Maria Barletta

Integrative Counsellor


Registered member of the BACP (MBACP)

Online Counselling 

English and Spanish spoken

Different mental health and wellbeing therapeutic approaches suit different types of individuals. This is because different people are at different stages of development. People have different ways of coping, of solving problems and of learning new things. This is important to understand because you may have tried to get help from a practitioner of a particular approach/modality and did not find it particularly helpful. 

For therapy or coaching to work and lead to a positive outcome, it is important that the following factors come together: 

1. The quality of the relationship between the therapist/coach and the client: therapists/coaches are human beings and are subjected to the same social dynamics as anyone else.  However. most therapists/coaches are trained in starting and maintaining good, healthy relationships. Therefore, the quality and depth of the relationship between helper and helpee is an important  determinant of positive therapeutic outcomes.

2. The approach /modality/technique used with the client: Some therapists and coaches are trained in one particular approach and they use it in the same way for everyone. The unintended consequence is that the therapist/coach "hammers" the client into that approach. Needless to say, this does not help the client.

Good therapists/coaches practice with the client in mind, that is to say, they adapt to the needs of the client. They are able to determine what approach/modality/technique will work with that particular client. In addition, good therapy/coaching is based on a collaborative relationship where both parties agree on the way they are going to work together and on the desired outcomes. In this sense, good therapy/coaching is always client centred.

3. The readiness for change of the client: clients are at different stages of their "readiness for change." A client may come to therapy/coaching believing they want a particular outcome. However, what they believe and the reality of what they can deliver are two different things. There are many reasons why clients may not be ready for the change they want. Reasons may be internal as well as external. This does not mean that they are not ready for any kind of change. An intelligent, insightful and caring therapist should be able to understand how ready the client is for the change that they say they want and should be able to meet the client where they are at and help them with the most appropriate approach/strategy for that particular stage on their way to the outcome they want.

I am here to help you. I don't have any hidden agendas. I don't put my ego before my clients. I meet you half way and from there, we both co-create our relationship and the outcomes you want. Whether you are ready for the change you want or not, we will work together to help you change - one step at a time.

In my practice,  I use counselling, coaching, hypnosis, guided visualisations, NLP, psychoeducation, healing techniques, and sometimes even physical activity to help you reconnect with your healthy self, that part of you that is unwounded and whole.

What mental health and wellbeing services do you offer?



Counselling - Psychotherapy



Counselling is a process that enables you to talk about your problems or your difficulties in your life. Counsellors help you, through talking, to manage life better by changing the way you respond to difficulties. 

I am a qualified Integrative Counsellor. This means that I do not advocate one approach or school of thought in psychotherapy but I seek to integrate different approaches in my private practice with my clients. 

This sometimes involves using the approach that I consider to be most effective with a particular client. 

As a qualified hypnotherapist, NLP and Life coach, I also use these transformational approaches if we agree with the client that they may be helpful to them. 





Hypnotherapy (hypnosis used for therapeutic purposes) is the art of using communication in the form of positive suggestions, symbolic language, metaphors, stories and imagery to produce a desired outcome which is previously agreed with the client.


In the UK,  hypnosis for therapeutic purposes is recognised as a Complementary Therapy. It is used to help clients suffering from behavioural and emotional disturbances and, occasionally, to manage physical symptoms that seem real to the client but that have no apparent biological basis, such as IBS.

When used in conjunction with psychotherapy, coaching and NLP, hypnotherapy can produce very positive results.

Hypnosis is a state of mind characterised by heightened attention drawn inwards, i.e. from the external environment to the client's internal world. The client's internal world consists of thoughts, emotions, mental images and body sensations of which the client may or may not be consciously aware. 

A state of hypnosis allows the mind to pay attention to these inner currents.

This state of heightened attention and focus allows clients to explore their perceptions, emotions, needs, deeper yearnings and intuitive knowledge. This exploration helps clients become aware of new ways of dealing with their problems. 


When actively engaged in the process, clients can find themselves re-connecting with the emotions stored in their bodies; they can begin to see possible solutions to their problems; access the internal resources to overcome their limitations and become aware of themselves at a level not always achieved by simply thinking logically about a problem.

Sometimes the solution comes as a realisation, a new understanding, intuitive insight, a symbolic image or a memory that has meaning within the internal framework of the client's experiences.

In this sense, hypnotherapy is a psycho-imaginative technique that utilizes the clients' imagination to tap into inner resources that are often hidden from normal daily awareness. As a result, clients may feel they are able to think clearly and process the emotional content of their experience. Often clients find themselves feeling less emotional and more able to cope with their situation. Many people report a sense of "something being lifted," a common feeling brought about by a new awareness and sense of self.

The best results are obtained when therapist and client have built a solid therapeutic relationship and agree to use hypnotherapy to enhance the client's capacity to find the solutions that are right for them.



