Amanda Williamson Adv Dip, Reg MBACP (Senior Accred)
Serious about making changes in your life?
If you are looking for counselling you have taken a courageous first step. Life can be hard for us all at times. I love the work I do; helping people to explore what's troubling them in order to live more fulfilling lives.
I work privately from beautiful premises in the centre of town, with a wide spectrum of people with differing presenting issues. Warm and approachable, I have the utmost respect for my clients' individuality and life circumstances.
Offering a fully professional service I am fortunate enough to have my own established, dedicated Exeter practice, seeing clients five days a week.
I am committed to facilitating the exploration of the issues you bring. If you are serious about committing the time and energy required I invite you to make contact to arrange an initial appointment.
There is a wealth of information on my website about my approach and background as well as many articles I have written about counselling related topics including details of my campaigning for the regulation of the profession.
A Little About How I Work
Trained in integrative counselling I draw from several, reputable theories of practice which enables me to work effectively, progressively and collaboratively with my clients. Details of the different therapeutic approaches I utilise can be found on my website but loosely I am largely influenced by the person-centred and existential models and draw on Transactional Analysis and creative therapies. Most of all I offer a compassionate and down-to-earth, fresh perspective to my clients, referencing my theoretical knowledge where appropriate, to facilitate the changes my clients wish to see in themselves.
We are all complex beings and any of us can find ourselves in a difficult place sometimes. Counselling won't stop life's ups and downs but It can help you deal with the downs in more productive ways by increasing your self-awareness.
Our emotions are there to help us manage our lives by assisting in decision making. Sometimes something goes wrong - we have a bad experience, or a series of bad experiences and we can get stuck with particular emotions, and associated thought patterns and behaviours.
I offer the opportunity for you to be able to talk frankly about your situation and the issues that you bring. I will listen without judgment and provide feedback which helps you to clarify your own thoughts and feelings. This may help you to move forward in life with greater acceptance and understanding of yourself and others.
“The greatest discovery of my generation is that a human being can alter his life by altering his attitudes of mind.”William James
Literally "changing our minds"
It is understood that we can get hooked on negative emotional states and/or thought patterns. Much as we consciously may not want to experience them, our bodies are used to receiving the chemicals associated with those states which can be very addictive. Moreover, our brain cells can end up wired, through genetics and experience, to think and feel a certain way. Modern neuroscience is now proving what psychotherapists and counsellors have known for a long time. Change is possible. You can learn to recognise and interrupt a stream of thought and try a new way of being. With rehearsal you can rewire your thought patterns and behave in newer, more adaptive ways.
Short term work
Sometimes my clients come for a few sessions in order to talk over a pressing issue in a neutral space. This can be important for example for people in a position of power in their career, who are unable to chat things over with colleagues who may be employees they feel a level of responsibility towards. Short term work can also be useful for checking out important one-off life decisions that are not fuelled by childhood wounds, such as for example deciding to leave a relationship, whether to have children or not or discussing aspects of one's career.
Medium term work
The majority of my caseload consists of people looking for work which would equate to a few months. This might be appropriate where there are habits that have formed which aren't useful but are impacting on quality of life. Examples of this might be where one's confidence has been affected by the end pf a relationships, workplace bullying, impact of children, difficult family dynamics or health issues.
Long term work
Some of us require longterm ongoing work and this is especially true for people with very deep seated childhood wounds which might arise from all types of abuse or neglect in childhood. Being the child of a parent with mental health issues, particularly personality disorders (Narcissistic Personality Disorder, or and schizotypal illnesses), can have a deep and lasting negative impact on one's sense of self. Chronic emotional neglect (often due to our parents' parenting) can affect our self-esteem as pervasively as more obvious forms of abuse. This work typically takes longer because the now unwanted habits and thought processes are associated with a sense of survival; we adapted this way of being because it helped us to survive. Making changes at this deeper level requires a lot of soul searching and I find that the relational aspect of what I do (looking at what goes on in the relationship between myself and a client) is an important tool in this type of work. For this reason I have had extensive personally therapy myself (I need to know where my wounds are to do this work safely and effectively) and I have fortnightly Clinical Supervision with a very experienced therapist/Supervisor.
