Amanda Bouvier

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MBACP (Accredited), MA, BA Hons, Dip. Counselling
Available for new clients
Available for new clients

This professional is available for new clients.

Rickmansworth WD3 & London SW1X
Available for new clients
Available for new clients

This professional is available for new clients.

About me

MBACP (Accredited) Senior Adult & Child Counsellor & Psychotherapist. Specialities include: ADHD, autism & Companion Animal Bereavement

*In line with the current cost of living crisis, please let me know during our initial free telephone call if you require a reduction in my fees. Depending on my availability, I will do my best to accommodate you.

Types of Therapy Sessions Offered: Face-to-face, Zoom, telephone and live-chat (Text/WhatApp).

Hello, and a very warm welcome to my profile page!

My Ethos

Providing a warm, comfortable and emotionally safe environment is central to all of my therapeutic work, and I remain committed to offering a professional, ethical service to all of my valued clients.

About Me & why I became a Therapist

I am a fully qualified, BACP-accredited child and adult counsellor and psychotherapist, educated to Masters Degree level in the field of psychotherapy.

I have always appreciated the emotional benefit of verbalising our problems, and believe that our mental and physical health can suffer as a result of bottling up emotions. Having someone to talk to promotes better health and ultimately greater well-being. I decided to become a therapist partly because I enjoy being able to help people on their journey to better self-understanding, but also because I find working with people an interesting and rewarding experience.  What I enjoy most about my job is seeing the positive changes in clients that often arise after having tackled the more painful elements of personal issues brought to the therapy room. Whilst counselling and psychotherapy may not provide the magic cures or quick fixes that us humans often yearn for, what it does provide is a safe place for feelings to be expressed, and difficult past events to be explored. What this leads to is a greater understanding of the self and why we feel or react to situations or others the way we do, enabling us to make changes and feel more content with life. Whilst the role of the therapist is not to simply hand out advice to the client, what is offered is a process that assists clients in reaching their own decisions, thus providing them with useful emotional tools to help them with future difficulties or dilemmas.

About my Therapy Practice

My main practice is situated on a beautiful, peaceful road in Loudwater (Rickmansworth), surrounded by trees. I provide off-road parking for all of my clients. Water is provided, and there is access to a WC.  Both the therapy room and the WC are on the ground-floor.

I also see clients in Iver, where there is provision of water, WC facilities and free parking. The therapy room is located on the first floor (stairs/no elevator), and there is a WC on both the ground floor and first floor.

I offer one-to-one 50-minute therapy sessions.  For child clients, the duration of the session is set depending on the individual child.  This is because, whilst some children benefit well from the full 50 minutes, this amount of time can prove too long for others, particularly for very young clients or those on the autism spectrum, for example. I work within what feels the most comfortable and ethical time-frame for each client.

What is the Difference between Counselling and Psychotherapy?

The titles 'therapist' and 'counsellor' are often used interchangeably, but in simple terms, whilst psychotherapy is geared towards working at depth on a long-term basis exploring, for example, issues relating to traumatic childhood events that are affecting relationships in the now, counselling is suited to clients who are perhaps seeking shorter-term support to help them process a more existential issue, such as divorce, bereavement, or work-related stress.

During your first consultation, we can discuss which whether short or long-term therapy is right for you, depending on your individual circumstances.

More about ADHD and ASD

At my practice, I offer a pre-assessment appointment for people who suspect they might have ADHD or ASD.  This assessment takes between 60-90 minutes.

Although my findings at the end of the assessment would not provide the client with a formal diagnosis, as this requires intervention from a psychiatrist or clinical psychologist, the assessment that I offer is ideal for:-

- People who would like to have a professional opinion on whether or not their difficulties point towards ADHD or ASD, without necessarily wanting a formal diagnosis.

- People still deciding whether or not to go down the diagnostic route, who would like a professional opinion first before making the decision. (Please note that, only with a formal ADHD diagnosis would clients be able to access ADHD medication, and I am not qualified to formally diagnose nor prescribe medication).

