About Sarah Benamer and The Intimacy Clinic
I am registered with the UK Council for Psychotherapy (UKCP) as an Attachment Based Psychoanalytic Psychotherapist and approved supervisor. I am also a member of The British Association for Counseling and Psychotherapy (MBACP).
I originally trained as a psychotherapist at The Bowlby Centre, where I am an approved supervisor and training therapist. I have subsequently undertaken specific additional training to work therapeutically with couples and with psychosexual issues (COSRT London Diploma in Psychosexual and Relationship Therapy). I am constantly looking to expand my knowledge base to best meet the needs of my clients. As part of my continuing professional development participate in conferences, seminars and training every year, as well as being supervised by a UKCP senior practitioner.
Prior to training as a psychotherapist I was a community worker, employed primarily as an independent advocate. I have worked extensively with those in crisis within the NHS psychiatric system, and with individuals in chronic pain, with long-term illness and severe physical disabilities. In addition to my therapeutic training I have an MA in Applied Anthropology and a professional Diploma in Youth and Community work.
I am passionate about inclusion, and aim to work with difference in an empowering way. I feel strongly that psychotherapy should be accessible, and grounded in the real world, with the aim of being supportive of people irrespective of background (ethnicity, race, culture, sexuality, faith, age, gender, ability and so forth).
As a psychotherapist and mental health professional I have become increasingly aware of how often issues relating to our bodies emerge in therapeutic work in both overt and subtle ways, and have a particular interest in this area. The story of our bodies are the stories of us; of our history and experiences, of how we encounter others and go out into the world, and yet traditional psychotherapy often fails to include this. Sex and sexuality, illness and disability, aging, ideas about attractiveness, racial and cultural identification and so on are important aspects of being human and can be sources of shame that inhibit our capacity to feel comfortable in ourselves and with others.
In my approach to psychotherapy and counseling I seek to integrate ideas about early attachment, our sense of self, and how we relate bodily and emotionally to others. I draw upon attachment and relational theory, and psychoanalytic understanding, to support individuals and couples to understand and work through the things that they would like to change.
I write and publish about my clinical work and teach and speak about ‘Attachment and the Body’. Talks, articles, and publications include:
- ‘Killing Me Softly’ A Relational Understanding of Attachment to Pain (2008)
- Attachment and Trauma Edited with Kate White (2008)
- ‘Telling Stories’ Attachment Based Approaches to the Treatment of Psychosis (2010)
- Engendered and Embodied Intimacies (2013)
- A Shared Language of Pain (2015)
- Not So Hysterical Now (2016)
- Embodied Intimacies (2017)
My aim is to provide a calm and confidential environment where issues from the past and the present that are causing distress can be explored and challenged. To hopefully enable clients to grieve the past, process trauma, and to build confidence in their sense of self to have and maintain fulfilling and meaningful intimate relationships.
My personal and professional experiences have shown me that human beings have enormous capacity for hope and change. I have a firm commitment to the positive benefits of psychotherapy and the possibilities of a safe therapeutic relationship where we are able to understand who we, and to grow and reach our potential.
Where appropriate I work with similarly qualified and trained professionals and can make referrals to colleagues who work in other areas of London.