Please, whoever you decide to have counselling with, whether individual or agency, ensure that they are registered with an adequate professional body such as the BACP.
*Please note that the content of my profile has been carefully composed and is original content. I would politely request that other therapists do not plagiarise*
Training, qualifications & experience
- Certificate in Counselling 2008
- Advanced Diploma in Integrative Counselling 2011
- BACP Accredited Status 2014
- Certificate in Couples Counselling 2015
- BACP Senior Accredited Status 2019
I am passionate about ethical practice which is why I choose to be a member of the BACP. I abide by their code of ethics so you can be assured of my professionalism and training as well as having adequate recourse in the event of any problems that may arise. I applied for BACP Accreditation in 2014 once I had the required number of hours experience and was able to demonstrate through Supervision reports and written submissions that I have considerable experience and the ability to work to a high degree of self-awareness and ethics. In 2019 I applied for and was awarded Senior Accredited status.
My commitment to high standards in the profession extended to my campaigning for the regulation of this currently unregulated profession. Along with Phil Dore, we formed the campaign group Unsafe Spaces. I co-authored our report on regulation which was discussed in parliament (2016). I took a step back from active campaigning as of April 2018 to focus on my private practice.
I have worked with a wide range of clients of all ages privately, for a low cost not-for-profit agency, within a school setting and in a specialist addictions recovery unit. I also worked for 3 years on behalf of GamCare with people affected by gambling issues. I have worked successfully in private practice for over 7 years.
I engage in regular ongoing training to continue to develop my work and keep it fresh and relevant.
Registered / Accredited
Being registered/accredited with a professional body means an individual must have achieved a substantial level of training and experience approved by their member organisation.
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
- SMART Recovery facilitator training for working in groups with people with addictive behaviours.
- GamCare training to counsel people with compulsive gambling issues
- PODS trauma training workshops (PTSD/Complex PTSD/DID) + NICABM online trauma training
- LGBT friendly/aware therapy
- Certificate in Couples Therapy (2015)
£65 per hour for individual therapy/£70 per hour for couples
Concessions: Reduced price sessions may be available during daytime at £50. Please ask for details when enquiring.
I'm very happy to answer any queries you have by email or telephone if you have any questions. If for any reason I am not able to offer the specific support you need I will be able to refer you onto another qualified counsellor. I only ever refer to BACP or UKCP therapists who are on a Professional Standards Authority Accredited Register.
A few of my testimonials
"I just wanted to say a huge thank you for all the time you have spent with me. I didn't know I could feel this much better. Life just seems so much clearer now and everything is just that much easier to deal with. So thank you, truly thank you. I shall miss coming to see you every week but am taking comfort in the fact that I don't need to anymore." - NR
"I have never felt so comfortable with someone in my entire life. I was instantly impressed with how Amanda made me feel so at ease, she made me feel so comfortable & instantly built a bond and trust between us to enable her to help me come to terms and deal with the problems I had in my life. I would not hesitate to recommend Amanda to anyone and if I ever needed to talk to someone again, Amanda would be my first choice every time." - DS
"I needed someone to talk to, but felt hesitant and wary about approaching a counsellor. Amanda was the only counsellor I contacted. From our first correspondence to the ending of the last session, Amanda listened non-judgementally, provided insight and created a safe and warm environment in which to explore whatever was on my mind. To say that Amanda is highly recommended is an understatement." - TE
(My partner) has achieved a remarkable feat in challenging her demons, which is down to you and the way you have encouraged and taught her to contemplate actions and feelings in a way she hasn't before. Your teaching, listening and help to make life more clear has not only taught (my partner), but taught me too."