Karen Hodgson

Verified Professional Verified Professional
Verified Professional

Every professional displayed on Counselling Directory has been independently verified by our team to ensure they have suitable credentials to practise.

Pronoun: she
UKCP Reg. Psychotherapist & EMDR Europe Consultant
Available for new clients
Available for new clients

This professional is available for new clients.

Chorley PR7 & Penrith CA10
Available for new clients
Available for new clients

This professional is available for new clients.

About me

I'm Karen, a trained EMDR UK therapist with over 24 years experience working with individuals and couples. I work online & via telephone. I have recently started to offer walk and talk therapy in conjunction with online therapy. I work with people who struggle to value themselves, who feel lonely and isolated, who find themselves often people pleasing or have difficulties prioritising their own needs; who have experienced infidelity, loss of intimacy, or who are grieving from the loss of a significant other. Who experience difficulties with communication, or struggle to set boundaries and find managing individual and couple expectations difficult; who struggle with loss or anger, anxiety or depression, or who present with complex trauma or attachment wounds rooted in childhood trauma. 

I specialise and trauma and relationship therapy applying mind/body approaches. Together we will work towards improving your mental health, general wellbeing or personal growth, applying therapeutic approaches that best match your unique needs. These may include for example, EMDR Therapy, Brainspotting, Internal Family Systems Approach, Emotional Freedom Technique, Hypno/Psychotherapy, Mindfulness, or Walking Therapy. 

If you feel at a standstill and need to unpack the root causes of your issues, gain more insight into why you find it hard to trust yourself and others, why you can be so harsh on yourself, or feel like an imposter, why you often self sabotage, procrastinate or have anger outburst and why you feel so alone and isolated in the world. My job is to work alongside you to help you to become the person you were always meant to be. 

I believe that the quality of the therapeutic relationship between client and therapist is often the best predictor of positive therapeutic outcome. In my endeavour to accomplish this, I provide a safe and contained space to build mutual trust, respect, and genuineness between us working towards defined goals for therapy. 

If you would like to arrange a first session, feel free to send an email explaining the headlines around what you are struggling with right now and the changes you would like to make. Alternatively you can arrange a brief introductory call. 

I am a EMDR UK trained/Accredited therapist. I integrate other approaches  including Brainspotting, Internal Family Systems (IFS), Hypnotherapy, Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT),  Mindfulness, CBT, Relationship/Couples Therapy. 

I work with a variety of presenting issues and specialise in Trauma symptoms, both Complex Trauma, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and Relationship & Couples Therapy.

I work online using an online platform. All sessions last up to 50 mins. 

I also offer walking therapy in conjunction with online therapy. 

How to book a Remote Session

If you wish to book a session, I kindly ask that you send me an initial email outlining the headlines of what you need to focus on,  including any relevant brief details of your background history.

I will send you a return email to explain how I feel we can work together or direct you to alternative options if I do not feel online therapy will be best suited for your needs right now.

All booked sessions are chargeable, including the first session you attend. 

You may wish to attend for a single session with a "here and now issue."

Or your concerns may be more deeply rooted and long-standing and require more medium to longer term therapy. 

My aim 

My aim is to facilitate you in your journey of discovery of change. I endeavour to be  whilst being mindful and sensitive to cultural differences, values, beliefs, and have respect for equality and freedom from discrimination and fundamental human rights that belong to everyone regardless of their sexual orientation, gender identities. 

I endeavour to work at your pace, attune to your unique needs, maintain a focus on what has happened to you and what may be causing you to feel a level of disturbance. 

Maybe you are wanting help to discover whether or not your relationship can be salvaged after an affair or a betrayal of trust?

Maybe you would like to explore how you can recover from the grief, loss and sadness of a relationship break up or the death of a loved one?

Maybe you have experienced a childhood trauma or childhood neglect or a recent/past traumatic event that is still causing you to have flashbacks and emotional charge?

Maybe you are experiencing panic attacks, stress or generalised anxiety or feeling low or depressed?

