Karen Tottman MBACP

Karen Tottman MBACP

First Step Counselling Ltd
Cranham Community Association Room 11
115a Marlborough Gardens
Cranham, Upminster
RM14 1SR

07428 911002 / 07581 634063

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First Step Counselling Ltd
Cranham Community Association Room 11
115a Marlborough Gardens
Cranham, Upminster
RM14 1SR

07428 911002 / 07581 634063

About me

I am a qualified integrative counsellor and have over 14 years of experience working with children, young people and adults up to any age. I trained at St Luke's Hospice and also volunteered after I qualified. I feel I use my skills to help you explore your difficult times to help you understand your situation.  I offer support and explore choices which will be positive to change how you think, feel, and react to life. I adapt the session accordingly to each individuals needs as every individual reacts differently to obstacles they may face.

Changing your life may come easily, or there can be some hard work or maybe it will be somewhere in between!  I work with both individuals and couples, and families with compassion to help you to enhance your life and to live it more fully.

I offer short and long term counselling, depending on what you feel your needs might be.  Life and work stress; relationship difficulties; low mood; bereavement and loss; trauma; anger; anxiety; low self esteem; couples work; personal growth...  are some of the areas which you may bring to therapy, please ask if you are uncertain about whether we will be able to work together with your issue.

I can offer you a warm-safe environment where you can share your feelings. Whether this is due to feeling lost and alone or just want a helping hand to find your way. Life can be a struggle and maybe you need help with: bereavement, relationship difficulties, divorce, depression, stress, work related stress, eating disorders , domestic abuse, anger. any issue please call 07428911002  for any further information, or book a consultation.

I am committed to my professional development and attend different training sessions to enhance my work as a counsellor. I am also a member of the British Association Of Counselling and Psychotherapy and abide by it's Ethical Framework (BACP).

Please contact me on 07428911002, or if you prefer email me your enquiry.

Training, qualifications & experience

Couples Therapy Training
Life Story Work Shop
BACP Certificate of Proficiency
Hypnotherapy Training
Pods Trauma, Dissociation & Recovery
Attachment Focused Counselling Training 2014
Barnardo's Adoption Service Certificate Approved Counsellor with Barnardo's Adoption Agency
Certificate of Attendance Safeguarding Children Foundation
Certificate of Attendance Adoption Counselling Workshop
Certificate of Proficiency of British Association of Counselling Practitioners
Introduction to couple work training programme
Diploma in Counselling and Psychotherapy
Diploma in Therapeutic Counselling
Certificate in Counselling Studies
Certificate in Counselling Skills
Play Therapy Training (3 Day Course)
Working with Loss and Grief
Supporting Substance Misuse Clients Awareness Training
Equality and Diversity Training (20 Hours)
Enhanced Certificate CRB 25th/02nd/2013
Child Sexual Abuse Awareness Training 23rd/01st/2013
Child Protection Training 2011
Go Girls Multi-Agency Training 8th/03rd/2011
Safeguarding Children Training 2010
OCR Level 3 NVQ Teaching Assistants
Level 2 Stop Smoking Training
Brief Interventions Stop Smoking Training 1st/04th/2011
Thurrock c-card Outlet Training 2010
Sexual Health Awareness Foundation Training (SHAFT) 2010
Delay Multi-Agency Training 26th/10th/2010
Introduction to the Study of Psychology 2005

Member organisations


Other areas of counselling I deal with

Personal Statement

I have worked for Open Door since April 2010; working with young people is the focal point of our role. We attend a variety of settings including primary schools, secondary schools, and a special needs school. All settings are in Thurrock and we deal with children and families from a range of backgrounds and ethnicities. Working with each age group has given me vast experience in assessing the therapeutic needs of the client; then designing a counselling programme in order to target the specific issues that particular child is facing, in a way that is suitable for their age or educational needs.

Within my job role working for Open Door I regularly attend child protection training to up date my knowledge on safeguarding children and working with vulnerable adults. This is important for me because confidentiality is a key part of the role of a counsellor; particularly when counselling children as confidentially cannot be promised.

