Paola Lopez Rodriguez

Paola Lopez Rodriguez

Systemic & Family Psychotherapist

Children and Adults (10 to 65 years)

I am Paola Lopez Rodriguez, a Systemic and Family Psychotherapist. I have an MSc in Family Therapy and over a decade of clinical experience helping individuals, couples, and families.

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Anxiety in Adults
Autism Spectrum Conditions
ADHD in Children
Bereavement, grief and loss
Bipolar disorder

Paola Lopez Rodriguez

Systemic & Family Psychotherapist

Experience is not what happens to you. It is what you do with what happens to you. – Aldous Huxley

My name is Paola Lopez Rodriguez, and I’m a Systemic and Family Psychotherapist with over a decade of clinical experience. I’m a registered member of the UK Council for Psychotherapy (UKCP) and the Association for Family Therapy (AFT). 

At the heart of my practice is the belief in the power of relationships. I specialise in family and systemic therapy, an approach that focuses on how we relate to one another. Family therapy recognises that our well-being is deeply connected with our relationships, from our immediate family to our broader communities. My role is to stand alongside families as they navigate challenges. I provide the tools, understanding, and support families need to foster healing and resilience.

My commitment is to ensure that therapy is not just personalised but also resonates with the unique needs of each family. I help to create a safe and supportive space for family members to express their perspectives, thoughts and emotions. My approach is influenced by attachment narratives, cultural differences, and the complex emotions that make us human.

I’ve had the privilege of working with many people and families from a broad range of backgrounds. I ensure therapy is inclusive and adapted to your ethnicity, culture, religion, or sexual orientation. I also often work with individuals and couples from the LGBTQ+ community. I take a warm, caring and compassionate approach, and I genuinely care about the outcomes for the families and individuals I work with.

Areas of expertise

Family and Systemic Psychotherapy

Our well-being is closely tied to our relationships and interactions. From the day we're born, our connections with others shape our happiness, health, and how we see the world. Research shows that having strong, close relationships leads to better health and more positive outcomes in life. By understanding and nurturing these connections, we can find solutions to many of the challenges we face.  

Family therapy provides a supportive space for people to work through relationship challenges. It can be helpful if you feel stuck in your relationships or are struggling in your interactions with loved ones. Family therapy aims to foster open communication, enhance understanding, and strengthen the bonds in your relationships. Regardless of whether you're an individual, couple, or family, this approach provides a way forward.

In our sessions, we'll start by understanding helpful and unhelpful patterns of communication. We'll also explore ways to have difficult conversations that can bring about change. Family therapy sees that challenges don't exist in isolation within an individual; they are deeply rooted in our family dynamics, patterns and contexts. The beauty of this approach is that it recognises and builds on the inherent strengths within families or couples. By doing so, we can craft alternative narratives and discover new, healthier ways of relating to one another.

Emotional and Mood Disorders

I understand the profound impact emotional and mood disorders can have on young individuals and their families. I've spent years working with young individuals in NHS Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS), so I'm familiar with the struggles children and their families face. I've also supported teens at risk of care or custody with complex behaviour issues by helping them build stronger connections with their families.

When young people come to me, they often struggle with feelings of:

  • not being understood by their parents 
  • struggling to express their emotions 
  • feeling hopeless about their future

While parents are often concerned about their children's: 

  • mood swings and outbursts
  • sudden changes in behaviour 
  • noticing their child lacks enjoyment in activities they once loved

Through therapy, young individuals often find themselves forging stronger bonds with their parents. By repairing attachment ruptures, they can learn to communicate their feelings without blame. Over time, families gain the ability to understand each other's perspectives, offer support, and help one another with challenges. This approach allows us to see the bigger picture and address the root causes rather than just the symptoms.

Psychosis

When a family member experiences psychosis, it's not just an individual challenge but one that affects the entire family. In my work with the NHS, I support families affected by psychotic illnesses. I understand the heightened stress and challenges you might be facing. The distress, tension, and stress can be overwhelming for the individual and their loved ones. Recognising this, my approach to treating psychosis is holistic, compassionate, and rooted in systemic therapy.

When working with those experiencing psychosis, I emphasise the importance of supporting the entire family, not just the individual. One of the primary ways I support families is through psychoeducation. This involves providing families with a deeper understanding of psychosis, how symptoms manifest, and the impact. Once families have this knowledge, they are better positioned to offer support and understanding to their loved ones.

