Hi, my name is Alison and I am a fully qualified Relate trained counsellor working in the Maidstone area, with over 11 year's experience counselling individuals, couples, families and children over the age of 11 years. I also work in local schools and colleges to provide counselling support to teenagers and for the last 7 years I have worked with young people and adults with autism and aspergers.
I offer counselling sessions in my counselling room separate to my house and I also offer online counselling sessions via zoom, skype or telephone. I am pleased to confirm that remote sessions have worked very successfully for lots of clients over the last few weeks and can offer some valuable support during these very anxious times.
How Counselling can Help:
Counselling can make such a difference to people's lives. It is a safe place to talk, where people can come and feel supported and listened to at a time in their lives when they need it most. But it is more than that, it also offers an opportunity to raise self-awareness and understand our own feelings and emotions which can, in turn improve our resilience and ability to cope.
"Happiness is not the absence of problems. It is the ability to deal with them".
I use an integrative approach to provide support, empathy and practical interventions to try to promote positive change. However, the most important aspect of successful counselling I believe, is that you feel understood and supported and develop a strong and trusting therapeutic relationship with your counsellor as this will provide the foundation for a positive counselling experience and help build self confidence and belief that you can go forward to live the life you want.
"Life doesn't get easier - you just get stronger!"
I work with individuals to provide support and understanding around issues such as anxiety, anger management and anger issues, depression, grief, feeling sad, generalised anxiety disorder, low self esteem and lack of confidence, dealing with difficult feelings and emotional regulation and panic attacks and also to explore and understand how we connect with others and manage relationships, past and present. Perhaps also most importantly to help increase self awareness and understanding of the relationship we have with ourself which influences all areas of our lives, both practically and emotionally.
Relationship and Couple Counselling:
I am a member of the (BACP) British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy and my initial training was with Relate therefore, I have extensive experience working with couples on all aspects of relational difficulties, such as communication, managing difficult feelings and emotions, understanding buried resentments which can cause coldness and conflict; the impact on relationships of affairs and also the stresses of managing significant life stages such as the birth of a baby, managing mid life or retirement, in fact all areas which can cause distress and disappointment in life.
Counselling Children over age 11 and Teenagers:
I have worked for many years counselling children and teenagers and I try to use a strength based approach to increase self esteem by trying to highlight and explore their individual strengths rather than focusing solely on problems and weaknesses. I currently work in a local secondary school where I encourage children to find a way to talk about the difficulties they may be encountering. These might include anxiety, bullying, self harm, family issues, depression, sleeplessness or often extremely challenging behaviour or emotional outbursts, at school and at home which can be difficult for everyone to understand or deal with. Practically, we try to understand and process difficult emotions and then work on finding coping strategies which will enhance emotional regulation and help improve their self esteem, confidence and resilience and ability to cope with the demands of day to day life which can often include complicated family situations and pressures of school and adolescent life.
I have also worked at a pupil referral and student support unit counselling teenagers at high risk of permanent exclusion often due to their extreme and challenging behaviour and emotional difficulties.
Counselling Individuals and Children with Autism and Aspergers:
I have worked for over 7 years counselling children over the age of 11 with Autism and Aspergers at a specialist school, to help them understand their emotions and find a way to talk about their anxieties and the difficulties they may be experiencing with peer relationships, family communications or often their self esteem. I have also been a Specialist Mental Health Mentor supporting young people with Aspergers at local colleges and in further education and I also work with adults with aspergers and ASD.
Whether it is with children or families, couples or individuals, the basis of my approach is that we can explore together the difficulties you may be facing at this time. This can include relationship breakdowns or separation, rows and conflict, affairs or bereavement and grief, family stress, and often perhaps unresolved issues from the past. Life must be lived forwards - but often it can only be understood backwards.
The effects of these problems can lead people to feel unwell or overwhelmed or perhaps unable to engage with others or cope with day to day life and can lead to strong feelings of disappointment and sadness with yourself and others. Sometimes resulting in depression or extreme tiredness or feel unbalanced or demotivated.
Any of these issues can affect your day to day ability to live the life you want. We can explore these issues and help raise your understanding of what has happened and support your ability to move forward with improved emotional well being and resilience.
Practically, we can also work on ways to manage stress and develop stronger emotional management strategies. This may help you to take charge of your life and begin to care for yourself physically and emotionally so that you are able to move forward to a future that is more full of hope and meaning and one where you can engage with others and enjoy life. I believe that often the key to happiness is when you wake up wanting to embrace your future rather than trying to avoid your past.
Training, qualifications & experience
- Member of the BACP
- PGDip in Relationship and Family Therapy (Level 7) (Relate Institute - University of Hull)
- University Advanced Diploma in Couple Counselling (Level 6) (Relate Institute – University of Hull)
- MHFA (Mental Health First Aid) - MHFA Standard course - MIND
- Success with People with Autistic Spectrum Disorder, Concept Training
- Certificate in Counselling Skills (CPCAB)
- Certificates in Young People Counselling (Youth Access)
- Reaching out to Highly Defended Children - Centre for Chil Mental Health, Islington
- Out of Control Children and Teenagers - Centre for Child Mental Health, Islington
- Qualification as a Relate Counsellor (Relate Institute)
Mindfulness CPD Training Course – Affordable Counselling Group ACG
Enhanced DBS Certificate
I adhere to the BACP code of Ethics and as a member of the BACP my work is regularly supervised and I undertake continuous professional training and development. My work is fully insured and I comply with current data protection legislation and the security and confidentiality of client information is extremely important.
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
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.
Areas of counselling I deal with
Other areas of counselling I deal with
Experience supporting young people over the age of 11 and adults with ASC or Aspergers.
Initially, I offer a free brief telephone consultation to help you to decide whether counselling is the right form of support for you or a family member. Please feel free to contact me via email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or on telephone number 07738 545307 and we can discuss your reasons for considering counselling which will help us determine whether I am the best counsellor to support and work with you.
We can then arrange a convenient time for an initial 60 minute consultation which will enable us to discuss what you hope to gain from counselling and address any questions or concerns you may have.
Following this initial consultation, you can decide whether you wish to proceed with additional sessions and we can then arrange a regular appointment time for either short or long term work.
I offer flexible day time and evening appointments. Sessions will be for 60 minutes every week or fortnight (unless agreed otherwise). I can offer face to face sessions or if you prefer we can do an online counselling session via Skype,r Zoom or on the telephone. The fee for your session will be:
£45 per session for children 11 to 18 years or individuals
£55 per couple session or family session
*some concessions available for students and children.
Concessions offered for
I work in an easily accessible private practice in the Maidstone area which enables me to be flexible about appointments and provide a confidential and comfortable space for clients which is in a separate building to my house.