violent crime, or should I ever need to account for my clinical decisions and/or respond to complaints.
Transparency of record keeping
Transparency is core to the way I work. Therefore it is highly unlikely that I will ever have a stored record with your personally identifying or sensitive information that you will not have already seen.
So, to be super-clear, stored records comprise of:
the emails, reports, questionnaires, forms or letters you have decided to send or ccd to me
emails, reports, questionnaires, forms or letters I have sent or ccd to you to the email address of your choice
any information you have forwarded to me from a healthcare provider or insurance company
any information that I have recieved from a healthcare provider (I will always show you if you have not already been ccd)
any information I send to an insurance company or healthcare provider (I will make sure you have a chance to read and rectify as appropriate before I send) and, if a legal or risk issue has been identified: risk assessment and risk management plan, and my clinical supervisor’s recommendations, which I will also share with you, unless it would increase a safety risk to do so.
As part of a genuinely team-oriented approach, if I think it would be helpful to write session notes on our process (“process notes”), I will write them straight into an email to you, from my iPad, during or after a session, rather than writing them by hand and then keeping them to myself. Unless of course, you would prefer me not to do this. I’ll ask you as we go.
The one exception to this is if we are in the middle of a therapy process in session, where it would be disruptive for me to pull out my laptop, but might be very helpful for me to make a few quick memory jogs so I keep on point whilst we’re going along. I do NOT keep more than first names with my jottings/quick scribblings of ideas (on unlikely the off chance anyone could decipher my quick hand-writing!).
Process notes are not considered the same as formal records, so I don’t keep them stored with any other records. I shred all written process notes soon as our teamwork comes to a completion.
Measures I take to store your data securely
These are the measures I take to protect your data before it can be deleted or destroyed:
Storing paper information securely
I keep handwritten or printed information about you or our teamwork to an absolute minimum in order to protect your data.
I do not print or keep duplicate information wherever this can be prevented. For example, if you or your insurance company have sent me digital information via email, I do not then print it.
All handwritten or printed information that has any personally identifying information on it about my clients is kept in a securely locked filing cabinet.
Keeping electronic information securely stored
My devices are all password protected, with strong passwords that are all different from each other, and which I change at suitable intervals. I do not share my devices or passwords with anyone else.
If you get in touch with me via Skype or Facetime, the contact details you use are stored, but I do not store any therapy related information on these platforms.
I do not record phone or Skype or Facetime sessions.
If I need to electronically send a report, I send this separate to your personally identifying information or I password protect the document.
I clear my downloads related to client information on all devices when I am not actively making use of those downloads.
I do not keep your personal or sensitive information stored on any external hard drive or memory stick. While our teamwork is active, I keep electronic information stored in the following two places only:
1. On my password protected Apple laptop
2. In one Gmail account
All Apple and Google services are GDPR compliant with regards level of security and privacy protection.
Who I may need to share your information with
There may be occasions when I need to share personal or sensitive information about you with third parties, specifically, your insurance company or other health professionals involved in your care (see below). When I do so, I comply with all aspects of the Data Protection Act 1998 (DPA).
Your insurance company
If you are claiming the cost of your sessions through your insurance company, your insurance company may request details of your treatment and progress from me in order to authorise further funding for your treatment. I will share the minimum amount of information necessary with your insurance company for you to get sufficient and appropriate further funding of treatment.
Specialist healthcare providers
If there is a specialist healthcare provider, such as a consultant physician or psychiatrist, NHS mental health service, dietician or nutritionist, psychologist or other therapist involved in your care, and your treatment with them could be negatively impacted if they did not know you were working with me, I consider this very carefully.
I will always ask you for your consent before sharing any personal or sensitive information when liaising with other health professionals who may be involved in your care. I will always ask you for your consent before making appropriate referrals to other healthcare providers.
I will also check with you what information you do and do not wish for me to share. I only share sensitive information that would be of direct importance to your healthcare ie directly relevant to you getting the most appropriate treatment for your needs. I would ensure you have a copy of any email or report I send.
General Practitioners (your GP)
It is not typically necessary for me to contact a client’s General Practitioner, unless you and I have concerns about the medication or treatment that a general practitioner may be prescribing you, or if your GP is the gateway to enable you to access other healthcare that you need.
If I share any information with your GP it will be in written form, in explicit consultation and collaboration with you, with the purpose of you getting better quality health care. I would ensure you have the opportunity to edit before it is sent and that you have a copy of the final draft.
Legal exceptions to obtaining your consent
There are three situations where I would be required to share your information with third parties, without your consent:
If I am required to disclose data about you, under a Court Order for me to do so.
If I am concerned about the welfare of a child, i.e., where there are child protection issues relating to potential physical, mental, sexual abuse or serious neglect
Risk to self or others Where there is an imminent risk of serious harm to yourself or harm or exploitation of others.
If you’re seeking help and you are perpetrating a serious crime against someone, or you are actively suicidal, I am unable to protect your right to privacy, as I must legally take appropriate action to protect the safety of children and vulnerable adults, if I believe they, or you, are at risk of harm. In those instances, I will always follow local and national safeguarding policies and the British Association of Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapies (BABCP) Standards of Conduct, Performance and Ethics.
If you’re worried about your safety or the safety of someone else, it is very important that you get access to the right kind of help asap. In crisis or high risk situations, it’s likely to be most suitable for you to prioritise getting linked up with a therapeutic team who specialise in crisis or high risk situations. I will therefore do my best to get you linked up with the most relevant sources of help, as a sensible alternative to working with a sole practitioner like myself.
How long do I store your data?
My retention period is seven years, after which I securely delete and/or shred all information that I collect from you.
Your Individual Rights
You have a number of rights when it comes to your personal data. Please do visit www.ico.org.uk so you can get fully informed about all of your data rights. I have listed four particularly important rights here:
Your right of access
You have a right to make a written request for the details of personal information that I hold about you.
Your right to rectification
If you believe that any information I am holding on you is incorrect, incomplete or needs updating, please email me with details and I will promptly make the right changes. I will always show you any report or letter I write to a third party before I send it, and invite you to rectify it as you see fit.
Your right to portability
Any information that gets generated in our teamwork, such as questionnaires, reports or letters, you are most welcome to share with other people, as would be helpful to you. I will do my best to only keep information in a form that is easily portable for your convenience.
Your right to lodge a formal complaint
If you believe that your rights under the GDPR regulation have been infringed, or that the processing of personal data relating to you does not comply with lawful regulation, visit the Information Commissioners Office www.ico.org.uk to find out how such matters can be dealt with on your behalf. Their helpline is 0303 123 1113.
Responding to family members and concerned others:
Occasionally I get enquiries from people’s family members or partners making initial enquiries that share sensitive information about their loved ones because they want to help. In these circumstances, if I have not had explicit written consent about information sharing from a potential client themselves, my policy is to not respond to such enquiries in order to ensure that I safeguard, rather than accidentally breach privacy rights, or compromise trust with a future client.
If this applies to you, and you are concerned about a loved one, I recommend that you are transparent in sharing your care and concern for them, and encourage them to contact me directly, or else their GP wherever possible. You are of course welcome to forward them a link to my website and to share my public contact details with them.
Contact me if you have any questions
If you have any questions or concerns about how your data is processed or shared, please do not hesitate to contact me