Anna Cristoni-Apel, PGDip Couns C&YP, Dip Couns, MBACP
A space to heal
As a qualified and experienced counsellor, I offer a safe and confidential space where clients can process difficulties and explore feelings without being judged. My aim is to provide a therapeutic experience through warmth, sensitivity and acceptance, where individuals can feel valued and their story is listened to.
Counselling is not only a space to talk, sometimes it’s easier to express ourselves through art and creativity; in my practice there is a wide variety of materials, and different therapeutic techniques can be used – art, music, puppetry, sand tray…
I have extensive experience in working with adults as well as with children and young people, both in my private practice and through my commitment to various charities. In the past few years, I have been working as school and community-based young people counsellor for Blaenau-Gwent Youth Services in South Wales. As a BACP member I adhere to their Ethical Framework for Good Practice, and I am committed to Continual Professional Development.
My way of working is largely humanistic, with at its core Rogers’ Person Centred Counselling. Unconditional Positive Regard, Empathy and Congruence are the pillars of this approach. On this basis, I do integrate other therapeutic visions, in particular, Gestalt Therapy and Existential Counselling. The use of creative ideas and materials comes from my experience as a Steiner School teacher and former musician; Systemic Therapy and Mindfulness are not only used in my practice but are part of my personal development. Other approaches include Transactional Analysis, Solution Focused Approaches and Third Wave CBT.
I believe that every individual is unique, therefore I use diverse techniques to meet each client’s needs in a flexible way. From talking therapies to more artistic techniques, clients have the possibility to explore their issues at their own pace. A holistic vision of the human being informs my practice, and I believe that our difficulties in life can always be seen from different perspectives: our inner development, external causes, our family dynamics, our biography, our attachment style and the way we form relations. Counselling facilitates inner processing and helps clients to find their own healing strengths.
Training, qualifications & experience
Counselling came into my life as a second career after many years as a choir conductor and a Steiner School music teacher, both in my home country, Italy, and in Europe (France, Germany and finally the UK). During my years as a musician I became more and more aware of how our mental well-being influences our artistic expression; as a teacher, I clearly saw the impact of mental health in pupils’ learning abilities.
I then trained in East Sussex, at the Wealden Institute in Crowborough, where I achieved my Diploma in Humanistic Integrative Counselling (BACP accredited). Most of my initial work as a counsellor was with two charities in Brighton, Crime Reduction Initiative (C.R.I.), supporting adults with addiction problems, and RISE, supporting survivors of domestic violence.
After the move to Wales I briefly joined The Almond Tree in Merthyr Tydfil, a charity offering counselling to young people. I decided to dedicate more time to young clients and enrolled at the University of South Wales, achieving a Post Graduate Diploma in Counselling Children and Young People.
Since 2015 I have been working as an Independent Counsellor for Young People in Blaenau-Gwent, both in secondary schools and in the community. My commitment to alternative education continues with my involvement as Pastoral Care Lead in the Cardiff Steiner School.
My areas of interest include Family Constellations and Biographical Counselling; spirituality is also an important theme both in my practice and in my life. I believe in the importance of expressing ourselves through music, using our natural voice: for several years I have been running music workshops to explore how singing together can improve our well-being and enhance our personal development.
- BACP accredited register no 041317
- PGDip in Counselling Children and Young People, University of South Wales (2016)
- Diploma in Counselling, Wealden College, Crowborough, East Sussex (2011) – BACP accredited
- Waldorf Teacher training course, Bologna, Italy (2003)
- Choir Conducting, Piano and Singing, Conservatorio “G. Verdi”, Milano, Italy (1988)
Additional Training in:
Trauma Therapy, Safeguarding Children and Young People, Family Constellations, Biographical Counselling, Mindfulness, Play Therapy, Domestic Violence, Addiction Counselling, Neglect and Abuse, Protection of Vulnerable Adults (POVA), Harmful Sexual Behaviour and Sexual Exploitation, Internet Safety.
Areas of counselling I deal with
- Anger management
- Asperger's syndrome
- Attachment disorder
- Attachment disorder in children
- Behaviour problems
- Carer support
- Child related issues
- Childhood bereavement
- Childhood bullying
- Children’s learning difficulties
- Chronic fatigue syndrome/ME
- Depression and anxiety in children
- Domestic violence
- Eating disorders
- Emotional abuse
- Gender dysphoria
- Generalised anxiety disorder
- Learning difficulties
- Low self-confidence
- Low self-esteem
The counselling session is an hour long and costs £40, both for adults and children.
If you are experiencing financial hardship, I have few spaces available for a reduced fee so please enquire.
If English is not your first language, I can also offer counselling sessions in Italian, German & French.
I understand that it is not always easy to make the first step towards counselling; I will be very happy to talk to you over the phone whatever your question is.
Maps & Directions
Type of session
|Face to face counselling:||Yes|
|Other languages:||Italian, German, French|
Evenings and weekends; some availability during daytime.
Types of client