020 7129 7066 matthew@colbun.co.uk

Meet Our Therapists

Cristian R Pena, CPsychol AFBPsS (Director and Chartered Clinical Psychologist)

I am a HCPC registered Clinical Psychologist who is an associate fellow of the British Psychological Society and Colbun Psychology’s Director. I set up this practice more than 10 years ago and am very proud of what we have created. As a team, we have gained a lot of experience in working with people from all walks of life with a wide range of problems including anxiety, trauma, depression, relationship issues and low self-esteem.

In addition to Colbun Psychology, I have worked as a clinical psychologist in the NHS. Most recently I worked at University College London Hospital with families and adolescents suffering from cancer. Prior work for me has included working at a bereavement service in Camden & Islington NHS Trust, and with adolescents with complex needs and their families at Oxleas NHS Foundation Trust. I also have a keen interest in the field of human rights and work as a consultant for organisations based around the world.
I provide therapy at Colbun Psychology in Central London in English, Swedish and Spanish. I also offer therapy via Skype.

Ofrezco psicoterapia en Colbun Psychology en español en el centro de Londres. Tambien por Skype.
Jag erbjuder även behandling på svenska och över Skype i Centrala London.

Dr. Shabana Dar, D.Clin.Psy; M.Sc. (Clinical Psychologist)

I am a clinical psychologist registered with the HCPC and qualified to work with adults, adolescents and children. Prior to joining Colbun Psychology I worked within the NHS and have 14 years of experience in the field of mental health.
The therapy models I have worked within include Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT), Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT), Cognitive Analytic Therapy (CAT) and Systemic Family Therapy. I find Mindfulness and Compassion focussed therapeutic approaches particularly helpful with complex emotional issues. My own starting point in becoming a clinical psychologist began with an interest in existential philosophy and psychology, which has continued to inform my work. I am also interested in the growing body of neuropsychological research and practice that explores the relationship between the mind and body, and psychology and spirituality. I have worked with people from a variety of cultural, ethnic, religious and spiritual backgrounds, and feel it is imperative to create a shared understanding of their particular personal and social context. This is helpful in enabling clients to clarify their own evolving personal values and make progress in their lives in keeping with these.
Unless a client is specifically looking for one particular type of therapy (e.g. CBT) the type of therapy I create for each person depends on their specific situation and needs. I integrate relevant elements from different models to create a more tailor-made approach unique to each person’s therapeutic journey.
I provide therapy at Colbun Psychology in Central London in English.

Dr Isabella Girling (Clinical Psychologist)

I am a Clinical Psychologist registered with the HCPC. I have extensive experience of working in physical and mental health services within the NHS. I am trained to work therapeutically with a wide range of client groups. I can offer individual therapy to adults, children and young people and work with parents, couples and families.

I work with people in a way that best meets their needs. This means I am able to draw upon a variety of approaches including; systemic, narrative, cognitive behavioural, community and human-rights based approaches to effect change. My clinical practice aims to reconnect people with their values and what is important to them during times which can present personal, social, spiritual and community struggles. Many of these struggles can bring with them a number of emotional difficulties such as low mood, anxiety, low self-esteem and trauma. I work alongside clients to make sense of their unique experiences and their responses to these, acknowledging the influence of the different contexts and environments within which they are situated.

As well as Colbun Psychology, I also currently work at Imperial College Hospital, London with children and families for whom critical illness threatens their lives. In addition, I am progressing my research into promoting wellbeing for women who have experienced multiple and severe forms of violence. I believe people, in whatever context, should always be regarded as human and therefore unequivocally be treated with humanity, humility and respect. It is of utmost important to me that I provide people with a safe and respectful space to explore the impact of their experiences.
I provide therapy at Colbun Psychology in Central London in English

Dr Lola Perez-Gavino, DClinPsy; MSc; PG Dip (Clinical Psychologist and Cognitive Behavioural Psychotherapist)

I am a Clinical Psychologist and Cognitive Behavioural Psychotherapist (registered with HCPC, BPS and BABCP accredited). I also have a Masters Degree in Speech and Language Therapy. I have 15 years of experience working in mental health. I currently work in the NHS in a child mental health service in Central London. I can help people with a variety of difficulties, including low mood and anxiety disorders.

