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About me

Counselling for parenthood.

For anyone navigating the path from conception to pregnancy, birth and beyond.

I currently offer sessions by phone and on Zoom. Face to Face appointments to resume when possible, as per Covid restrictions.

The decision to seek therapy signals a healthy prioritising of self care. You don’t need to wait for breaking point to reach out for support. You might be a new dad struggling with the change in relationship dynamics, or a mum-to-be anxious about what the actual birth will entail. When life feels overwhelming, talking to a professional can give you the space and support to face the challenges and feel heard and understood.

Our emotional wellbeing is particularly important, though often overlooked, as we transition to parenthood.

A few examples of what may bring you to therapy:

Anxiety about birth, attachment, birth trauma, body image, changes to personal identity, conception, co-parenting, entering pregnancy with pre-existing difficulties, exhaustion, fertility, IVF, isolation, parental alienation, post-natal depression, pregnancy loss and termination, processing your birth story, relationship dynamics, same sex parenting, separation and divorce, single parenting by choice, step parenting, stress, trans-generational trauma and much more.

My Approach:

My approach as a practitioner is flexible, collaborative and creative. My training allows me to blend elements of several approaches to therapy, including those that focus on modifying unhelpful thoughts and behaviours in the here and now, as well as seeking to understand the influence of our subconscious on relationships to self and others. You may have a specific goal for therapy in mind, or it might be that you need support during a time of change. You may also just feel you need a safe space to explore something that’s troubling you. I work within short term, long term and open ended time frames and we can discuss what feels the best way of working together during our first session.

By prioritising the development of a genuine therapeutic relationship, I hope to enable you to explore aspects of your life and experiences you may wish to understand better, or be able to move on from.

Training, qualifications & experience

I am a qualified integrative counsellor working in London and East Sussex. I began training and working in the field of mental health over 11 years ago, and I have provided therapeutic sessions to individuals and groups across several settings, including the NHS and in schools. My decision to focus on the parenthood journey stems from working with children and their families in early years settings, and recognising how integral the wellbeing of parents is to the experience of the family as a whole. I’m able to use my specific training and experience of therapy with both children and adults to specialise in supporting parents while holding the whole family unit in mind. I now work solely as a private practitioner.

I have presented my own research about therapy at conferences both in the UK and Europe. I am also trained as a Mental Health First Aider for both young people and adults.

I am fully insured, supervised and DBS checked. I am a registered member of the British Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP).

Qualifications:

  • BSc (Hons) Integrative Counselling - University of East London (UEL)
  • PG Cert Child and Adolescent Mental Health - University College London (UCL)
  • Mental Health First Aid for Adults - MHFA
  • Mental Health First Aid for Young People - MHFA

Attended workshops and conferences: Conference for Compassion and Empathy in Society, British Psychological Association (BPS) conference for Qualitative Methods in Psychology, Qualitative Research in Mental Health Conference, Dramatherapy, Gestalt Therapy, Roots of Empathy, Compassion Focused Therapy, Deep Listening, Attachment Theory, Working with Metaphor, Makaton, British Sign Language, Attention Autism, Intensive Interaction, Alternatives to Violence Facilitator training, Safeguarding Children and Vulnerable Adults, Perinatal Mental Health.

Member organisations

BACP

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.

Other areas of counselling I deal with

Anxiety about birth, attachment, birth trauma, body image, changes to personal identity, conception, co-parenting, entering pregnancy with pre-existing difficulties, exhaustion, fertility, IVF, isolation, parental alienation, post-natal depression, pregnancy loss and termination, processing your birth story, relationship dynamics, same sex parenting, separation and divorce, single parenting by choice, step parenting, stress, trans-generational trauma and much more.

Therapies offered

  • Existential therapy
  • Humanistic therapies
  • Integrative
  • Person-centred therapy

Fees

£50.00 per session
Free initial telephone or online session

Concessions offered for

  • Low income
  • Unemployed

Additional information

An initial chat is free of charge.

