I’m Rafael – a counsellor and gay man with over 15 years’ professional experience helping other gay men with mental health, wellbeing, sexual and addiction issues. I can help you get your life back on track and feel better in a matter of weeks, rather than months of therapy.
I offer effective short-term, intensive counselling based on the tried and tested Bruges Model of cognitive therapy. Drawing on the full spectrum of counselling and psychotherapy techniques I work with clients to fully understand their underlying issues and whatever is holding them back, so that we can develop personalised, sustainable and life-changing solutions through 10 face-to-face sessions spread over eight weeks or less.
0207 193 1882
I give my clients the tools to think, feel and function better, independently and outside the comfort and security of the therapy room, without becoming dependent on their therapist. After 10 sessions you should no longer need my input because those tools will ensure that you continue to build on the progress we have already made.“
Being a gay man isn’t always easy. Throughout our lives, our expectations of relationships, sex, marriage might significantly differ from those around us and yet we still compare ourselves, attempting to figure out why we’re not as successful, as wealthy, talented or perfectly built…perceptions that can easily lead to depression, anxiety and an overwhelming sense of failure. It’s hardly surprising that our emotions sometimes veer off in the wrong direction, especially after a traumatic event.
I want to help you redefine your relationship with ‘failure’ as the first step to radically improving your outlook on life. My goal is to provide you with a non-judgmental, confidential space where you can acknowledge and openly discuss the root causes of your depression or anxiety, before we put together a comprehensive blueprint for bringing about the changes that are going to make you feel dramatically better about yourself.
Sex doesn’t always equate with intimacy and many of my clients notice a divide between the physicality of sex, sexual gratification and a more profound need for closeness and an emotional connection with a sexual partner. Even though the gay scene has always been incredibly sexualised, clients often come to me because they struggle to talk to friends, family or even a partner openly about sex and what it really means to them.
My role is to take away the taboos or embarrassment of discussing sex so that we can then work towards a healthy attitude and highly personalised approach to sex, one that’s right for you and allows you to achieve fulfilment from each sexual encounter or ongoing sexual relationship. I can also challenge your perceptions, helping you to explore sex in specific contexts such as hookup apps and online dating, long-term or open relationships, libido and fetishes.
Relationships are all about making connections and in the gay world, even though greater equality has given us the prospect of more stable relationships and marriage, attitudes towards promiscuity and making commitments vary significantly. And with the proliferation of online dating it’s easy to start feeling disposable, objectified, isolated and disappointed both inside and outside a relationship. Many clients come to me when they are experiencing loneliness, feeling abandoned or betrayed, and unable to cope with loss… all symptoms that you can bring into therapy.
Within relationships some of the most common issues I can help you with include commitment and intimacy, communication, managing the expectations of those around us, loneliness and dealing with alternative lifestyles, such as open or polyamorous relationships how these are perceived.
Addiction usually results from our inability to cope with situations, feelings or memories from the past. Whether it’s substance abuse or gambling, body image obsession, sex, porn, compulsive eating…even digital addiction, there’s always a fine line between what’s recreational and a spiral of destructiveness. Clients usually come to me when they have a dawning realisation that their addiction and increased risk taking is starting to adversely impact their day-to-day lives, the people around them, or their own health or sexual health.
I can help you identify the underlying anxieties that trigger those negative urges so that we can target the root cause, not just the behaviour. I want to work with you to develop very specific and meaningful strategies so that you can put yourself back in control and actively decide what you want your future to be.