Shirley Baxter - MBACP (Accred), BACP Registered Counsellor and Couple Therapist

Shirley Baxter - MBACP (Accred), BACP Registered Counsellor and Couple Therapist

Portsmouth Therapy Partnership
Portsmouth Technopole
Kingston Crescent

Westbourne Osteopathic and Wellness (WOW) Clinic
Westbourne Road
West Sussex
PO10 8UL

07933 326 157

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Portsmouth Therapy Partnership
Portsmouth Technopole
Kingston Crescent

Westbourne Osteopathic and Wellness (WOW) Clinic
Westbourne Road
West Sussex
PO10 8UL

07933 326 157

About me

Professional counselling service with experienced counsellor working with Individuals, Couples, Counselling Students, EAPs & Insurance Organisations in Portsmouth (Hampshire) and Westbourne (West Sussex).

Welcome to my profile, I am an Reg. Member MBACP Accreditied counsellor with over 12 years experience of working with clients.  I am the owner of Shirley Baxter Counselling Service and have been in private practice since 2009. 

I am also a Co-founder and Partner of Portsmouth Therapy Partnership

I work in an open & respectful way and aim to create a space for you to change, grow & heal & regain control over your life. I believe the client/counsellor relationship lies at the heart of our work & I aim to offer a warm & trusting relationship that allows you to express yourself in an open and honest way.

Counselling can help you to

- Clarify things
- Feel empowered
- See that you have choices
- Increase your self awareness
- Identify your resources & strengths
- Gain a greater insight into your world
- See things from a different perspective
- Decide if you want to make changes in your life

Whatever your reasons for choosing counselling, my aim as your counsellor is to be alongside you throughout your counselling journey and to help to enable and empower you.

Humanistic Counselling

The core of my work is based on the Humanistic counselling model which focuses on, & honours the clients’ individuality & uniqueness.  Past experiences can impact in the present day, leaving clients feeling stuck & powerless. With greater understanding & self-awareness clients are able to see their choices & feel better equipped to make changes to move forward.

ACT (Acceptance & Commitment Therapy)

ACT enables clients to identify what matters in their lives (their values); it helps clients identify what stops them moving ‘towards’ their values (ie any unhelpful thoughts, feelings, actions & behaviours).  It helps clients to create distance (defuse) from their ‘away’ patterns, & helps them gain alternative perspectives.  The Mindfulness element helps clients stay present & in the moment & not focus on past events or attach to future anxieties.

ACT works well for Individuals & Couples who have lost direction, feel stuck & want to move towards living a meaningful & valued life.

COUPLE COUNSELLING - For Couple work my model is based on a Systemic/Psychodynamic approach. 

Couple Counselling offers a couple a safe and supportive space in which they can begin to explore the difficulties in their relationship, couples may find it hard to express their feelings to each other and through the counselling process it can be possible for effective communication to begin to take place. Couples may seek counselling as a way of repairing their relationship, this could be following an affair or possibly as a result of other issues that have impacted on their relationship or they may seek it as a way of easing the difficulties they are experiencing during the process of separation. 

My couple work includes supporting couples who are experiencing the following situations in their relationship

  • Affairs
  • Divorce
  • Separation
  • Impact of life changes
  • Difficulties with effective communication
  • Impact of Step-families on the relationship
  • Couples who are looking to end their relationship

Short-Term & Open-Ended Appointments are available for both Individuals and Couples.

Training, qualifications & experience

Professional Qualifications

  • Chichester College - Certificate in Counselling Skills
  • University of Chichester - Diploma Humanistic Counselling
  • University of Chichester - Degree BA (Hons) Humanistic Counselling
  • Chichester Counselling Service - Certificate Couple Counselling
  • Chichester Counselling Service - Diploma Couple Counselling

Other significant training

  • Diploma in (NLP) Neuro Linguistic Programming (INLPTA)
  • Working with Addiction - Sussex Alcohol & Substance use Service (SASS)
  • Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training (ASIST)
  • Foundation in CBT (CBT with Heart) - Hemmings Field Associates
  • Cert. Introduction to Trauma Therapy - Wealden Institute - Attendence only
  • Dip. Trauma Therapy - Wealden Institute - Attendance only
  • Teaching Clients Mindfulness Skills & Further Teaching Minduflness Skills - Stanton & Greyrock
  • Rewind Technique - Tom Buckland
  • Therapeutic Use of Mindfulness - British Institute of Mindfulness
  • ACT for CBT & Psychological Therapists - Contextual Consulting
  • Relationship Frame Theory (RFT) Made Simple - Contextual Consulting
  • Introduction to ACT - Evolve Training
  • RFT Mastering the Clinical Conversation - Contextual Consulting
  • ACT ongoing workshops through Contextual Consulting - including training with Joe Oliver, Richard Bennett, Russ Harris, Jason Luoma & Jenna LeJeune, Benjamin Schoendorff, Stephen Hayes, Robyn Walser, Matthieu Villatte

This year (2018) I will be undertaking a 3 day Introduction to Compassion Focused Therapy (CFT) with Paul Gilbert.


I have worked for a University Counselling Service as a staff & student counsellor; for an Addiction Counselling organisation working with clients experiencing problems with drugs and alcohol and for a Carers Support Service counselling adult carers.

I have previously worked as a helpline counsellor for a major EAP provider. I have extensive experience of working with various EAP organisations as well as other referring agencies (including post addiction work), I also work with a variety of insurance organisations.  Please check with your Insurer to see if I am listed on their network of therapists.

Prior to working becoming a Counsellor I was a Project Manager and I have extensive experience of working in large multi disciplined teams.

Memberships and Registrations

  • Member of the British Association for Counselling & Psychotherapy - BACP Accredited Counsellor - MBACP (Accred) since November 2009
  • BACP Registered
  • Member of Emsworth Business Association
  • AVIVA - Registered with AVIVA to provide counselling for eligible policy holders

Member organisations

Registered / Accredited


Accredited register membership

Other areas of counselling I deal with

Acceptance and Committment Therapy (ACT)

Relational Frame Theory (RFT)


Counselling for Employee Assistance Programme Providers (EAPs)

Counselling for Insurance Providers - AVIVA Registered.


Individuals ~ Assessments £50.00 - Follow on Sessions £50.00
Couples     ~ Assessments £60.00 - Follow on Sessions £60.00

I offer a limited number of reduced places for the following

  • Reduced rate for Students undertaking a counselling course - Assessment £40.00 - Follow on Sessions £45.00

When contacting me by e-mail please state the location you prefer to be seen in, this will assist me in my response back to you.

Further information

It is important that you feel comfortable in the way you express yourself and if you prefer to include exploration through art, poetry or stories, stones or shells, objects or music we can incorporate this into our work.  I have a keen interest in Mindfulness and how this can assist clients in feeling less anxious and enable them to stay present and in the moment.

You can also visit my Counselling website and my  personal page at my Portsmouth Therapy Practice website for further information about me and how we would work together

Maps & Directions

Portsmouth, PO2 8FA
Westbourne, PO10 8UL

Type of session

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

Practical details

Sign language: No
Other languages: Although I am fluent in the Italian language I am unable to offer therapy in Italian


PORTSMOUTH (PO2) Monday 8am to 6pm and Thursday 8am to 8pm WESTBOURNE (PO10) Tuesday 8am to 2pm & 5pm to 8pm and Wednesday 8am to 12pm

Types of client

Older adults
Employee Assistance Programme