Gentle Journeys

Gentle Journeys is about supporting parents to feel confident about themselves and the way they raise their children. It is run by clinical psychologists and we specialise in postnatal support, respectful parenting and gentle discipline methods. We support parents with children aged 0-6 years. We can provide face to face sessions in our clinic, in your home, or online.

At Gentle Journeys we recognise how daunting, exciting, overwhelming, demanding, rewarding and exhausting parenting can be. We appreciate it is often not a straight forward journey and that confidence can ebb and flow, with so many pressures and expectations placed upon us.

We are Dr Zara Rahemtulla and Dr Kerri Walster, clinical psychologists, who can support with a broad range difficulties. Themes include, but are not limited to, managing toddler tantrums and big emotions, sleeping or eating issues, how to play or feel more connected with your child through play, managing adult feelings of anxiety or low mood, parent identity changes, couple relationship difficulties and parent-child attachment. Our knowledge as psychologists is rooted in attachment research and neuroscience, as well as respectful and compassionate parenting practices.

We also work with parents who might have had a difficult pregnancy, birth or start to parenting, and have not had the opportunity to share this, or process the feelings associated with this. We are also aware that becoming a parent for the first time can often trigger difficult memories or feelings from one’s own childhood; particularly in relation to their own parents. Therefore, in our one to one therapy we help parents make sense of these complex relationships and the impact that they can have on their parenting journey.

Both Zara and Kerri are experienced clinicians who have worked within the NHS for over 10 years. We pride ourselves on our ability to make parents feel at ease, not judged, cared for and held in mind. At Gentle Journeys our philosophy is about helping parents to be good enough, connected enough and supported enough on their parenting journey.

Respectful Parenting

Parent Wellbeing

Couple's Therapy

Parent-Child Relationship

Respectful Parenting Coaching Sessions

Would you like to react differently to your toddler's meltdowns?

Perhaps you would like some advice on how to respond to your child's demands and continual No's?

Would you like to set limits with your toddler in a way that isn't punitive and doesn't involve shouting or power battles?

We can support parents with all of the above, using respectful and gentle methods that are rooted in psychological research and science. Respectful Parenting techniques help parents respond to their toddlers in calm ways, whilst also setting limits effectively at the same time.

You can book respectful parenting coaching sessions with us and we will explain how respectful parenting works, the key principles behind the approach, guide you step-by-step through your toddler dilemmas and give you strategies to use straight away.

We offer a free, 30 minute consultation in the first instance, so we can get to know one another and see if the approach will be the right one for you.

£60 per session per hour

One to one adult therapy

As clinical psychologists, we are trained in various models of therapy. This means we can tailor the therapy to the specific needs of the person coming to see us.

We support adults/parents with their mental health and well being. Psychological research shows that if parents continually feel burnt out, exhausted and stressed, this has an impact on their ability to manage the demands of parenthood. It is important for parents to have some space for themselves to talk to someone outside of their home life perhaps, to help them navigate their parenthood journey.

Often parents struggle with feeling not good enough, feeling stressed about parenting or co-parenting and/or feel anxious or low. There can be feelings of disappointment or uncertainty in the first year of parenthood (and beyond), and it is common for parents to feel mixed feelings about the changes in their lives. At Gentle Journeys we believe that all parents deserve the opportunity to breakdown their stories of not feeling good enough, and challenge the dominant discourses of mothering being idyllic and seamless.

We can support parents with various areas of their well being and mental health. You can get in touch to arrange a free 30 minute consultation to discus further.


Couple's sessions

Becoming a parent and navigating parenthood is a challenging task that can naturally have an impact on the couple relationship. You may have found that your relationship with your partner has changed in various ways, and some of these changes might feel hard to overcome or talk about together.

Couples therapy aims to help couples understand each other's perspectives. We discuss differences in parenting styles, communication breakdowns and support each person to tell their story. Some couples talk about the practical changes that have occurred, such as the changes in roles and responsibilities, some talk about the emotional and sexual changes that have also happened.

At Gentle Journeys we support parents to have these more tricky conversations together in a safe and non-judgmental environment, aiming to help parents feel more connected with one another by the end.

You can get in touch to book a free 30 minute consultation, to see whether couple's therapy would be the best option for you.

£80 per session per hour

Video Intervention for Positive Parenting and Sensitive Discipline (VIPP-SD)

VIPP-SD is a video intervention to support parents to sensitively understand their child’s sometimes complex communications. It also considers parent’s communications with their child and subtle patterns that may be unhelpful in getting to a result parents ultimately want.

To consider this type of therapy, you and your therapist would watch video material of you and your child partaking in an activity, in a gentle and non-intrusive way, and following this, will give some constructive verbal feedback about how you might approach things differently. This is typically done in the home, but can also be facilitated by video session, e.g. watching a meal time live as it's happening (also known as 'in vivo').

Some reasons for people accessing video intervention have been fussy eating, difficulty with routines, hitting/biting and/or strains in the parent-child relationship. VIPP-SD typically includes 7 sessions with a key focus area, but occasionally a parent will have more or less sessions to meet their needs. VIPP-SD was developed by some of the world’s leading attachment researchers, to prevent or reduce behavioural problems in children below the age of six. Its successes have been extensively reported in peer reviewed journals. It is based on attachment and behavioural principles.

You can watch a video about a parent’s experience of VIPP-SD:

Do get in touch to find out more, or book a free consultation with us.

£90 for an hour and 15 minute session