Dawn Cook MSc CPsychol MBACP
How can counselling help?
My role is to listen and help you to unravel and understand what might be stopping you from moving on or enjoying your life to the full. The fundamental basis of all types of therapy is providing a safe comfortable space to be able to talk about what is going on for you. There are different ways that psychological therapies and counselling maybe able to help you through your problems.
Finding the ‘right’ therapist is important to your treatment, so you may like to book an initial appointment to see how you feel and then decide if you wish to proceed.
My background is in sport where my initial interest in psychology began whilst working with elite gymnasts. Over 10 years ago I also spent time having my own therapy, by the end of which I decided that I wanted to change career paths.
I trained part time over a 9 year period and fully qualified in 2010. Being a Counselling Psychologist also means I am trained to work in a number of therapy styles and to work integratively.
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy
CBT is based on the concept that the way we think about things affects how we feel emotionally. Clients are taught ways to change thoughts and expectations and relaxation techniques are used. Unlike most psychotherapies which only work with talk and reflections, CBT regards behavioural acts as primary. It assumes that maladaptive, or faulty, thinking patterns cause maladaptive behaviour and "negative" emotions (maladaptive behaviour is behaviour that is counter-productive or interferes with everyday living). The treatment focuses on changing an individual's thoughts (cognitive patterns) in order to change his or her behaviour and emotional state.
Treatment involves clients engaging in personal behavioural experiments. For many behaviourally based problems (such as phobias) there simply is no substitute for this way of working. Direct behavioural experience is often the most effective medium for articulating change. Action, that is, sometimes speaks far louder than words. Cognitive therapy focuses on present thinking, behaviour, and communication rather than on past experiences and is oriented toward problem solving.
This is based on the belief that every person has an innate impulse toward growth and a desire to reach their full potential. The person-centred approach views the client as their own best authority on their own experience, capable of fulfilling their own potential for growth. It recognises, however, that achieving potential requires favourable conditions and that under adverse conditions, individuals may not grow and develop in ways that they otherwise could. In particular, when individuals are denied acceptance and positive regard from others — or when that positive regard is made conditional upon the individual behaving in particular ways — they may begin to lose touch with what their own experience means for them, and their innate tendency to grow in a direction consistent with that meaning may be stifled.
The therapy places much of the responsibility for the treatment process on the client, with the therapist taking a non-directive role. Effectively they urge their clients to become liberated from their negative self concepts which are expressions of previous hurts and past conditioning. In this sense therapists challenge what they hear as much as being good listeners.
Brief Psychodynamic Therapy
This focuses on unconscious processes as they are manifested in a person’s present behaviour. The goals of psychodynamic therapy are a client’s self-awareness and understanding of the influence of the past on present behaviour. In its brief form, a psychodynamic approach enables the client to examine unresolved conflicts and symptoms that arise from past dysfunctional relationships and manifest themselves in the need and desire to abuse substances or themselves in some way.
The client is encouraged to talk about childhood relationships with parents and other significant people and the therapist focuses on the client/therapist relationship (the dynamics) and in particular on the transference. Transference is when the client projects onto the therapist feelings experienced in previous significant relationships. The therapist will focus on interpretations of transference, defense mechanisms, and current symptoms alongside your own insight to work through your present problems.
Practitioners of brief psychodynamic therapy believe that some changes can happen through a more rapid process or that an initial short intervention will start an ongoing process of change that does not need the constant involvement of the therapist. A central concept in brief therapy is that there should be one major focus for the therapy.
This is when several distinct models of counselling are used together in a converging way rather than in separate pieces.
Training, qualifications & experience
Counselling Psychologist (MSc CPsychol MBACP)
- Degree in Psychology through the Open University.
- Person-Centred Counselling introduction and intermediate courses at Sussex Downs College.
- Postgraduate Diploma in the Practice of Counselling Psychology through Roehampton University.
- Masters in Counselling Psychology with Roehampton University.
Through my training and after qualifying, I have worked in a number of different environments as a Counsellor and as a Counselling Psychologist:
- Counsellor for ‘Options’, part of the local Mental Health Service (NHS).
- Bereavement counsellor for the National Charity ‘CRUSE’.
- General counsellor for the local Mental Health Service (NHS).
- Counselling Psychologist for the local Mental Health Service (NHS).
- Counselling Psychologist for a local GP surgery.
- Private work as a Counselling Psychologist for Eastbourne Counselling Services.
I believe this variety of experience enables me to work with clients with an array of different problems.
I am a member of:
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.
Health and Care Professions Council
The HCPC are an independent, UK-wide health regulator. They set standards of professional training, performance and conduct for 16 professions.
They keep a register of health professionals who meet their standards, and they take action if registered health professionals fall below those standards. They were created by a piece of legislation called the Health Professions Order 2001.
Registration means that a health professional meets national standards for their professional training, performance and conduct.
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 am a qualified supervisor and I am happy to take on either training or qualified supervisees.
The cost of a 50 min therapy session is £50 for face-to-face, £45 for phone or video-conference and for 30 mins it is £35 or £30.
For couples the cost is £60 for a 1 hour session face-to-face session or £55 for video-conference.
It is respectfully requested that payments are made at the end of each session either by cash, cheque or BACS.
Therapy sessions are usually 50 minutes long and weekly (although in some cases twice a week, fortnightly or half hour sessions may be arranged).
I can offer short-term therapy (approx 6 - 12 weeks), long-term (which can be over a year) or open ended therapy (No fixed date for an ending is decided during the initial stages).
The venue is purpose built as a counselling room attached to the work address. Being in a residential area, there is free parking.