Maybe you are experiencing difficulties in forming relationships or committing to a relationship?

Maybe you want to re-assess your life and make some positive changes, or seek more clarity, perhaps feeling stuck and procrastinating a lot? 

Maybe you want to change repetitive patterns of behaviour or improve your mental state? Or develop more confidence and improve your relationship with yourself; be more comfortable in your own skin?

Together we can explore and reflect upon the kind of difficulties you are experiencing and the necessary changes you would like to make. 

Who am I trained to work with?

I have specialist training to work with adults aged 18 and over:- individuals & couples.

I have experience working with members of the LGBT community and adopt a sexual diversity affirmative approach. 

What does therapy usually involve?

Although no therapist can guarantee the results of any treatment, I endeavour to help you to:-

  • find improved insight and clarity into your presenting issue
  • work towards personal growth and healing
  • help with reprocessing unresolved issues that are negatively infiltrating your life
  • facilitate a process that helps you to move forward with your life.

Clinical skills experience and approach 

I have mainly worked in private practice since the year 2000.

I have experienced working in other clinical psycho-therapeutic settings including Relate, the Prison Service, Cruse Bereavement Care, Student Counselling Services and a Well Women's Centre. I am registered with several Insurance Companies. 

My approach

An oak tree starts with a single acorn and grows into a tree.  Similarly my approach traces back to the root cause of a current presenting issues, bridging back to help locate the touchstone memory and reprocess unresolved disturbing material that may negatively impacting on your ability to get on with normal life.

I have an integrative approach to my work and recognises that there is no one single therapeutic approach that fits all to address human functioning and behaviour. I adopt an approach of curiosity to help explore and understand what has happened to you that still lives inside you now that is blocking you from living a more wholesome life.  With this in mind, I endeavour to tailor the therapy to meet the different needs of my clients, applying different schools of thought where appropriate. Although often the most important aspect of the therapy is building a strong therapeutic relationship, the modalities I apply include:-

  • Eye Movement Desentisization and Reprocessing, (EMDR)
  • Brainspotting
  • Person Centred Therapy
  • Solution Focused Therapy
  • Psychosexual Therapy
  • Internal Family Systems 
  • Psychodynamic Therapy
  • Marital/Relational Therapy
  • Hypnosis & Psychotherapy
  • Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT))
  • Mindfulness

What happens in a first session/ initial consultation

All sessions start with an initial consultation. This session may involve gathering more information regarding the history behind your presenting issue(s), formulating a treatment plan for the therapy and identifying a framework to process and desired therapeutic outcomes.

The formulation of a treatment plan/case consultation are important steps in the initial stages of the therapy as serve to create a mental picture and a sound theoretical understanding of what is happening for you now and what you desire for your future self.  This can help to create a focus and direction for the therapy.

How many sessions will I need?

The length of the therapy may be determined as being short, medium or longer term. There are a number of factors than can influence the length of your therapy and these may not always present themselves fully during the early stages of your therapy. 

