Deborah Spratling BSc (Hons) UKCP Reg. MBACP
Counselling may feel a daunting process. As a counsellor I aim to offer an empathic, non judgemental and compassionate space for clients to talk about any issues that are worrying and painful and may feel difficult or embarrassing to voice after having held onto them, sometimes for years, which often leads to more distress, generalised anxiety and stress.
From an early age, our difficult experiences and relationships affect our ability as human beings to live our lives fully and manage painful thoughts, feelings and emotions. If we are not encouraged in our early lives to voice how we feel and we learn to suppress our emotions this may later lead to anxiety, depression, post-traumatic stress, illness, aches and pains or reliance on alcohol, food, sex or other compulsive behaviours.
From my own personal experience and in working across the generations for several years, I believe our early relationships are very significant to us and affect us throughout our lives in the ways we relate to others and how we view ourselves and our abilities. The critical and self-defeating mindsets we may have as adults are often established in our early lives and affect our ability to be emotionally balanced, overcome fears of rejection, handle challenges in life and find happiness in our lives and relationships. There is an understanding now that our mental health is influenced from our conception and significantly in our early years depending on the adverse childhood experiences (ACES) we face. This can also impact upon us intergenerationally and affects our ability to successfully parent and nurture our own children.
In working with young people, I aim to provide a safe and supportive space for them to express how they feel with regards difficulties and challenges in their lives including abuse, illness and death, relationship issues either with family or friends, pressures of school, bullying and present cultural norms including issues around social media. I enable young people to express and voice their thoughts and feelings naturally, through play and creative therapies. With extensive training in working with children and young people and their development, I understand how many of these issues are traumatic for a young person. These affect a child's developing brain and their ability to understand and manage their emotions and they may develop behaviours that range from anger, aggression, relationship issues at school or home, low self-esteem, physical symptoms, sleep and eating issues, anxiety, depression or self-harm.
How Counselling Can Help
Although I have been trained in many theories of counselling such as Person Centred, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy and Psychodynamic, I work with my clients to understand and define what they presently need to help them live their lives more successfully, whether that be overcoming their doubts and insecurities, anxiety, depression, suicidal ideation or relationship issues. I also now integrate Positive Psychology and Therapeutic Coaching into therapy sessions.
I offer traditional talking therapy but also may suggest working Creatively with art, clay or Sand Tray therapy or Mindfulness based approaches such as visualisations or breathing techniques for practise outside of therapy.
What To Expect In Your First Session
In the initial appointment we discuss what you would like to look at in counselling and a general overview of what life is like for you. If you feel you would like to work with me, we can then agree a regular time for appointments which we review after 6 weeks in which you decide if you would like to continue with longer term therapy. Clients I work with sometimes talk about a specific incident or relationship which may only need short term counselling or a history of relational issues, abuse or trauma which takes us into much longer term therapy. Please contact me for any further details.
Training, qualifications & experience
BSc (Hons) in Integrative Psychotherapeutic Counselling. Middlesex University
Advanced Diploma in Integrative Counselling. Matrix College of Counselling and Psychotherapy
Diploma in Integrative Counselling. Matrix College
Post Grad Certificate in Person Centred Counselling. University of East Anglia (UEA)
Diploma in Counselling Children and Adolescents. Stonebridge College
Diploma in Child Psychology. Stonebridge College
Certificate in Creative Therapies (Art and Sand Tray Therapy) with Children, Adolescents, Adults
Certified Trainer Intensive Course in The Nurtured Heart Approach
Couples Counselling Certificate
Mindfulness Diploma. Centre of Excellence
Mindfulness, Psychotherapy and Neuroscience Training. National Institute for Clinical Application of Behavioural Medicine
MBSR Certificate (Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction)
LGBT Awareness Training.
Perinatal Mental Health. Warwick University
Neuro Linguistic Programming
Trauma Training. National Institute for Clinical Application of Behavioural Medicine.
Fusion Therapeutic Coaching Diploma
I am registered with the UK Council for Psychotherapy and am DBS/Safeguarding checked with an enhanced certificate.
I have been awarded the UKCP Child and Adolescent Proficiency Marker to acknowledge the suitability of my training and experience.
I have also attended many other trainings to further my professional knowledge and to practice ethically in working with mental and emotional health with adolescents and adults including attachment and developmental trauma, all forms of abuse, self harm, eating disorders and dissociation. I have trained at The Centre for Child Mental Health in London with trainers considered thought leaders in the therapeutic world, including Daniel Siegel, Bessel van Der Kolk, Sir Richard Bowlby, Bruce Perry, Dan Hughes and Antonio Damasio.
I have worked with children, adolescents and adults for local and national charities, in schools and colleges, children's homes and in Sure Start/Children's Centres.
Accredited register membership
Areas of counselling I deal with
- Affairs and betrayals
- Anger management
- Asperger's syndrome
- Attachment disorder
- Child related issues
- Domestic violence
- Eating disorders
- Emotional abuse
- Family issues
- Gender dysphoria
- Generalised anxiety disorder
- Hearing voices
- Learning difficulties
- Low self-confidence
- Low self-esteem
- Obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD)
- Panic attacks
- Passive aggressive behaviour
- Personality disorders
- Physical abuse
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Pregnancy and birth
- Relationship problems
- Separation and divorce
- Sexual abuse
- Suicidal thoughts
- Work-related stress
Individuals £45 per 60 minute session
Payment is made at the end of each session by cash, cheque or bank transfer.
Maps & Directions
Type of session
|Face to face counselling:||Yes|
Monday to Thursdays 10 am to 7.30 pm
Types of client
Supervision & training
As counsellors our client work is both rewarding and challenging.View supervision profile