Brian Richards FdSc, MBACP, Personal and Relationship Counselling
Firstly... CORONAVIRUS. My Stance. (updated 14/05/20). Following an eight week period of seeing no clients in person, face to face, I am now accepting counselling enquiries again with a view to commencing at the clients convenience. There will be some hygiene measures in place to reduce the risks of infection (such as the provision of hand sanitizer), but other than that it will be counselling as usual in my therapy room, separate from the house, at my home address. I am aware there has been an increased drive by some counsellors towards online counsellors, but after careful consideration I believe this method of counselling has too many shortcomings compared to face to face counselling in person, so am unable to follow this trend at the time being.
I offer counselling for couples and individuals at my private therapy room in Runcorn, with the option of a mobile service by mutual arrangement. I also offer outdoor counselling for those who prefer to "walk n talk" in a rural setting, or relax and chat on a park bench.
I'm happy to work flexibly around your personal commitments or working life, especially if you work shifts or have child-minding dilemmas.
I'm interested in helping you make genuine sense of what's going on. I'll help you look for the light switch in a dark room so we can shed some light and improve your self-awareness. Then you can decide if you want to make changes, and I'll help you in that process.
So if you're struggling with issues that are leaving you miserable or in a mental fog, having relationship difficulties, feeling stuck, depressed, confused or lacking meaning and direction in your life, then counselling can help.
I offer an environment where clients can talk freely and openly about their issues, and together we’ll explore what’s going on for you, how you got there, and what the future might look like if changes are made.
Couples are welcome to enquire too, and we can explore and make sense of what's going on for you both. Since graduating I've took particular interest in studying the dynamics of relationships, communication and why people have affairs (even happily married people!). I've completed two couples counselling courses that centred around these topics. You'll find me open-minded and willing to talk frankly on issues of sex, fantasy, maintaining desire in long-term relationships, avoiding sexual boredom, reconnecting with your sensual self, monogamy, other types of relationships that are not monogamous, dealing with infidelity and temptation, the physical and mental differences that can change over time, variations in libido and erotic desire, the effect that having children can have on a relationship; as well as all the other important things, like effectively communicating, understanding yourself and your partner, maintaining your own identity whilst also having dual identity as a couple, understanding what you need from a relationship and what you can provide in a relationship. Individuals are also welcome to attend counselling for these matters too.
So if you feel there are matters that you've rolled round in your mind but never had the opportunity to openly work out without prejudice or judgement then consider giving me a call. If there are unresolved issues in your relationship or you feel like you need some assistance in getting it back on track then consider booking in; either individually or as a couple.
I welcome enquiries from clients with all sorts of issues, but I feel I am at my most helpful to clients when working in following areas:
- social media and mobile phone dependency, and how it affects your self-esteem and how you live.
- helping you find your own personal meaning in life
- uncovering how the past could be affecting how you live in the present
- relationship issues and couples counselling
- affairs and infidelity
- body confidence and acceptance
- sexual issues
- matters to do with mid-life reflection, evaluation and moving into the second half of your life.
- helping you deal with serious illness or unexpected events
- making decisions
- self esteem / self worth
- emotional turmoil
- eating disorders
- talking frankly with couples to help explore and improve physical relationships
- assisting personal growth through exploration and processes of creative personal discovery
- helping you uncover and change any unhelpful ruts and routines
Talking to a counsellor who can explore those things with you can really help you gain insight as you move forward in life.
I do not charge a premium rate for couples counselling, as the time, effort and preparation are often the same as for individual counselling. I am also aware that many couples are put off from seeking counselling together because they see prices raised above the rate for individuals. I'm interested in keeping fees realistic and affordable to couples, and so my session rate is the same for couples as it is for individuals.
But bear this in mind; you don't get the support and help you need merely by flicking through counselling profiles, the same as you don't go on holiday by simply looking at brochures. You get it by making a commitment to yourself and making that first contact, regardless of whether it's with me or anyone else.
I am trained to degree level as an integrative counsellor, which means that I carefully consider your individuality and then draw on various counselling models to find an approach that suits you best. I have also completed a post-qualification course on counselling couples after the revelation of an affair. But it all begins with your story, what brings you to counselling, and how I can best understand you and your world. As the sessions unfold, I’ll introduce practices and interventions from different counselling models in accordance with what your needs are.
IMPORTANT. If your preferred contact method is by email then please check your spam mail carefully before deleting. My reply could be in there! If you text me then I can usually reply quicker.