- People who have been misdiagnosed in the past, and would like to have a professional report to take along with them to their GP, to strengthen their case and help them feel listened to when asking to be referred for a diagnostic ADHD or ASD assessment via the NHS. For clients seeking a private diagnostic ADHD or ASD assessment, the report could be presented to the organisation ahead of the appointment date, and could help avoid further misdiagnoses. Research shows that females in particular are often misdiagnosed with personality disorders, depression, anxiety or bipolar disorder when in fact they are presenting with symptoms of ADHD.

I have contacts for both private and NHS associations offering reliable diagnostic ADHD or ASD assessments, who I can recommend to clients interested in seeking a formal diagnosis. On the NHS, the patients' 'Right to Choose' scheme is designed so that patients can approach their GP to request a particular organisation to carry out their diagnostic ADHD assessment.

Please refer to the 'Fees & availability' section below for pricing details for my pre-assessment appointment.

Training, qualifications & experience

Specialities

On a more personal note, both ASD and ADHD run on both sides of my family. I have also been working with wonderful neurodivergent clients since 2010, ranging from primary-school aged children to older adults.  I have extensive knowledge of ASD and ADHD, and I pride myself on helping such clients to celebrate who they are, embrace the beautiful colours that make them their unique selves, and supporting them in finding ways to better cope with the daily challenges that life might present them with.

In addition to offering weekly 50-minute therapy sessions to people with ASD or/and ADHD, I also offer pre-diagnostic assessments to people who think they may have either or both of the above conditions, and would like to explore the possibility of this before potentially booking an appointment to receive an official diagnosis. The assessments that I offer typically last between 90 minutes and two hours. By the end of the assessment, clients have a very good idea of whether or not they have ASD or ADHD (or both) and are provided with a written report of my findings.  NB: The latter would not be an official diagnosis; however, my report would is able to facilitate clients' journeys to receiving a diagnosis, without which can sometimes prove to be a lengthy and difficult process, depending on the route taken.

My Qualifications

I am a BACP-accredited, Advanced DBS-checked, fully qualified integrative counsellor and psychotherapist. I also hold a BACP Certificate of Proficiency, and am a member of the BACP Register for counsellors and Psychotherapists.

I work in accordance with the BACP Ethical Framework, and have a CPCAB Diploma in Therapeutic Counselling. I also hold a Masters of Arts Degree (MA) in Psychoanalysis & Contemporary Society, a BA Honours Degree in modern languages, and Certificates in Counselling Theory and Counselling Skills.  I have also completed and passed exams/assessments for the following two Open University courses: 'Science of the Mind' (examining the roots of depression, anxiety and other mental health problems) and 'Challenging Ideas in Mental Health' (exploring mental health problems from the perspective of the client, and examining ways to challenge public stigma surrounding mental ill-health). 

I also hold a Certificate in Play Therapy for working with Child Clients.


My Training


I trained to become a counsellor with The Therapeutic Alliance Counselling Training (Harrow, Middlesex), which is run by two highly experienced senior practitioners.  The duration of my training was just over four years, and gave me a very thorough grounding in Integrative counselling.  One of my tutors had been working as a private psychotherapist for over 2 decades, and was also a qualified neurologist.  My other tutor was running her own counselling practice and also worked as a clinical supervisor.  The reason I chose to train Integratively was because of the scope that it gives both the counsellor and the client.  Each and every one of us is unique and no one suit can fit all; Integrative counsellor training introduces the trainee counsellor to various therapeutic theories, some of which are geared towards helping clients explore unresolved childhood or past issues, whilst others might focus on more current difficulties, such as a separation, job-loss or bereavement.

My Masters Degree in Psychoanalysis C/S helped further my knowledge and understanding of the impact of the past on present-day well-being, and how the unconscious mind and our inner-child drive us to feel or behave in ways that leave us feeling down or dissatisfied with life. This course enabled me to build on the experience I already had in working with clients on a long-term basis, furthering my knowledge of Freudian and Kleinian concepts, to assist me in helping clients explore more deep-rooted and often painful issues relating to childhood and relationships with parents.

Work Experience

I opened my private practice in 2012, and have a wealth of experience in providing counselling and psychotherpy to adults of all ages, as well as children and adolescents. 

Prior to working privately, I worked on a voluntary basis in a primary-school, offering one-to-one counselling sessions to children aged 4-11 years. The training I completed prior to this role offering me a good grounding in how to effectively deliver talking and play-therapy to younger clients.

