Andy Spencer MBACP Registered - Couples & Individual Counsellor
What is counselling?
Life will always present us with challenges and difficult situations. Sometimes these challenges can get on top of us and we stop living and enjoying our lives as fully as we would like. This is where counselling can be of help.
Counselling is about offering a supportive relationship in a safe and confidential environment to talk through whatever is concerning them. Counselling is not about giving advice and counsellors can never be experts in other people’s lives. Counsellors use a number of ways to help people find their unique strengths to work through a particular issue in the best way for them so that they can live their life to the fullest.
How I work
Whatever challenge life throws at us, I believe we all have the potential to deal with it successfully, move on and lead a happy life. I consider the most important foundation to successful counselling is the relationship between the counsellor and client. Being in a trustful, open and supportive relationship allows the client to really get to understand themselves, explore all of their unique and individual strengths and how they can best deal with and work through the concern at hand. This is all done at the client's pace and is never rushed. I focus on what is happening with the client in the present. Sometimes it is important to talk about the past but only how it is affecting the client’s experience. I can offer both short term and long term counselling.
Some of the areas for which I offer counselling include:
- Trauma (particularly male and female survivors of rape and childhood sexual abuse);
- Problems in marriage and other relationships;
- Binge Eating Disorder, Bulimia Nervosa (non-chaotic), Obesity and other concerns regarding food, weight and shape;
- Carers for family members with eating disorders;
- Anxiety and Depression;
- Stress (including Corporate stress);
- Bereavement (including stillbirth, miscarriage and suicide);
- Anger management; and
- Living with a life limiting illness.
Many people who have had these experiences have feelings of depression, anxiety and anger, all of which I work with in my counselling practice.
Many of us choose to share our lives with another person who is our partner through either the whole or a significant part of our life. A healthy relationship is where each person in a couple can be open and share their authentic needs with each other. In this way they get their needs met at least the majority of the time.
Sometimes this process gets interrupted and our relationship becomes turbulent, painful or a struggle. Some examples of what can cause this are:
- Pressures outside the relationship keeping people apart such as work commitments;
- Relationships outside the marriage that can affect the couple such as friends, family and children;
- Not understanding or knowing how to communicate and get each other’s needs met within the relationship; and
- Fear of intimacy due to past experiences.
Couples counselling is a process where with the proactive support of a counsellor the couple can explore what went wrong and find ways to resolve the problems they are having. This typically involves using the couples’ problem solving ability to come up with their own way through their problems.
Sometimes couples can decide that their best option is to dissolve the relationship and each find other partners that better meet their needs. Couples counselling can also offer support through this process that can often be painful.
For more information on how I work please see my interview on the link below:
Emotional Freedom Technique?
Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) is a simple practical and user friendly technique similar to acupuncture but without using needles. It’s principle is that all symptoms of dis-ease have their root in an imbalance in the body’s energy system.
How does it work?
Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) aims to remove any psychological blocks in the mind towards health and then re-tune the energy system in our body back to balance. We can then be well to lead fulfilling happy lives.
EFT works by tapping certain parts of the body (linked the meridian points in acupuncture) and saying simple words and phrases out loud about the specific problem being treated. Many people find it a bit “wackey and wierd” at first but when they see results and get used to it their inhibitions tend to evaporate.
EFT can produce quick results in some cases. However, normally when there are a number of parts (aspects) to a problem EFT needs to be carried out on all of them before the problem being treated is resolved and health can be maintained.
Although you need a practitioner to work with you, an advantage of EFT is that it can be practiced on your own. It is a simple tool that can help you with daily life.
What can it treat?
The wonderful potential of EFT is that it can be used to treat a number of mental and physical health problems by bringing our energy system back to balance. EFT is backed up by research and there are numerous reports of its positive benefits. It is typically used to treat the following, all of which I can offer as part of my practice:
1. Trauma - Healing the past;
3. Chronic pain;
4. Cravings and addictions;
5. Stress, anxiety & Depression; and
6. Low self esteem and low self confidence.
I often carry out EFT in combination with other self help tools as appropriate for my client.
A short video on EFT is shown below:
Where I work
I have private practices in Godalming, Guildford and Hove. I work at the Eaves Counselling and Psycological Services in Surrey and the Wilbury Clinic in Hove. I offer counselling to Survivors of Bereavement through Suicide (SOBS) and short term counselling for anxiety and depression through the NHS.
Training, qualifications & experience
My Qualifications and Professional Bodies
I hold an Advanced Diploma in Humanistic Counselling and a certificate in couples counseling. I am a level 2 Practitioner in Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT). I am also a certified teacher of yoga based meditation at the Brahmrishi Mission UK. I can incorporate EFT and meditation into my counselling practice with clients if appropriate.
I am a registered member of the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP) and I work to their ethical guidelines. I am also an Accredited Certified Level 2 Practitioner with EFT International.
I have experience of working in Sam Beare and Woking Hospice hospices and The Fountain Centre in Guildford with clients experiencing bereavement and life limiting illness. I currently offer counselling to members of "Survivors of Bereavement by Suicide (SOBS). I also do short term counselling for anxiety and depression for the NHS. I have worked with male and female survivors of rape and sexual abuse at Rape and Sexual Abuse Support Centre (RASASC) in Guildford. I have also worked with a number of other different issues, for example relationship counselling, whilst working for different organisations. I currently work in private practice.
I worked for 25 years in Government organisations and this included being a team leader where I gained significant experience in staff management and dealing with the stresses of the corporate work. I draw upon this experience when counselling clients who are dealing with work related stress and other corporate pressures.
My Fees and Cancellation Policy
I offer a sliding scale between £45 and £60 for individual counseling and £65 to £80 for couples counseling per session. I ask for 24 hours notice of cancellation otherwise payment is required.
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
The first session is an opportunity for me to understand what brought you to counselling and for you to ask me whatever you wish to ask. We can then decide together whether or not I can be of help.
I use a sliding scale according to individual circumstances of £45-60 for individual counseling and £65-80 for couples counseling per session. I ask for 24 hours notice of cancellation otherwise payment is required. I work with clients aged 16 and older.
We can meet for as many sessions as is helpful. Sudden endings whilst working through challenging issues is not always in the best interest of the client. I always recommend taking at least one (or more) sessions to do a proper ending. However, it is up to client when they choose to leave counseling.
Counselling is entirely confidential. However, it is necessary for me to take all my client work to a qualified supervisor who helps me provide the best counseling. The only other exception would be if I considered a client would seriously harm themselves or someone else. I would always seek to discuss this with the client, explain why and agree a way forward wherever possible.
For more details please email me