Examples of case material I work with:-

Although not exhaustive, the issues I generally work with include:-

  • Self defective beliefs and low confidence:- poor self image/self esteem. Negative self beliefs such as "I am not good enough", " I am worthless" " I am useless" "I am not acceptable/likeable", "I am a failure/disappointment", "I am shameful". Difficulties with self confidence. Social anxieties. Difficulties in forming or sustaining relationships, including friendships and intimate relationships.
  • Relationship issues:- including difficulties in entering into or sustaining a relationship/friendship; affairs and betrayals of trust, communication difficulties, struggles in coming to terms with the ending of a relation; dissatisfaction or a lack of safety within a relationship; loss of spark/libido or other difficulties within the sexual/intimate part of your relationship.
  • Grief and Loss/Feeling sad:- Death of a spouse/partner, parent, child, or a person closely connected to you. Miscarriage, infertility. Multiple losses. Delayed, ambiguous or complicated grieving. Loss of identity. Mid life crisis, phase of life and ageing. Going throughout the menopause. Empty Nest Syndrome/ children leaving home or going to University. Difficulties in letting go and moving forwards/feeling stuck, unable to move on in your life.
  • Trauma/Post Traumatic Stress symptoms and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD):- avoidance of thinking about or going to the place that reminds you of the traumatic event, panic attacks, feeling sick, phobic reactions, social withdrawal, hyper-vigilance, significant disturbed sleep or disturbing dreams, self medicating to alleviate emotional pain or other disturbances. These symptoms may prolong for some time after the traumatic event occurred. You may have witnessed or been involved in a violent assault, a robbery, a terrorist attack/serious incident, a road traffic collusion, surgical trauma, rape, prolonged sexual or physical abuse including childhood abuse, neglect or cruelty. You may experience symptoms of trauma with or without a diagnosis of Post Traumatic Disorder (PTSD), including hyper or hypo arousal symptoms such as distress, irritability, fear, anger, sadness, isolation, loss of concentration and detachment.
  • Low mood/Depression, panic disorders and generalised anxiety disorder (GAD): anxiety with no physical cause, panic attacks, worrying about a specific thing or different things, feeling nervous or on edge, feeling stressed or sad and unhappy, hiding from the world. Feeling empty inside, distressed alone/lonely isolated. Loss of routine, direction and meaning to life. Angry outbursts. Unable to stop crying. Difficulty in finding spiritual enlightenment. Struggles in trusting others, or trusting in your own judgement. Performance anxiety including presentations. Phobias such as going to the dentist or flying.
  • Psycho-Sexual issues:- having ruled out any potential physiological causes with your GP, psycho-sexual issues are rooted in psychological symptoms rather than physiological and may include anxiety around your sexual performance. You nay have difficulties in gaining or sustaining an erection, or experience premature or delayed ejaculation. You may be menopausal. You may be avoiding sex with your partner which is causing problems in your relationship, or feel sexually inhibited, perceiving sex as dirty or shameful. You may have experienced sexual abuse which is inhibiting sexual function. Or you may be experiencing a loss of arousal, desire or interest in sex. You may experience gender identity issues, an organismic disorder, hypo-active sexual desire, addictive/compulsive sexual desire, or body image issues.
  • Sports injuries/sports performance:- to enhance your sporting performance, working with sporting professionals and those who want to improve their confidence in sporting events or overcome the trauma of past injuries.

Who am I accredited with and whose code of ethics do I follow:-

My governing body in the United Kingdom Council for Psychotherapists (UKCP)

This means I have been trained to UKCP recognised standard and competence to practice.

I am also an accredited member of the EMDR UK Association. I also have additional training and experience to undertake the tasks of consultation or supervision of other EMDR practitioners, with a key responsibility of maintaining quality assurance and high standards of practice in EMDR therapy. 

How much supervision do I personally engage in?

It is an ethical requirement to engage in regular supervision to ensure that high quality of standards are being maintained. I have monthly supervision with three different supervisors and help reflect on my work with clients. 

Life before therapy, what else have I done before training as a therapist?

Prior to becoming a therapist, I worked in Education as a Lecturer in both Further & Higher Education within the Departments of Business Studies, Sport, Leisure & Tourism Management.

What is trauma or adverse life experiences?

Adverse life experiences can leave us with trauma symptoms that overwhelm the central nervous system, altering the way we process and recall memories. It is not the story of what happened back then, it is the current imprint of that pain, horror, and fear that is alive and lives inside us all. We might say that in reality what we are working with is bringing your automatic nervous system back into regulation which is related to an unresolved adverse life experiences. Sometimes this can be related to traumatic events that have happened, known as commissions as well as issues such as childhood neglect, abandonment, failure to receive adequate nuturing or guidance. Together we can address how aspects of your present day concerns e.g. relationship difficulties, problems with trusting others, addictions etc. may be effected by what you are still experiencing in your mind/body from your past. 

Can talking therapy alone treat the symptoms of trauma or adverse life experiences?