I attend regularly group supervision and also have one to one supervision following the requirement of BACP guidelines as a counsellor. I regularly attend team meetings to review clients and explore positive outcomes, this is to evaluate the importance of our service and to share ideas on how to allow a child to progress.

Throughout my counselling qualification grief counselling played a huge part of my training. I actually completed my placement hours with Dove community counselling service in 2009. After I qualified I completed voluntary hours for a further year. I have a very good understanding of the grief cycle stages, and following my clients journey through the shock stage by addressing the person who has died as lost, following this could possibly lead to the denial stage where they are not ready to accept their family member has died. The anger and guilt stage explore their blame, and they question why is this happening to me. None of these stages from my experience are set in stone each individual has their own experience following each stage. Throughout each stage it is essential to assess and adapt the sessions according to the child’s age and what stage of the grief cycle they are at. Working in a secondary school I would work on memory books, timelines, and exercises I call “My world” exploring with post-its and this allows me to gain targeted personal information, which I would then assess and use to move forward.

I am an approved adoption counsellor and work for Barnardo’s alongside families struggling with different issues surrounding adoption.


Fees: First sessions are a one off fee of £50.00 for up to 60 minutes consultation for individuals, although couples are a one off fee of £60, and following individual appointments are £40.00 for 50 minute appointments. Couples counselling would be £60.00 for up to 60 minute appointment. Home visit can be arranged at a cost of £90 pounds for upto 60 minutes, upto 90 minutes at a cost £120. All fees are payable in advance to confirm your appointments for the following week. If you are unable to keep your appointment half fees are payable once an appointment has been booked. Full fees are payable less than 48 hours notice.

Payments in advance: Book 6 sessions of 1--1 individual counselling for £200 pounds. (Saving £40.00)
Payments in advance for couples: Book 6 sessions  for £300 pounds. (Saving £60.00)

Payments in advance for groups: My groups are held on a Thursday evening and they start at 8:30pm and run until 10:00pm. Initial consultations to join a group would be at a cost of £50.00 pounds then the cost of the six group sessions would be a cost of £210:00.

Please contact me if you would like to know anymore about the above.  My next group would be due to start March 2017, if you would like to join this group please contact me on: 07428911002.

Further information

I work for Open Door as part of their youth intervention team. My main job role includes one to one counselling supporting young people in schools in Thurrock. I also by planning and executing workshops dealing with issues of bullying, low self esteem. friendship and bereavement workshops.

I joined St Luke's to complete my counselling diploma, although after I qualified I volunteered for St Luke's for a further year to gain experience in working with clients, that had bereavement issues with family members of patients at the hospice. These clients were battling with cancer themselves, or a family member and they worked through this difficult time to overcome issues they are faced with one to one counselling support. 
As of November 2013 I started as  seasonal counsellor for Luke's Counselling  where I work one to one with my clients with bereavement related issues..

Some of the different examples of the kind of issues my clients have brought to my counselling sessions were clients with Low self esteem, Trauma, Anxiety, Relationship difficulties, including family relationships, also  Depression, and Anger Management. Grief cycle and unresolved grief, Anger problems related with alcohol and drugs, Fear and domestic violence, Rape and guilt and shame also many other issues.

Counselling can offer you warm safe environment where you can share your feelings. Whether this is due to feeling lost and alone or just want a helping hand to find your way, counselling will help you to explore difficult times in your life, and help you have a better understanding and develop confidence which enhances positive change for a more fulfilling happier life, because feelings are what makes us express our selves as humans. My counselling sessions will connect thoughts and feelings, and together work through why negative experience can drain and effect us in life, and to find solutions together. Emotions can be very powerful, and create sadness within life. Together with not feeling positive, and  to work through theses thoughts and feelings are important to restore the balance in life. Counselling can be a journey and to work through negative feelings to feel complete, be positive and enjoy a happier life.

Maps & Directions

Cranham, Upminster, RM14 1SR

Type of session

Online counselling: No
Telephone counselling: No
Face to face counselling: Yes

Practical details

Sign language: Unspecified
Other languages: None


Please contact me to discuss my available appointments

Types of client

Young people
Older adults
Employee Assistance Programme
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