Valerie Baker Dip Couns. Reg MBACP
Shrewsbury House Community Centre
0208 854 3895 / 08432891481 / 07913 669832/
Hello, and welcome to my profile. Please note, Private counselling appointments are NOT free and you will be charged for attending the appointment.
I am a qualified Private Psychodynamic Counsellor, and a Registered Member with the BACP. I have over 12 years experience providing one2one, face2face counselling for Individuals in my private practice which is situated in Shrewsbury House Community Centre, Shooters Hill, Greenwich, SE18 3EG. Shrewsbury House is a lovely old manor house surrounded by gardens within a quite residential area with FREE PARKING.
There is a coffee bar situated on the ground floor in Shrewsbury House, so if you arrive early for your appointment you can visit the coffee bar and have a drink or light snack.
As a Registered member of the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP) I adhere by their code of ethics and framework which helps keep client and counsellor safe.
I qualified in 2004, and have a Diploma Level 4 in Therapeutic Counselling. For the last 12 years I have been privileged to work with many adults and children from a variety of social, cultural and ethnic backgrounds facing a wide range of difficulties and challenges. These have included loss and bereavement, relationship issues, self-harm, depression, chronic illness, anger, abuse, anxiety, family issues, low self - esteem, confidence issues, separation.
I have also worked as a counsellor for family matters, a charity which provides counselling for survivors of physical, sexual and emotional abuse.
Whilst working for family matters I received training in art therapy using different types of art media. If appropriate and with the clients consent I work creatively (e.g drawing,painting,sand tray, letter writing) this is to aid emotional expression.
I have had experience working with school children offering play therapy in a school setting. This was for a charity organisation Theplace2be.
I have provided counselling for people training to become a counsellor. The focus for this work has been working with their personal issues and their development through personal counselling.
I have also undertaken work with clients in the work place, offering time limited sessions. The key benefits of counselling for staff are:
- supporting staff Wellbeing, including productivity and burnout.
- improving staff morale can reduce staff sick leave and absenteeism.
- staff are likely to feel more valued
- providing a safe and confidential place for staff to "offload"
I ALSO HAVE EXPERIENCE WITH ISSUES RELATING TO:
It is important that you learn to identify where and when you feel angry. Write it down, is there a pattern? Do you have consistent "triggers" can you begin to identify why you are so angry? Is anger masking other feelings such as embarrassment, hurt, or shame? Talk to someone you trust or a anger management specialist or counsellor.
ANXIETY & PANIC :
Anxiety is a general term used to cover a range of feelings; apprehension, uncertainty, fear, nervousness and worry. It is a normal part of life, which we can experience from time to time when faced with something challenging such as an interview, exam or certain social situations. It can be useful in that it can make you feel more alert and protect you from dangerous situations.
but for some people the level of anxiety can become so bad that it dominates their lives and stops them from doing the things they want to do. Panic is defined as sudden, often unexpected, intense feelings of anxiety and fear. It is accompanied by physical symptoms, which include; sweating, hyperventilating, dry mouth, dizziness, increased heart rate and tense muscles. These symptoms are caused by the release of adrenalin into your blood stream, which prepares your body to take action either by running away,facing the danger Or you can freeze ( known as fight or flight)
Stress can be useful in small doses as it can motivate you to do your best and to remain focused and alert.
However, after a certain point it can lead to a feeling of being under too much pressure mentally and emotionally, it affects how we feel, think and behave.
Many of life's demands can cause stress such as work, relationship and money. Some common signs of stress include sleeping problems, sweating, loss of appetite, difficulty concentrating, irritability, feeling overwhelmed, isolated or depressed.
ABUSE & BULLYING :
Abuse can affect anyone from all walks of life. It can take the form of physical abuse, emotional abuse, sexual abuse or neglect. Bullying is also a form of abuse, which has a detrimental affect on a person's life.
Physical abuse can occur through hitting, punching, burning, scalding, choking, kicking, throwing, beating or other actions, which cause physical injury.
Emotional abuse can happen through name calling, intimidating, humiliating, manipulating, criticising and threatening which damages self - esteem and self - worth.
Sexual abuse is any type of sexual behaviour which is not consensual or which is between an adult and a child or older child and younger child.
