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.
Accredited register membership
Areas of counselling I deal with
- Anger management
- Chronic fatigue syndrome/ME
- Emotional abuse
- Feeling sad
- Generalised anxiety disorder
- Low self-confidence
- Low self-esteem
- Obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD)
- Panic disorder
- Passive aggressive behaviour
- Physical abuse
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Postnatal depression
- Relationship problems
- Work-related stress
£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.
Maps & Directions
Type of session
|Face to face counselling:||Yes|
Types of client