Dr Sue Whitcombe, Chartered Psychologist, DCounPsych, MA, PGCE, DipPsych, BSc
Pen-y-bont Ar Ogwr
Family and relationship breakdown is always difficult - for adults and children. In time, most adjust, working through their grief, their anger, guilt, shame or resentment. For some moving on is much more difficult; they become stuck. For some there is an escalation of hostility or conflict. Co-parenting can be difficult - it may even seem impossible. The mental health and well-being of all family members can be affected in the short term, and the long term, often impacting on the potential for healthy relationships in the future.
I'm Sue - a counselling psychologist and the founder of Family Psychology Solutions. Family Psychology Solutions is a Social Enterprise. We aim to offer tailored, affordable therapy for separated families where there is high conflict, estrangement or alienation. Our focus is on establishing healthy, post-separation relationships where children continue to benefit from the love and support of both parents.
My therapeutic work draws on best practice, research evidence and my twenty years’ experience of working with children and families. Working through an integrative relational approach, therapy for your family will be based on your needs. Tailored interventions are based on a thorough, holistic assessment and are likely to include a number of approaches to achieve the agreed goals. The approaches I use include Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, solution focused approaches, mentalization, attachment therapy, narrative approaches, functional family therapy, transactional analysis, structural family therapy, play therapy, psychodynamic approaches, life-story work, psychoeducation. Unlike "typical" therapy, I often work with you in your home, in the community, in outdoor spaces - we decide together what will be most effective. Interventions may be more intensive at the outset.
As well as working with separated families, I also offer therapy to children, young people and adults who are experiencing mental health and adjustment issues arising from relationship difficulties. You may be alienated or estranged from a child or parent, or a grandchild. You may be struggling with your self-esteem, intrusive negative thoughts or a new relationship. Your child may be distressed, self-harming, presenting with age inappropriate or challenging behaviours.
The idea of seeing a psychologist or a counsellor can often feel quite daunting or intimidating. You might be apprehensive, or sceptical; you will probably have a lot of unanswered questions. Your former partner may not initially agree to therapy, or you may not feel able to suggest this as an option. I offer introductory sessions which are free of charge. This is your opportunity to ask any questions, to find out a little bit more about what therapy might involve, how we can move forward and to consider whether I am the right therapist for you or your family. It is important you feel comfortable with me and I will be happy to suggest other therapists and psychologists if you do not feel I am the right practitioner for you.
Therapy is available in South Wales. Please feel free to email me, firstname.lastname@example.org, or call me on 029 2188 6188 if you have any questions or to book your free initial session.
Training, qualifications & experience
As well as offering therapeutic interventions, I deliver training in mental health and issues surrounding family breakdown. I offer consultancy services to the legal profession, mental and general health providers, the social care and education sector and am instructed as an Expert Witness in Private Family Proceedings. I offer supervision to psychologists, therapists, social workers and teachers. I conduct research around hostile family breakdown and am regularly asked to speak about parental alienation at conferences and events.
My qualifications are:
- Doctorate in Counselling Psychology
- MA in Education
- Postgraduate Diploma in Special Educational Needs
- Graduate Diploma in Psychology
- Postgraduate Certificate in Education
- a Chartered Psychologist and Associate Fellow with the British Psychological Society (BPS)
- a registered counselling psychologist with the Health & Care Professions Council (HCPC)
- a member of the Association for Child and Adolescent Mental Health (ACAMH)
- a member of the Association of Family and Conciliation Courts (AFCC)
- registered on the BPS Directory of Expert Witnesses
- registered as a Supervisor with the BPS
- a member of the BPS Expert Witness Advisory Group
- Deputy Chair of the BPS Training Committee in Counselling Psychology
Areas of counselling I deal with
- Low self-confidence
- Low self-esteem
- Personality disorders
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Relationship issues
Other areas of counselling I deal with
Parental alienation and estrangement
Photos & videos
The initial consultation usually lasts about 60 minutes, and is free of charge.
The length and frequency of assessment and therapy sessions is variable, according to needs. This will be discussed with you, and agreed, at the outset, and at regular intervals. Standard fees are £70 per hour. Additional charges may be incurred for travel time and costs.
Family Psychology Solutions is a Social Enterprise whose aim is to offer therapy to families based on their needs. We offer reduced fee sessions to families who are unable to afford our standard fees. Please ask about these at the initial consultation.
Please contact me if you would like to discuss how I can help your organisation in terms of consultancy, bespoke training, developing services and supervision. I am also available to discuss collaborative research projects.
Maps & Directions
Type of session
|Face to face counselling:||Yes|
Appointments are available throughout the week including early morning, evening and Saturday.
Types of client
Supervision & training
I offer supervision to practitioner and trainee psychologists and therapists, as well as professional supervision and consultancy to social workers, family court advisors, education staff and anyone who works with families in conflict.View supervision profile