Alison Palmer Counselling (Dip Couns MBACP)
How counselling can help
Life can be bumpy at times. Often we manage to negotiate the bumps alone. Or we talk to family or friends. But occasionally, for whatever reason, those bumps seem bigger, too difficult, stressful or even frightening to negotiate. Reaching out to loved ones may feel too hard.
We find ourselves needing the support of someone separate, someone we can be really honest with, confide in without feeling judged.
That's when seeing a counsellor can be really helpful.
I'm a qualified integrative therapist (Dip Couns, MBACP ) and work in both the private and charity sector with adolescents (16+) and adults. I offer a totally confidential space in which to talk, be heard, understood and in which you can explore what's troubling you, at your own pace.
I'm aware counselling can feel nerve-wracking or you may be shy. My role is to allay those fears and form a relationship with you built on trust. I'm warm, empathic and calm with a wealth of life experience. I will support and work with you to make sense of your feelings and reactions to situations; help you untangle, piece together and reconfigure things that feel tough so they're more manageable now and in the future.
What I can help you with
Perhaps you're feeling depressed, anxious, stressed, angry, isolated or invisible. These are all common reasons people seek counselling. Therapy can also help with relationship problems or family difficulties, grief and loss, problems at work/school/college/uni, difficult feelings about your body or self esteem issues. I also have experience in fertility and pregnancy problems, abuse, PTSD, trauma, sex and identity issues. Or it might be there is no big crisis in your life; you just feel now's the time to sort out a situation you've long felt stuck in. Or you want to change old thought or behaviour patterns you know are unhelpful.
(For a full list of the areas in which I work, see the bottom of this page)
How I work
I work from a quiet, comfortable, light-filled room in a peaceful, rural location overlooking fields. The room is wheelchair-friendly. There's access to a bathroom and plenty of off-road parking in a large private driveway. I work within COVID guidelines and am enhanced DBS checked.
Alternatively, in these challenging times or because it may simply be easier for you, I work online or over the telephone (and have had extensive additional training working in both mediums).
As my practice is located in the middle of open countryside, I also offer walking therapy. Strolling side-by-side and talking rather than sitting face-to-face can feel particularly helpful for those who find the thought of being in a room too intimidating. If you're interested in this then please contact me to find out more.
I work with clients both long and short term; the number of sessions will depend on you and your needs and I offer daytime and evening appointments.
Because I'm integratively trained I draw from the humanistic, person-centred, psychoanalytical, cognitive and transpersonal perspectives and approaches which means I tailor the work to each client's needs and circumstances rather than offering a 'one size fits all' approach.
What to expect from your first session
The first session lasts 1 hour 20 mins. The initial half-an-hour is free-of-charge and gives you time to tell me what you're looking for from counselling, to ask questions and for me to tell you a little about how I work. Our relationship is key to your counselling so this gives you chance to see if you feel comfortable with me and for me to tell you if I think I can help you. After that I will ask if you would like to continue. Should you decide to do so we go into the session proper, which lasts 50 minutes. This will be charged at the usual rate of £45. Subsequent sessions last 50 minutes.
I offer some low cost sessions.
Training, qualifications & experience
I am a fully qualified integrative counsellor (Level 4 Dip Couns CPCAB) having trained at the Mary Ward Centre in London and a registered member of the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (MBACP). I work in both the charity sector and private practice.
In addition to my counselling work I offer voluntary hours to a national listening service for people in crisis. I am also a writer. I have written extensively on men's and women's mental/emotion/physical health, pregnancy and childbirth, family dynamics, sex and relationships, sexuality and trauma. I have contributed to national newspapers and magazines, radio and various books.
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
Flexible hours including some evenings.