I also spent 3 years working voluntarily for Link Counselling Service - a wonderful organisation that provides counselling to young people aged 13-25 years.

Working with Adults of All Ages: My Theoretical Integration

I place importance on helping clients to understand the impact of their unconscious mental processes, and how bringing them in to conscious thought can create the opportunity to explore painful, unprocessed material within the safety of the therapy room, whilst also helping the client to decide how they might go about making positive changes to their life. Our unconscious feelings and actions belong to our inner-child, and as humans we tend to create patterns of behaviour that we are sometimes not even aware we are doing, but are very aware that we feel unhappy none-the-less. Exploring our unconscious processes, patterns, childhood events and relationships with significant others when we are growing up are therapeutic concepts that fall under what we call the 'psychodynamic' model.

Although the psychodynamic model underpins much of my work, I also incorporate humanistic concepts derived from Transactional Analysis (TA) and Gestalt in to my clinical work. In simple terms TA, from a relational perspective, enables clients to explore how they may have come to assume the role of 'rescuer', for example, in relationships with others, and how this may be contributing to their sense of low mood or poor self-esteem as they struggle to constantly shoulder the problems of others. Or one might find themselves often feeling victimized, and exploring what lies behind this often proves useful in helping clients to cultivate healthier relationships with others. The way that I incorporate elements of Gestalt in to my work is by helping clients to tackle painful 'unfinished business'. That is, important things that they would have liked to have said to someone (often a loved-one) but were for whatever reason unable to at the time. Becoming familiar with how the body somatizes (physically feels) emotions is also a valuable aspect of the Gestalt model that I incorporate in to my clinical work, to help clients become aware of when they are about to, for example, start becoming anxious.  


Common Questions:

Q: Isn’t talking about the past a waste of time because we can’t change it?


A: Not at all!  As humans we sometimes get stuck on past events that we seem unable to move on from.  This can lead to low self-esteem or feeling down.  We feel we can’t talk about our problems to others, or when we do we find little resolve. Unprocessed childhood or past events can negatively impact on present-day life without us even noticing; for example, we might find friendships or relationships in general difficult to handle but don’t understand why.  Or we may feel plagued with unhelpful thoughts and are unaware that their roots lie in difficult past events that we have not yet processed, as mentioned earlier.  During my counselling career I have supported clients in exploring difficulties that stem from relationships with parents during childhood, or issues occurring from the more recent past, and in doing so have received very positive feedback on the insight in to themselves that clients have gained.  I truly believe that understanding how we tick as individuals opens up the pathway to self-acceptance, which in turn leads to a freer and more contented life. The unconscious provides us with a goldmine of clues as to why we feel the way we do, and how we could go about developing a healthier relationship with ourselves, other people and our pasts if we are willing to work through painful life experiences that have as yet remained unprocessed. It is my job as your therapist to help you recognize unconscious clues to what lies in the way of you gaining greater satisfaction in life, which have often become buried among the conscious rationalizations that lead us humans from one dead-end to another.


Q: Why do I leave some sessions feeling very positive and others feeling emotionally raw?

A:
This is a very important question to raise. Feeling emotionally up and down is not uncommon for some clients, especially during the beginning and middle phases of their therapeutic process, but with my support this should feel manageable and worth the long-term gains. Upon starting work with new clients, I like to find out what they expect and hope to gain from their experience, explaining that the long-term benefits of therapy generally far outweight those times when one why they feel this way if therapy is supposed to be a helpful process rather than an upsetting one! Being human means managing the difficult aspects of life in order to appreciate all the good that life can also offer, and talking about painful life-experiences can often feel rather alien to those who have become accustomed to simply burying their feelings. Often, clients enter therapy feeling that ignoring feelings has worked well for them over the years, enabling them to function, until they suddenly find themselves in a state of depression, low mood or anxiety and are puzzled as to why this has happened. It is only upon beginning to air one's pain rather than pushing it away that we are able to understand how the unsaid must be verbalized in order to break down the barriers that stand in the way of truly understanding the self.