Many distinguished trauma therapists such as Bessel Van Der Kolk, recognise that talking therapy alone is not enough to treat trauma. He adds that it is not the story you tell but “the imprint the trauma leaves behind and how it changes the brain, perceptions and thoughts that must be addressed."

How do I know if I am suffering from trauma or adverse life experiences?

Some of the signs are that your life lacks sufficient pleasure, joy, love, happiness, connection, meaning, sensuality or positivity.

We know its normal to have good and bad days, that is part of life’s ebbs and flows. When our mind and body are regulating well we can trust our gut reactions to give us accurate information to take charge of our body, feelings and ourselves. Conversely, when we experience recurring unhelpful thoughts and emotions that cause disharmony to our everyday lives, our rational brain is in conflict and a tug-of-war ensues.

People who suffer from trauma do not trust their gut feelings and often feel unsafe in their bodies and may often dissociate. Instead they feel overwhelmed and stressed. Their immune system is stressed too as their mind and body are taken away from a state of homeostasis, (physical and psychologically balance), to a state of survival. Yet when we are in homeostasis, we tend to experience positive emotions such as safety, love, feeling loved and joyful.

When in survival mode, we have a tendency towards experiencing negative or distressing emotions, such as feeling unloved, unwanted or abandoned.

The activation of a negative emotion such as fear can throw our brains and body out of balance. Although our body is designed to protect when we are really in danger, when that sensible rational part of us is not aligned, this creates a disconnect.

This kind of faulty wiring can activate the survival brain, (the amygdala, the threat detecting system), which acts as a smoke alarm, preparing for something awful that is going to happen, some invisible assault. We might feel stupid or embarrassed that this is happening to us, because rationally we often understand that there is no need to feel unsafe. Yet truly we cannot help it as our automatic nervous system activates this threat response.

Being frightened means that you live in a body that is on guard. So an angry person lives in an angry body, until the underlying reasons for the anger are resolved. A victim of child abuse lives in a body that is tense and defensive, until they find a way to feel safe.

As such, our homeostatic drive for balance has to fight, and the brain’s filtering system, (which normally helps us to distinguish what is relevant right now and what is not), gets all messed up. So those things we notice that other people around us don’t seem to get so hung up on, we cannot help but pay attention to. We start to see danger rather than manageable stuff.

This makes it difficult to focus on what is actually going on right now as our perceptions become distorted.

An example could be that you start to notice that you are putting a negative focus on your relationship, believing that you are not getting back what you have put in. You become so consumed by what is wrong that your forget to see what is good. The more your perceptual field starts to focus on what is wrong, the more you strive to protect yourself.

This response can be exacerbated by triggering unresolved experiences from the past that have caused pain and misery. Although historic, the past feels very much alive.

If you do identify with these responses, you may also recognise how expert you have become in pushing down your feelings to numb their effect, yet despite your best effects, these unresolved experience are often unconsciously retriggered, perhaps by something you hear, see, smell, touch or taste. Or by a fleeting thought, emotion, or bodily sensation.

It may be that your partner has had an affair. In turn, you become fixated on what has happened. The brain’s smoke alarm is switched on constantly, fearing, if I let this go, this will happen to me again.

In this circumstance the mind is fixated on the fear. The self sensing system that runs through the mid line of the brain, becomes blunt. This can lead to you feel a loss of a sense of yourself as you immerse yourself in anxiety.

As a way of coping you may withdraw, drink more alcohol, or engage in other behaviours that dampen the nervous system. The main consequence of dampening your system is that you also dampen pleasure, joy, positivity, sensuality, happiness or connection.

You may also experience anxiety, depression, irritability, poor concentration, nightmares, mood swings, social withdrawal, strained relationships, addictions and eating disorders

When we understand what is happening to the brain, we can start to use focused trauma interventions to help reprocess maladaptive thinking; re-educate the mind and body and feel physical sensations.

The way people experience trauma can be grouped into two types.

