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Esther obiri darko


Child, Adolescent and Family
Psycodynamic Psychotherapist.
Mother-Daughter Coach.



Esther Obiri-Darko

With over two decades of experience working closely with children, adolescents, and families, I bring a wealth of expertise to my role. I specialise in providing therapeutic support that is marked by sensitivity, thoughtfulness, and authenticity. My primary mission is to empower children, young individuals, and parents to not just survive, but flourish in their lives. As a child, adolescent and family psychodynamic psychotherapist. I use psychoanalytical theory in my thinking i.e. I think about what is being communicated unconsciously as well as literally; I hold the relationship between the therapist and client of great importance and value. I am systemic in thinking about the child or young person in the context of his/her family, school and society. With children and teenagers, I am creative in the way I use play and art, storytelling, and dialogue as it is their natural channels for expression or unlocking memories that may reveal messages and beliefs from the unconscious mind. I draw inspiration from the pioneering work of Donald Winnicott, who recognised the transformative power of play as the fertile ground where individuals can cultivate their imaginative worlds and engage in the exploration of ideas. I am dedicated to empower children and teenagers to take the lead in play and conversation, allowing them to openly explore and discuss the difficulties they face. I understand the importance of keenly listening and being attuned to both spoken and unspoken cues, as these hold the keys to unravelling the underlying emotional nuances of our young clients. Through my compassionate guidance, I foster a journey of self-discovery, healing, and growth for every child and adolescent who walks through my doors. My Experience. Throughout my career, I have worked in diverse settings, including secondary and primary schools, charitable community services, and a Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service within the NHS. I offer therapeutic support for a wide range of issues including anxiety, bullying, friendship difficulties, depression, disordered eating, emotional regulation difficulties (anger), identity issues, loss, low mood, self-harm and much more. Qualifications. MA in Psychological Therapies with Children, Young people, and Families. Tavistock and Portman and University of Essex. Postgraduate Certificate Child, Adolescent and Family Mental Wellbeing: multidisciplinary practice. Tavistock and Portman with the University of Essex. Certificate in Higher Education - Counselling and Counselling Skills, Birkbeck University. Certified Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga Teacher. British Wheel of Yoga. I am a registered Member of British Psychoanalytic Council, BPC and a member of the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy.

Kids playing on a tablet

"Inside every child there is a story that needs to be told"   Donald Winnicott

For Children

Why Do Children Go to Therapy? Sometimes, children have feelings or thoughts that confuse or upset them. That’s where therapy can help! It’s like a friendly chat where you can talk about anything on your mind with someone who understands feelings well, called a therapist. Children come to therapy for many reasons - feeling sad, having trouble making friends, or dealing with tough times at home or school. It’s a safe place to talk and find solutions. What’s a Therapy Session Like? Imagine a cozy room with comfy chairs and fun activities! Here’s what happens: A friendly Hello: Your therapist (that’s me) warmly welcomes you. Chat Time: Share how you’ve been feeling or what’s on your mind. You can share as much or as little as you want—it’s all up to you! Fun Activities: Use games or art to express yourself. This can make talking about tough things feel a bit easier. Problem-Solving: Work together to understand feelings and find ways to feel better. What Can Therapy Do for You? Understanding: Learn about your feelings and thoughts which can help you make sense of them. Confidence Boost: Feel stronger as you talk through things. Find Solutions: Create ideas to handle worries or problems. Remember, it’s perfectly okay to ask for help. Therapy is a caring step, much like visiting a doctor when you’re feeling sick. Both kids and grown-ups go to therapy, so if you ever want to try, tell your grown-up! Your therapist is here to listen and help you grow into your amazing self!

Teenagers in nature park

“the adolescent period of life is in reality the one with the most power for courage and creativity. Life is on fire when we hit our teens…” Daniel J. Siegel

For Teenagers

Are you a teenager navigating through challenging times? You’re not alone. Being a teen can be a whirlwind of change and emotions. I’m here to support you in understanding yourself and the world around you better, and provide a safe space to explore your feelings, thoughts and concerns. What You Might Need from Therapy: Emotional Support: A confidential space to express your feelings and learn constructive emotional management. Coping Strategies: Equip yourself with tools to face academic pressures, peer conflicts, and family issues. Self-Identity Exploration: Dive into self-discovery, exploring your values, beliefs, and identity. It’s an opportunity to understand who you are and who you want to become. Relationship Guidance: Improve communication, resolve conflicts, and build healthier connections. Mental Health: Address anxiety, depression, or other concerns, learning coping strategies for better mental well-being. Benefits of Therapy: Confidence: Overcome challenges and foster newfound self-assurance. Improved Emotional Regulation: Understand and manage your emotions effectively. Enhanced Communication: Learn valuable communication skills benefiting your personal and social life. Empowerment: Take control of your life, making informed decisions for a brighter future. Therapy is a brave step towards a more resilient, confident, and balanced you. Together, we’ll navigate the journey to self-discovery and healing.