Bereavement is a state of being which usually results from the loss of someone we love through death. Loss is the disappearance of something important from our lives such as the death of a person, loss of health, loss of job, loss of friendship, loss of home or loss of relationship and family life through divorce and separation.
Grief is a natural reaction to bereavement and loss. Nevertheless, the experience of grief can be overwhelming and frightening, triggering feelings of shock, numbness, anger, guilt, loneliness, fatigue and intense sadness. Grieving is an individual experience which is influenced by many factors including cultural background, religious beliefs, age, personality and circumstances.
The discovery of betrayal can be highly traumatising. The relationship can become chaotic and a wild roller coaster ride. Reactions to betrayal. At the heart is broken trust. And the questions haunt, can I recover? How do I know you won't do it again?
Feeling sad or 'fed up' from time to time are common reactions to the ups and downs of life and these feelings usually pass. However, depression is characterised by persistent feelings of sadness or low mood. These feelings can become so overwhelming that they interfere with a person's ability to carry on with their normal daily lives.
Some people may not realise that they are depressed and they struggle on knowing that something is not right but not knowing why. Some of the signs of depression include :
- Feelings of hopelessness and helplessness
- Worthlessness and loss of confidence and self - esteem
- Loss of interest in things which were once enjoyable
- Tiredness and change in sleeping patterns
- Inability to make decisions
Depression is not a sign of weakness, it can happen to anyone, sometimes the reasons are obvious and sometimes they are not. However, certain risk factors can contribute to depression such as genetic factors and early life experiences, which make some people vulnerable. Distressing life events for example ; divorce, bereavement and losing a job can also trigger an episode of depression.
Addiction is a chronic and often misunderstood illness. Many believe addiction and drug and alcohol or substance abuse are a sign or moral weakness, while stopping the addictive behaviour is simply a matter of willpower. Scientific studies, however, have proven this is not the case.
LOW-SELF-ESTEEM & LOW SELF - CONFIDENCE :
Self - confidence is defined as a belief in oneself and ones power or abilities. Self - esteem is about a person's overall sense of self - worth or self - respect. The two are closely linked but not necessarily connected. Confidence is about how we present ourselves to the world and what we achieve where as self - esteem is how we feel about ourselves inside.
When self - esteem is low resilience in the face of life's challenges is diminished. A person with low self - esteem views themselves in a more negative light, tending to focus more on their mistakes and weaknesses. Where as a person with high self - esteem will hold more positive belief about themselves and this helps to protect them against the knock backs in life.
Negative experiences in childhood can damage self - esteem creating a sense of self, which does not feel valued or important, therefor developing a negative core belief about oneself. Additionally, negative life changes in adulthood can shake and damage self - esteem.
Feeling incompetent and unrealistic about your abilities
Being overwhelmed with fear and negative thoughts
Being unrealistic about goals
Being drawn into destructive relationships
Fear of change
Distorted views of self and others
All relationships and families go through difficult times as the family dynamic grows and changes. However, prolonged difficulties can result in conflict, insecurity and stress.
This can lead to lack of communication, which may leave partners and family members feeling trapped, isolated, frustrated, angry or depressed. Relationship and family difficulties can be caused by difference in opinion, personalities, beliefs, goals or personal circumstances.
these include financial problems, unemployment, moving house, illness, lack of trust or a change in family circumstances, for example the new arrival of a new baby, children becoming teenagers, or the blending of families.
Talking treatments, such as counselling are often very effective methods for treating phobias
Sometimes the decision to divorce or separate is not a joint one, and a partner is left behind while the other embarks on a new relationship. This can be overwhelming, feelings of abandonment and loss can feel quite crippling
Self -harm is a way of intentionally causing physical pain or injury to one's own body. It is a way of releasing and expressing deep, emotional distress, which can't be put into words or thoughts. It can also be used as a way of trying to gain control, as a distraction or a self -punishment .
however, the relief is only temporary as the underlying issues still remain. Self - harm can manifest itself in a number of ways. For instance :
Cutting, burning, biting
Head banging and hitting
Taking personal risks
Picking and scratching
Pulling out hair
Over dosing and self - poisoning
Commonly, it can be linked with other issues such as depression, anxiety and low self - esteem.
How do people react to trauma
Feelings of numbness and unreality
Fear/ anxiety/ loss of confidence
Feeling low or depressed
Sadness and feeling of loss
Guilt ( feeling responsible for what happened, or survivor guilt at having survived if others did not)
The first step is determine if you think the lack of trust is due to the way your partner has acted in the past or your own trust issues from the past or both
How much are you able to trust yourself?
