Alan Crawford. Registered MBACP | Person-Centred | Addiction | Walk & Talk
The Counselling Hub,
5 Haydock Street,
13 Hope Street (Stonewater Zen Centre)
Do you want to feel better and do better in your life?
More at ease and with a greater sense of freedom, meaning and purpose?
Overcome obstacles, habits and addictions so that you can live life more fully?
Life can be hard at times. Sometimes all of us can benefit from a caring and compassionate companion and guide to support us as we find our way through.
I can help you to understand, heal and grow… to be kinder to yourself, let go of old habits and become the best version of yourself.
I would love to hear from you if you are ready to take the first steps to positive change.
The fact that you are reading this suggests that you have already taken a significant and important step - acknowledging there is something in your life that doesn't feel quite right and that you are open to getting the right help to move forward.
I understand how difficult it may feel to consider exploring your feelings and experiences with a stranger. I assure you that if you choose to work with me, I'll walk your path with you with the greatest care, compassion, understanding and importantly, at your pace.
All of us want to be happy and as free as possible from emotional distress. We want to live a satisfying life that feels like it means something, a life that we enjoy. Yet sometimes all of us can find ourselves feeling lost, stuck, anxious or overwhelmed, flat, depressed or struggling to cope.... like you are trudging through mud or carrying a heavy weight around with you all of the time.
I can support you to find a way through and lighten the load.
These feelings can come up after you go through something difficult or a big change in your life, perhaps a relationship breakdown, losing your job or the death of someone close to you. You may even have been through something traumatic or be struggling with an addiction, eating disorder or be worried that you be suffering from depression or anxiety.
And sometimes there is nothing specific you can point to, just that persistent, nagging sense that something just isn't right... that there is something missing... you aren't happy.
The Counselling Process
There are times in most peoples lives when we could benefit from talking to someone. I offer you an opportunity to explore your concerns in an atmosphere of trust and support with a caring professional. This will enable you to find your own answers and way forward, at your own pace.
“The gentle and sensitive companionship of an empathic stance… provides illumination and healing” (Carl Rogers)
Together, we can take stock of where you are and bring greater clarity and kindness to your experiences. This allows us to reflect upon your situation, facilitating deeper insight into how you might choose to live with greater meaning, fulfilment and connection.
Counselling can help you to find the freedom and confidence to make empowered decisions and choices whilst at the same time facing the limits of our circumstances - you can come to accept the things that you cannot change, whilst finding the courage to take action to change the things that you can.
You can begin to let go of old habits (and addictions) - those deeply grooved patterns that keep you stuck and limit your experience of life. This allows you to move towards becoming more the person you wish to be - living the life you wish to live.
“The purpose of psychotherapy is to set people free” (Rollo May)
In short, working together, we can discover who you are and how you want to spend your time on this earth. Counselling can help you to feel better and live life in a more enriching way, with a greater sense of ease and appreciation.
I've been there too
Life can feel hard sometimes, and it can be a struggle to cope. The pressures on us can feel overwhelming and leave us feeling stuck. I know what that feels like. I've struggled with dark periods in my life, a lack of self-worth and wondering, 'what is the point?'
About a decade ago I began my own journey of personal healing that continues to unfold today. I have had the good fortune of working with some great therapists and teachers who have helped me to move through difficult periods of my life - to get to know myself better, let go of some harmful, self-destructive behaviours and find a greater sense of balance, satisfaction and meaning in my life.
My life is not perfect, and I still have my own challenges - this is part of being human. But I don't know where I would be without Counselling.
It gives me a great sense of satisfaction and gratitude to be able to help you to do the same thing, to walk alongside you as a compassionate companion and guide on your journey. That's why I became a Counsellor and Psychotherapist. My purpose is to support you in creating a life that feels fulfilling and authentic; to help you awaken to your potential so you can experience a life in which you feel good, connected and alive.
Why work with me?
I strive to offer you a powerful and potent experience of deepest respect, empathy and trust, to empower you to make the changes that you wish to make.
