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DipCoun MBACP RICKTAR - BACP Accredited Counsellor & Supervisor

About me

I am an experienced BACP Accredited Counsellor who has been practicing for 20 years.  In that time I have seen 100's of clients and had over 7000 counselling hours which evidences my experiences.

I have had many successes across a wide range of issues, am fully supervised and trained. Because I am passionate about counselling I attend training courses regularly to ensure that my knowledge is constantly updated. I have a dedicated counselling room which offers a private, safe and confidential environment. with excellent parking and disabled access.

Testimonials : "I have found a few weeks with you have benefited me more than a year with my other counsellor", "I would never have been able to handle life so well before I came to you", "You, Mrs Hallam are good for the soul, you allowed me to talk about my darkest fears and find - my own way like no other person I have ever known. I will be indebted to you forever" "you didn't know it at the time - but you saved my life!" "I have recommended friends and family" "I learnt to talk with your help" For more information and testimonials, please feel free to visit my website as above : www.shconfidentialcounselling.co.uk

14 years volunteering experience.  Counselling young people between the age of 14 and 25 with AICH and YMCA.  This, I believe, kept me grounded and ensured that my values and skills were maintained.  It also allows me to empower young people who have little or no control of their environment.  I now work with young people and their parents (together or separately) within my private practice and receive many referrals through my clients.

During my training I attended several experiential days and many weekends which gave me a huge self awareness and understanding of myself. This together with my training enabled me to become the successful counsellor I am today.

I embarked on a training course back in 2000 at a time in my life when I seemingly had everything but was deeply unhappy within.  I was ready to throw away everything which was good in my life. My training has enabled me to become aware of my own destructive behaviours and understand my own prejudices so that I do not stereotype people.  I believe each person is an individual and every situation is unique and different. My beliefs of counselling are to encourage the client to work out their own solution, responding and relating when appropriate, so the client can make their own decisions.  It enables each client to take responsibility for themselves rather than become dependent. I trust the client to know what is right for them, accepting where my clients are.  Let me empower you too.

I know how difficult it is to talk to anyone, let alone a stranger, and I understand the courage it takes to make changes to your life, but once you do, you will not look back.

I studied the Carl Rogers Person Centred Approach which encompasses the 3 Core Conditions of Congruence (genuineness, openness & honesty), Empathy (the ability to walk in someone elses world) and Unconditional Positive Regard (non judgemental and respecting feelings).

Part of the course criteria was to personally receive 40 hours of Person Centred Counselling, which I far exceeded. This counselling has enabled me to explore my own awareness in safety and I believe that this gives me the ability to stay with what my client brings and also an insight of what environment to offer; allowing me to tap into my own resources.


* Group Facilitator with Graham Falconer (12 Week Course) April 2003
* Regular Group Facilitation (between 12 to 30 participants) at experiential weekends
* Tutoring at St Ivo community Education Introduction to Counselling NVQ Level 2
* Counselling with AICH (Advice, Information & Counselling in Huntingdon) and YMCA - Counselling young people between the ages of 14-24
* Attendance at numerous experiential workshops in addition to those course requirements, which included 12 residential weekend experiential and in excess of 35 weekend experiential
* First contact listening and support service for Huntingdonshire District Council employees
* Private practice for 20 years+
* BACP Accredited
* Fully supervised

I continually receive training for a vast number of issues and this keeps me up-to-date with changes in the profession and enables me to grow.
RICTAR Practitioner
CRB/DBS Checked 
Over 7000 counselling contact hours which means lots of experience

Training, qualifications & experience

Post Graduate Level 6 Supervision course completed June 2013
Transgender
BACP Accredited UKRCP Registered
CAMH (Child & Adolescent Mental Health) 11 week foundation course
Level 6 Supervision Course
Relate Couple Couselling
Solution Focused 2012 - YMCA
BSL Sign Language (NVQ2) 2005 2006 Peterborough Adult College
British Sign Language (NVQ1) 2004 2005 Huntingdonshire Regional College
Communication Tactics 2004 Huntingdonshire Regional College
Diploma in Counselling 2001 2003 Linton College, Cambridge
Certificate in Counselling 2000 2001 St Ivo, St Ives, Huntingdon
Introduction to Counselling 2000 St Ivo, St Ives, Huntingdon

I am a RICKTAR Practicioner and also have a current CRB check.

