Andrea Lawton BA (Hons); PGCE; MSc; MBACP (Accred)
I understand that the first steps to seeking help can be daunting, and I will try and help you feel comfortable and at ease during this process. It is my firm belief that a trusting relationship is crucial to positive therapeutic outcome, and I will work at your pace to establish this by providing an environment where you can feel safe enough to face and work through the things you are finding difficult, I will remain mindful of how we are engaging with each other, and will regularly check-in with you. Holding our relationship as a key part of the change process, I stay open to how I might use my own awareness to share insight, into helping you understand more clearly what is happening for you.
I work using a client centred model of therapy, as I believe most problems we experience in life are relational, and therefore it is through relationship, where we find healing. One of the key factors in determining successful therapeutic outcome lies in the quality of the relationship between client and counsellor. By establishing an authentic relationship, trust is built, and clients feel safe to explore their fears. It is through an accepting relationship, that clients learn to stop judging themselves negatively, and find the room to explore their problems in depth and become empowered to make positive changes in their lives.
I believe each client is unique and will bring different goals and needs to counselling. I will regularly review our work and check how connected you feel with me in our sessions in order to create the safest relational space I can.
When clients come to therapy, it is because they are experiencing things in their lives which are causing them to feel at odds with themselves. Often this is experienced as anxiety or depression, including low self-worth and thoughts of self-harm. Sometimes, it may not even feel possible to identify your difficulties, beyond a range of unpleasant feelings. These incongruences can get in the way of day to day lives, creating problems in relationships, or social situations, or impacting on work, school or university life. It can feel very difficult to resolve things alone, as it can seem we are going round in circles getting nowhere. Often professional support is needed.
I work with all client groups and all ages, however, a great number of my clients are young people, and I have a lot of experience of working with students.
Since the start of the pandemic, I have been working online with clients through video counselling sessions. In addition, I also offer walk/talk therapy, which is particularly beneficial for clients who may feel anxious; there are very many benefits to having therapy in the natural environment.
Whatever it is that is causing you to feel distressed, I would like to reassure you that it is possible to feel better, and that no problem is too big, or for that matter too small. Whether this is your first time of seeking therapy, or whether you have had help in past, I encourage you to get in touch and find out more about how we can work together Many of us are conditioned to see acknowledging our difficulties as a weakness, but the opposite is true; it takes great courage to admit you need help; but taking that leap of faith can be the step towards changing your life.
Training, qualifications & experience
I am a highly qualified and experienced practitioner, holding an MSc in Counselling Psychology (Keele University). I hold a first degree in English and History, and a PGCE in primary education. I am responsible, professional and work with integrity. I abide by the BACP professional body's Ethical Framework.
I have a long-standing interest in mental health and well-being in all age groups and cross-sections of society. I have completed many hours as a volunteer counsellor, working with clients experiencing anxiety, depression, obsessive-compulsive conditions, symptoms of bipolar, hearing voices, 'borderline personality disorder', psychosis and trauma. Mental health issues are still something people can be made to feel ashamed of and I commit to seeing you as a whole person, not defined by your problems. Mental health issues, may be a result of difficult life experiences, and I can support you as you explore them. I have worked with many survivors of sexual abuse and domestic violence. I also work as a counsellor for a bereavement charity, and am able to offer support and counselling in many areas of complex grief, including suicide and life-changing illness.
I have a passion for working with children and young people, and have extensive experience of working as a teacher. I completed my Masters' thesis on the subject of Attachment Theory, and have a special interest in how early attachment patterns can affect our adult relationships, and strongly believe in the possibility of the healing which comes about through 'earned secure attachment'; which is something I believe can be achieved through the therapeutic relationship. I hold enhanced and updated DBS certificates for working with both vulnerable adults and children and have completed safe-guarding training for work with children.
I continue to be research active, and recently held a workshop in Meditation and mindfulness at the 2018 Keele University Counselling (Research and Practice) Conference.
I am committed to non-discriminatory practice and welcome diversity. People from minority groups are often marginalised and I will work to ensure I do not contribute to this.
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
£50 per 50 minute session.
Accessibility: There is a flight of stairs where I work, so wheelchair access is not possible. Please mention if you have a mobility restriction when you contact me.