My name is Flavio Cernotta. I am a fully qualified and experienced therapists who is passionate about helping people lead a fulfilling and meaningful life. I was born and raised within a multicultural community, which taught me to value diversity from a very young age. I have lived in the UK for most of my life but have also spent many years living, working and studying in Switzerland as well as Italy. London is home.
I have previously worked for NHS funded treatment programmes, a homeless charity and a national phone line for people in crisis. I hold a Postgraduate Diploma in Psychosynthesis Counselling and a Diploma in modern European languages.
I first became interested in therapy in my mid-teens when I was hit by a severe life crisis, which caused me to question myself and the world at many levels. I was riddled with social anxiety and suffered from low self esteem whilst facing a range of challenges at home.
A fellow student at the time put me in touch with her counselling psychologist. To this day, I remember the anxiety and unease I felt sitting in the waiting room, wondering how, and if at all, this person would be able to help . What I also remember, is leaving after my first session feeling like I was walking on clouds and able to touch the sky. For the first time ever I got a glimpse of all the strength and confidence that I never knew I had.
At first I was puzzled by this sudden sense of empowerment. It took me a few sessions to realise that my experience was due to the fact that I had been sitting a whole hour with another human being who embodied empathy and acceptance and helped me gain clarity and insight. Looking back, what helped the most was the empathy, unconditional acceptance and honesty of the therapist, which remained constant throughout our meetings even when things got challenging.
Of course not all the sessions where plain sailing. There were times when I had to learn to accept parts of myself I didn’t particularly like or admit to the fact that certain situations would only shift if I was prepared to take a risk and change behaviour. On a few occasions the therapist didn’t get it right. Whilst that was annoying , it soon became clear that those moments too could teach me something about myself.
Due to this early experience of therapy, I became increasingly interested in psychology, whilst taking my A-Levels in European modern languages. However it wasn’t until a decade later that the opportunity to train as a counsellor presented itself. As part of this I embarked on a long term journey of self exploration. This was partly out of interest and also a prerequisite of my training. It is a key requirement that students of counselling have therapy themselves. The reason is that it is important for a therapist to know what it is like to be a client. It is as much about knowing what it is like to feel validated and understood as it is to experience the discomfort and anxiety of opening up and and trusting professional who is unknown to you and usually reveals little about themselves.
To view opening times and book an appointment, please refer to my contact details on this page.
Hylem is the ancient Latin word for Ylem. In the Big Bang theory, Ylem is the primordial substance from which all matter was formed.