Claire Ashburner MBACP
Counsellor and Cognitive Behaviour Therapist (CBT)
My name is Claire and I am a BACP registered Integrative Counsellor and a qualified Cognitive Behavioural Therapist (CBT). I work with adults, young people and couples either for an agreed number of sessions (this is not set in stone), or open-ended (reviewed at regular intervals).
Whether you are looking for some short term support, or if you would like to explore at a deeper level over a longer period of time, I offer a warm, non-judgemental and confidential space for you to talk about your world, your reflections and your feelings, and together we can look at the areas that are causing you emotional distress. These feelings have a habit of staying at the front of our mind and can get in the way of everyday life because our issues, and how we are reacting to them, filter into home life, work life and our relationships. Unravelling layers that have built up, possibly over a long period of time, allows you to develop a clearer view of why you have been feeling this way, and help you recognise and understand your patterns. The goal and hope for counselling is to have a greater awareness of yourself, to be true and authentic to yourself, and to see that you can make different choices that will better serve you.
How I work
Integrative Therapy means I have a broad range of understanding of psychotherapeutic theories and models which allows me to draw from whatever best fits the individual client I am sitting with. It helps me to gain a good understanding of you, your patterns and your ways of relating and involves looking at your history. This in turn helps you to make links from your past and how this has shaped you, giving you the new awareness to make different choices and decisions in your present.
However hard we try, our difficult feelings and insecurities will creep into other areas of our lives; our relationships, our work performance, how anxious we may feel, how angry or short-fused we are, and how much value we see in ourselves, probably leaving us with low self-esteem and affecting our confidence.
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT)
Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT) is about learning skills and tools to help you manage your problems by changing the way you think and the way you behave. It helps you manage your problems in a more positive way by encouraging you to look at how your actions can affect how you think (cognitive) and feel, react and respond (behaviour). CBT is a therapy that has a great deal of research evidence showing how effectively it works and it is especially useful in the treatment of depression, anxiety related disorders, anger issues and self esteem.
The number of sessions that you may need depends on what you need help with, so anything between 6 and 20 sessions is usual. It is advisable to have weekly sessions which are collaborative in the way they work (ie, both myself and you taking an active part), and are mostly present focussed rather than looking at getting help with difficulties and issues in your past, (but as a note, we are made up of our past and therefore it is inevitable, but not vital, that we visit some areas of your past). The techniques you learn in your therapy are tools that you can use in your daily life after therapy has come to an end.
Today it is not uncommon to be caught up with what is behind us (our past) and preoccupied with what is in front of us (our future) which is necessary to some extent, but when we realise we have lost the art of being in the 'here and now' moment of the present it is a huge light bulb moment. Reacquainting ourselves with the ability to do so is the kindest and healthiest thing we can do, and essential for the platform we need in order to make different choices or make positive change. Mindfulness is an intervention that works well with any therapy model and if this interests you, or if you feel you could benefit, then I can begin by helping you to understand how to introduce mindfulness into your life.
My firm belief is that each one of us has a way of knowing what our needs are and my role is to empower and enable you to discover your own way forward and learn to trust and rely on your own instincts. The aim being to live in a more authentic and fulfilling way.
Training, qualifications & experience
Working Safely and Ethically
I am a member of the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP) and abide by their code of ethics and guidelines.
Counselling... how long?
I can work short term or long term depending on your needs. Some people choose to come for counselling and they are satisfied that their issue is worked through in a relatively short period of time, maybe three or four sessions, and some come for longer, months or years because they discover they have more to unravel than they initially thought. There is no set amount of time, no right way or wrong way...the best thing is to go with the process, and trust how you feel as time goes along. It is common to return to counselling at various transitional or challenging stages in life when some additional support may be needed.
I have a Diploma in Integrative Therapeutic Counselling which means I have a broad understanding of different theories which I can draw from so that I can provide you with an awareness and understanding of yourself, your patterns and your ways of relating. I have a post graduate diploma in Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT)
Experience and Training
I work with the mental health charity MIND and have worked with clients from all age groups, bringing a vast and diverse range of issues, for example, anxiety issues, OCD, relationship struggles, stuckness, low self esteem, loss of identity, work related issues and depression. Additionally I have worked in a secondary school supporting and counselling young people
I have also gained additional training and qualifications in how to manage Anxiety, Anger and Depression, Drug Awareness, Working with Self Harm, Attachment Theory, and Mindfulness. These courses have enabled me to offer and pass on additional skills and tools to clients which has greatly benefited the counselling process.
Areas of counselling I deal with
- Affairs and betrayals
- Anger management
- Binge-eating disorder
- Bipolar disorder/Manic depression
- Carer support
- Child related issues
- Emotional abuse
- Family issues
- Generalised anxiety disorder
- Low self-confidence
- Low self-esteem
- Panic disorder
- Passive aggressive behaviour
- Physical abuse
- Postnatal depression
Other areas of counselling I deal with
Counselling provides an opportunity to reflect on who and where you are in life today. It is a space that helps you explore and gain a greater understanding of yourself, your patterns and the way you relate, bringing about new self awareness and the realisation that you can make more informed choices and decisions that work better for you.
I offer an initial assessment at £25 (usually lasts 40 mins) which gives us the opportunity to introduce ourselves to one another, and I can learn some background on the reason/issue you are seeking counselling. If you prefer we can have a brief chat on the phone first for which there will be no fee. This is to learn some background on the reason/issue you are seeking counselling.
From thereon my fee is £50 for a 1 hour counselling session and fees are payable at each session (cash or bank transfer). Monthly payments can be arranged - as discussed.
I offer couple counselling at £70 per hour.
Sessions are delivered in my private counselling room in Berkhamsted. Unfortunately I cannot offer wheelchair access as there are steps up to the front door, and a staircase up to my room
Maps & Directions
Type of session
|Face to face counselling:||Yes|
I offer daytime and evening appointments.
Types of client