I am an accredited member of BACP as I believe that one of the most important things needed for counselling to be effective is for a person to feel safe to explore their personal material. This means that I am committed to BACP's ethical framework for practice and am accountable to them to carry this through.
Are you going round in circles? Counselling can be about letting another person come into the circle with you and helping you to find ‘your’ way out. People come to counselling for many reasons:
Some people have had very difficult experiences in their lives and have decided that they need time to consider the past, present and future responses to these.
Some people feel like they have no sense of self, who they really are as a person or have lost that sense somewhere along the way.
Some people have experienced or are currently experiencing feelings of depression, anxiety, or different types of mental health problems and need to find understanding of, and learn to manage these and work towards self-healing.
Sometimes any of the above can lead to a reliance on substances including alcohol.
For children, this may be more difficult to identify. Their problems are often made apparent by displaying problematic behaviours at home or at school and often children and young people find it difficult to articulate and identify what is distressing them. Creative working offers them a language to speak through.
The core model that I work from is Person Centred. This means that I believe that we all have the potential to find our own way through our difficulties. When we can tap into that potential it is like a refreshing and nurturing Wellspring of life to draw from. Sometimes we need someone else to help us to connect with this, and begin to recognise this part of ourselves and listen to it.
We all have many layers of experiencing in our lives no matter what our age is and this can affect how we respond to our current life situations. Counselling is about working within these layers to bring freedom to be the person that you want to be in the now and in the future.
Change is possible if we can listen and empathise with ourselves and connect with our wellspring potential.
In addition to Person Centred, I can work with tools integrated from Cognitive Behaviour Therapy and Brief Solution Focussed Therapy, therefore, working in an integrative, humanistic approach. Though offering a choice in ways of working is always a priority in the counselling relationship. An empathic non-judgemental environment is nurtured throughout Creating a safe way to begin to work through any of the above.
I offer very reasonable rates at £40 per hour for counselling and concessions for student counsellors and therapists (discussed on an individual basis). The charge may be slightly higher where I am paying rent for a therapeutic space - please enquire. In the future this will be reviewed annually.
The first session will be at a reduced cost £15 to give us a chance to meet and for you to find out any further information that you need before committing to further sessions. It will be at this point that we can discuss any concessions. I will hold a limited number of spaces for this.
At the bottom of this section are potted meanings which may be helpful in understanding the counselling models.
• An opportunity to use creative media within your counselling to help you to speak and express yourself ‘beyond words' - art collage, ready-made images and much more
Creativity can be a way of expressing that which is 'beyond words' and also offers containment for difficult feelings and issues. It helps to work with different perspectives and see different aspects to problems and situations and can inspire the general creative process of life.
Children use creativity in counselling to explore and express difficult experiences and feelings. It is not always apparent what these represent but it is usually apparent that there is a process at work and I believe that working within the Person Centred approach keeps the therapy safe and at the child's pace.
What is it creative counselling?
You don’t have to be an artist or have any experience with art to take part in creative counselling. It isn’t about learning artistic techniques but it is about the process of producing and working with an image. We would reflect on the image and the process of producing it, finding different meanings from it, about you, and your life.
There are many different ways to experience creative counselling. A safe and non-judgemental open space is created to work in as spontaneous a way as possible. The counsellor facilitates the client to imagine a picture in their mind, using a theme which has come from a purpose that has come from the counselling e.g. an issue being reflected upon. The created article becomes a projection of the self from within that can be seen and explored.
Why use creative counselling?
Working with problems and issues creatively can bring a deep and meaningful understanding of them. Life is so much more dynamic than words only can express. Feelings and emotions are often difficult to express in words. Often colour, shape, form, images, can express in a helpful way those things which people find are beyond words.
It offers further containment of issues, experiences, feelings and emotions worked within the counselling relationship. People often say that they are frightened of opening boxes, which have been kept closed for fear of not coping with what is inside. Creative counselling offers a container or holding place as people can begin to open up issues that may be difficult for the person to explore.
Very brief potted meanings:
Person Centred Approach:
Creating a safe environment and offering Core Conditions that promote growth. Three of these are unconditional regard (a non-judgemental without conditions approach), empathy (listening and understanding from your perspective as the client) and congruence (a genuine response from the counsellor and client and developing a genuine relationship).
In their speaking of the core conditions working together with the client David Mearns and Brian Thorne say;
‘It is in their dance, their intricate weaving, that the core conditions reveal their vitality and their potency as a healing force.'
(Person-Centred Therapy Today ©Sage Publications Ltd 2000).
The assumption is that you know yourself best and it is the counsellor’s job to understand and learn about you and your perspectives whilst being in this genuine relationship. With the core conditions effectively communicated it is expected that this is a safe place to reflect, grow and change areas of your life which you want to change.
Cognitive Behaviour Therapy:
Looking at thoughts, feelings, and behaviour around particular problems and how they link together. Working toward understanding these and where appropriate changing behaviours that are problematic to you as a client.
Brief Solution Focused Therapy:
Focussing more on finding solutions to problems which you present to the counselling relationship. Finding goals that you want to work towards and strategies towards meeting those goals.
If you would like more information about these types of counselling then please do not hesitate to get in touch.
Training, qualifications & experience
I trained to BA in Counselling degree level and have committed to 30+ hours professional development per year at since qualifying in 2002. I have been accredited with BACP for more than 6 years. I also have a Diploma in Person Centred Art Therapy Skills and training in working with Addiction and Complex issues. Also, I have foundation training in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy and can draw from the tools that CBT offers where appropriate.
I have been working for 3 years in private practice, and in addition, have 9 years experience working both in GP practices, in a community setting and with people who are experiencing alcohol problems or addiction achieving good outcomes throughout. This means that I have worked with many wide ranging issues including; bereavement, relationship problems, work related problems, depression, anxiety, mental health issues, abuse issues, alcohol-related problems, and many more.
However, I do believe that an individual brings their unique experiences to counselling and these terms are often inadequate to describe these.
In the past two years, I have developed a working practice with children and in particular children who have been struggling to access mainstream school. My creative therapy skills have made this a natural development process.
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
I charge £40 per hour and offer concessions under particular circumstances to a limited number of current clients working so please ask and this will be discussed. There may be a slightly higher charge where I pay rent for the therapeutic space e.g. in Durham - please enquire for details.
I offer venues in Stockton on Tees and currently have suspended my practice in Sacriston near Durham on Wednesdays.
If you are bringing a child to counselling an adult will need to accompany them and wait outside of the counselling space for them.