I SPECIALISE IN WORKING WITH ADULT SURVIVORS OF CHILDHOOD:
domestic abuse or violence can be physical, emotional, sexual, or psychological. Common behaviours include name calling, threat making, manipulation, humiliation, blaming. Other dangerous signs of domestic abuse or violence involves the aggressor attempting to isolate the victim from others. Monitoring the victims behaviour, among other acts
My approach focuses on belief that counselling and Psychotherapy is a process which places emphasis upon building a trusting therapeutic relationship between counsellor and client.
This can provide a secure base from which to explore your thoughts, feelings and anxieties. This will enable you to gain confidence and will enable you to manage your life more effectively. As well as exploring present difficulties we can focus on your past to consider how previous experiences might be impacting on your current issues.
In order to do this safely I offer a warm, safe, confidential and comfortable environment. I offer a non-judgemental attitude and work at your pace, recognising the uniqueness of your individual values, belief system and cultural background.
This will support you to get beyond negative patterns, to see things differently and reconnect you to aspects of yourself.
WHAT I CAN OFFER:
As your counsellor, I can certainly bring you a trust building relationship, warm presence, confidential space, along with empathy and my non- judgemental attitude. I will enable you to explore thoughts and feelings that may not have been spoken about before. This can feel daunting and upsetting but it can also bring a sense of relief and understanding which can provide a way of moving forward.
I offer both long term counselling, if you wish to explore deeper aspects of yourself, or short term counselling, if you wish to focus on a particular issue.
Counselling normally takes place once aweek, sessions last for one hour. Every ones counselling needs are different, some people benefit from just a few sessions while others continue for longer.
In our first initial meeting, we will explore your concerns and issues and if we both feel we can work together, then we can book further sessions. There is no obligation to continue if you do not want to.
If we agree to work together, we will form a contract this will out line limits to confidentiality, supervision, day, time, cancellation of session, missed sessions, fees, holidays, and note taking.
WHAT IS PSYCHODYNAMIC COUNSELLING?
Psychodynamic counselling is one of the major traditions within contemporary psychotherapy.
Its aim is to help us achieve insight and understanding around the reasons for our issues, and to translate this insight into a mature capacity to cope with current and future difficulties.
Five key principles of the Psychodynamic approach:
1) People have troubled relationships because they are repeating a destructive relationship pattern from the past.
2) The person may seek to control or hide difficult or unacceptable mental desires, memories and feelings by use of defence mechanisms, such as transference, projection, denial, repression, sublimation, splitting, and projective identification.
3) It is important for helpers, including counsellors, to be aware ot their own feelings, fantasies and impulses in relation to the person they are supporting.
4) The person's issues can be understood as representing unresolved developmental tasks (e.g. Separation from the mother/parents).
5) People have a need for secure, consistent emotional attachments.
Psychodynamic methods have been applied to understanding and treating a range of psychological issues. It's origins are found in the work of Sigmund Freud, but the approach has developed significantly over the years.
The goals of psychodynamic therapy are to increase a clients' self awareness and to understand the influence of past events on present behaviour. The psychodynamic therapy assists the client in gaining insight, in order to recognise their character traits, their actions, responses and behaviours to present situations. This approach enables the client to explore unresolved conflicts that arise from past relationships, which are having an effect on current relationships.
Training, qualifications & experience
Diploma Level 4 in Therapeutic Counselling
Advanced Certificate in Counselling Skills and Theory
Certificate in Counselling Theory
Certificate in Counselling Skills
Certificate to Introduction to Counselling
Sexual Abuse Awareness Training (SAbAT)
Advance Art Therapy
Introduction to the Arts as a Therapeutic Process
Helping Children tell their stories
Childrens emotional wellbeing
Working with difference and diversity
MindEd courses with BACP (children and young people)
Professional indemnity insurance
BACP Proficiency test
BACP Registered member
CBT (Diploma training, on going)
Certificate Introduction to Relationship Counselling
Sibling Transferences in the adult Couple Relationship (The Tavistock Centre for Couple Relationships)
Certificate of Completion Understanding Autism, Asperger's and ADHD (University of Derby)
CPD Certificate of completion, (Domestic Abuse)
CPD working with addiction : Underlining causes (BACP)
CPD working with bereaved clients (BACP)
CPD working with identity and self - esteem in young people with eating disorders (BACP)
Bridging the Dementia Divide: Supporting people living with dementia certificate of completion
Areas of counselling I deal with
- Affairs and betrayals
- Asperger's syndrome
- Bipolar disorder/Manic depression
- Child related issues
- Domestic violence
- Drug abuse
- Emotional abuse
- Family issues
- Generalised anxiety disorder
- Low self-confidence
- Low self-esteem
- Obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD)
- Panic disorder
- Passive aggressive behaviour
- Personality disorders
Photos & videos
The FIRST session will be an ASSESSMENT, this will last for 1 hour. The assessment will give us the opportunity to discuss your concerns and decide if how I work meets your needs.
