Andy Spencer MBACP Registered
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;
- 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:
Group counselling involves a number of people coming together either to learn some skills in dealing with specific challenges and/or developing their awareness of themselves on a deeper level. It provides a supportive and confidential environment that allows members to share their difficulties to whatever extent feels comfortable and seek support and input from the group to help them feel better. It is facilitated by a suitably qualified group counsellor.
Group counselling can offer a number of advantages over individual one on one counselling:
- A group with a common goal is greater than the sum of its parts. By the Group acting collectively it provides cohesiveness and a shared experience that can be more powerful and transformative for group members to work through and resolve problems and challenges they face in life;
- Group counselling enables members to get support and feedback from other group members. You also have the opportunity to witness other people’s challanges and support them. This can help to dispel the notion that we are alone facing our challenges in life;
- Group counselling offers an opportunity to experience what it is like for you to be in a group. If you wish, the Group can support you if you want to share and explore what this experience is like for you;
- Many of us have been in groups in the past that have left us feeling uncomfortable, confused or hurt. Being a member of a supportive and facilitated group can help to heal those wounds;
- It offers greater value for money as each session is approximately half the price of individual counselling;
During group counselling there is no need to stop individual counselling. Issues may arise in the group where individual counselling could supplement your group experience.
Where I work
I currently work for RASASC in Guildford who offer counselling for rape and sexual abuse. I also have private practices in Godalming, Send, Guildford and Hove. I work at the Eaves Counselling and Psycological Services in Surrey, the Sunshine Clinic in Send and the Wilbury Clinic in Hove. I also offer counselling to Survivors of Bereavement through Suicide (SOBS).
Training, qualifications & experience
My Qualifications and Professional Body
I hold an Advanced Diploma in Humanistic Counselling and a certificate in couples counseling. I am also a certified teacher of yoga based meditation at the Brahmrishi Mission UK. I can incorporate meditation into my counselling practice with clients but only if wanted.
I am a registered member of the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP) and I work to their ethical guidelines.
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 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 charge £50-55 for individual counseling and £70-75 for couples counseling per session. I ask for 24 hours notice of cancellation.
Areas of counselling I deal with
- Affairs and betrayals
- Anger management
- Anorexia nervosa
- Asperger's syndrome
- Binge-eating disorder
- Bipolar disorder
- Bulimia nervosa
- Carer support
- Chronic fatigue syndrome/ME
- Domestic violence
- Eating disorders
- Emotional abuse
- Feeling sad
- Generalised anxiety disorder
- Hearing voices
- Internet addiction
- Low self-confidence
- Low self-esteem
- Obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD)
- Panic disorder
- Passive aggressive behaviour
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 charge £50 for individual counseling and £70 for couples counseling per session. I ask for 24 hours notice of cancellation. 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.
Maps & Directions
Type of session
|Face to face counselling:||Yes|
I am flexible and will to discuss a mutually agreeable time.
Types of client