Dr Claire Oakeley


Professional Biography

Dr Claire Oakeley is a lecturer, psychotherapist and researcher with diverse clinical experience. Dual trained in integrative and existential therapy, Claire lectures, supervises and facilitates groups on the MA in Psychotherapy and Counselling. She has worked in private practice since 2012 and has also worked in community, university and primary care settings.

Claire is a specialist perinatal psychotherapist and provides therapeutic support to women during pregnancy and after birth. Her doctoral research explored women’s experiences of anxiety after birth from an existential phenomenological perspective. 


  • Professional Doctorate in Psychotherapy and Counselling (DProf), Middlesex University/NSPC (2023)
  • Master of Science (MSc) in Therapeutic Counselling, University of Greenwich (2012)
  • Bachelor of Music (BMus) Royal Holloway College - University of London (1996)

Past Employment

  • Lecturer, Regent’s University London (2021-present)
  • Psychotherapist in Private Practice (2012-present)
  • Primary Care Counsellor – GP Surgery (2012- 2013) 
  • Associate Counsellor - University of Greenwich (2011-2012)
  • Honorary Counsellor – Community Counselling Service (2010-2013)


  • Oakeley C. Anxiety after birth – an existential phenomenological enquiry into mothers’ lived experiences [Doctoral thesis] London: Middlesex University 2023 
  • Oakeley C. Postnatal anxiety – key factors and considerations for practice. BACP Private Practice Journal – December 2023
  • Sept 2023 BACP Private Practice Conference – Central London. Understanding and working with postnatal anxiety 
  • Aug 2023 British Society for Phenomenology Annual Conference - Manchester Metropolitan University. Anxiety after birth - an existential phenomenological perspective and the implications for therapeutic practice
  • July 2023 Existential Academy Research Conference. Anxiety after birth – a phenomenological perspective

Research Interests

  • Perinatal psychology
  • Motherhood
  • Motivations for therapeutic training
  • Qualitative research methods, in particular Hermeneutic Phenomenology

Professional Affiliations

  • UKCP Registered Member 
  • UPCA Accredited Clinical Member 
  • BACP Accredited Member 
  • Member of the Society of Existential Analysis (SEA)
  • Member of the British Society for Phenomenology (BSP) 
  • Member of the Society for Reproductive & Infant Psychology (SRIP)

Teaching & course development

  • Lecturer on the MA in Psychotherapy and Counselling
  • Training Supervisor on the MA in Psychotherapy and Counselling
  • PPD Group Facilitator