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Profile picture of counsellor and therapist Lara El Ghaoui

About me

I am Lara, a qualified therapist and a registered member of the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP).

I worked in the humanitarian sector for over 14 years in many countries around the world. I saw first-hand what it's like to be vulnerable especially when families and children were impacted by disasters they couldn't control. My job was very rewarding and gave meaning to my life.

However, I still felt that something was missing, but I didn't know what it was. I just longed for a deeper connection with people and a more personal way to make a difference in their lives.


After a long period of research, meditation, writing, and reflection, I realised that it was time for me to answer a calling I buried for years. I decided to become a therapist and finally follow the Route To my Self.

To learn more, check my profile and video on Psychology Today and Counselling Directory and my Exclusive Interview with Brainz Magazine.

BACP's registration number of counsellor Lara El Ghaoui

About Route To Self

Large tree with visible roots captured by the counsellor Lara El Ghaoui in Bala, Wales. This tree inspired the name Route To Self.

Route To Self summarises my life philosophy and approach to therapy called person-centred. It’s a journey that leads you to your authentic self, to the roots of who you really are.

​Throughout our life, we’re often told that we need to look, think, feel and behave in a certain way even when everything in us screams: ‘This isn’t me’! The struggle starts when we realise that we compromised ourselves too much in order to fit in our families, social circles, work environments, and society as a whole.


At some point, something in us gives in. It could be our body, our mind, or both. Our mental health declines and feelings like anxiety, depression, and worry emerge. Some of us also go through painful experiences such as abuse, addiction, and bereavement that leave deep scars in our hearts and affect the way we relate to the world, others, and ourselves.  


Through the person-centred approach to therapy, we can first explore your thoughts, feelings and behaviour in a warm and safe space; second, reconnect with all parts of yourself (the ones you like and the ones you don’t); and third, heal by reaching a higher and fuller version of yourself that is able to experience the world and others with openness and curiosity.

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