Betty Merrick, MSc in Integrative Counselling & Psychotherapy, Registered MBACP
Hello, my name is Betty Merrick, and welcome to my profile. As a fully qualified and experienced counsellor and psychotherapist, I provide an opportunity where you can talk, and express and reflect on the thoughts and feelings that you may find hard to share with others.
If you’re struggling with difficult issues, either something that's been going on over a long period of time or as a result of a sudden crisis (or a combination of many things) then counselling can offer a warm, confidential and safe place to try to make some sense of those difficulties and the direction that your life is taking.
I have 39 years' experience of working with people in personal difficulties, in particular relationship issues, trauma, depression, anxiety and other mental health difficulties, family break-up, foster/residential care and adoption. I believe that we all have our own set of experiences, memories, hopes and difficulties. I get real satisfaction from seeing clients gain an understanding of their issues, work out what options might be open for them, and either resolve or largely come to terms with those difficulties.
I believe that for counselling to work, there should be a relationship where you, as a client, feel valued and respected so that, whatever you might say, I can hear it and help you work through whatever issues that you might want to talk about. I would like to think that I offer a warm welcome to all clients. I appreciate, however, that it can take time (for some longer than others) for someone to develop a sense of trust in his/her counsellor.
I am a registered member of the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy and I work in accordance with the BACP Ethical Framework for Good Practice in Counselling and Psychotherapy, respecting all parts of the framework, but in particular client confidentiality.
The client groups I work with:
I warmly welcome all clients, both men and women, and from all age groups, from any ethnic or religious background. I offer individual and couples counselling. As the lead counsellor in a large secondary school, I have worked with many children and teenagers. The premises I use are wheelchair-accessible.
A little bit about my professional background before coming into counselling:
Before becoming a counsellor I worked as a social worker, mostly with children and families, and also in the area of mental health. I know that, all my working life, I've been at my best working directly with people, listening and trying to help them do the best they can for themselves. But increasingly it seemed to me that much of my work as a social worker was becoming about “box-ticking” and targets, and that I was unable to give enough time and quality attention to clients.
So I left social work and re-trained as a counsellor, qualifying in 2010, bringing with me many years of experience of working directly with people about a wide variety of sensitive and painful issues, on which I continue to draw in my counselling practice.
The counselling that I offer:
As a counsellor, I enjoy focusing on what you’re telling me, what you're going through and trying to help you find, for yourself, a way of dealing with whatever is troubling you. Like all counsellors, I will not judge you and nor will I offer advice - instead I try to help you consider what choices might be open to you.
As an integrative counsellor and psychotherapist, I don't work with a “one size fits all” approach; instead I draw on different counselling models so that that I try to respond to each client with whatever therapeutic model best suits him or her.
The Person-Centred approach: I draw very much on the Person-Centred approach to counselling, which means that I want to listen, hear and try as best I can to understand exactly what each client is going through, the reasons that you've come to counselling, and what you want out of it.
Attachment Theory: I also work with Attachment Theory, which looks at how we all were as children, the relationships we formed and where we get our sense of identity, our level of self-confidence (or lack of confidence) and how we relate to those around us.
The Systemic Approach: In my work with both individuals and couples, I draw on the Systemic Approach which views everyone in any couple, family [or other group] as seeing and experiencing life each from his/her own perspective. So, when difficulties arise, all family/group members will so often each be trying his or her best to make the relationship better. For all sorts of reasons, people often work against each other, not understanding the feelings or thinking of his/her partner or other family/group members. This can leave anyone feeling that they are trying his/her best but yet other people don't "get" how they are feeling hurt and misunderstood. In my work with both individuals and couples, I aim to help clients to try to understand the perspective of others around them and to develop a better understanding of and communication with family members or other members of any work/peer group.
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT): CBT is all about how our thinking can affect our thoughts, our mood and our behaviour. I make some use of CBT, finding that it can be very helpful with teenagers, but is less helpful when working with anyone who has experienced bereavement or who is a survivor of rape or sexual assault.