Thereafter 50 minutes sessions are £50. I offer a sliding scale for those with low incomes; please get in touch to discuss if this applies to you.

Availability

Please get in touch to discuss current availability.

Further information

FAQs

Q. How can therapy help me?
A. There is an extensive evidence base for the use of counselling as a means to overcoming emotional distress and improving wellbeing. A private, respectful and honest exploration of your experiences, worries, relationships, patterns and hopes can deepen self awareness and provide perspective. Therapy gives a moment to pause, reflect, express and examine what may be holding us back from being how we wish to be in the world.

Q. Are the sessions confidential?
A. Yes. The contract agreed upon at the beginning of therapy lays out the rare circumstances in which confidentiality would be suspended, namely where there is risk of harm to you or someone else. I will always endeavour to discuss this with a client beforehand.

As an integral part of being a responsible and reflective therapist, I discuss aspects of my practice with my supervisor. However I do not provide identifiable details when discussing my work.

Q. How many sessions will I need?
A. If you prefer, we can agree a number of sessions at the onset and work within that timeframe. Or you may prefer for the number of sessions remains open-ended. It’s also possible to have a number of sessions in mind and then review at a certain point, for example after 6-8 sessions. Ultimately the client decides how many sessions they feel is appropriate, but I find it works best for the decision to be collaborative.

Q. What happens in the initial chat?
A. We will agree a suitable time for us to have a phone discussion and I will ask you to give me a brief idea of what’s brought you to counselling at this time. There’s no pressure to go into detail and I won’t ask you lots of personal questions.

A phone call will give us both a sense of whether we can work with the other, and a first actual session will be arranged.

Q. What are therapy sessions like?
A. Until you’ve experienced being a client in a counselling session, it can be difficult to imagine. Generally speaking, we sit together and focus on what you choose to bring to the session that day. As the client, you will usually speak more than the therapist, though not always. There is no pressure or expectation to speak about certain subjects, or avoid others. The theoretical approach to therapy can dictate some of the features of a session, such as the use of questionnaires, role play, breathing practices or homework tasks. At the core of therapy is a trusting, genuine relationship existing within supportive boundaries.

Q. What if I cancel or miss a session?
A. When emergencies prevent you attending a scheduled session, I hope to be able to reschedule booked appointments where possible. In these circumstances, as much notice as possible is appreciated. Missed sessions or short notice cancellations (less than 24 hours) will normally be charged at the agreed fee.
In the unlikely event that I needed to cancel a session at short notice, you would of course not be charged.

Q. Can I arrange a session for someone else, either as a gift or to encourage them to get help?
A. Therapy is most effective when clients enter freely and willingly. It’s therefore important for anyone who I might work with to initiate contact themselves.
I can offer a ‘gift voucher’ if you would like to pay for someone to receive a session or block of sessions, which they can then contact me to arrange. Please get in touch for further details.

Q. Who oversees your practice?
A. I am a registered member of the British Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP). This means my training qualification was approved by the regulatory body, and I abide by their professional code of ethics. I attend regular supervision with an experienced supervisor, not only as a condition of my registration but to further develop my competence as a counsellor. I am registered with the Information Commissioner’s Office(ICO).

Q. What does ‘integrative’ therapy mean?
A. Simply put, an integrative therapist ‘integrates’ elements of different theories on the premise that different clients benefit from different approaches at different times. For me, this means using elements of Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT), Psychodynamic, Existential, Person-centred, Transpersonal and Solution focused therapies. For a more detailed description of this way of working, see the Counselling Directory page on Integrative Counselling.

London
SE19

Hastings
East Sussex
TN34

Type of session

Online
Phone

Types of client

Young people
Adults
Older adults

Key details

DBS checked

Online platforms

Whatsapp
Zoom

Social

Alice Watson MBACP | Perinatal and Parenthood Counselling

Alice Watson MBACP | Perinatal and Parenthood Counselling