Gaynor Boileau MSc, BSc Psych, MBACP (Accred)
Lower Leam Street
If you want to feel better than you do now, counselling does help. It gives you the chance to talk in confidence, the time to make sense of past experiences and current problems and the encouragement to start living with a greater sense of wellbeing. I offer Counselling and Psychotherapy in Leamington Spa, Warwickshire and specialise in work with adults and couples who want to improve relationships, reduce stress and anxiety, manage unhelpful feelings and improve general mental health.
I am a BACP registered and accredited counsellor and psychotherapist. Working with me is a flexible process negotiated to suit your personality and your hopes for counselling. The core psychotherapy I offer integrates CBT with mindfulness and other approaches where appropriate and within the limits of my training. I listen carefully to the issues you bring, with a clear agenda to help you find your way towards your goals. With couples and relationship work, I also integrate aspects of conflict resolution and reconciliation.
We make a joint assessment in the first session and plan our work together. Counselling can be challenging and tiring, so I make sure our sessions are safely contained and that focused work is supported by helpful, therapeutic conversation. We have a shared responsibility to keep track of progress. Your responsibility is to be honest and open to ideas, taking time to say how you feel and how you would like things to change. My responsibility is to make sure that every session gives you the opportunity to lighten the load.
I offer brief and longer term therapeutic work to suit your needs. My current average number of sessions is 6. Some clients prefer to work weekly while others need to space sessions due to other important commitments. We might also agree to space sessions if we feel that the work we are doing will be more effective with extra time for reflection or for moving planning into action. This is often the case in couples work where it is important for busy people to find enough time to discuss their changing relationship. However long we work together, I believe that significant change is possible in just one session.
Here are some comments from clients who have now completed counselling with me...
'Counselling was, at first, a scary concept - I've never been able to articulate my feelings very well and so naturally talking in hourly sessions about it seemed a poor idea. It has, however, been a monumental help in dealing with stress and depression. I would recommend Gaynor for any variety of problem; her forward and honest approach was hugely refreshing and allowed us to get to the core of my issues and find realistic solutions'.
Henry, aged 18, Warwickshire.
'I cannot recommend Gaynor highly enough. Her counselling sessions, even difficult ones, are always supportive and caring. When I first came to see Gaynor, I was in an extremely difficult place. I was so low that for the first two to three sessions I was unable to say very much at all. Now, two years on, I am working again in a new job that I enjoy very much, and I feel much more comfortable within myself. I feel more able to cope with things and work through them. I don’t need to see Gaynor now, but knowing that she is there should the need arise, is good to know. I can truly say that I am the happiest I have ever been and I could not have reached this point without the help of Gaynor'.
'Gaynor provided a professional, supportive and challenging environment for me to learn CBT techniques that have helped address an engrained detrimental behaviour. I feel much better equipped following my time with Gaynor and the evidence of progress continues daily. I am very grateful'.
Important note on confidentiality: When clients decide that it's time to end counselling, I ask for feedback. Some clients give permission for me to use their comments in the hope that they can encourage others to take that first step but this is always the client's choice.
Now, if you are interested in working with me, here is some more detailed information about issues that clients bring to counselling and psychotherapy and how I might work with them...
Couples and Relationship Issues
If you are thinking about relationship counselling, it's important to understand what kind of help you can expect from me. When I work with a couple, or any two people experiencing difficulties in their relationship, I want to hear the concerns of two individuals without judgement and without taking sides, even when they have very different feelings about the same issues. I want to help each person to hear the views of the other without the need to feel defensive. My aim is to help couples to communicate effectively without distress and wearying arguments. I do also offer family sessions where appropriate. Please note that couples and family appointments last for 90 minutes to allow good time for each person to talk about what concerns them most.
You've tried to stay in control but anger bursts out at the slightest thing. You know that people you care about are walking on eggshells. Counselling can help you to understand your feelings and control your behaviour. It's the behaviour that is damaging, not the feeling. Feeling angry is normal and it is ideal if we can experience the full range of emotions. It’s not helpful to try to block them because they'll find a way out somehow. I offer the client a safe place where all their feelings can be expressed, without fear of judgement or harm to others. We work together to help manage unhelpful behaviour and, at the same time, we talk about what fuels the angry feelings because understanding can bring real relief.
