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Rachel McGovern MA, BSc (Hons), MBACP (Accred), UKRCP, STR Sandplay Therapist

About me

As a fully qualified, registered, and experienced BACP Accredited counsellor, my aim is to make clients welcome and at ease in a comfortable, inviting room in Central Darlington-where I endeavour to offer a genuine, non-judgemental experience. I recall going to counselling myself, remembering what a scary yet brave step that was. It was inspiring and beneficial enough to make me become a counsellor myself so that says something! It wasn't always easy; some days I would wonder what to talk about, others I would never shut up. That's just how it goes, and that is fine. There is no "right way" to be in counselling, just "be". As a working mum, I can relate to the ups and downs of family life, and have dealt with a number of significant traumas and bereavements through my lifetime. This doesn't mean I know exactly how things are for YOU, but does mean I know the benefit of a non-judgemental ear.

I offer appropriate Counselling/Psychotherapy depending on my client's needs, working at relational depth. This might be just one or two sessions, or sometimes we enter into a longer term therapeutic relationship...everyone is unique and precious, and we work in whatever way is most advantageous for the client.

My main aim is to create as safe a place as possible for you to explore whatever is going on for you. No problem is too big or too small, and you can be assured that we would work to give you the best experience. And if we are not-you can tell me! I firmly believe my clients hold the answers within themselves. I can walk alongside and share in the laughter and the tears-both are fine.  Yes-therapy can be hilarious as well as hard work.

With over 20 years experience I endeavour to offer an ethically bound service. Being Accredited means I have met the exacting requirements for BACP which is our major UK professional body. I have monthly supervision to ensure I am always working at my best for the clients in my care. I am committed to always inform and improve my practice, and hold Professional Insurance.

I am also a Registered Sandplay Therapist (STR), indicating that after years of study and experiential work I have met the exacting standards of the Association Sandplay Therapists. I offer Sandplay and my extensive collection of miniatures for clients to create their own "Stories in the Sand". This might be a "one off", or as part of therapy-the choice is always yours.  You might be surprised at its' simplicity and potency. I work in whatever way is appropriate for my clients, and am open to the use of other creative methods, paint, crayons, clay, toys, stones etc.

Mindfulness is very popular these days, and I have studied for a Professional Training in the Therapeutic use of Mindfulness with British Mindfulness Institute, as well as studying The Mindful Therapy Programme with Graeme Armstrong.

Alongside a busy private practice I work for a number of EAP's and am an Approved Counsellor/Supervisor for students at Teesside University working towards qualifications in Counselling Psychology etc.  Until recently I worked as a Counsellor at Durham University.  Part of my current work is also in the Diocese of Durham, working with clergy and their families, as well as lay people. 

As well as being a Trustee of Bridge Pastoral Foundation (Clinical Theology Association), I am also an Authorised Tutor, delivering their Modular Pastoral Care and Counselling course. At conferences, I co-faciliate small psychotherapeutic groups. This work is underpinned by a training in Psychoanalytic Group Work with Institute of Group Analysis.

I am happy to answer e-mails and supply a CV if you require any more information.

Training, qualifications & experience

MA Counselling (Leeds University)- Distinction and Postgraduate Prize
Training with PODS; (Positive Outcomes for Dissociative Survivors); "Trauma, Dissociation and the Body", "Working with Relational Trauma".
I regularly attend Conferences and training conferences run by Bridge Pastoral Foundation.
Professional Training in Therapeutic Use of Mindfulness
Mindful Therapy Programme with Graeme Armstrong at Jesmond Therapy Centre.
Foundation training- Institute of Group Analysis
Qualified Supervisor
Intermediate and Foundation Certificates Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (Teesside University)
Accredited Cruse Bereavement Counsellor-Adults and children
Training Modules with Bridge Pastoral Foundation
Diploma Counselling
Further Education Teaching NCFE 7407.
BSc (Hons) Botany Manchester University

Registered Sandplay Therapist-Association of Sandplay Therapists.
I have many years experience, working with clients of all ages in diverse areas; Universities, Schools, Private Practice, EAP's, Organisations, and in Diocesan/Pastoral settings.
Part of my work is to provide counselling and supervision to students training to be Counsellors/Counselling Psychologists at Teesside University, and I provide the same to many other trainees.

I have seen clients of all ages presenting with diverse issues including anxiety, depression, loss of all kinds, work and home stress, abuse-all kinds of issues.
As I trained with Cruse, I provide bereavement counselling for children and adults. 
As an Authorised tutor with Bridge Pastoral Foundation I am authorised to deliver training in Pastoral Care,and I also co-facilitate Psychotherapeutic groups with the same organisation.

My core counselling training is Person Centred, but I have also enriched my work with considerable additional training including;Group Analysis, CBT, Psychodynamic, Solution Focused Brief Therapy, Human Relations, Pastoral Care and Pastoral Counselling, Bereavement and Loss, Working with Children and Young People.
I worked for some time as a Counsellor, Supervisor and Trainer with Cruse Bereavement Care where I was also a Young People's/ Children's Counsellor and set up a play therapy room.

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.


British Association for Counselling & Psychotherapy

BACP is one of the UK’s largest professional bodies for counselling and psychotherapy. Therapists registered with the Association fall into a number of different membership categories such as Individual Member, Registered Member MBACP and Registered Member MBACP (Accred), each standing for different levels of training and experience. MBACP (Accred) and MBACP (Snr Accred) members have achieved a substantial level of training and experience approved by the Association.

Registered members can be found on the BACP Register, which was the first register to achieve Accredited Voluntary Register status issued by the Professional Standards Authority. Individual Members will have completed an appropriate counselling and/or psychotherapy course and started to practise, but will not appear on the BACP Register until they've progressed to Registered Member MBACP status.

All members are bound by a Code of Ethics & Practice and a Complaints Procedure. Accredited by the Professional Standards Authority.

Accredited register membership

British Association for Counselling & 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.


Additional information

A counselling session of around 50 minutes is £45 per hour

Supervision for qualified Counsellors is £50 an hour or £75 for the required 1 1/2 hours per month.

Students pay £30 an hour for personal therapy, and £35 for an hour's supervision and £50 for an hour and a half's Supervision.

Costs are under review, so please check.



Co Durham

Type of session

In person

Types of client

Young people
Older adults
Employee Assistance Programme


Online supervision
Telephone supervision

I hold a Certificate in Supervision (NCFE) and am happy to offer supervision to those in training or those who are already qualified.

View supervision profile

Rachel McGovern MA, BSc (Hons), MBACP (Accred), UKRCP, STR Sandplay Therapist

Rachel McGovern MA, BSc (Hons), MBACP (Accred), UKRCP, STR Sandplay Therapist