Heidi Leipnik

MA, MBACP (Snr. Accred) Individual and Couple Therapist

I am a BACP (British Association for Counselling & Psychotherapy) Senior Accredited Therapist working with individuals and couples
in Westerham, Kent and via telephone and video.

It is an enormous step entering therapy, whether it is for the first time or not. There are many different approaches, theories and models to select from,
but research shows that what influences the success of therapy is not the type of therapy but the quality of the relationship between the therapist and client.

The most important thing is finding the therapist who is right for you.

This will come down to personal preference and what feels like a comfortable connection.

It may seem a daunting task, but one usually knows pretty quickly if the therapist is the right one, even just by the initial contact.

I started practising in 2000, with individuals and later with couples. I have a specific interest in one’s development during early childhood
and how that affects the relationship to ourselves and to others later in life.

My work in the NHS, in private practice and with EAP’s brings me a wealth of experience in areas such as loss, depression, relationship difficulties,
family issues and all the related struggles many of us encounter through life.

In terms of therapeutic style, I consider myself an integrative therapist – meaning I use several approaches. Whilst my bedrock is psychodynamic theory,
I have also studied psychoanalytic theory, attachment theory and psychosynthesis, giving me a rich foundation from which to work.

You can find out more about my approach, qualifications and registrations on my about page.


  • BACP Accredited Diploma – Therapeutic Counselling (Crawley College), 2001

  • Graduate Certificate Psychosynthesis Counselling (Psychosynthesis & Education Trust, London), 2004

  • Graduate Certificate in the Psychoanalytic Study of Attachment and the Couple Relationship (TCCR, London), 2007

  • MA in Attachment, Psychoanalysis and the Couple Relationship (TCCR, London), 2011

  • Certificate in Adoption Support Counselling (The Albany Centre in partnership with Barnardo’s), 2022


  • MBACP Accredited Therapist since 2003

  • MBACP Senior Accredited since 2009

  • BACP Registered since 2013

  • I am a recognised provider with healthcare insurers



  • Individuals – £70

  • Couples – £90
    I offer reduced fees where there is a need.
    If you would like to know more, please contact me to discuss.

  • Address:
    Westerham, Kent

  • Telephone and e-counselling:
    I offer sessions via telephone and video wherever necessary or appropriate.




What is the difference?

‘Counselling’ and ‘psychotherapy’ can be used interchangeably. They both seek to bring about change and increased awareness of your situation. However, they are slightly different in a number of ways.

The level of training for the practitioner

Counselling qualifications can be achieved faster than psychotherapy qualifications – sometimes in just two or three years. Therefore, counselling and psychotherapy have different lengths (and depths) of training.

The length of treatment for the client

Counselling may be shorter than psychotherapy. ‘Time-limited counselling’ can be just four to six sessions, whereas psychotherapy is longer, sometimes continuing over a number of years, allowing for the deeper nature of the work. Psychotherapy also works specifically with the unconscious, aiming to make it conscious – allowing us to be more as we choose to be.

My approach to therapy?

A combination of both practices

For these reasons, and because of the range of training and qualifications I have, I use the term ‘therapy’, bridging the two practices and working with a combination of both.

A space to be seen and heard

My philosophy is therapy provides a space for you to be heard, because you have a need – and a right – to be seen and heard. By doing this, we have the opportunity to be our true selves.

This is a simplistic view of what therapy provides, but it underpins what I believe to be the essence of it. I see therapy as the time to come into contact with yourself through the presence of another (the therapist) who is focussed on you and has your best interests at heart.

This creates a ‘containing’ space in which you discover your own answers, understand yourself more fully and come to conclusions about the struggles that bring you into therapy.

Individual therapy – finding yourself

I believe one’s sense of self has firm roots in early relationships and the attachments created in this fundamental time of development i.e. in early childhood. Studies of infant attachment show the impact of the parent-child relationship on the infant; at some level, whether conscious or unconscious, these early experiences are remembered. This becomes a familiar way to live, even when it no longer serves or fits us, and even seems to damage us or others.

Low self-esteem, depression, difficulty with intimacy and other emotional experiences can be altered when we can make sense of why they are present in the first place. With heightened awareness, we have a choice. Change is possible and we can go forward with a better sense of ourselves and our ability to be in this world.

Couples therapy – a place to communicate

For couples, the emphasis on being heard is often pivotal. Communication between a couple can be complicated, stuck, or largely absent. I work with the dynamics of my couples as well as considering each individual’s family history to understand what roles are being recreated – helpfully or unhelpfully.

Couples find the presence of a therapist can help them say what feels risky or difficult. It can provide a means of learning how to communicate better. It can help the couple rediscover one another, It can be a time to reflect on their shared journey and reassess what needs to happen for the couple to move forward, either together or separately.

Therapy is a confidential and professional relationship. The focus is on you and your experience in the world, with your therapist accompanying you along the journey.


If you would like to know more or arrange an appointment, you can contact me in confidence by email or telephone.

Email: heidi@heidileipnik.com

Telephone: 07941 285743

Location: Westerham, Kent