My clients, friends and colleagues tell me that I have a naturally calm, gentle, compassionate and 'in the moment' presence that helps them to feel safe, valued, cared for, heard and understood. I have been told that I have a way of getting to the heart of things.
I have a non-judgemental, understanding and down-to-earth approach which I believe is born of my own lived-experience of what it is like to go through dark and difficult times, as well as over 10 years professional experience working with individuals and groups in the criminal justice, addiction and mental health fields before moving into private practice.
With me, counselling is a natural conversation with a caring, understanding and encouraging person who can help you to process your feelings, get a fresh perspective on your situation and make the changes you wish to make in your life.
There are no props or flipcharts and I don't tell you how to think or what to do. We simply sit opposite each other in comfortable chairs with a hot drink and talk about whatever is going on for you. I believe deeply in the capacity of open, compassionate and contemplative conversation to heal and transform.
I'm flexible and open-minded in the way I work, thinking outside of the box (but within the guidelines)! Whilst the traditional therapy room remains the best choice for many, you might want to work with me outside whilst enjoying the natural environment in 'Walk & Talk' therapy. Or we have the option of working together via Skype or Email. Home Visits may also be available on request in certain circumstances.
I have a private, confidential and professional counselling practice based in St. Helens and also see clients from a space at Stonewater Zen Centre on Hope Street in Liverpool. I currently have no waiting list, you will be seen promptly, can have as many sessions as you need and can be re-assured that seeing me will not appear in your medical records.
I work with individuals, couples, families and groups and also offer training, workshops, intensives and retreats.
I remember how daunting it can be to take the first steps, to send that first email or pick up the phone. I want you to know that I get it, and will make every effort to make it as easy and stress-free as possible for you to get in touch.
I genuinely admire and respect anyone brave enough to start the inner work of counselling and psychotherapy.
You can contact me in complete confidence and ask me any questions via a free telephone consultation or you might prefer to exchange some emails with me to discuss your precise needs. If you would like any further information about the counselling process, something about myself and/or how I work and how I might be able to help you, please don't hesitate to ask. There really are no daft questions, I promise you! I welcome enquiries and, after chatting or exchanging emails, there is no obligation to book a session if you don't feel ready, or you don't think we are a good fit.
I respond to all enquiries promptly - If you send me an email, a text or leave me a voicemail I will usually get back to you within 24 hours, often much sooner.
"I saw Alan every week for 12 weeks, I would go to his little space in St. Helens and sit on the sofa in his nicely scented room and calming atmosphere! I found Alan to be warm and gentle and it didn't take long for me to be relaxed enough to open up and share my feelings...I was able to learn more about myself and connect the dots that I simply couldn't see on my own! He really helped me to find myself and I found a great comfort from him, as a result of our sessions I feel I found a way to express my sadness in a healthier way. I would say that if you are in need of being heard and wish to find a deeper understanding of yourself / or you simply need someone to hold you whilst you work through some of your emotional pain, go see Alan! You deserve to be heard and he is a wonderful listener. Thank you so much my friend, G!" (G, male)
"I wasn’t sure whether counselling would actually work for me... but I was conscious, that there were things I had buried and didn’t want to discuss. I knew at times I felt quite isolated and lonely and these were just odd days when I felt down...On our first meeting, he was very approachable and I found I felt relaxed almost immediately. I didn’t feel judged, and Alan put me at ease through his natural way and made no assumptions about me. Alan came across as very genuine and gradually throughout the sessions I felt as though I could trust Alan and be open and honest about my feelings, It felt comfortable to express my feelings in a safe place, and Alan seemed to accept me for who I was and allowed me the time and my own space to do this. I discovered myself through this talking therapy..." (J, female)
"Alan has helped me overcome a lot of issues I had in my life including addiction, alcohol, unhealthy relationships and problems within a pregnancy... I was unable to talk about anything. But talking with Alan and his very calm, gentle nature in his safe place, made everything seem more manageable and I could start to move forward. He has helped me become the strong woman I am today." (R, female)
"Before working with Alan my attitude to life was at an all-time low... communication with friends and family was basically nonexistent... My life had become unbearable. But since working with Alan my life has opened up and become so much brighter." (D, male)
I have benefited immensely from Counselling provided by Alan. I have Alan to thank more than anyone for helping me recover my life. Alan clearly has an unerring natural ability to understand a person's circumstances... The highest possible personal accolade or compliment I can pay Alan is that if I ever thought one of my three sons would benefit from professional counselling I can not imagine anyone I would feel more assured about providing this than Alan" (P, male)
I welcome people from all social identities, including all ethnicities, classes, sexual orientations, gender identities, ages, abilities and cultures. I am deeply committed to working in an inclusive, anti-discriminatory and non-oppressive way to create a safe space for whoever wishes to work with me.