First Aid Appointed Person.

Over the years I have attended many training courses (a list can be provided) to ensure that my knowledge and experience is challenged and developed and I am always willing to learn something new

Experience
Addiction, ADHD, Affairs & Betrayal, Aggressive Behaviour, Attention Seeking Behaviour, Alcohol Abuse, Bereavement, Bi Polar, Body Image, Bullying, Confusion, Controlling Behaviours, Couple Counselling, Cross-dressing, Debt, Depression, Domestic Violence, Drug Abuse, Eating Disorders, Empowerment, Family Breakdown, Family Therapy, Family Issues, Fear of Commitment, Gambling, HIV, Isolation, Mental Breakdown, Mental Illness, O C D, Panic Attacks, Paranoia, Phobias, Promiscuous Behaviour, Racism, Relationships, Religion, Risky Behaviour, Self Harm, Sex Abuse, Sexuality, Spirituality, STDs, Stress, Suicide, Transgender, Couple Counselling, workplace stress, controlling behaviour

Member organisations

BACP

British Association for Counselling & Psychotherapy (BACP)

BACP is one of the UK’s leading professional bodies for counselling and psychotherapy with around 60,000 members. The Association has several different categories of membership, including Student Member, Individual Member, Registered Member MBACP, Registered Accredited Member MBACP (Accred) and Senior Registered Accredited Member MBACP (Snr Acccred).

Registered and accredited members are listed on the BACP Register, which shows that they have demonstrated BACP’s recommended standards for training, proficiency and ethical practice. The BACP Register was the first register of psychological therapists to be accredited by the Professional Standards Authority (PSA).

Accredited and senior accredited membership are voluntary categories for members who choose to undertake a rigorous application and assessment process to demonstrate additional standards around practice, training and supervision.

Individual members will have completed an appropriate counselling or psychotherapy course and started to practise, but they won’t appear on the BACP Register until they've demonstrated that they meet the standards for registration. Student members are still in the process of completing their training.

All members are bound by the BACP Ethical Framework and a Professional Conduct Procedure.

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.

British Association for Counselling & Psychotherapy

Other areas of counselling I deal with

I offer Supervision and also would like to work with trainee counsellors who require therapy as part of their course requirements.

Couple Counselling All too often today couples feel that relationships are just too much hard work, but how would you feel if you could turn that around; after all you've already invested so much of yourself why throw that away? Counselling helps to understand the behaviour of your partner, husband or wife and find a way to work differently.  In my sessions you will learn to hear each other, respect each other, set boundaries, come to agreements and learn how to be intimate again. In some cases one or both of you might have decided to end the relationship and just need the safety of a mediator in order to have your feelings and opinions heard and find a way to work towards an amicable separation.

I have a vast amount of experience working with couples and I welcome working with you please contact me for a brief discussion on 07941961351

Mid-life Crisis is something which is real and affects many people (male & female).  I have helped many clients come to terms with the new chapter or should I say book, in their life.  Let me help you to understand and move past.

Menopause (when menstration stops forever) often referred to as "the change".  For most women it means much more than this. The psychological difficulties this causes are enormous.  I believe the hardest is for those women who are classed as too young to be experiencing the menopause  This is actually called the Peri-menapause (when estrogen levels start to drop).  My experience of this is that it is often the denial of these symptoms which is the most detrimental.  Studies show that often women are in denial of of the onset of menopause.  I help women to come to terms and embrace the new phase of their lives, just as we did when we were teenagers, many of us struggled with the change form child to young adult.

Photos & videos

Fees

Additional information

Please contact in to discuss
Individuals
 
Couples
Families - home visits available
Evening Sessions available - price on enquiry dependant on times
Supervision

When I work

8:00am - 5.30pm (some evening sessions available)

Further information

I have foundation training with CAMH and frequently receive private referrals from schools, clients, GPs

I have experience with telephone counselling and Skype - this is beneficial for clients who have contstraints such as time, travel, location.  Although my preference is always to offer face to face counselling as I see more benefits for the client when they experience the healing which takes place on a one to one basis I know that some remote counselling has a place and is certainly beneficial.

