Annette Gensale, Counselling Psychologist, HCPC/BPS
Please let me know if you are a 'Key Worker'. How I work will be unique to you. My aim is to support you to explore your concerns about any situation in which you find yourself. I offer a variety of psychological and therapeutic approaches to help you. You may be struggling with anxiety, social anxiety or panic or stress, or perhaps a specific phobia, or general sadness and confusion,. You may be experiencing difficulty concerning a family member or a family issue; or you might just be struggling to know why you feel as you do, and react as you do. I am available to see Individuals, Couples, or any group wanting to improve communication and well-being.
I will work with you to help you to achieve the best in your life and relationships, and to better understand and care for yourself.
All therapies, including Cognitive based therapies, depend upon a strong relationship between the client, or clients and their therapist and our good communication together will be key to you having the best therapy. I aim to support you to feel comfortable and valued in your counselling time with me, even when the work feels challenging. I am creative and patient and will ensure my fullest understanding of your concerns, regardless of your level of confidence, or the anxiety you experience. The only skill you need is to be yourself, as you are, right now.
General model of counselling:
Whether your difficulty is connected with individual, relationship, or work concerns, something is making you want to seek support in order to feel better about 'you'. Sometimes this is because there has been a change in your life. Low mood and increased anxiety are common when we feel uncertain or threatened by change. Low mood or anxiety may follow a challenge of some kind, even when you have succeeded in your efforts, and certainly, if you have been unable to achieve what you had hoped to.
Whether I see you as an individual or a couple, or as a group, I work with an underlying model which will help you to view yourself as strong and unique, but also to understand from where your difficulties may stem and how these could be triggered or prolonged.
How I may help:
I offer Counselling and Therapy for Individuals and for Relationships.
I may use any aspect of the approaches below individually or in combination
- Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT)
- Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT)
- Schema Therapy
- Solution Focused Therapy
- Humanistic and Person-Centred Therapy
- Psychodynamic Therapy
- Cognitive Analytical Therapy (CAT)
- Creative Therapies
- Couples and Systems Theory
I aim to involve you as much as possible in helpful change and to work openly and collaboratively with you.
Counselling and Psychological Treatments for Individuals or Relationships:
Our work together can involve as little as one extended session, or relatively few sessions, or it can be longer term, if this is assessed as best and is also desired by you. You can receive your therapy in person, or through telephone counselling if assessed as appropriate. I work as an Integrative Counsellor by applying a blend of more than one approach to whatever is troubling you. The way that each approach would be tailored would be highly specific to you. It is not enough to know counselling approaches as techniques; success is maximised by working with you to create the best therapeutic approach for you. I will help you to explore, clarify and work through your thoughts and feelings towards being healthier and more confident emotionally.
Working in counselling, as an individual. might focus on some aspect of performance anxiety, or a specific fear or phobia, or trauma, or perhaps motivation or procrastination. As an individual, you may be struggling within a relationship, or a situation, or with something specifically to do with your own lack of confidence. You could be held back by social anxiety, or you could be struggling with low mood or anxiety pre or post birth, or in connection with parenting and stress, or adjustment to parenting, or you could be experiencing or processing fertility issues. You could find the information below, which focuses on relationship counselling, helpful to you. Often, how we feel about ourselves as individuals is somehow connected to relationships, or worries about relating.
Starting Relationships...First meeting dating support:-
I offer dating support for couples who are first meeting or anxious about communication. This may be because one or other struggles with social anxiety, or perhaps because you both may find your confidence in speaking with others is affected by a past experience, anxiety or shyness. This involves being with you and supporting communication in an early meeting that you arrange with each other in the daytime.
Relationship and Couples Counselling...
Relationships bring together different people with unique emotional worlds.
Relationship counselling can help any two people in any relationship, to enrich that relationship, or to rebuild after conflict and to heal the stress in their connection
Relationship issues, may be part of family issues, or you may be wanting to explore communication difficulties as a parent, or with one or more members of your family, or indeed a friendship or work group. It may be that you, or a partner, or someone in your family has a particular difficulty which is affecting your relationship, or any relationship within a family structure. Our relationships are the most important aspect of our lives. I will be happy to support you to find the best way forward.