Old couple outside
Family together
Same sex couple
Same gender women family

"The parent-child connection is the most powerful mental health intervention known to humanity"  Bessel van der Kolk

For Parents

My work with parents allows for opportunities to explore the challenges of parenting in a non-judgemental environment and I endeavour to help families transition out of old, unhelpful patterns, and create new ones, together. I strongly believe that beneath every behaviour is a feeling, and beneath every feeling is a need. Using mentalisation techniques, we will explore together what those needs might be and how to meet your child’s need. My hope is that you feel supported as you explore these difficult and sometimes painful places in your child-parent relationship life and you gain a deeper understanding of yourself and your child.

"The parent-child connection is the most powerful mental health intervention known to humanity"  Bessel van der Kolk

Mother and daughter together
Grandmother with daughter
Mother and daughter talking
Mother and daughter disagreement

“Being Heard + Being Understood = Feeling Loved”

Rosjke Hasseldine

Mother-Daughter Coaching

The bond between mother and daughter is one of the most precious relationships in life. It can also be a complex and challenging one • Do you feel your relationship with your mother/daughter is unhealthy? • Do you want to improve your relationship with your mother or daughter or both? • Do you feel silenced or find it hard to advocate for yourself? • Do you want to start to heal and break the cycle of intergenerational dysfunction? If you have said yes to any of these questions, I can help. As one of the few certified Mother-Daughter coaches in the UK I work to help mothers and daughters deepen their connection, improve communication, and navigate difficult situations together. I support mothers and daughters to create stronger, more emotionally bonded relationships by teaching them exercises and tools that enhance their understanding of each other and their ability to listen to one another. I provide a safe, non-judgmental and supportive environment for you to express your feelings and perspectives, while also facilitating constructive dialogue and problem-solving. Together we will: • Understand root causes of conflict and pain in your relationship • Understand the role of family history, culture, religion, and politics in your role as a woman and how this impacts your relationship • Examine and challenge your expectations of each other • Learn how to assert healthy boundaries so that you can enjoy the time you have together • Learn to feel seen and heard in this and other relationships • Uncover themes and patterns that cause emotional disempowerment and attachment disruption • Feel confident to voice what you feel, think, and need as a woman. • Learn how to facilitate generational change • Develop a roadmap that aids in recognising and understanding the connection between you, your mother’s and your grandmother’s lives. • Learn how to heal mother-daughter relationship conflict • Heal and strengthen the Mother-Daughter relationship. Mother-Daughter Coaching is based on the Mother-Daughter Attachment Model developed by renowned psychotherapist and author Rosjke Hasseldine. Hasseldines ground breaking research on mother-daughter relationships has helped countless women to heal and improve their connections with their mothers and daughters. I offer both individual and mother- daughter coaching sessions. The service is available in person or online

  • What do you mean when you say “mother-daughter relationships”?
    In my life and family I had many mother figures. If the term mother-daughter resonates, this work is for you. I work with those who identify as women, trans, or non-binary.
  • What if I want to attend, but my mother/daughter isn’t interested?
    This program is designed to be done together, however, I know that is not always possible. Attending on your own can still bring transformative results and cause a shift in the mother- daughter relationship. As Harriet Lerner writes in The Dance of Anger: “We cannot make another person change his or her steps to an old dance, but if we change our own steps, the dance no longer can continue in the same predictable pattern.”
  • Do I have to do the whole program? Can I just book one session?
    Six-Eight sessions might feel like a big commitment, but the reality is that shifting dynamics takes time. One session can open up a can of worms and I don’t want to leave you floundering. If you’re interested in exploring this topic, but not ready to do the full program I highly recommend picking up a copy of Rosjke Hasseldine’s book, The Mother-Daughter Puzzle.
  • Can we chat before I commit to the program?
    Absolutely! All potential clients receive a 20-minute sample call before any commitments are made. We both need to be 100% confident this is the right fit. The call will give you a taste of what Mother-Daughter Coaching and Mapping entails, an opportunity to experience my therapy- coaching style, and time to ask questions.
  • What is the goal of Mother-Daughter Coaching?
    The goal of mother-daughter coaching is to help mothers and daughters create stronger, more emotionally bonded relationships by using exercises and tools to enhance their understanding of each other and their ability to listen to one another.

Therapy Sessions

I work with children from 5-12 and teenagers/young adults from 13-21

I work one-to-one with parents.

Client Testimonials


"Esther has been a huge help with our 9 year old daughter who was quite emotional, anxious and struggling to handle her emotions.  From the first moment we spoke, I was impressed by her warmth, energy, kindness and expertise.  She very quickly put us at ease and more importantly, made our daughter feel comfortable to relax in her presence and work through her worries in a gentle, fun and effective way.  After a 12 week period, Esther has made a real difference to our daughter and subsequently to our family"
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My Locations
20 Great Portland St, London W1W 8QR

Richmond Terrace, 49 London Road, Tunbridge Wells, TN1 1DT

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