1. Little ‘t’ traumas occur when life events exceed our capacity to cope. They are an accumulation and/or repetition of everyday life events that overtime overwhelm us and our nervous system and cause disruption in emotional functioning. These are likely causes of complex PTSD. However, evidence now suggest that repeated exposure to the little "t" traumas can cause sometimes cause more emotional harm than exposure to a single big "T" traumatic events.

Little 't’ traumas are experienced as traumatic at a personal level and can include:

relationship breakup
losing a pet

Some of the symptoms of the little ‘t’ traumas can include:-

angry outbursts
conflict with others such as your children, your boss, your partner
acting out of character, e.g. infidelities
increase in alcohol consumption or other addictive behaviours.

2. Big ‘T’ traumas are significant events that leave a person feeling powerless, helpless with a loss of control.

Some big ‘T’ traumas events can include:-

unexpected loss of a loved one
sexual assault
road traffic accidents
terrorist attack
natural disasters
cancer diagnosis or terminal illness

Some of the symptoms of big ‘ T’ trauma can include:-

panic/anxiety attacks/panic disorder
emotional outbursts/depression
avoidant behaviour
difficulties with relationships

Training, qualifications & experience

  • Audited and audit approved by the UKCP,  (June 2020)
  • Parts 1-3 Brainspotting, (BSPUK, 2017/2018/2019
  • EMDR Europe Accredited Consultant (2016) and Reaccredited (2022)
  • Certificate of Proficiency awarded by the BACP Register of Counsellors and Psychotherapists (2013)
  • Accredited member of the EMDR Association, (UK, & Ireland, 2012)
  • Trained in Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing, (EMDR Europe/Ireland, 2011)
  • Registered with the United Kingdom Council for Psychotherapy (UKCP, 2009) (Hypno/Psychotherapy Section)
  • Audited and audit approved by the UKCP (April 2010)
  • Advanced Diploma in Hypno/Psychotherapy, (ADHP) awarded by the National Council for Hypnosis & Psychotherapy (NCHP, 2009) completing with distinction a Dissertation on Pain Management using Hypnosis, leading to UKCP Registration
  • onlinecounsellors.co.uk (online counselling training), (2006)
  • Post Graduate Diploma in Hypno/ Psychotherapy, Centra Training (2004)
  • Certificate in Basic Sexual and Relationship Therapy, UCLAN (2004)
  • Relate Certificate in Marital and Couple Counselling Theory and Practice, RELATE  (2003)
  • Cruse Bereavement Care Accredited Counsellor (Chorley & S. Ribble) (2003)
  • Cruse Bereavement Care Supervisor (Chorley & S. Ribble) (2002)
  • Diploma in Casework Supervision, PCCS awarded by ABC (2002)
  • Post Graduate Diploma in Psychological Studies, UCLAN, (Degree in Psychology) Preston (2001)
  • Advanced Diploma in Person Centred Counselling, Wigan & Leigh College, Centra (1999)

  • Post Graduate Certificate in Professional Studies in Education, Open University, (2004)
  • Masters Degree in Education, Open University, (1996)
  • Bachelor of Arts in Business Studies, UCLAN, Preston (1990)
  • Certificate in Education (FE, Business Studies) Bolton University (1988)
  • HNC Business Studies Bolton University, (1986)
  • BTEC National Diploma in Business Studies Bolton College (1984)

I take my continuous professional development seriously and attend many seminars, workshops and conferences throughout the year many of which with world renowned trauma specialist, including Bruce Perry, Bessell Van Der Kolk, Janine Fischer, Peter Levine and many more to keep my knowledge and practice updated. I can send you a list of what I have attended if you would like me to forward that information onto you.

Member organisations

Registered / Accredited

Registered / Accredited

Being registered/accredited with a professional body means an individual must have achieved a substantial level of training and experience approved by their member organisation.

EMDR Association UK (EMDR UK)


UK Council for Psychotherapy (UKCP)

The UK Council for Psychotherapy (UKCP) is a leading professional body for the education, training and regulation of psychotherapists and psychotherapeutic counsellors. Its register is accredited by the government's Professional Standards Authority.