I support a non-pathologizing person-centred approach to 'mental health' and emotional distress.
Training, qualifications & experience
- I am a qualified counsellor (Counselling & Psychotherapy Central Awarding Body 'Diploma in Therapeutic Counselling') with over 10 years’ experience of supporting people to make and sustain positive changes in their lives.
- I am insured and receive regular Clinical Supervision with an experienced Supervisor to ensure the quality and ethical standards of my practice.
- I have worked in the statutory and voluntary sectors as well as in private practice, qualifying first as a Probation Officer Dip.Prob, BA(hons) and then working in the addiction recovery field for 8 years. During this time I completed my counselling training at Cheshire Therapy Centre and began to work part-time in private practice, moving into full-time private practice in 2017.
- I am a Registered Member (certificate 340993) of the British Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy, the largest body that represents Counselling and Psychotherapy in the UK (www.bacp.co.uk). This means that my qualifications are professionally recognised and that I work within a strict code of ethics and framework of professional standards.
- My Registered Member status further means that I have met the standards for registration in terms of training, supervision, continuing professional development and a contractual commitment to the Ethical Framework.
- I enrich my therapeutic work through a committed daily meditation practice in the Zen tradition. I have a daily mindfulness / meditation practice, attending regular retreats and meditation groups to deepen and inspire my practice. My Zen training contributes to my own personal development and influences my way of being as well as my ability to offer a quality of compassionate presence whilst engaged in therapy.
I have considerable experience working with a wide range of emotional needs and issues and enjoy working with a diverse range of clients, both male and female, at all stages of life.
However, I have a special interest and some expertise in the following areas:
- Addiction recovery
- Existential & spiritual issues (such as the search for meaning, purpose and identity, exploring how best to live and die)
- Mindfulness-based, meditative and Buddhist-inspired psychotherapy (including counselling for Buddhist practitioners)
- Group Therapy / Process Groups / Encounter Groups
Areas of counselling I deal with
- Affairs and betrayals
- Anger management
- Attachment disorder
- Binge-eating disorder
- Bulimia nervosa
- Carer support
- Domestic violence
- Drug abuse
- Eating disorders
- Emotional abuse
- Family issues
- Feeling sad
- Generalised anxiety disorder
- Internet addiction
- Low self-confidence
- Low self-esteem
- Panic disorder
- Passive aggressive behaviour
- Physical abuse
Other areas of counselling I deal with
- 'Walk & Talk' / Eco-therapy / nature therapy (outdoors)
- Group Therapy, Process Groups and Encounter Groups
- Existential and Spiritual issues
- Parenthood / new parents / Gentle Parenting / Attachment Parenting
- Gender and sexual diversity, LGBTQ issues
- Race, racism and racial discrimination
- Buddhist inspired psychotherapy / Counselling for Buddhist practitioners
- Person Centred approaches to addiction recovery (including alternatives to the 12 Step approach)
- Mindfulness and secular meditation Groups
- Holistic Therapies, Relaxation methods and techniques
Walk and Talk
Many people find walking in a natural environment beneficial - it has a way of calming and bringing clarity. A walk in the park or woods has always been a mood changer for me. For some, walking through the park makes it much easier to talk freely and naturally about their thoughts and feelings than they would sitting in a traditional therapy environment.
In a 'Walk & Talk' session, we will walk together in a park, through the woods or by a river and explore your worries and concerns whilst enjoying the benefits of gentle exercise, fresh air and the natural environment.