I have extensive experience of working with children, young people and adults with OCD, which is one of my areas of special interest. I also have an interest in adapting standard CBT to young people and adults with high functioning Autism and Asperger’s Syndrome.

The ultimate goal of therapy is to help people feel better in the areas they are unhappy about. In our work together, we will draw a map of your problems. For some people this may focus on what is going on for you at the moment, for other people, it may be important to find out a little more about where and when the difficulties started, to change the way they are affecting you at present. I draw on narrative therapy in my work. Everybody has a story of who they are and what is important to them. We often follow the path we are most familiar with and it may be difficult to see other routes on the way. I would like to explore with you new paths that may be less obvious, paths that would bring you closer to the kind of person you would like to be and to live by the values that are important to you.

In my spare time, I collaborate with LUNA Children’s Charity, which has the aim of helping children who have experienced trauma to move forward with their lives. As part of my role with LUNA, I have trained in the use of CATT (Child Accelerated Trauma Treatment), a therapeutic protocol aimed at improving children’s quality of life, and reducing symptoms of trauma using a cognitive-behavioural technique.

I provide therapy at Colbun Psychology in Central London in English and Spanish

Ofrezco psicoterapia en Colbun Psychology en español en el centro de Londres

María Isabel Madrigal García (Clinical Psychologist)

I am a HCPC and BPS registered Clinical Psychologist with over 25 years of experience. I have extensive experience in the assessment and treatment of adults with problems including depression, anxiety, personality problems, phobias, self-esteem issues and relationship problems within couples.
I am extremely passionate about my job and have been working at Colbun Psychology for many years; I was with Cristian when he set up the practice. When I see clients I use both a cognitive behavioral and humanistic approach. In addition to my Clinical Psychology degree, I hold a Masters degree in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy.
I also have experience of working within the NHS here in London, working part time in the Intensive Care department as a clinical psychologist at North Middlesex hospital, Edmonton.
Furthermore, I have written several research papers, which have been published in both Spanish and English-language journals. Presently my area of research is emotions and emotional intelligence.
I provide therapy at Colbun Psychology in Central London in English and Spanish.

Ofrezco psicoterapia individual y de pareja en Colbun Psychology en español en el centro de Londres.

Dr Irina Aron (Psychodynamic Psychotherapist)

I trained as a Psychodynamic Psychotherapist at the Tavistock Centre, London and specialised in Dynamic Interpersonal Therapy (DIT) at the Anna Freud Centre. DIT is a short-term psychotherapy (up to 16 sessions), which is particularly effective for anxiety and depression. I am a DIT practitioner accredited by the BPC and am also a Registered Member of the BACP.
As well as Colbun Psychology I work as a consultant at a high-end rehabilitation service in Switzerland offering treatment for a variety of conditions. I have previously worked as a psychotherapist in the NHS in Camden & Islington and in East London.
I have an academic background in linguistics and intercultural communication and I specialise in working with people who live transnational lives, have diverse cultural backgrounds or are challenged by diverse cultural environments. I work with individuals and (intercultural) couples. Depending on my clients needs I combine in-depth psychodynamic work with more future focused and goal oriented work, which is associated with coaching.
I provide therapy at Colbun Psychology in Central London in English, Russian and Bulgarian.

Предлагаю психотерапевтические консультации на русском языке в Центральном Лондоне
Предлагам психотерапевтични консултации на български език в Централен Лондон

Dr Jose López, ClinPsyD, MSc (Clinical Psychologist and Cognitive-Behavioural Therapist)

I am a Clinical Psychologist and Cognitive-Behavioural Psychotherapist (registered with both the HCPC and BABCP). In 2012 I completed a Doctorate in Clinical Psychology at the University of East London. Over three years I rotated through a number of different services throughout London. This gave me valuable experience with children, adults, older adults and people with learning disabilities. During this time I became familiar with different therapeutic approaches (systemic, CBT and narrative/community psychology).
Prior to this, I worked with older adults in psychiatric care, undertaking research on the topic. Over the last five years, I have specialized in Primary Care Psychology, from a Cognitive-Behavioural (CBT) and Third wave (Mindfulness) approach, mostly focused on mood and anxiety problems.
My areas of interest are psychological trauma, working with distressed couples, and the process of adaptation for people who migrate to the UK from Spanish-speaking countries, a topic on which I have published research.
After completing a postgraduate diploma in CBT, I currently work for a Primary Care Psychology Service (NHS). I work with individuals (from children to adults), couples and families and also provide clinical supervision to other practitioners.
I provide therapy at Colbun Psychology in Central London in English and Spanish.