As part of its commitment to protect the public, it works to improve access to psychotherapy, to support and disseminate research, to improve standards and to respond effectively to complaints against its members.

UKCP standards cover the range of different psychotherapies. Registration is obtained by training or accrediting with one of its member organisations, or by holding a European Certificate in Psychotherapy. Accredited by the Professional Standards Authority.

Accredited register membership

UK Council for Psychotherapy
Accredited Register Scheme

The Accredited Register Scheme was set up in 2013 by the Department of Health (DoH) as a way to recognise organisations that hold voluntary registers which meet certain standards. These standards are set by the Professional Standards Authority (PSA).

This therapist has indicated that they belong to an Accredited Register.

UK Council for Psychotherapy

Other areas of counselling I deal with

    Self harm/injury
    Ageing and mid-life crisis and life transitions.
    Separation/Divorce and impact on family system
    Work/Home life balance
    Family conflict
    Self-image/identity issues
    Confusion around sexual orientation
    Raising low mood.
    Domestic Abuse
    Redundancy issues
    Counselling for the elderly.

  • Performance anxiety
  • Presentation anxiety
  • IBS
  • Weight loss
  • Pain management
  • Confidence building
  • Smoking Cessation
  • Fears and phobias


loss of a loved one
injury of a loved one
car accident
work accident
natural disaster
witness to violence
childhood abuse
victims of violent crimes
performance anxiety
stage fright
anxiety or panic
childhood trauma
physical abuse
sexual abuse
post traumatic stress
bad temper
overwhelming fears
panic attacks
low self-esteem
relationship problems
brooding or worrying
trouble sleeping


£90.00 - £110.00

Health Insurance/EAP

  • BUPA
  • WPA
  • Aviva
  • Health Assured

Additional information


Cancellation policy is an important model that sets clear boundaries that create safety within a therapeutic relationship. Implementing a late cancellation or no show fee is an important point of the broader scope of the therapeutic work. Therapy seems to be most most helpful to those who see their appointments as a valuable and important component of their lives and recognise that the cancellation or non attendance of an allocated session can impact on the therapeutic process. Other than in absolute emergency situations I kindly ask that you respectfully provide up to 48 hours notice if you need to cancel to allow me time to reschedule your allocated time to another client who may be in need of that time. As such, cancellations or non attendance of a booked appointment with less then 48 hours notice, even if rescheduled, will incur the full cost of the session.


I comply to the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR, 2018).

This requires that any data held electronically or handwritten relating to my clients is stored safely and securely. These records are usually kept for seven years.

The steps I use to securely store or transmit data include protection and encryption, setting up firewalls, installing anti-virus software, shredding personal documents and deleting electronic information, such as phone numbers and email addresses that are no longer required, securing business premises and using securely locked storage system for paper records.

Payment can be made via:-

  • Bank transfer or payment via bank transfer or Paypal to be made 48 hours prior to the initial appointment and up to 48 hours in advance for all subsequent appointments. This is in line with the 48 hours prior notice cancellation policy.

When I work

Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat Sun

I work online and via telephone. My working hours are Mon-Thurs 8 am - 5.30 pm with the last appointment starting 4.30 pm.  All appointments need to be prepaid and made in advance. 

Further information

  • Many insurance providers that cover standard counselling & psychotherapy, also cover EMDR services. Please contact your insurance company to ascertain if I am a provider on their list and then kindly let me know in advance before if you are wishing to use an insurance provider so we can we both agree to go ahead and book an session on that basis.
  • I have a full Enhanced DBS Certificate issued 18th May 2023

Karen Hodgson is also registered with Hypnotherapy Directory.

Chorley, Lancashire, PR7

Penrith, Cumbria, CA10

Type of session


Types of client

Adults (25-64)
Employee Assistance Programme

Key details

DBS check

In England and Wales, the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS, formerly known as CRB) carry out criminal records checks for individuals working with vulnerable groups, such as children. To find out more, visit gov.uk , or contact this professional directly




I offer EMDR supervision and supervision.

View supervision profile


Karen Hodgson
Karen Hodgson