Hello, I'm Bristena Mantu. I am a qualified counsellor, trainee psychotherapist and self-published author based in South East London. I am originally from Romania :)
Whether you're seeking emotional support during difficult life changes or looking for some inspiration to brighten your days, feel free to explore my website and check out my various offerings.
My homepage covers my counselling services. Please also check out my recently published poetry book here (page under construction). Whatever you feel most drawn to, I trust there's a reason why you're here. Thank you for taking the time to wander around and see if there's anything that appeals to you :)
You might be struggling with the following issues...
Sometimes we can all feel a bit defeated. The demands of everyday life are already challenging enough. When you add to that either broken relationships, insurmountable work problems, or unhealthy coping mechanisms, it can all get a bit too much.
No wonder our ability to manage or make sense of our issues becomes overwhelmed. When this happens, it's normal to seek to withdraw from your usual routine and find a safe space to unwind, regroup and repair.
Dealing with career breakdown or unforeseen changes might make you feel insecure or fragile. Family life might be particularly stressful at this point, especially if you are a single parent. You might struggle to find the motivation to stay on top of your studies or university work. You might be seeking closure post-breakup or the ability to maintain a long-term relationship.
How you might be feeling...
You might wonder if anyone cares about you, but deep down, you long for a deeper connection. You might notice you attract emotionally unavailable partners, but you yearn to feel more valued, respected and cared for.
You might feel like the only responsible adult, but you often get crushed under the weight of responsibilities. Your self-care routine might be minimal, non-existing or replaced by comfort eating or substance misuse. You might criticise yourself for what you've done wrong or beat yourself up for not living up to your own expectations.
Your moods might be unstable, and your strength might wither away as you feel isolated, misunderstood or taken advantage of. You might often feel overburdened with guilt or worry or overwhelmed by the weight of your unresolved issues. Whatever you do, it never feels like it's quite good enough..?
Whatever you might be going through, there could also be an undercurrent of existential dilemmas about the meaning of life, happiness or your purpose that you find confusing or even terrifying.
Whom I tend to work with
I tend to people who identify as caring and kind but struggle with overgiving and people-pleasing. They tend to be hard-working and driven but often come crashing down from exhaustion and excessive stress. I have experience supporting people in education, healthcare, social care, IT and management.
I enjoy working with those passionate about personal development, such as psychology students or coaches. They have a strong drive to better themselves but often get caught in the trap of perfectionism and can be too hard on themselves. They usually benefit from self-forgiveness and setting realistic expectations.
I also work with spiritually or artistically inclined people who identify as intuitive, highly sensitive and interested in cultivating self-expression, mindfulness and inner peace. They often feel a strong calling to make a difference in our ailing world but are overwhelmed by its harsh demands. They need support in integrating their artistic or spiritual visions into everyday existence. I have experience working with photographers, tarot readers, dancers, environmental activists, and musicians. I am a writer myself.
I have experience working with people in the LGBTQ+ and polyamory communities. I believe in everyone's right to be who they want to be and love who they feel to love.
I particularly feel for the challenges of ex-pats and migrants since I am one myself. I have experience working with Spanish, Italian, Thai and Indian residents in the UK. I work with people of any colour or background, and I enjoy seeing international clients via Zoom. Unfortunately, I cannot work with US citizens due to insurance and legal reasons.
If the descriptions here don't match you, but you still resonate with the issues described above, do not hesitate to get in touch.
How I can help you
I help my clients explore complex feelings and make sense of their suffering in a way that allows them to build inner security, regain trust in themselves, and establish clarity in moving forward.
My clients learn to practise assertive communication and establish healthy boundaries by gently processing old traumas and identifying their needs. This makes them feel hopeful and empowered again. They begin to build a sustainable attitude towards well-being and harmony in their life, inner and outer.
My areas of expertise revolve around the issues of low self-worth & self-esteem, high sensitivity, depression, anxiety, interpersonal conflict, attachment trauma and recovery from abuse.
I know first-hand what it's like to feel unheard or missed by others, so I do my best to listen with care, compassion and curiosity to what's happening in my clients' lives.
How I work
I work in a non-directive way, which means I do not take charge of what goes on in my sessions. Instead, I invite my clients to bring what matters to them, what feels alive in the moment, and we take it from there.
By being present with whatever my clients bring, I foster an environment of collaboration, open dialogue and self-responsibility. I empower my clients to implement realistic solutions, stay accountable for the changes they need to make and work at a pace that feels appropriate to their needs. Please read here more about my story and philosophy.
My approach is based on the work of Dr Roberto Assagioli, an Italian psychiatrist who founded psychosynthesis in the 1960s, otherwise known as the psychology of hope and will. Through active listening, guided meditations, embodiment practices, and inner parts work, I help my clients access their inner centre of awareness and awaken their will to enact change.
Psychosynthesis addresses the root causes of your childhood traumas underpinning your current life patterns and seeks to include the higher aspects of human nature, such as creativity, imagination, and intuition, alongside man's perennial search for meaning and purpose. Read here more about it.
I work in person and online. My in-person treatment space is in a private residence in Nunhead, SE15 London. I charge £65 per hourly session.
I mainly work with people seeking long-term counselling or therapy, so it's important to establish whether you feel comfortable with your choice of working with me.
You can do so by booking a free, no-strings-attached 20 min introductory call (phone or video) by filling out the intake form below. I will aim to respond within 2-3 working days.
Not many people are familiar with the counselling intake process, so please take a moment to read about the four stages below and the frequently asked questions.
You fill in the intake form below. It will take me 2-3 working days to get back to you.
If I am suited to work with your issues, I will email you with my availability, and we will arrange your free intro call.
Otherwise, I will suggest alternative courses of action or therapist options for you to consider.
Free Intro Call
This 20 min call will give you a sense of who I am and help you decide whether you feel connected with my personality.
You can tell me more about your issue, but this is not a full exploration yet.
The intro call can be done via phone or video call. You can ask as many questions as you need.
Your first 60' session is an in-depth exploration of your issue. You will also have a direct experience of my style, and you can continue to get a feel for our therapeutic compatibility.
If you have any questions about my contract (you'll have been asked to read it beforehand), you will have them clarified too.
By the following week, I kindly ask you to decide whether you wish to work together. If yes, you will be required to sign the paperwork, and we're ready to go!
Once our working agreement is set, we will spend the next two sessions exploring your past, relationships and personality. After learning more about you, I will suggest a course of treatment and direction for the work.
Along the way, I will offer regular reviews so you can reflect upon your progress and check in with your different needs.
Once you're ready to end counselling, I require a 4 week's notice so we can wrap up the loose ends with due care and honour the wonderful work we will hopefully have done until then.