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About me

     Every problem contains its own solution; every distress its resolution.

This principle lies at the heart of my counselling practice. It is rooted in my own experience (over 20 years) of personal growth and support work - and in the journeys I have seen my clients make from dis-ease and difficulty, towards ease (with themselves and with their stories) and growth.

Such a possibility can appear distant at times, especially if our ability to access our own resources has been compromised, either through life experience or circumstance. But by exploring our experience of ourselves (and of the world) in the safe, supportive setting of the counselling relationship, we can learn to recognize and trust our own truth - and develop the capacity to act upon it.

Each person’s pathway into, and through, their own particular difficulty, is of course unique. But as a Person-Centred counsellor I offer the support, and understanding you might need to find your way forwards. By helping you to recognise, and utilize, your own inherent capacities for growth and renewal, I can enable you to move through difficulty - towards understanding, resilience and growth.

In this way I have helped clients to overcome many kinds of personal difficulty, including:

anxiety, depression, stress, loss and bereavement, low self-esteem, relationship problems, eating disorders, trauma, bullying and abuse.

I have a particular interest in inner critic work - often a key factor in depression, anxiety and low self-esteem.

Trauma and Personality Disorders

I offer a trauma-aware approach to the treatment of personality 'disorders'. My academic background in biology informs my understanding of the neurophysiological basis of trauma, while my personal experience of overcoming the effects of acute childhood trauma has deepened my understanding of the way such negative impacts can profoundly affect our experience of ourselves and our way of being in the world, ie our personality.

Together these understandings, both theoretical and personal, help me to support my clients to express, integrate and ultimately transcend their own experiences of trauma, through the process of counselling.

Meditation and Mindfulness

I have practiced meditation for over 20 yrs, and can offer my clients simple relaxation and mindfulness techniques, where these might be helpful - for example to help clients calm and ground themselves during anxiety or panic attacks, and to build resilience against such attacks.

Professional Registration

I am a Registered Member of the British Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy (MBACP), and abide by their code of ethics.

My Practice

I practice from a lovely room at 49 E Crosscauseway (formerly Compass Counselling), on Edinburgh's Southside. This is a quiet street just by Saisbury Crags - close to Edinburgh University and to many city bus routes. There is ample on-street parking. There is also an abundance of local cafes, should you arrive early, or wish to reflect afterwards.
The room is Wheelchair Accessible.

I also practice nearby at The Salisbury Centre, 2 Salisbury Road, EH16 5AB

Introductory Sessions

If you feel that you might be interested in working with me, then please get in touch (either by phone or email) to arrange an introductory session (£30).

Training, qualifications & experience

Originally a biologist (with a keen interest in human development - biological, cultural and psychological)), I have been involved in personal growth and support work, including body work (Chi Gong) and meditation, for over 20 years.

I began formal counselling training in 2007, studying for the COSCA Certificate in Counselling Skills, and progressed from this to COSCA's Further Steps in Counselling Skills, and then to the Post Graduate Diploma in Person-Centred Counselling at Glasgow Strathclyde University.

I have been in practice for over 5 years, and am a registered member (MBACP) of the British Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP), and follow their code of ethics. As well as my private practice (Peacetalk Counselling), I am a counsellor at the Pilton Community Health Project in Edinburgh.

Member organisations


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

British Association for Counselling & Psychotherapy

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.

Therapies offered

  • Mindfulness
  • Person-centred therapy


£30 for an initial introductory session

£50 per session thereafter, payable after each session

£40 Students/concessions

49 E Crosscauseway
(Compass Counselling)

The Salisbury Centre
2 Salisbury Road
EH16 5AB

Type of session

In person
Home visits

Practical details

Sign language Unspecified
Other languages None


Wheelchair user access

Wheelchair-accessible premises should have step-free access for wheelchair users and individuals who are unable to climb stairs. If a counsellor's premises aren't step-free, they may offer alternative services such as telephone/web-based appointments, home visits, or meeting clients in different location, so you can choose the option that suits you best.

You can contact the counsellor to discuss the options available.

Under the Equality Act 2010 service providers have a duty to make reasonable adjustments to ensure that individuals with disabilities can access their service. You can read more about reasonable adjustments to help you to access services on the CAB website.

Wheelchair user access

My room at 49 E Crosscauseway is wheelchair accessible


Week days and evenings.

Types of client

Young people
Older adults
Charles Durning, PG Dip Counselling, Reg MBACP

Charles Durning, PG Dip Counselling, Reg MBACP