I use a blend of therapeutic techniques tailored to the unique needs of each family. For some, a structured approach, like family intervention in psychosis, might be most beneficial. A structured approach emphasises psychoeducation, relapse prevention, and problem-solving strategies. For others, a more integrative systemic therapy approach allows for the exploration of different factors. For instance, we might explore family mental health, attachment, cultural influences, and more. My goal is always to offer an open, supportive space where families can talk about psychosis, understand it better, and find ways to support each other.

My approach to treatment

Starting therapy can feel like stepping into the unknown, and it's completely natural to have some apprehensions. My promise is to create a space where you feel safe, heard, and free to be yourself without judgement. We'll move at a pace that feels right for you and your family, ensuring everyone is comfortable.

In our first session, we'll discuss what you and your family hope to achieve in therapy. I'll listen closely to understand the challenges you're facing and how I can best support you. We'll discuss the values and key figures in your family. It's crucial that every family member has a chance to share their perspective. This ensures everyone feels acknowledged and appreciated. Some might feel more comfortable in one-on-one sessions or group discussions, and we can determine the best approach together before our meetings. I'll walk you through the family therapy process, and together, we'll outline a plan for our future sessions.

The therapy process is collaborative so families can focus on what is important to work on and can experiment with different ways of relating to one another.  It's essential that everyone feels they can share openly, so we'll work together to ensure a safe and trusting environment. Every voice matters, and I want to ensure each family member feels valued and understood. 

Personalised treatment plans

Every family is unique, and so is every individual within it. Recognising this, I prioritise understanding each family's distinct dynamics, patterns, and contexts. I value the insights and preferences of each family member, ensuring that our shared therapeutic goals resonate with everyone involved. Some families may prefer a more directive approach, seeking specific strategies and interventions. In contrast, others might lean towards an open exploration of experiences and dynamics within the family. I can tailor the therapy sessions to best fit the family's needs by understanding these preferences.

I incorporate a range of techniques tailored to the unique needs of each family. From behavioural strategies to creative exercises like drawing and games, I aim to engage families in a manner that resonates with them. For some, this might mean focusing on practical advice. We could discuss how to improve morning routines or manage emotional dysregulation. For others, it could involve experiential approaches that allow them to express and understand their emotions in new ways. 

Medication

As a family therapist, my focus is on providing supportive talking therapies. While I don't prescribe medication, I recognise that it can complement the work we do in therapy. If medication is part of your journey, I will collaborate closely with your psychiatrist to ensure you receive well-rounded care. We can also discuss any questions or concerns you might have about medication. My goal is to ensure you feel informed and supported every step of the way.

Education & Training

I’m a Systemic and Family Psychotherapist with a rich clinical background and an MSc in Systemic Family Therapy from King’s College London. I hold professional registrations with the UK Council for Psychotherapy (UKCP) and the Association for Family Therapy and Systemic Practice in the UK (AFT). 

In terms of my professional journey, it's been diverse and enriching. At present, I’m involved in community psychosis services, providing systemic family therapy services to a wide range of patients. Currently, I work in the Camden and Islington NHS Foundation Trust, where I play a pivotal role in offering family assessments and interventions. I am also working as a Sessional Family and Systemic Psychotherapist at the Nightingale Hospital. Before this, I worked as a Family and Systemic Psychotherapist at the CAMHS Central and North West London NHS Foundation Trust. My earlier experiences also include significant roles at the Barnet, Enfield and Haringey Mental Health Trusts and other esteemed institutions.

Regarding my education, I completed my MSc in Systemic Family Therapy from King’s College London in 2020. Before that, I received a Family Therapy Graduate certificate, also from King’s College London in July 2019. My foundational education was at Valencia University in Spain. Here, I earned an MSc in Psychological Intervention in Social Areas (2013) and a Psychology Degree (2010).

I have completed different specialised trainings and courses over the years to ensure up-to-date knowledge and clinical practice. 

My psychotherapy certifications: 

  • LGBTQ+ Centred Emotionally Focused Therapy (2022)
  • 3DI Training (2022)
  • ADOS-2 Training (2022)
  • Functional Family Therapy (2020)
  • King’s College London- MSc in Systemic Family Therapy (2020)
  • King’s College London- Family Therapy Graduate certificate (2019)
  • Valencia University (Spain)- MSC in Psychological Intervention in Social Areas (2013)
  • Valencia University (Spain)- Psychology Degree (2010) 
  • Valencia University (Spain)- Practicum in Gestalt Therapy (2010)

Personal interests

Hiking, reading, food, swimming, travelling and music.

Patient Stories

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We are open:

Monday to Friday (8.30 am - 5.30 pm)

Our locations:

55 Harley Street, London, W1G 8QR

20 Fitzroy Square, London, W1T 6EJ

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