I offer two flexible ways of going about your counselling, fitting in with your working patterns and family life:
- Open-ended counselling without a pre-defined closing date, whereby the client takes as many sessions as they feel they need, and we check-in with each other at regular intervals to see how things are progressing. There are no minimum or maximum number of sessions. Sessions will usually take place at the same time each week but if you work a shift pattern or have circumstances that are not conducive to meeting at the same weekly time, then don't worry! Talk to me about how I can best meet your needs in a flexible and accommodating way.
- Fixed term counselling (anywhere between three to ten sessions) whereby the client knows in advance that they have a time frame to work within. This may suit clients who need to budget in advance, or who are able to clearly focus on a predetermined goal. Again, if working patterns mean that it's impossible to make the same each week, then talk to me about and I'll do my best to be flexible.
I am a Member of the BACP and when working I strive to adhere to their ethical principles.
If you’d like to enquire further, or you’d like to meet me before deciding, then I offer an optional free face-to-face 30 minute consultation.
CLIENTS ON LOW INCOMES. If you feel you would benefit from counselling but would genuinely struggle to find the fees, then feel free to talk to me about options that I may be able to offer you. (By "low income", I mean people who are unemployed or are working part-time hours on the minimum wage, and have no other means of support or very little disposable income after essential living expenses are paid for).
MOBILE OPTION. Whilst I would always recommend that clients attend my therapy room, I understand that for some, this may be inconvenient, or they would feel more comfortable if I came to them. I am happy to discuss this option with you although it must be stressed that counselling works best when there is absolute privacy, without distraction or interruptions from children, pets, or other family members.
ORGANISATIONS. I welcome enquiries from organisations who would like to establish a relationship with a counsellor to whom they could refer employees who may benefit in difficult times from this type of help.
Training, qualifications & experience
Foundation degree in Counselling with Staffordshire University.
Certificates of attendance on courses on couples counselling to do with dealing with affairs and communication, from The College of Sexual and Relationship Therapists.
I have had several jobs in a wide variety of fields. This has brought me in contact with all sort of different people from differing social and economic backgrounds. My interpersonal skills have developed as a result.
In relation to therapeutic experience I have volunteered with two local charities and one national charity in providing holistic complementary therapies for cancer patients and their families. This inevitably involved lots of empathic listening and support.
I have nine years experience as a qualified massage therapist during which it was common for clients to disclose their issues in the massage room and for me to practice my counselling skills with them. This, in part, influenced my decision to study and qualify in counselling to a high level.
In training, I completed over 100 sessions with genuine clients at MIND which proved a tremendous help and learning curve.
I have attended seminars on eating disorders, domestic abuse, suicide awareness, sex and relationships, and the nature of cancer.
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
Other areas of counselling I deal with
Mid-life evaluation. Helping clients explore anxieties, depression, doubts and questionings commonly found amongst 35-60 year olds. Helping you find meaning and purpose at times when you feel you have lost your way, or life and relationships have become monotonous and boring. Helping you discover yourself, or create yourself.
£30 per 60 minute session.
£20 per 60 minute session for students under the age of 25
Mobile counselling £35 per 60 minute session.
Couples counselling £30 per 60 minute session (£35 mobile)
I also offer two courses lasting for five, hourly sessions entitled "Who am I ?" and "Mid-life Matters". These cost £95 each with the option of taking each course in one go as a day course. Full details of these courses can be found by clicking on the "Courses" tab on my website shown at the start of my profile.
NB. If you would like to access counselling but feel put-off because of travel costs that would increase the cost considerably, or you have practical difficulties in making the same time each week, for example because of shift patterns, then please feel free to discuss this with me as there may be flexible ways I can help make accessing counselling easier.
Payments can be made by card, cash or paypal.
Concessions offered for
In my mid-forties I went through a 6 month period of questioning, reflection and searching. It was life-changing and produced positive outcomes beyond my imagination. This is what spurred me on to the path of becoming a counsellor; to help others who may be experiencing difficulties. You can be a slave to the past, or a pioneer of your own personal future. You can get bogged down, resentful and weary as you constantly try live up to the expectations of everyone else, or you can level the playing field and become a more authentic, fulfilled and confident you.
And so this is my passion. Helping you break the chains of the past and discovering who you really are, and what you want for the future.
Whatever is limiting you or holding you back; whatever is keeping you awake at night or ruining your quality of life - talking can help. Not just any old talking…. talking to a counsellor in a safe and confidential environment. Someone who can enter into your world, look at your past, look at your beliefs about how you think things “ought” to be, and look at what you want differently for the future.