More on Bereavement: When People or Companion Animals Die

I have supported people of all ages struggling to cope with a whole range of losses. This includes the death of a friend, relative, acquaintance or a beloved companion animal. Whatever the surrounding circumstances, loss is processed differently from person to person and depends on many factors. For  those who have lost an animal through natural causes, accident or euthanasia, or are considering having their pet euthanised, emotions associated with this can be overwhelming and yet often not talked about in society in general.  I worked for two years on the Blue Cross Pet Bereavement Support Service's helpline, supporting callers who had lost a companion animal or were considering euthanisation for their pet.  Talking through their situation or loss helped them to feel less alone, validate their emotions, and supported them on their way to eventual acceptance of what they sadly could not change.  If you are facing a similar situation and would prefer to talk face-to-face, making that call to arrange a counselling appointment with me could be the first step in working through your feelings.



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

Amongst the many types of interventions I offer are the following:-

- Psychotherapy/counselling for children, teenagers, young adults and the elderly 

- Psychotherapy/counselling for LGBTQ+ clients

- Psychotherapy/counselling for people on the austism spectrum, and assisting with referrals of children, teenagers or adults for a special needs diagnosis

- Pet-Bereavement Therapy: A unique type of bereavement counselling for people struggling to cope with the death of a beloved companion-animal.  Having experienced the loss of my own animals over the years, I consider the specialised training that I acquired for this type of support to be extremely valuable and important, especially as pet-bereavement is not often discussed within the therapeutic sphere

Photos & videos

Fees

Free initial telephone session

Concessions offered for

  • Low income
  • Keyworkers
  • OAPs
  • Students
  • Trainee counsellors
  • Unemployed

Additional information

I offer a free initial telephone consultation to find out what service you would like and what you hope to gain from working with me.

Services offered:-

- Psychotherapy & Counselling Sessions

Following our initial telephone call, if we decide to work together, we will agree on a fee for your therapy depending on your current financial situation and my availability.

Therapy sessions are conducted face-to-face, via Zoom or telephone, or via live-chat, depending on your preference and also what I feel would be of most benefit ethically to you as an individual. 

- Pre-Diagnostic Assessments for ADHD and/or ASD (autism

Although I cannot officially diagnose, as a specialist in ADHD and autism, I offer an in-depth 2-hour appointment that looks closely at childhood through to the present day, exploring potential traits of ADHD and/or autism. Following this appointment, you will leave with a very clear picture of whether or not your difficulties stem from either (or both) of these conditions.

I am able to offer a written report for those who would like something official in writing following their appointment.  The report can be particularly useful for those who may wish to receive an official diagnosis of ADHD at some point in the future, so that they can be offered the option of ADHD medication. A written report can also assist in helping clients receive adequate and appropriate support within the work-place or within an educational setting. 

These appointments are conducted either face-to-face or via Zoom.

Thank you so much for visiting my profile page, and I very much look forward to hearing from you!

Warmest wishes,

Amanda

When I work

Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat Sun
Morning
Afternoon
Evening
Night
  • Week-day afternoon and evening appointments

Further information

Below are some examples of what clients have said about their therapeutic experience:-

"Since coming to see you I feel I understand my problems and myself better."

"This has been a painful but hugely rewarding experience, and I actually like myself now."


"Counselling offers me the reassurance I need right now."

"I feel so much stronger and better about myself since coming here."

"I thought I would come to see you and you would tell me what to do, but if you had I wouldn't have learnt all that I've learnt about myself and why I feel the way I do."


"I look forward to coming here because I can't talk to anyone else about these things."

"Coming to see you has totally changed my life.  I'm a changed person."

"Counselling hasn't taken all my problems away, but I seem to cope better with life in general."


"I feel like I can trust you and I feel supported."

www.betterhelp.com/amanda-bouvier

Loudwater, Rickmansworth, Hertfordshire, WD3

Type of session

In person
Online
Phone

Types of client

Children
Young people
Adults
Older adults

Key details

DBS check

In England and Wales, the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS, formerly known as CRB) carry out criminal records checks for individuals working with vulnerable groups, such as children. To find out more, visit gov.uk , or contact this professional directly

Depending on individual circumstances, in addition to face-to-face therapy, I also offer Zoom and telephone sessions

Additional languages

French
Spanish

Online platforms

Whatsapp
Zoom

Social

Amanda Bouvier
Amanda Bouvier