Deborah Birley Verified Professional Verified Professional
Verified Professional

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About me

The objectives of a counselling relationship will vary according to the individuals needs. Relationship issues, depression, panic attacks, anxiety all seem to be a product of the lifestyles we are now living, dealing with these issues will enable you to work towards living in a more satisfactory and resourceful way.  We all have the tendency to repeat patterns of behaviour and allow our past experiences to affect our present . Even though we would like to change, we can often feel unable to do so. Painful situations in the present often have their roots in the past.  This understanding allows the possibility of greater freedom of thought and action, leading to change.

I have over twenty years experience as a counsellor in a variety of settings, including working with adults in doctors’ surgeries, educational establishments;  Furthermore, I have worked with the Young Citizens Project and the Youth Offending Team. Working in an Information and Counselling Centre for Young People aged 14-25, and a Women’s Counselling Centre.

I am also a trained play therapist, working seven years for the national children’s charity, Place2Be. Having run a project for children needing emotional and therapeutic support, I am also able to work with children in the area of play and creative arts. With this option they are able to explore and express themselves through other modes and activities. Adults can also benefit from these methods of therapy.

I offer short or longer term therapy, depending on the nature of the presenting issues.  This is generally in person, but can also be via Skype or phone.

I operate a private practice in my home.  I ensure confidentiality and provide time and space for people to work at their own pace, whatever their issues.  There is parking available, and a regular bus service runs to Buckden, if needed.

Initial meeting

An initial meeting will give us an opportunity to explore how we might best work together. No further obligation is assumed by either party as a result of attending the initial meeting. You may decide at that point that you don't want to continue any further or I may decide that the material you want to work on falls outside my areas of expertise and experience and that it might be better for you to work with someone else. If we decide that we would want to work together we can begin to establish an initial number of sessions to commit to and build in an appropriate review so we can reflect on the process and determine how best to move the work forward.

As laid down by the British Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP), I maintain a strict ethical therapeutic code.

Training, qualifications & experience

My qualifications are:

  • Foundation course in Counselling - Cambridge Training Skills.
  • Intermediate certificate in Counselling - Oaklands College St Albans.
  • Advanced certificate in Counselling (CPCAB) Oaklands College - St Albans.
  • European Diploma in Therapeutic Counselling St Albans University. (CPCAB)apeu
  • Relate certificate in couples Counselling

I am committed to continuing my personal development to ensure the highest standard of professional practice, and I have undertaken a variety of post-graduate short courses and workshops to support this commitment.

These have included studying issues around:

  • Working with Dissociative disorders in Clinical Practice -  Trauma Dissociation & Recovery
  • Dealing with Distress:  Working with Self-harm & Suicide
  • Supporting transitions.
  • Working with anger.
  • Brief therapy-Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT).
  • A Relate programme for working with couples.
  • Group work training.

I also have an enhanced DBS to reflect the vulnerable nature of the people I am working with.

*All of my certification and insurance details are available upon request.

Member organisations


British Association for Counselling & Psychotherapy (BACP)

BACP is one of the UK’s leading professional bodies for counselling and psychotherapy with around 60,000 members. The Association has several different categories of membership, including Student Member, Individual Member, Registered Member MBACP, Registered Accredited Member MBACP (Accred) and Senior Registered Accredited Member MBACP (Snr Acccred).

Registered and accredited members are listed on the BACP Register, which shows that they have demonstrated BACP’s recommended standards for training, proficiency and ethical practice. The BACP Register was the first register of psychological therapists to be accredited by the Professional Standards Authority (PSA).

Accredited and senior accredited membership are voluntary categories for members who choose to undertake a rigorous application and assessment process to demonstrate additional standards around practice, training and supervision.

Individual members will have completed an appropriate counselling or psychotherapy course and started to practise, but they won’t appear on the BACP Register until they've demonstrated that they meet the standards for registration. Student members are still in the process of completing their training.

All members are bound by the BACP Ethical Framework and a Professional Conduct Procedure.

Accredited register membership

British Association for Counselling & Psychotherapy

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.

British Association for Counselling & Psychotherapy

Areas of counselling I deal with


£45.00 per session

Concessions offered for

  • Low income
  • OAPs
  • Students
  • Trainee counsellors

Additional information

Availability & Fees:

Monday - Friday  -  9.30 - 6.00

At this time all session are via Zoom

  • Adult Individual - in person or Zoom- sessions £45  - 50 minutes
  • Telephone sessions - £40
  • Child sessions - Play therapy - £45 - 40 minutes
  • Couples  £60 - 50 minute
  • Some concessionary appointments are available - please contact me regarding your circumstances

This can be paid direct, details on my website, or cash on the day.  Unfortunately I no longer take cheques.

If you need to cancel a session for any reason please let me have as much notice as possible.  If you are unable to give at least 24 hours advance notice, there will be a cancellation fee of the usual fee for the session.

When I work

Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat Sun

9.30 - 6.00 Monday - Friday.

Either in person,  Zoom or telephone

Further information

Please call for an informal chat to discuss how I may be of help,

or email me by visiting my website:

3 Cranfield Way, Buckden, St Neots, Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire, PE19 5TJ

Type of session

In person

Types of client

Young people
Older adults

Key details

Wheelchair user access

Wheelchair user access

Wheelchair-accessible premises should have step-free access for wheelchair users and individuals who are unable to climb stairs. If a Counsellor's premises aren't step-free, they may offer alternative services such as telephone/web-based appointments, home visits, or meeting clients in different location, so you can choose the option that suits you best.

You can contact the Counsellor to discuss the options available.

Under the Equality Act 2010 service providers have a duty to make reasonable adjustments to ensure that individuals with disabilities can access their service. You can read more about reasonable adjustments to help you to access services on the CAB website.