Claude Distefano, MBACP(Accred), MBABCP, MA, B.Psy(Hons)
Hi, I'm Claude and I'd like to thank you for visiting my profile. I am a qualified Counsellor/Psychotherapist and an Accredited Member of the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP). I am also a qualified Cognitive Behavioural Psychotherapist (CBT), Accredited with the British Association of Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapies (BABCP). Both institutions have respective Codes of Ethics that inform the standards of conduct and good practice expected from practitioners and I adhere to them.
I have over 10 years clinical experience in the NHS having worked in various Primary Care settings. I am trained to help people work through a broad range of difficulties and problems that adversely impact one's mental and emotional well-being.
I have broad experience working with Low mood and Depression, various types of Anxiety such as Generalised Anxiety & Worry, Panic Attacks, Social Anxiety, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), Phobias, Health Anxiety and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). I also work with Irritability & Anger, Procrastination, Stress, Low Self-Esteem, Perfectionism, the impact of Long-Term Medical Conditions, and Loss of Purpose in life, amongst other issues.
My manner is characterised by fundamental person-centred attitudes of warmth, non-judgmental listening, and empathy. I work mainly from a CBT perspective which is a type of goal-directed talking therapy which has a practical flavour to it. I also draw upon other modalities if appropriate for an individual's needs.
Through no fault of our own, very often we find ourselves caught up in patterns of negative thinking and behaviours that create vicious circles which may exacerbate the problem. In turn, these also make it difficult to consider alternative perspectives or solutions. Should you decide to work with me, I will work collaboratively with you throughout our therapy to develop a shared understanding of your difficulties and struggles. We will consider what factors may be playing a part in keeping the problem going and together, we will explore and discuss ways to bring about positive change and/or a healthy adaptation to changing circumstances or life events.
Should you wish to discuss whether my skills and expertise may be of benefit to you, I would be happy to do so in an initial telephone conversation free of charge and without obligation.
Training, qualifications & experience
Throughout my career, I worked with a variety of client age groups, backgrounds and presenting issues. For the past 5 years I have been working as a CBT therapist with an 'Improving Access to Psychological Therapies' (IAPT) service where, among other duties, I conduct assessments and engage in face-to-face clinical work. I also have a special interest in Low Self-Esteem and lead a small team of co-facilitators who run a regular group course on Improving Self-Esteem. If you suffer from low self-esteem you are likely to hold negative views about yourself, often feel bad about yourself and probably feel quite anxious in the company of others. This generally leads to avoidance of social encounters and gives rise to damaging self-criticism. CBT may be helpful to work through such blocks and difficulties.
I also regularly attend training workshops and seminars as part of my commitment towards continuing professional development. These involve further advanced training in CBT and I also take an interest in other modalities such as Compassion Focused Therapy and Mindfulness.
- Postgraduate Diploma in Evidence-based Psychological Treatments (CBT), University of Reading, 2012.
- Master of Arts (Counselling & Psychotherapy), Liverpool John Moores University, 2010.
- Postgraduate Diploma (Counselling & Psychotherapy), Liverpool John Moores University, 2007.
- Bachelor of Psychology (Hons), University of Malta, 2003.
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 Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapies
The BABCP is the lead organisation for Cognitive Behavioural Therapy in the UK.
Membership is open to anyone with an interest in the practice, theory or development of CBT. BABCP also provides accreditation for CBT therapists.
BABCP accredited members adhere to the Standards of Conduct, Performance and Ethics in the Practice of Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapies, and are willing to be scrutinised in this adherence as required.
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
£70 per session (50 minutes). I offer limited concessions for those who may find this too expensive. Payment by cash or online Banking (BACS, Faster Payments, etc) after every session please. I request a minimum of 24-hour notice for cancellations or the full session fee will apply.
Sessions are normally 50 minutes long across all presentation problems except PTSD which may occasionally involve 1-2 longer sessions involving higher fees, in which case these will be discussed with you and planned in advance.
Format of sessions:
Typically face-to-face, short or longer-term. In exceptional circumstances sessions over Skype may be arranged. Often, a course of therapy involves 6-12 sessions but sometimes more may be needed. To manage the duration of therapy, I will regularly review and discuss our therapeutic progress with you in an open and transparent manner and we will decide together whether more sessions will be helpful. In the early stages of therapy we will set therapy goals to guide our work and help us remain focused on what we aim to achieve.
Limits of Confidentiality
Information shared during therapy is held confidentially except in the following circumstances which would warrant disclosure: If a client poses a serious risk of harm to themselves or others; Child protection or safeguarding issues; Information about acts of terrorism.
I am registered with the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) which means personal data collected, stored and/or processed will be in compliance with Data Protection legislation including the European Union's General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) which came into force on 25 May 2018.