My approach to relationship / couples counselling:
My approach to relationship counselling is very much based on the Systemic Approach [see above]. Once the relationship difficulties begin, so very often one or both partners is left feeling really hurt or misunderstood, and trust and any sense of hope has often long disappeared. Things can go from bad to worse, with an underlying suspicion and outright conflict. Daily life - be it practical tasks or financial matters can get really "messy". For couples who have children, it can get all the more complicated and horribly difficult to find a way through.
I aim to work as a team with both partners, so that they can each understand and appreciate the feelings and perception of their partner. It really does help for both partners to develop an awareness of what strengths and what difficulties each partner brings from their childhood relationships and also from previous marriages or relationships. And with that mutual sensitivity to their partner's thoughts and feelings can come the beginnings of a sense of trust so that they can rebuild their relationship and believe in a future together. It is a real privilege for me to see couples go through their relationship counselling and come to begin to feel confidence in each other, and to build a strong and trusting and mutually respectful relationship.
I offer my first consultation free. I believe that it is important for you to meet any prospective counsellor and test out whether you feel that you could work with and feel comfortable with that counsellor. For my part, it's a chance for me to hear your story and what issues you'd like to cover. You can then make an informed decision as to whether or not to try counselling sessions with me.
Except for agency referrals, I offer an initial assessment session free of charge so that anyone wishing to come to meet with me can get an idea of whether he/she would like to work with me. After that I charge:
For One to one counselling:
£40.00 per 60 minute session
£40.00 per 60 minute session for telephone counselling for individuals
For Couples counselling
£50.00 per 60 minute session
£70.00 per 90 minute session
I offer reduced fees to
anyone who is on a low income
clients in regular weekly counselling who are finding difficulty in financing their counselling
Please feel free to ask about concessions.
How many sessions do people come for:
I work on an open-ended basis and I don't ask anyone to sign up to any minimum number of sessions. For anyone who comes to me for counselling, I offer a review after six sessions and after that by agreement. This offers you the opportunity to reflect on what progress has been achieved so far and and for me to hear back from you about what issues or difficulties you would like to focus on in future sessions, and to look towards concluding your counselling.
If you have any queries, please feel free to contact me. In any case, I'd like to wish you the very best for your future and in what you're looking for.
Training, qualifications & experience
● Certificate in the Fundamentals of Relationship / Couple Counselling, PRAXIS (2014)
● MSc in Integrative Counselling & Psychotherapy, at Level 7, University of Derby (2011)
● Diploma in Integrative Counselling & Psychotherapy, at Level 7, University of Derby (2010)
● Course with Nottingham Rape Crisis on working with survivors of rape & sexual abuse (2008)
● The Cruse course for working with bereavement (2008)
● Introduction to Counselling, University of Leicester (2008)
● Certificate of Qualification in Social Work, University College, Cardiff (1979)
I am a Registered member of the BACP. I meet the criteria for BACP accreditation and will shortly be submitting my application
Areas of counselling I deal with
- Affairs and betrayals
- Anger management
- Attachment disorder
- Carer support
- Child related issues
- Domestic violence
- Eating disorders
- Emotional abuse
- Family issues
- Learning difficulties
- Low self-confidence
- Low self-esteem
- Physical abuse
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Postnatal depression
- Pregnancy and birth
Other areas of counselling I deal with
I am very happy to work with clients who want to look at any one or more of a wide range of issues. In addition to the above list, I would like to add:
● Attachment issues
● Identity & role in life
● Adjusting to change / life transitions
● Adolescence – including the experience of your parents separating
● Parenthood (initial adjustments, through to parenting teenagers, and loss of role on sons & daughters leaving home)
● Infertility & involuntary childlessness – the sense of loss at never succeeding in having children
● Family break-up
● Being a carer (to a partner, parent, son/daughter, or any other relationship)
● Pet bereavement
● Loss of role
● Tiredness / loss of drive or focus
● A sense of shame / guilt / self-blame, or maybe an unease that you just can't fully explain
● Trust issues
● Post-traumatic stress
● Childhood abuse
● Domestic violence
● Rape / Sexual assault
● Any issue of 'hidden loss' or 'hidden grief'
Please see above
Maps & Directions
Type of session
|Face to face counselling:||Yes|
I am available for appointments on weekdays, evenings and weekends. I work from premises in Walesby, North Notts, with easy parking and level access.
Types of client
|Employee Assistance Programme|