Ongoing Work with Couples:- By using a highly individual approach to counselling in a relationship, that blends aspects of several key therapies, I will be able to work with you both in order to enrich your relationship. Relationships are not just about you as a couple, they are about how each partner views themselves and the world around them and how they feel that the world has viewed them in the past and in the present. I aim to help couples to explore the stresses upon them and to support each other through difficult times in the life of their relationship. The goal of counselling in a relationship is to maximise the health of your relationship and to keep it at its best.
Relationship dynamics are unique to you as a couple. The way that you react to each other and then, in turn, how each of you reacts to this combines with other life factors, past and present, to impact the relationship. The way you react to each other may be a factor also of the reactions of others around you. Sometimes, stress causes a feeling of being stuck in relating. It can be easier than you might think to unravel complexities and wonderful things can emerge when you undertake exploration within counselling as a couple. Often, incredible benefits occur, not only to you as a couple but also as individuals and in all your relationships.
As with all counselling, people come to Relationship Counselling for many different reasons. You do not have to have serious problems in your relationship, you may simply want to explore an aspect of your relationship in order to keep your relationship healthy. It may even be that one of you has suffered an individual trauma but you feel it best to deal with this as a couple. It is healthy to be proactive and to seek relationship counselling before any crisis. Please do not feel that it will be assumed that your relationship is in any serious trouble just because you have sought support as a couple.
Sometimes couples do come to counselling in the middle of a crisis, perhaps because a sudden event has caused trauma or distress within the relationship. Often, one or other of them may feel hopeless at the possibility of mending and nurturing their relationship. Unlike in individual therapy, there are two people who may feel very differently about their relationship, and about counselling, as they walk in the door to see me. One may feel brought along by the other and the other may feel offended or anxious about the unwillingness of the other. The relationship may have experienced a change which feels frightening or threatening. It may be that something has caused a fracture in the relationship and trust has been damaged. The couple may be distressed as a result of an argument, or an affair or betrayal, or just have fears regarding trust. Alternatively, couples may come to therapy after many years of having wondered whether they should try to get some help from someone outside of their relationship. Sometimes life’s pressures have harmed the relationship temporarily, or sometimes childhood wounds have been impacting the relationship and the couple feel that it is time to look at this.
I have been a part of rekindling many relationships that were thought to be almost completely lost, until they added counselling to their important journey together.
Some thoughts on how I work.
For couples, there is a small table in the room between yourselves and myself. There is nothing between you both, including myself as the counsellor. We are close but separate. The aim is for you to be the team and not to feel that I may take sides with either of you. You can face each other, or be alongside each other, or face me or face away as you express your thoughts and feelings to your partner. You may utilise the table - you may write to each other or draw. You will each have water to drink resting on the table. You might refer to something that you wish to place on the table and show each other. Counselling is not only or always about talking everything through. You need not fear being made to examine everything at length, but you can feel reassured that you can be supported to speak about difficult issues where you would wish to. There are many ways to communicate and you may each communicate differently - sometimes it can be helpful to get to know each other again and appreciate each other through supportive counselling. Wherever possible, the aim will be to explore, heal and nourish your relationship.
An important part of my work is also in working with those struggling with the pain of ending their relationship as it has been, and finding a new way forward. Where there has been pain, there needs to be healing. It is so important to part from each other respectfully. Every person deserves to feel this respect, even though the couple will be experiencing extraordinarily difficult and distressing emotions.
Mediation can often necessarily focus on possessions and rights connected with these. Sometimes, in retrospect it is clear to couples that if they had parted well, they would have moved forward with confidence and also kindness. Sometimes mediation ends up focusing on what is really best worked through in relationship counselling. Many couples benefit from talking through their feelings at this point in their relationship, and either find that they no longer need mediation, or are more prepared to work well within mediation should they seek this. This can be all the more important where children are involved, and it can be vital where there have been feelings of betrayal on either or both sides, or there has been misunderstandings in the long-term. Such conversations, can be invaluable when undertaken with the support of counselling. Going through the important process of parting respectfully, does not rule out staying together, but rather starts with the focus that the couple are struggling with the painful process of a decision to part, or a belief that they should part. Please do call to discuss.