Anxiety and Stress
Anxiety and panic may mean you withdraw from enjoyable aspects of life such as social activities, career opportunities and relationships. It’s important to know that anxiety helps us to survive. Sensing threat can be uncomfortable but it would be a mistake to ignore or remove the warnings. Counselling helps you to re-learn to respond accurately to the signals. I work to help clients to understand and accept their physical sensations. Counselling involves exploration of problem thoughts and situations, joint planning and experimentation. Clients can feel better quickly, even after one session, as they learn to communicate more effectively with their bodies. Counselling can help you to get on with your life.
Bereavement can leave you feeling like your world is shattered. You want everything ‘back to normal’ but it doesn't seem possible. Grief is a healthy, natural process which puts you ‘on hold’ until you have mourned and made sense of your loss. The raw feelings of grief fade over time as you begin to function again in your new, changed reality. Bereavement can be particularly difficult if it is sudden, if you had a confused relationship with the person who died, or if the death seems out of step with the right order of things, such as when a child dies or when we are bereaved by suicide. I provide a confidential space where you can say how you feel. With support and gentle challenge, I help you to rebuild for the future.
You feel exhausted, low... depressed. It's like you're living in a separate world and, even though people ask you to try, you can't seem to join in with everyone else. You might not even know why you feel this way or how it started. Can counselling really help? It can, and you don’t have to know what’s wrong before you start. In the first session we begin a process of therapeutic conversations. Working together, we will explore your thoughts, feelings and concerns, helping you to make sense of your depression and, in time, to leave it behind. Lifting your mood and beginning to re-engage with your life can take time. However, I do know that taking this first step and beginning to understand your feelings and your situation can be helpful, even from the first session.
OCD is diagnosed when a reasonable strategy for living a healthy life has developed to the point where it stops the person living healthily and has become a distressing cycle of anxiety and brief reassurance. For example, it makes sense to keep clean or check that appliances are off when you go out. But when you can only relax if you take your iron to work, something is out of balance. The behaviours you developed to reduce anxiety are now causing your distress. Counselling can help you to restore the balance. My aim is to help you to identify the roots of your anxiety so you can stop trying to control the world. With agreed tasks, I encourage you to re-learn how to assess risk and to manage repetitive thoughts and behaviours.
Relationships (This is for problems with relationships in general. For couples therapy, see specific section in this list above).
Maybe you feel like leaving your partner or you fear that they will leave you. Perhaps you want to understand why they left or why all relationships seem difficult. It makes sense to talk to someone you know, but what if your relationship with that person is the problem? Talking to someone trustworthy and impartial can help. It’s normal to want to change people around you so they become easier to live with. But the only way you can influence other people is to change the way you relate to them. Usually we have a relationship style that we learned as a child and, perhaps surprisingly, we relate to most people in the same way. So I use the counselling relationship as a guide and, together, we explore difficulties and consider what you would like to change.
You hear yourself saying things like ‘I’m useless’ or ‘nobody would want to be with me.’ And every time you seem to fail at a relationship or an interview, it’s just confirmation that you're right. Maybe you’ve stopped trying? If this is you, no wonder you feel low. When we’re young, we don’t put ourselves down but we do notice if other people say we’re no good. And because those people matter to us, we begin to believe it. Then, later on in adult life, a put-down or rejection from a partner or boss can stir up old feelings of being worthless. So we feel low again and pile on the self-criticism; yes, we really are useless, just like they said. My aim is to help you to build a different, more accurate, view of yourself and an increasingly resilient way of being in the world.