Ofrezco psicoterapia en Colbun Psychology en español en el centro de Londres.

Yang Yang Teh (Systemic Psychotherapist)

I am a qualified systemic psychotherapist/family therapist (UKCP registered via AFT) and a systemic supervisor.  I received specialised training in cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) with child and adolescents as well as in Gender and Sexual Diversity (GSD) Therapy with Pink Therapy, accredited by Middlesex University.
I provide therapy at Colbun Psychology in Central London in English and Chinese (Mandarin). I also work in adult mental health secondary care at Oxleas NHS Foundation Trust and in an adult eating disorder service at Southwest London and St George’s Mental Health Trust.

I have past experiences working in CAMHS (child and adolescent mental health service), as well as volunteering experiences for LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) individuals and families. I integrate systemic and cognitive-behavioural approaches and have experience working with individuals, couples and families from diverse cultural backgrounds with issues including eating disorders, anxiety disorders, depression and relationship distress.


Diego Lopez Raya, MSc (CBT Psychotherapist and Psychologist)

My name is Diego and I am a Cognitive Behavioural Psychotherapist. I work with adults experiencing a wide range of psychological, emotional and behavioural problems.
I am a fully qualified, BABCP Accredited Cognitive Behavioural Psychotherapist. I have over 8 years’ experience in the treatment of a wide range of complex psychological, behavioural and emotional problems and I have worked in different Primary Care settings within the NHS, including Homerton University NHS Trust and North East London NHS Foundation Trust.
I work with adults and adolescents and my primary interests are in the treatment of depression and anxiety disorders. I also have experience at working with the LGBT community, as a past therapist at Positive East.
Along with CBT I have additional specialist training/qualifications in Interpersonal Therapy (IPT), ACT and Mindfulness.
I abide by the professional and ethical standards laid down by the BABCP and BPS. I recently received the following feedback from Mick Gillingham,
Clinical Director CBT Nuffield Health in response to a patient audit:
“Having completed our most recent review, I just wanted to say thank you for your continued hard work and professionalism. Your outcomes demonstrate an excellent level of clinical effectiveness consistent with the requirements of CBT Services”
I provide therapy at Colbun Psychology in central London in English and Spanish.

Ofrezco psicoterapia en Colbun Psychology en español en el centro de Londres.

Carla Di Falco (Psychologist and Systemic and Family Psychotherapist)

I am an Italian-Swiss Psychologist and a Systemic and Family Psychotherapist. I have been a member of the UKCP since 2008. I have worked in the NHS in Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) for several years. As well as in Adult Psychotherapy services, I have also worked in secondary schools with adolescents and their families. When I work I draw from different approaches (systemic, CBT; emotionally focused couple therapy, Attachment etc.), as I believe that every client has different needs, which requires flexibility in the therapeutic approach. I have a special interest in relationships, sexuality, couple and family issues, life cycle transitions, pregnancy and childbirth; issues related to adapting to a new culture and language, low self esteem, anxiety and low mood.
I provide therapy at Colbun Psychology in central London in French, Italian and English.

Carla propose une psychotherapie aux francophones à la Colburn Psychology au centre de Londres
Carla propone la psicoterapia per italiani alla Colbun Psychology nel centro di Londra.