Dispelling common assumptions about hypnotherapy

  • Hypnosis is not meditation

Although a state of profound relaxation can result if that is the agreed goal, hypnosis is not the same as meditating. 

  • Hypnosis is not sleep

Although in a state of deep inner focus, the client is not asleep. Some clients may fall asleep during the session, however, even if they do, they are still listening to the voice of the therapist and are able to respond when given the relevant cues. Although it is not ideal to fall asleep during a session, there is nothing to be ashamed of if it does happen. Hypnotherapy is not less effective because the client has fallen asleep.

  • No one can make you do something you don't want to or that it goes against what you believe in.

Some people believe that under hypnosis,  they will be made to do things they don't want to do. This is a myth. First of all, you don't go "under" or "into" hypnosis. Hypnosis is something that people do, like when you watch a film and are so concentrated on it that you do not listen to what your partner is telling you although you can hear them talking. You are aware during hypnosis and you can respond to anything that it is said to you.  You remain in control at all times.

  • "Hypnotherapy does not work" 

Some people say "hypnotherapy" does not work or "it doesn't work for me"​

It is true that some people may not benefit from hypnotherapy. This happens for many reasons that have little to do with the approach. It may be that the client is not ready for change, there is not enough trust in the relationship with the therapist, they have some blockages that need to be cleared first with talking therapy or coaching or they have other reasons not related to the problem they want to solve. Everybody is different and two people with the same issue may experience different results with the same approach. This is why, I do not just do "hypnosis". We work together in a collaborative relationship where I help you get clear on what you want to accomplish and how you can get there.


Life Coaching



Life Coaching is a purposeful conversation between you and I: you being the coachee and I, the


What makes this conversation very special is that it has a specific purpose.

In the first session, we agree on what you want to work on. You bring a problem and the desire for change.

I bring my knowledge and experience in the process of change and the methodology of transformation.

During the first and, sometimes, second sessions, we will explore your problem and decide on what you want to happen. What outcome do you want?

The idea of the coaching relationship is to help you to move you from where you are right now to where you want to be.

We will embark on a journey of exploration and discovery that will develop your self-awareness and ability to make life-enhancing decisions.

Coaching works better when we focus on a specific outcome so the first step is to explore and decide what outcome you want to have and how having that outcome will help you achieve your long-term goals.

Most professionals and coaching practitioners tell us that coaching focuses on the future and that we do not talk about your past. This is not entirely true.

It is more accurate to say that we use the information that you bring to the coaching and this includes your past in relation to the outcome. Questions we may reflect on are: how did you get to where you are now? What have you tried that did not work for you? What have you tried that did work? What are the main challenges that you’ve experienced?

All this is information that helps us understand your present circumstances. Coaching does not dwell in the past. However, sometimes, in order to make real changes, we need to face our past, understand it, accept it and let it go so that we can move forward. You are not your past behaviour or circumstances. In this sense, coaching is the Art of Possibility. Coaches do not believe that who you are now is the whole story. We believe that there exists in you a potential still to be manifested and our job is to help you see this and to actualise it.

In my practice, I use a future-led approach whereby we work on becoming very clear about the outcome you want, and your short and long-term goals. Then we work from the future backwards. If this who you want to be and where you want to be, what is preventing you from being that person right now?

The first change is that of your mindset and personal identity. Who do you believe yourself to be? What are your assumptions? What emotional baggage are you carrying that is no longer serving you? How do you show up in the world, in your relationships, at work, in your personal life?

These are some of the things we aim to explore.

Sometimes, clients need more than challenging questions. In my coaching practice, I use a wide range of tools and strategies to help you move forward. We do visualisations, work with imagery, symbolism, energy and movement. We work on your beliefs, values, communication skills, and many other aspects of your personal psychological make-up.

Sometimes clients have the mindset and the motivation but lack the skills that will allow them to overcome their obstacles. We then do some life skills training, for example, we may work on developing your ability to set boundaries, have difficult conversations, perform in public, etc.

Life-skills training is an important aspect of an effective coaching strategy.

Finally, I bring my strong intuitive self to the session. I work with my intuition a lot and I am also a good reader of energy and energetic transactions.

People come to coaching for many reasons, some of these can be because they are looking to:

  • Find clarity on an issue

  • Gain purpose

  • Become more self-aware

  • Set meaningful and challenging goals

  • Identify strengths and resources

  • Explore ways forward to achieving success

  • Take specific, targeted action

  • Set deadlines and commitments

  • Challenge limiting thoughts patterns

  • Review results and learn from successes and failures

  • Look at situations differently to gain new insights

  • Understand your own motivations better

  • Change direction away from habitual behaviour

  • Get to the core of what stops you moving ahead in your life