COUNSELLING CONTRACT -Sylvia Hallam MBACP-Sylvia Hallam Confidential Counselling BACP Accredited Counsellor and Qualified Supervisor

BACP Ethical Framework - I am an accredited member of the British Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy, work within the BACP’s Ethical Framework for Good Practice in Counselling and Psychotherapy and am subject to its complaints procedure.  A copy of the ethical framework can be found on the BACP’s website.

Client / counsellor relationship - ​The counselling relationship will remain a professional relationship.  In accordance with BACP guidelines, I will honour the trust placed in me by the client, will respect the client’s right to be self-governing, will commit to promoting the client’s well-being, and avoiding harm to the client, and will strive to treat all clients with respect, fairly and impartially. I offer counselling of a Person-Centred nature. This means you are empowered to discover solutions to issues in a supportive environment.  To maintain safe, professional boundaries.  To regard all contact and information as confidential unless there is reasonable doubt concerning actual safety of the client or others. To encourage client autonomy.  To review therapeutic work and relationship regularly.  

Counselling Aims - ​The aim of counselling is to provide you with a safe and confidential space to explore any issues and find clarity.  My role as counsellor is to help you through this process without judgement or criticism.  Helping you to make your own decisions.  I may on occasion signpost and provide information when appropriate.  

Counselling Process: what to be prepared for - While the aim of counselling is to work with you through the difficulty, and to help you to develop new ways of coping, some people find that they feel worse for a short time before they start to feel better. This is because of the conversations about issues which may not have been talked about before and realising feelings which have not been felt or acknowledge before. In these circumstances it is best to discuss the difficulties, rather than abruptly end counselling, to have the opportunity to discuss the decision and to complete the process adequately. If you feel as though you do not want to go to counselling one week it is important to attend that session to tell your counsellor how you were feeling about attending - this can often be a very important time and issues can surface from this discussion.

The client is always in charge of the decision to continue or to stop counselling and will not be under any pressure to continue at any point.

Session Times - ​Sessions will last between 50 and 60 mins, and are available on weekdays during working hours (8:00am - 5:00pm Monday – Thursday)

Please arrive promptly for your appointment as if you are late, it will eat into your session time.  Should you arrive early park on the main street and text to see if we can start and finish earlier.  I commit to be available at the agreed time and to start and end on time

Fees and cancellations - ​Fees will be agreed prior to the initial session, you will be required to pay 1 session in advance (this may be paid half now and half at the first session; by paying two sessions fees at the first appointment; or dividing the in-hand session fee over the first two sessions. This advanced payment will be used as payment for your final session.  All fees are payable at the beginning of each session, in cash; or by bank transfer which must be received a minimum of 3 days prior to sessions.  Cancellations/re-scheduling with less than 3 working days’ notice will incur the full charge for the session.  This cancellation policy it is in place to help support you when there is a resistance to therapy and to be respectful to the needs of other clients.   Fees are reviewed annually.  

Confidentiality - The content of our sessions is confidential although on occasion I will need to discuss our work within professional supervision. This is standard practice and helps me to work as well as I can with you. In this process your identity is not revealed.
All counselling has Confidentiality Limitations.   In exceptional circumstances, where I am concerned for your wellbeing, or that of others, I may find it necessary to seek help outside the counselling relationship; I always try to do this in collaboration with clients.  These are some examples where this may occur -   Harm to Self or Others, Child Protection Issues, Terrorism, Human or Drug Trafficking.

In the case of a disclosure concerning acts of terrorism, or the disclosure of incidents within the remit of the Children Law, confidentiality will be broken, and such disclosures will be passed to the relevant authority without delay.