Training, qualifications & experience
Dr. Counselling Psychology (DPsych)
Chartered Counselling Psychologist (CPsychol)
Postgraduate Dip in Counselling Psychology
Post-Master of Science Diploma – Counselling Psychology
MSc Counselling Psychology
Psychology and Communication PGCE
HCPC/BPS Registered and Accredited
Diploma in Supervision
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.
Health and Care Professions Council
The HCPC are an independent, UK-wide health regulator. They set standards of professional training, performance and conduct for 16 professions.
They keep a register of health professionals who meet their standards, and they take action if registered health professionals fall below those standards. They were created by a piece of legislation called the Health Professions Order 2001.
Registration means that a health professional meets national standards for their professional training, performance and conduct.
British Psychological Society
British Psychological Society
Areas of counselling I deal with
Other areas of counselling I deal with
Entertainment business and related issues
Singers and other Creative artists
Music and language processing
Post natal depression and anxiety
Couples and family communication
Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
Parents of young people with OCD
Parenting issues and Stress.
Being a parent of a child or young person with special needs or mental health difficulties
Autism, Aspergers Syndrome
Young lives/Family relationship issues
Somatic problems – how stress is expressed through your body
Self-harmful behavioural strategies
Self-esteem and Identity issues
Parents and individuals with hearing impaired close relatives:
Sign Language:- I have an understanding of deaf culture. If you are a hearing child of deaf parents, or if you would like to see if I can be of help with my understanding of some of the experiences you might have had as a person who is hearing impaired, or who is from a family where there are individuals who have hearing impairment, please do email me to discuss. You may however, find this link more useful than I can be for you: http://righttherapist.com/dir/languages/british-sign-language.
Research and involvement:
Parents' own childhood experiences of the mental illness of one or more parent.
Daughters of mental illness.
Person-centred curriculum in psychology and psychiatry
During 'Lockdown', Fees will be temporarily reduced to £55 for individuals and £45 for Key workers and Students training in counselling, for Telephone or Skype appointments. Post 'Lockdown', normal fees will apply.
How we begin…
In the first instance, please send me an email summarising briefly what brings you to seek counselling.
Your initial session in person will be a single session (50 minutes), where I will gain the best understanding of how counselling with me could help you and what could be the best approach. The next session would be a double session (100 minutes) for deeper exploration.
Ongoing counselling for individuals is weekly for either a single (50 minutes) or double (100 minute) session.
Counselling for couples is weekly for a double session (100 minutes).
Intense 4 session blocks for anxiety-related issues, or more intense relationship work, or for working on a specific issue can be very helpful., and are offered at the reduced rates.
Telephone or Skype counselling:- Please email to enquire and arrange fee.
Individual Counselling and Talking Therapy: - £70 per 50 minute session (£50 concessions for lower waged household committing to weekly sessions)
Intense one-off appointment for 4 consecutive counselling hours (200 mins), in order to explore a specific issue through integrative counselling (including cognitive therapies) - £250
Intense ongoing blocks of Integrative counselling, including cognitive therapies - £240
Counselling in a Relationship(for any two people) - £70 per each 50 minute therapy session (double sessions are required). Intense blocks of 200 minutes are available at the usual rate and are offered for specific issues.
For relationship and communication counselling for more than two individuals please contact me to discuss.
Personal Therapy for trainee counsellors and for concessions- £50 per 50 minute regular weekly sessions only.
I do not undertake Psychological testing.
Concessions offered for
Keep Yourself Safe...
It is important that you always remember that a counsellor is NOT an emergency point of contact.
Outside of your counselling sessions, keep yourself safe by doing your best to stay aware and to remain honest about the extent of any low feelings you have. Look ahead and make sure that you know who to contact should you ever suddenly feel at risk. Make your own list of what will help you if you feel low,
You may find the following helpful:
If you live in the UK, the quickest way that the Samaritans recommend that you contact them is by phone on 116 123, this number is FREE to call.
There should be a crisis team in your area available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Find out the local telephone number for the Crisis Team in your area.
Call 999 or go straight to your local Accident and Emergency Department in your local hospital if you ever feel at immediate risk.