Dawn Aitchison MBACP
I am a Person-Centred counsellor living on the Lizard peninsular in Cornwall. I see private clients, both adults and young people, at my home in Mullion, near Helston.
As part of my private practice, I work two mornings a week as a school counsellor in a local secondary school and one morning in a local primary, I offer EAP work for the Schools Advisory Service, providing support for teachers, and I also work for a low-cost counselling agency for adults who live in the Camborne area.
Previously, I have counselled for a local cornish charity that supports abused children, Cornwall Rape and Sexual Abuse Centre, Students Services at Cornwall College and Penhaligon's Friends, a local childhood bereavement charity.
Usually individuals choose to have counselling because they are experiencing difficulties and distress in their lives. Sometimes people can be isolated but at other times, even where an individual has the most supportive family and friends, they can find it difficult if not impossible to explain why, for example, they may be feeling anxious and or depressed. Or it may be easier to talk about personal, family, or relationship issues with a person who is independent of friends and family. Other life issues and events which can be very difficult to deal with include bereavement, divorce, redundancy, health issues, bullying and so on. However, you do not have to be in crisis or on the verge of one, before choosing to have therapy. You may be experiencing underlying feelings of dissatisfaction with life in general, or be seeking balance in your life and spirituality. All of these reasons and more will bring individuals to therapy (BACP website).
For me counselling is:
A safe space where what you bring is treated with respect and confidentiality.
A non-judgemental space where you are seen and accepted for who you are.
A creative space where you can encounter yourself and become more intimate with your thoughts, feelings and meanings, enabling you to find your own way to move on with your life.
During counselling I will:
Listen to you, accept you for who you are, and be honest with you.
Treat you with respect regardless of your race, religion, sexuality, disability, age, class or lifestyle.
View the counselling session as ‘your space’ and allow you to choose what you want to focus on and how you would like to work; this could include visual images, writing, movement or working outside, if you find this helpful.
Encourage you to set your own goals for counselling and work towards them, reviewing progress over time.
It is my experience that the person centred approach, with its emphasis on creating a warm, lively and supportive therapeutic relationship can bring about effective change and enhance wellbeing.
Training, qualifications & experience
I am fully qualified with a Diploma in Person Centred Counselling and Therapy and a Registered Member of the BACP (the professional body representing counsellors and psychotherapists).This means that I adhere to the guidelines laid down in their ethical framework and have regular supervision. I also hold a Post-Qualifying Diploma in Counselling Adolescents and Children and am currently working towards my accreditation. I am fully insured, registered with the ICO and DBS checked.
I have experience of working with adults, young people and children on a variety of issues including:
anxiety, depression, bereavement and pre-bereavement, bullying at school and in the work place, eating disorders, self-harm, post-natal depression, pregnancy and birth, parenting, relationship difficulties, intrusive thoughts and OCD, sexual, emotional and physical abuse and neglect, suicidal thoughts, domestic violence, trauma, living with long term illness and disability, CFS, learning difficulties, work-related stress and redundancy.
During the course of my professional training I have completed:
- Grief Training - Level 1: The theory of Childhood Loss and Grief
- Grief Training - Level 2: Therapeutic Skills and Practical Applications of Theory
- Training on working with clients who Self-Harm and on building Resilience
- West Cornwall Women's Aid Domestic Violence and Abuse awareness training
- Cornwall Rape and Sexual Abuse Centre 20 week course
- FGM awareness
- Mind and Body together - Emotional Wellbeing training
- Training in understanding dissociation and complex dissociative disorders
- Depth of play training - using Sandtray to experience symbolism and metaphor in play
- Counselling and Autism
- MindEd - elearning for professionals working with children and young people
- ASIST - Applied Suicide Intervention Training
I qualified with a BA Hons. Degree in Fine Art with Qualified Teacher Status from Warwick University in 1992. Before I trained as a counsellor, I spent twenty mostly enjoyable years employed as a primary school teacher. I believe this experience has given me valuable insights into what it is like to work in a challenging environment; highlighting how vital the act of creating space can be for wellbeing. I create space in my life through playing and listening to music, walking and painting. I hope I can help you to express your creativity in a way that is meaningful for you.
Areas of counselling I deal with
- Anger management
- Anorexia nervosa
- Asperger's syndrome
- Binge-eating disorder
- Bulimia nervosa
- Carer support
- Child related issues
- Chronic fatigue syndrome/ME
- Domestic violence
- Eating disorders
- Emotional abuse
- Generalised anxiety disorder
- Learning difficulties
- Low self-confidence
- Low self-esteem
- Obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD)
- Panic disorder
Photos & videos
I charge £20 for an initial consultation with subsequent sessions being £35. This allows me to provide some very low cost counselling spaces for those in receipt of benefits. I also offer a reduced rate of £30 for students. Payment is made at the end of the session.
Please contact me by email or the contact form on my website. I will then get back to you as soon as I can to arrange an initial consultation, if that is what you would like.
Our initial session will set out what I can offer and what you are looking for; enabling us to find out if we both feel we can work together. Sessions are weekly, at a regular time, last for an hour and are available for as long as you want to come. We will review our work together regularly so that you can decide if further sessions will be helpful.
Maps & Directions
Type of session
|Face to face counselling:||Yes|
I am available to meet Monday to Thursday between 9.30 and 6pm and will try to fit you in at another time if this is not suitable.
Types of client
|Employee Assistance Programme|