After the assessment there is no obligation to continue if you do not want to.
ASSESSMENT Fee, Monday - Friday 10.00-5.00pm, £50 for 1 hour, payable at the start/end of every session
ASSESSMENT Fee, Monday - Friday 6.00-9.00pm, £55 for 1 hour, payable at the start/end of every session.
ASSESSMENT Fee, Saturday 10.00-3.00pm, £60 for 1 hour, payable at the start/end of every session.
CONTINUED sessions Monday-Friday last for 1 hour. Fees from 10.00am - 5.00pm are £50.00, payable at the start/end of every session
CONTINUED sessions MONDAY-FRIDAY from 6.00pm - 9.00pm are £55.00, payable at the start/end of every session.
Saturday 10.00-3.00pm last 1 hour £60, payable at the start/end of each session
Student counsellors requiring student hours towards diploma course, available
Couple Counselling Monday-Friday : 1 hour 10.00-5.00pm £70 payable at the start/end of each session
Couple Counselling Monday -Friday : 1 hour. 6.00-9.00pm £75 payable at the start/end of each session
Couple Counselling Saturday : 1 hour 10.00-3.00pm £80 payable at the start/end of each session
SESSIONS are available weekdays Monday-Friday from 10.00am- 9.00pm
SATURDAY from 10.00am-3.00pm.
The best way to find out if we can work together is to meet
If I am unable to take your call please leave a message and a time that is convenient for me to phone you back. Please be aware any message left is completely confidential.
Queries and appointments can be made by e-mailing or by phone.
Counselling -One2One is based at Shrewsbury House, Community Centre, Bushmoor Crescent, Greenwich, Shooters Hill, London, SE18 3EG
Our offices are on the second floor, but unfortunately, there are no lift facilities. Please inform me if you have any difficulty with walking up stairs, as I may be able to offer a room on the ground floor If there is availability.
Shrewsbury House is a short walk from Shooters Hill Golf course, and Shooters Hill Tennis club. My practice is within easy reach of Greenwich SE10, within 3 miles. Woolwich SE18, Welling DA16,, Bexleyheath DA6, Eltham.
From Welling: Bellegrove Road leading on to Shooters Hill. At the top of the hill turn right on to Eaglesfield Road. Continue on to Kinlet Road then turn left in to Bushmoor Crescent From Blackheath: At the Sun In The Sands roundabout take the second exit onto the A207 signposted Welling, Shooters Hill, until the top of the hill turn left in to Eaglesfield Road, continue forward on to Kinlet Road then turn left in to Bushmoor Crescent. Free parking is available At Shrewsbury House community Centre. There is also Free parking on Bushmoor Crescent.
- 486 or 89 bus, alighting at the top of Shooters Hill at the junction of Eaglesfield Road, then a five minute walk along Eaglesfield Road and in to Bushmoor Crescent. - 244 bus from Woolwich or Queen Elizabeth Hospital alighting at Shrewsbury Lane, then a three minute walk along Eaglesfield Road and in to Bushmoor Crescent.
Shrewsbury House is a 15 minute journey by bus from both Welling and Woolwich Arsenal train stations (operated by Southeastern zone four).
Maps & Directions
Type of session
|Face to face counselling:||Yes|
Monday 10am-9pmTuesday 10am-9pm Wednesday 10am-9pm Thursday 10am-9pm Friday 10am-9pm Saturday 10am-3pm Sunday Closed. Sessions are by appointments only.
Types of client
|Employee Assistance Programme|