If you find yourself at the crossroads of sleep disturbances and emotional challenges, I'm here to help. My name is Heather Darwall-Smith, and I offer a unique approach that blends psychotherapy with CBTi, tailored specifically to the enigmatic world of sleep.
At the intersection of sleep disturbances and emotional turmoil, the world can sometimes appear shadowed and overwhelming. In our therapy sessions, we embark on a journey to illuminate the obscured corners of the mind, providing a sanctuary to delve into your concerns and find paths towards brightness and healing.
Successful therapy is akin to a well-balanced recipe. I offer a combination of depth psychotherapy and CBTi. In our journey together, I am committed to infusing our sessions with joy, candour, compassion, and consistency. Whether we're channelling the strength of your inner warrior or nurturing the vulnerability of your inner child, all facets of your being are welcomed and nurtured. We can work to meet your needs - this might be short-term therapy, or it might be a longer-term approach. You might want a drop in session to address specific issues – my aim is to meet you where you are.
My work is anchored in the four pillars of Buddhist philosophy: kindness, compassion, appreciative joy, and equanimity. But combines layer upon layer of a diverse range of skills, ensuring that you receive a therapy unique to your needs. Whether our sessions take place online or in person, my priority is to offer you a secure and confidential environment tailored to your unique needs. While I specialise in sleep disturbances, the work we do together encompasses the vast tapestry of human experience and emotion. Whatever you need to explore - all is welcome.
Life can be challenging
It's all connected
In today's fast-paced and increasingly complex world, challenges like stress, sleep disturbances, and chronic pain are becoming all too familiar, and their prevalence seems to be mounting. The ramifications of these issues reverberate throughout our biological systems, manifesting in a myriad of ways, including insomnia, digestive complications, fertility challenges, and weakened immunity. The recent pandemic has exacerbated these struggles, with many individuals grappling with the lingering effects of Long Covid.
My therapeutic approach is deeply rooted in the psychobiological framework, which underscores the intricate linkage between our thought processes (cognition), emotions (mood) and the physiological reactions of our body. This comprehensive perspective recognises that our mental and physical well-being is inextricably linked and is influenced by societal, environmental, and cultural dimensions. Sleep disturbances, as an example, seldom arise in isolation.
Hence, it's crucial to consider the holistic picture of an individual, understanding their entire life context rather than merely addressing isolated symptoms. Regrettably, we aren't innately equipped to navigate the complexities of anxiety, depression, addiction, or persistent pain. Often, by the time one realises the persistence of these challenges, they have intensified, complicating the healing process. This is where the transformative power of therapy comes into play.
All sessions are confidential. I have regular supervision, which is done in the strictest confidence and I abide by the UKCP Code of Ethics and Professional Practice.
I offer sessions in person at 85 Wimple Street therapy rooms and online (via Zoom). Additionally, I provide a specialised sleep programme, weekly psychotherapy, and top-up/drop-in sessions as needed.
I do charge for our initial meeting - it's a chance for us to get acquainted and determine how we will collaborate. During this meeting, we'll discuss what brings you to psychotherapy, the benefits of the sleep programme, and the flexibility of top-up/drop-in sessions. We will also explore any questions or concerns you may have about the entire process. After this session, I will provide you with a personalised, comprehensive sleep plan outlining how we will work together.
Do you accept insurance?
Yes, I am registered with several insurance companies, including AXA, WPA, Vitality, and Cigna. Please contact me to discuss the referral process and how to liaise with your insurance company.
If you have coverage, I will directly bill your insurance company for the number of sessions scheduled, maintaining confidentiality by not disclosing attendance specifics to them.
How much are the sessions? How long are they?
Individual therapy sessions last 50 minutes. The cost varies based on whether you're seeking psychotherapy or sleep-related therapy and whether our sessions are online or in person. I offer a range of prices due to being registered with various insurance companies.
How often would we meet?
Initially, we meet weekly, either in person or online. After six weeks, we'll review our progress. The frequency of our meetings thereafter will depend on the issues we're addressing. Many clients opt for long-term weekly psychotherapy. For those seeking sleep therapy, we might start with weekly sessions, then transition to biweekly, and eventually monthly. Past clients are always welcome to return for individual sessions as needed.
Do you offer a sliding fee scale?
Yes, the fees vary depending on the location of our sessions and the type of therapy you're seeking. I reserve four spots per year in my caseload for students and individuals on low incomes at a reduced rate. Currently, all these spots are filled.
Can I see you online?
Absolutely. I work with clients on several online platforms. My insurance permits me to serve most overseas clients online, though there are some country-specific exclusions (notably the US). However, I encourage you to get in touch regardless. In-person sessions are available on Wimpole Street in London and in Deddington, Oxfordshire.
What if I need to cancel?
I require a notice of cancellation or rescheduling at least 24 hours (1 working day) prior to the scheduled session time. Failing to provide sufficient notice will result in the session being billed, as it is reserved specifically for you. Standard practice is to remain online for 15 minutes after the scheduled start time, during which I will also send an email to inquire about your attendance. Should there be no response within this timeframe, the session will be recorded as “Did Not Attend,” and charges will be applicable.
An issue with connecting or attendance at the time of the session
Due to operational constraints, including maintaining a quiet and distraction-free environment while working, phone calls are not a viable means of communication for me, as my phone remains switched off. However, I can receive text messages on my laptop, ensuring I remain reachable via both email and text during working hours.
If I don't have any immediate openings, I'm more than happy to recommend trusted and respected colleagues.
What is happening now?
In this moment, it might seem as though the weight of the world bears heavily on your shoulders, but please know that feelings evolve, and with time and guidance, they can transform.
The Buddha elucidated the Four Noble Truths, emphasizing that life is intertwined with inevitable challenges. Is it such challenges that bring you to seek my assistance? Whether your struggles stem from addiction, eating disorders, relationship complexities, or questions of identity, know that my door is open to all. Whether our sessions focus on psychotherapy, delving into the intricacies of sleep disturbances (which often have profound underlying causes), or any other concern, our collaborative journey will naturally carve out its trajectory toward healing and understanding.