Dr. Shirin Shams

Counselling Psychologist

I have a specialist knowledge that has gleaned over 15 years of clinical experience working in private, public and charity sectors. As a practitioner I specialise in the provision of counselling psychology, meaning that I offer both short-term therapies of a time-limited nature that take a focused approach on a specific concern of the client’s; I also offer a more longer-term, open-ended and explorative psychotherapeutic approach for those clients who wish to over time uncover the unconscious patterns they have adopted in life that have attributed to their concerns and struggles.

In addition to offering psychological treatment, I also offer coaching to help individuals identify their personal or professional values and goals as well as the blockages that may prevent people from pursuing these. This is one of my particular areas of interest and the focus of my doctoral thesis which investigated the relationship between procrastination and productivity.

Another area of interest of mine is related to relationships and how these may positively or negatively influence our life’s experiences. Our relationships and human connections often shape our life’s joy, purpose and fulfilment but a lot of the time our relational bonds are the root of our pain and suffering. By better understanding the patterns that we have adopted in life that may create unhealthy relationships, we can obtain a deeper understanding about ourselves and make transformational change for the future.

I also have passion for mindfulness and presence. I find this particularly helpful when helping people find inner peace during challenging times and cope with life’s struggles with stability. I often encourage individuals to learn to live with the painful aspects of life, including accepting and feeling painful emotion, rather than trying to control or avoid these through various aversion techniques and distractions. Mindfulness is a beautiful, grounding and stabilising tool for this.

While think there is so much to benefit from the experience of talking things through in depth over time, and from that gaining a deepened self-understanding, I also think that taking a pragmatic approach can equip clients with the skills and the tools to lead a more fulfilling life. This is a core aspect of my work at the Aequi retreat, where I draw on all of the above to support individuals in understanding the nature of their walls/obstacles/struggles by using a practical approach based on evidence-based psychological research that has also in my experience shown to help people move towards a rich, purposeful and fulfilling life.


Supervision Training Course, British Psychological Society, London 2020
PsychD Counselling Psychology, University of Roehampton, London 2011-2017
Counselling Skills Course, City University London, London 2011
BSc Psychology (Hons), 2:1, University of Westminster, London, 2006-2009:
Certificate of Secondary Education in Social Sciences, O. Gymnasieskolan, Umea (Sweden) 2001-2004


Cognitive-behavioural therapy (2nd wave and contemporary, 3rd wave approaches)
Psychodynamic psychotherapy
Person-centred therapy


Registered practitioner psychologist with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC)
Chartered member with the British Psychological Society (BPS)