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Therapeutic Approach

I am trained and experienced in working from a diverse range of therapeutic models, or 'types of therapy'. But underpinning these approaches is my relational, client-centered, compassionate and non-judgmental attitude. I prioritise the therapeutic relationship and think of this as central to both short and long term therapy. 

In addition to paying close attention to relationships, I draw on mindfulness, compassion-focused and cognitive behavioural therapeutic interventions as well as existential and systemic theory. These evidenced-based models enhance my understanding of human distress and compliment the emphasis I place on how we all uniquely experience our difficulties. 

In addition to the therapeutic models from which I work, I also pay close attention to relationship patterns, social groups, relgious and cultural backgrounds, gender and gender diversity, sexuality and (dis)ability. The experience of difference, diversity and marginalization can have a profound impact on how we feel about ourselves and are particular areas of interest to me. 

I have practiced mindfulness meditation for the past twenty years and I often draw on my experience and knowledge of buddhism and mindfulness to inform my practices. 

Training and Experience

I have worked in a number of settings with a diverse range of clients and difficulties. My early experiences were gained from working with individuals in extreme distress experiencing suicidal thoughts and feelings. I then worked in a variety of settings with children, adolescents and adults who had experienced traumas. 


Within the NHS, I have worked in an anxiety disorder residential unit with adults diagnosed with various anxiety disorders including obsessive compulsive disorder, body dysmorphia, health and social anxiety. I have also worked in a mood disorder service supporting people with depression and other mood related difficulties. I worked in a specialist NHS eating disorder service with both inpatients and outpatients and I currently work at the Tavistock and Portman Gender Identity Clinic with adults experiencing gender incongruence. 


  • Doctorate in Counselling Psychology gained from University of Surrey (Dpsych) 

  • Psychology undergraduate degree gained from City University London (BSc)

  • Post graduate diploma in systemic family and relationship therapy gained from Tavistock and Portman NHS Trust

  • Certificate in Enhanced Cognitive Behvioural Therapy for Eating Disorders

  • Training as a Gender, Sexual and Relationship Diversity (GSRD) practitioner with Pink Therapy 

Publications, conferences and teaching


Whiteley, C. (2019) Inviting in painful emotions, Counselling Directory​

Whiteley, C. (2019) Some Ideas to Manage Loneliness, Counselling Directory

Whiteley, C. (2019) Supporting Invisible Parents, The Psychologist, 32, 5.

Whiteley, C. (2017) The impact of in-session weighing in eating disorder services on the therapeutic relationship: A flexible, transparent and reflective approach, Counselling Psychology Review, 22, 2.


Whiteley, C., Coyle, A. and Gleeson, K. (2017) An idiographic analysis of women's accounts of living with mental health conditions in Haredi Jewish communities. Mental Health, Religion & Culture, 1367-4676.

Conferences and presentations


Whiteley, C. (2017) An idiographic analysis of women's accounts of living with mental health conditions in Haredi Jewish communities, Counselling Psychology Annual Conference, Stratford-Upon-Avon, United Kingdom. July 6-7 2017.

Whiteley, C. (2018) Gender Identity and Eating Disorders. St Anns Eating Disorder Service, Barnet, Enfield and Haringey Mental Health Trust, United Kingdom. December 2018.


Lecturer at City University, counselling psychology doctorate (2020 - current)

Visiting lecturer in Play Therapy on doctorate in counselling psychology at University of Surrey (2017).

Visiting lecturer in Eating Disorders on Masters Programme in mental health at University College London (2017).


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