Sumie Macalpine-Downie Counselling in Cobham

About Sumie Macalpine-Downie B.A. (Hons) Dip. Couns. MBACP MCOSRT

My name is Sumie Macalpine-Downie and, although born in London, I'm Japanese, Scottish and Irish by descent.

After obtaining a B.A. (Hons) from London University in Law and Japanese, I worked as a Project Finance lawyer at Allen & Overy in London with a secondment to Chase Manhattan Bank before later going on to co-found and run a successful company in the film and tv industry.

Following a successful period in the city I felt that I wanted a professional challenge that was more suited to my needs as I approached middle age. It was at this time that I also went for counselling for help with a bereavement and was really struck by the extraordinary effect it had on my life. Not only did it help me with coming to terms with a difficult bereavement but it had wider implications in helping me understand my values and principles and the way in which I wanted to live my life both professionally and personally. Importantly, it also made me realise that I wanted to help others live the kind of life they wanted to live.

I began my counselling training in 2009 and went on to work as a volunteer counsellor for the Open Door Counselling Service in west London offering low cost counselling to disadvantaged locals. I began to build my private practice in 2012 and have continued to provide counselling to Surrey based clients since then.

Clients have described me as 'warm', 'friendly' and 'empathic' and our sessions as 'insightful', 'thought-provoking' and 'helpful' perhaps because I enormously enjoy building strong relationships with every client and helping them stretch themselves to a healthier relationship with themselves and others.

Sex and sexuality. It's rarely ever mentioned in polite company, or if it is then it's often with a titter or a wink. I'm always struck by how embarrassed many people are talking about it and yet it plays such a large part of what it means to be human. I'm a firm believer in the idea that everyone's entitled to an active, fulfilling and enjoyable sex life - it can be fun, fulfilling and best of all it's free - so I decided to specialise in this area and undertook further postgraduate training in psychosexual and relationship therapy which I'm near completing. As well as offering this therapy in private practice, I work as a Psychosexual Therapist at St George's Hospital in London offering individuals help with a large array of sexual problems.


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