Christian 'Chip' Ponsford
I am focused on offering a counselling relationship in which it feels increasingly safe to talk, to explore things which you might not be able to talk about elsewhere.
I have over eight years' experience of working succesfully with a great range of
• People in suicidal crisis at The Maytree in London,
• Survivors of torture at The Refugee Therapy Centre in London
• Men who’ve served long prison sentences at Katherine Price Hughes House in London
• People suffering with long term ‘complex mental health’ issues at Islington MIND
• 11 - 25 year olds at OffCentre in East London
• With groups including my 'Ecotherapy group for men suffering with depression'
• Individuals struggling with anxiety, depression, anger issues… in fact with as many ‘issues’ as I have individuals, since no two peoples’ experiences are the same.
I have worked with groups, couples, families, families with adopted children, young people; distressed people of all sorts.
The Person-centred therapy I offer can help in the following ways:
• I recognise you as the expert on your own life
• We work at your pace
• We explore your thoughts, ideas, feelings, relationships and behaviour
• We explore together - I work hard to earn the trust to be your companion in this exploration
• I will be real and open with you
• I believe you have enormous capacity to grow towards your potential
How I work
I am committed to being open and transparent with you and to understand as accurately as I can how life is for you.
By you exploring and describing your experience to me and by me listening very attentively and uncritically to the whole of your experience, you can start to find clarity for yourself. I will check my understanding of what you are saying (I won't just smile and nod) Essentially what I do as I listen is to say "do you mean this?" In this way you can make things clearer for yourself by having made them clearer to me. The lack of judgement in our exploration is what can make it very freeing for you.
I am passionate about the person-centred approach because I believe it is most respectful of your expertise about your own life. It fits with my own philosophy and experience that people have an enormous capacity for self-healing and growth if they can access that capacity in a trustworthy environment.
Why am I a counsellor?
Because I have benefited enormously from counselling and I want to offer the same chance to others. This is my way of trying to make the world a better place – one person at a time!
Where have I worked?
Ecotherapy group for men suffering with depression
I recently set up and co-facilitated this group in woodland near Hexham. It was a great success and I am now in the process of setting up a charity in order to continue this ecotherapy work.
The Refugee Therapy Centre, Finsbury Park, London
Working with people from around the world who have experienced severe trauma including torture and war.
Off Centre, Hackney, London
Working with 11 - 25 year olds
Katherine Price Hughes House, London
I was a key-worker at Katherine Price Hughes House with men serving sentences for serious offences. Such people are often judged or written off for some of their actions and seemed to benefit from a trustworthy relationship in which to explore their lives.
Highbury Counselling Centre
I worked at Highbury Counselling Centre with clients who represented the cultural and ethnic diversity and the material inequality of north London. These clients brought a great many different areas of counselling to work with.
I have worked at Islington MIND with previously hospitalised people with long-term mental distress such as that which can be caused by childhood sexual, physical and psychological abuse.
I volunteered as a 'befreinder' at ‘The Maytree’ a short-term residential ‘sanctuary for the suicidal' with people who are actively considering suicide but need somewhere to talk through their thoughts and feelings. I found that listening properly and attentively to these people, and simply spending time with them rather than a more common response of persuading them not to commit suicide, helped them explore and find their own way.
Training, qualifications & experience
I have a Diploma (level 4) and Certificate (level 3) in Person-Centred Therapeutic Counselling.
I trained in Couples counselling wit Counselling Works in 2017
I am currently training as a clinical supervisor with jenny Biancardi in Newcastle
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.
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
I have particular experience of working with men and with people who have experienced childhood sexual, physical and psychological abuse.
I also have experience of working with families with adopted children with traumatic early ife experience.
Sessions for individuals, couples, families and groups are £45 per full hour
My charges to organisations are higher. Please contact me if you'd like to discuss this.