Training, qualifications & experience
2013: BACP Registration No:022638
2010: BACP Accreditation MBACP (Accred)
2014: Diploma in Education
2010: MSc Psychotherapy (Distinction)
2009: Advanced Diploma in the Supervision of Counsellors & Psychotherapists
2007: Diploma in the Theory and Practice of Counselling
2006: BSc (Honours) Psychology
2005: Certificate in Counselling Skills
Key Continuing Professional Development (CPD)
2016: Essentials of CBT and CBT for Depression (Beck Institute)
2016: Risks, Benefits and Considerations of Working Online (guidelines for supervisors)
2015: Teaching and Supervising CBT (Beck Institute).
2015: Updated Safeguarding, Equality & Diversity and WRAP training
2014: Hypnotherapy for Counsellors and Psychotherapists (BACP Endorsed)
2013: Eating Disorders and the Application of Core Clinical Interventions
2013: Working with Trauma: Dr Melanie Stevens
2013: Masterclass in CBT (Dryden)
2012: EMDR (Level 1 Only) (EMDR Extra)
2012: Holding the Line: Legal Issues of Supervision (Mitchels)
2012: Mindfulness: From Theory to Practice
2009: Recognising and Responding to Psychological Distress (NHS)
2008: Using a Solution-Focused Approach
2008: Using Motivational Interviewing
2008: Working with Self-Injury
2005: Working with Complicated Grief: NOCN
I have been working as a counsellor and psychotherapist since 2006 and in private practice since 2010. I have worked with many clients in 'talking therapy', completing more than 1200 hours in private practice and many more in a range of organisational settings. Among my experience of issues as a counsellor, psychotherapist & mental health mentor, I include: abuse, addiction, anger, anxiety, Asperger Syndrome, bereavement and loss, cancer, conflict resolution, couples therapy, depression, low self esteem, motivation, OCD, panic, relationships, self harm, spirituality, stress, suicidal thoughts, trauma and work-related issues. My preferred approach is CBT although I am also qualified in person-centred therapy and integrate other approaches and methods where appropriate and within the limits of my training. I have also been a clinical supervisor for other counsellors and psychotherapists since 2009 and a lecturer in Further and Higher Education, training counsellors and psychotherapists since 2012.
Accredited register membership
Areas of counselling I deal with
- Anger management
- Asperger's syndrome
- Child related issues
- Eating disorders
- Generalised anxiety disorder
- Hearing voices
- Low self-confidence
- Low self-esteem
- Obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD)
- Relationship issues
Other areas of counselling I deal with
I prefer to see the client as a person, rather than as a disorder, and I am happy to work with any presenting issues if they are appropriate for counselling and psychotherapy. I have ticked a range of issues in the section above which relate to my areas of specific experience. However, I am willing to work with other issues. Please ask if you are unsure and we can discuss my competence to work with you. Some other areas not included in the list above are: Conflict Resolution, Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID), Living with a Cancer Diagnosis, Living with a Mental Health Diagnosis, Relationship Counselling, Couples Therapy, Family Issues and Suicide of a Relative.
Some clients prefer to have an initial telephone consultation (free of charge) and others prefer to book a first face-to-face assessment session.
If we agree to work together after this first session, I recommend booking a further three appointments. This may be all you need. Of course, some people will need longer term therapy; this is a decision we make together. Whatever we agree when we meet, it is okay to end counselling at any time, even after the first session, provided that you give at least 24 hours notice of cancellation.
My fee for an individual 60 minute session is £65. Couples sessions are 90 minutes long and the fee is £100. When budgeting for counselling sessions, consider the length of therapy as well as the cost of each session. While weekly sessions are usually helpful, especially at first, it is not always necessary to attend a weekly to make progress. Please contact me to discuss the fees you can expect to pay and to consider the likely length of our work together.
I am usually able to offer a first assessment session within two weeks. When you make contact, please let me know your availability to attend sessions. I offer appointments on Mondays, Tuesdays and Fridays and I have some availability on Monday evenings.
Maps & Directions
Type of session
|Face to face counselling:||Yes|
I am currently available for daytime sessions on Mondays, Tuesdays and Fridays. I also offer a limited number of early evening sessions on Mondays.
Types of client
Supervision & training
Counselling and psychotherapy professionals recognise that the trust between the client and the counsellor can be the most important factor in facilitating long term growth and wellbeing.View supervision profile