Supervision and Continuing Professional Development - ​It is a requirement for all members of the British Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy to be in professional, monthly supervision, and to undertake on-going training and self-development. As a qualified and accredited member of the BACP, I take this commitment seriously and attend supervision at least monthly and commit to a minimum of 30 hours' continuing professional development each year.  supervision monitors my practice; at no time will your name or any identifiable information be mentioned, and my supervisor is also committed to our contracted confidentiality.

Forms of Counselling - I offer face to face sessions (following covid safety guidelines which you will receive via email prior to attending).

Video sessions – this can be via various media such as WhatsApp, FaceTime, Zoom, Messenger, Microsoft Teams.   You will need to take responsibility for your safety and confidentiality.  I would strongly suggest you find a quiet space, have a set of earphones, or a headset and ensure you cannot be overheard.  I DO NOT give permission for recordings of any kind.  

Telephone – I would strongly suggest you find a quiet space, have a set of earphones, or a headset and ensure you cannot be overheard. Also ensure you are away from distractions.  I DO NOT give permission for recordings of any kind.  

Contract length - ​The counselling contract is mutually agreed (except when using an insurance company or using an EAP service) It is helpful to attend regularly, and to keep absences to a minimum, as too many gaps may slow down the progress of your counselling.  Intervals between sessions may lengthen as the counselling progresses, but this will be by agreement between client and counsellor.

End of the contract - ​You will probably know when you are ready to finish counselling, and we will agree together on the work we need to do to prepare for this; this will include an appraisal of future challenges and planning alternative strategies to manage these. 

BUPA Insurance cover - ​I will invoice BUPA directly, however, BUPA will not pay for any late cancellation/rescheduling/missed/DNA appointments and therefore the client will be expected to pay for these at the rate I am able to invoice.  The number of sessions allocated will be dictated by BUPA and we will work within their allocated sessions.  These will be on a weekly basis, and we will be working on endings in the last 3 or 4 sessions.  If you would like to continue with sessions on a private basis at the end of your allocation, then my current fee structure will apply.

Record Keeping - It is a requirement that some information is taken (name and contact details and a brief medical history, Date of Birth.  This is necessary for us to get an understanding of needs and risk.  After each session I make some brief notes as an ‘aid memoir’.  These records will be stored and locked away in a paper form for 7 years after the end of therapy, in line with the terms of my insurance.  After which time they will be securely disposed of.  Should a client return in the future (after a period of one year or more) this information will be gathered again as situations can often change.

Feedback - Feedback is always welcome and is invaluable in guiding development and improvement of the counselling I offer.

Communicating with the therapist outside agreed counselling sessions to be limited to making, changing or cancelling an appointment unless by prior arrangement. • To be respectful to the counsellor and her property • To agree to give permission to contact GP if the therapist has serious concerns about risk to self (client) or others • To discuss with the therapist when you feel you are ready to end therapy • To let the therapist know if you are in or are considering entering another therapeutic relationship

This information can be found on my "Counselling Directory / Further Information" for future reference.

Sylvia Hallam MBACP

Sylvia Hallam Confidential Counselling 

BACP Accredited Counsellor and Qualified Supervisor

Client Name ……………………………………………………  Signed Client………………………………………….. Date……………………………

3 School Lane, Hartford, Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire, PE29 1XX

Type of session

In person
Online
Phone

Types of client

Children
Young people
Adults
Older adults
Couples
Families
Groups
Organisations
Employee Assistance Programme

Key details

Wheelchair user access

Wheelchair user access

Wheelchair-accessible premises should have step-free access for wheelchair users and individuals who are unable to climb stairs. If a Counsellor's premises aren't step-free, they may offer alternative services such as telephone/web-based appointments, home visits, or meeting clients in different location, so you can choose the option that suits you best.

You can contact the Counsellor to discuss the options available.

Under the Equality Act 2010 service providers have a duty to make reasonable adjustments to ensure that individuals with disabilities can access their service. You can read more about reasonable adjustments to help you to access services on the CAB website.

Coronavirus - Please note following Government Safety Guidelines I will be working using Socially Distancing but also offering virtual sessions via Zoom/Facetime/Skype.

Supervision

In person

I have been counselling for approximately18 years now and I have a vast amount of experience over a wide range of issues.

View supervision profile