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If you are here, it is likely that you are looking for help with your sleep. Sleep is very much my thing as I am fascinated by this biological process that seems to get stuck. Ultimately, sleep is about letting go, so what is it that is holding you back?

 

To try to unravel that question, my studies have included deep dives into the workings of the nervous system, circadian rhythms, and sensory experiences that operate outside our conscious realm.
The intricacies of sleep challenges are vast. Beyond primary concerns like insomnia, nightmares, vivid dreaming, and biological sleep disorders, my scope of work extends to anxiety, depression, PTSD, addiction, sensory matters, questions of sexuality, and profound issues rooted in childhood. Chronic pain and autoimmune conditions, especially the increasing cases of long-term covid, are other areas I frequently address.


My primary training is as a Core Process Psychotherapist but I have gone on to do further training in in sleep. This has enabled me to merge mindfulness traditions with cognitive behavioural therapy tailored for insomnia.

 

A common trajectory for my clients is to seek me out for sleep improvement, only to discover that while sleep might enhance swiftly, there exist deeper issues warranting exploration.
I work with individuals aged 18 and above, whether on a short or long-term basis, both in-person and online. My experience spans numerous clinical establishments, notably The London Sleep Centre on Harley Street. Presently, I run a private practice both face-to-face on Wimpole Street in London and in Oxfordshire, as well as online, serving clients throughout the UK and internationally (subject to local regulations for psychotherapists).


Psychotherapy wasn't my initial life choice. I made a rather dramatic life change, having dedicated over two decades to design and marketing. My academic journey began with a graphic design degree from Kingston University, leading to roles in advertising agencies in both London and Sydney. Concurrently with starting a family, I founded my design and marketing company before transitioning client-side to spearhead a marketing division.


Upon deciding to re-train, I earned my MA in Mindfulness-based Psychotherapy (Core Process) through The Karuna Institute/Middlesex University, securing accreditation with UKCP (United Kingdom Council for Psychotherapy). Additionally, I have a diploma in Counselling and Psychotherapy from the Bath Centre for Psychotherapy and Counselling (BCPC).


My qualifications further encompass training in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy for Insomnia (CBTi), Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (MBCBT), and Sleep Science from the University of Oxford. My professional affiliations include memberships with the British Sleep Society and The Society of Behavioural Sleep Medicine.

I am also an author and published The Science of Sleep on 2021 and am currently working on my second book.

But aside from all of that, I am a human being interested in what it is to be human and live well. As a woman, wife and mother, owner of two dogs and a sometime runner. Like you I have faced many challenges in my life. So now I am on a mission to improve sleep and well-being with a philosophy that weaves together science-backed research and spiritual connection. 

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Heather Darwall-Smith
Specialist Sleep Psychotherapist,
MA. UKCP accred. 201174666

Core Process Psychotherapy

My practice emphasises mindfulness through Core Process Psychotherapy (CPP). CPP combines the mindfulness principles of Buddhism with Western insights on personality development. While my approach draws inspiration from Buddhist psychology, there's no need for you to be familiar with or adhere to any specific religious or philosophical beliefs.

My intention is to build a genuine, therapeutic relationship with you,  and I offer a space filled with attention, authenticity, and compassion.

For me, the therapy experience isn't rigidly structured but evolves naturally, allowing you to find and voice your own path to well-being. It's personal, and your process is always unique.

At the heart of my practice, I believe everyone has the ability to be present and discover the deep peace within. This journey of self-discovery, the 'core process,' focuses on understanding how we came to here in this present moment and to shed light on the patterns and processes that are perhaps either holding you back or keeping you from sleeping well.

Stress awareness and sleep workshops

I provide bespoke training programs targeting stress and sleep challenges within corporate environments. I also facilitate mediation in professional settings, assisting individuals in addressing and resolving stress-induced workplace conflicts.

Debut as an author​

In June 2021, I published my debut book titled "The Science of Sleep," which demystifies over 100 prevalent queries surrounding the realm of sleep through evidence-backed insights. Currently, I am in the process of authoring my second book in collaboration with a major publisher.

Media contributions​

I am a frequent contributor to several major publications.

 

Appointments

Appointments with me are available face-to-face at 85 Wimpole Street, London, W1G 9RJ, the Ashcroft Therapy Centre in Deddington, Oxfordshire, and virtually. I currently have a waiting list as my practice is full.

Referrals
I am open to accepting referrals and maintain close collaborations with both NHS and private-sector doctors, as well as Prof. Guy Leschziner, a consultant neurologist specializing in the Department of Neurology and Sleep Disorders Centre, located at Guy's and St Thomas' Hospitals.

Insurance

I am registered with multiple private healthcare insurance providers.

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