Kehinde Afuape (Systemic Practitioner)

I am a Systemic Practitioner (accredited by AFT), furthering my training and practice in Systemic and Family Psychotherapy at the renowned Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust. I have a breadth of experience working in the NHS and across the public sector in services such as schools, local authority, the voluntary sector, charities and homeless shelters. I offer individual and family therapy to adults, children and young people. I have extensive experience working with young people with challenging behaviours and learning difficulties as well as those diagnosed with Autism and social communication difficulties. This does not only enable me to explore issues that may affect those with these diagnoses but also the inevitable impact it often has on their families. In addition, I also support other young people and their families who may similarly experience; anxiety, depression and low self-esteem. I was invited to join the clinic whilst working with young people and their families affected by cancer at UCLH, which integrates the importance of mental health support for people with long term health conditions. As a British West African, I draw on my understanding of the importance of valuing and respecting cultures and traditions to engage people from BAME and a broad range of backgrounds. I enjoy creating spaces that are inviting to all. I have a deep understanding and appreciation for the various ways people communicate – e.g. body language as well as verbally – and approach therapy with the understanding that some people may feel anxious, be cautious or worried about possible judgments. Keeping these and other insights in mind helps my therapeutic approach to be more conversational and follow the pace set by the client. Moreover, my colleagues and clients often comment on my natural, calm and engaging style which creates an environment where people feel comfortable and safe.

I provide therapy at Colbun Psychology in Central London in English.

Wilson Gallego Hoyos (Clinical Psychologist, MSc Psychoanalytic Studies & PhD candidate at UCL)

I am a HCPC registered Clinical Psychologist with over 12 years of experience. I have a Master (MSc) in Theoretical Psychoanalytic Studies from University College London and I am currently finishing my PhD research on Mentalisation and Depression, in the same institution. I am also a seminar lead at the MSc programme in Developmental Psychoanalytic Psychology at the Anna Freud Centre for Children and Families and at UCL. I have worked in a wide range of settings, such as psychiatric wards, in-patient and out-patient consultations and with people with different kinds of problems, from depression and anxiety to personality disorders, bipolar and psychotic disorders and with people affected by political violence. I have also had the chance to teach psychodynamic theory, supervise clinical trainees and train psychologists. I have undertaken research in topics related to adolescence, depression, suicidal behaviour, mental health, institutionalisation and risk assessment. I work with adults, adolescents and young people, as well as couples. In my therapeutic work I focus on how we relate to each other, both in the past and present, and how that affects our emotional and psychological state. My approach is psychoanalytic with elements of mentalisation.

I provide therapy at Colbun Psychology in Central London in English and Spanish.

Lourdes Berdasco (Psychologist and Systemic and Family Psychotherapist)

I am a qualified Systemic Family Psychotherapist registered with UKCP and a member of AFT. I am registered psychologist with the BPS. I have been working in the field of mental health for the last 32 years in a variety of settings: statutory, NHS, Social Services and in the charity sector working with refugees and asylum seekers. I am able to offer therapy to adults, couples, young people and families to deal with a variety of emotional difficulties including anxiety, depression and relationship problems. I have particular expertise in helping people overcome extreme traumatic experiences and can write medico legal reports related to trauma. I work part time in the NHS in a CAMHS (Children and Adolescent Mental Health Team) working with children, young people, and families as a Highly Specialised Systemic Psychotherapist. I am involved in supervision and training and I offer consultations to other practitioners. Over the years I have worked with people from a variety of social backgrounds and different cultures. I take into account the context (familiar, social and political) that people have lived in and continue to be living in, their past and present and how these experiences have influenced the relationship they have developed with themself and others. I work in an integrative way. I draw on a range of different approaches and integrate different therapeutic models. These include Systemic, narrative approaches, CBT, psychodynamic and Mindfulness based techniques. Furthermore I am trained and experienced in the use of Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing Therapy (EMDR).

I provide therapy at Colbun Psychology in central London in English and Spanish. I understand Catalan.

Some abbreviations

  • ACT (Acceptance & Commitment Therapy)
  • BABCP (British Association for Behavioural & Cognitive Psychotherapies)
  • BACP (British Association for Counseling & Psychotherapy)
  • BPC (British Psychoanalytic Council)
  • BPS (British Psychological Society)
  • CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy)
  • HCPC (Health & Care Professions Council)
  • UKCP (UK Council for Psychotherapy)
  • AFT Association of family therapy