Liverpool has many beautiful parks, with my personal favourite spots being the gardens at Calderstones Park or the 'Fairy Glen' area of Sefton Park, but we can meet at any mutually agreed natural space.
To the best of my knowledge and research at the time of writing, I am the only therapist offering Walk & Talk in the Merseyside region.
I have considerable experience in the addiction recovery field, having supported people to overcome their addictions for over ten years. I have a thorough knowledge and understanding of addiction and the process of recovery.
I believe that there are many paths to recovery. Addiction is complex, involving various factors. Just as there are many pathways into addiction, there are as many ways to healing and recovery.
Some may want to try to moderate their use of alcohol (for example), rather than embrace complete, life-long abstinence. Whilst others may know that total abstinence is the only realistic approach for themselves. Some may embrace the 12 step approach and AA/NA meetings, whilst others may seek an alternative.
As a person-centred therapist, I believe people have the right to find their own way and to genuine choices as they start their recovery journey.
12 Step or non-12 step, spiritual or secular, abstinence or moderation - whatever your chosen recovery path, I will work with you to help you build a strong, sustainable recovery.
If you don't live nearby but like the sound of how I work, I also offer online counselling via Skype or email.
Even if you do live locally, working together online can be a good option if, due to severe anxiety or disability you find it too difficult to attend my therapy space in St. Helens or Liverpool for face-to-face sessions.
Whilst there are some limits to online counselling, for some, it simply feels safer and more comfortable to engage in therapy from the comfort of their own home, as well as being a more cost-effective option for those on lower incomes.
Photos & videos
An initial telephone or Skype consultation (approx 15-20 minutes) is free of charge, as is an exchange of emails to explore your needs.
£40 for Counselling & Psychotherapy (face to face or Walk & Talk, 60 minutes)
£60 for Couples Counselling or Family Therapy (60 or 90 minutes)
£15 for Email counselling (per weekly email)
I hope that my fees are fair, competitive and affordable for most people, whilst being respectful to my own time, experience and training.
However, if you are struggling financially, you can inquire about potential concessions and low-cost psychotherapy. I believe that quality counselling and psychotherapy should be accessible to all that need it. It may be possible for you to have a concession if you are on a low income, currently out of work or a student, providing I currently have low fee spaces available at the time. Please discuss this with me when booking your appointment.
I practice Counselling from a Person-Centred perspective, underpinned by an interpersonal and existential frame of reference, and by the influence of my Zen Buddhist practice.
My Person-Centred foundation has imbued in me a deep respect and trust in the autonomy, uniqueness, and inner resources of each individual. This approach is at the heart of all I do. My aim is to help each person achieve his or her goals and to realise their full potential - to live and to become the person he or she wants to be.
I truly believe that we each possess within ourselves everything that we need to live full, fulfilling and satisfying lives... and that, beyond whatever difficulties we may be experiencing right now, there is an underlying state of wholeness (or health), that is potentially available to all of us.
I am often moved by the courage and resilience of the human spirit, and our ability to overcome adversity. I work from a perspective which recognises that everyone has the potential to heal, grow and flourish, given the right conditions for growth. I aim to offer you these conditions in our therapeutic relationship - non-judgemental, unconditional acceptance, compassionate caring, empathic understanding and genuineness. This relationship allows you the safe space for exploration and healing.
"It is the relationship that heals" (Irvin Yalom)
I hope to be able to meet you at relational depth, to form a meaningful connection with you that supports your growth and healing.
Sometimes we just need a gentle, caring companion and guide to help us to see our own potential and find our way.
Thank you for taking the time to read my profile. I hope you have found it helpful. If we don’t end up working together, I hope you find the therapist that is right for you and I wish you well.
"May you be happy,
may you be well,
may you be safe,
may you be free from suffering,
may you live with ease"
Maps & Directions
Type of session
|Face to face counselling:||Yes|
Currently: Monday (9am to 9pm), Wednesday (9am to 5pm), Thursday (9am to 5pm), Sunday (9am to 9pm). I have some current availability and no waiting list.
Types of client