Denise Watson

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MBACP Registered
Available for new clients
Available for new clients

This professional is available for new clients.

Peterlee, Durham, TS27
Available for new clients
Available for new clients

This professional is available for new clients.

About me

 Practice Description

What does a counsellor (person-centred counsellor) do?

Person-Centred Counsellor

I am qualified as a person-centred counsellor and my role during the counselling session is to share your world with you, to feel how it is to be you and to work alongside you without judgement.  As a person-centred counsellor, I do not give advice but help you to look deeper into what you have shared with me, so you can choose your own way forward.  My role is to be able to pick up on everything about a person and be able to relay it back, so that the person can realise what is happening for them.

Particular Experience / Interest

I have particular experience and interest in :-

  • working with partners / spouses of individuals with Asperger's, whether his is already diagnosed, or for consideration
  • working with individuals who have some degree of hearing loss / profoundly deaf, as well as with their partners / people of importance
  • working in the care environment, interacting with individuals displaying dementia, Alzheimers and / or loneliness.

I am a person-centred counsellor with twenty five years of experience and I have also gained a diploma in pet loss and bereavement.

Pet Beavement Counsellor

Not everyone understands the grief experienced when an animal friend dies. Those around us may think we are making a big deal of ‘only a dog, cat, or other friend’ but that loss is real.  Maybe that animal played a huge part in our way of life, maybe the routine made our happiness and maybe the pet was our only source of contact, comfort and joy.  Indeed, the pain of pet loss affects young and old alike, accounting for huge employment costs for time lost through sickness and increased pressure on the national health service, simply because the person grieving has no-one to turn to. 

I am a registered member of the BACP (British Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy) and adhere to their code of ethics.

Taking That First Step

There are times in all our lives when we become preoccupied with thoughts which make it difficult for us to get on with day-to-day normal events, thoughts of fear, worry or any other kind of thought that may overwhelm us, as finding a straight answer seems impossible at that moment in time.

Sometimes we may regret asking friends or family for advice, later realising that they are too close to the situation to give help without judgement.  Having someone who is professionally trained in listening, offers a non-judgemental relationship and guarantees confidentiality, is often the most rewarding route to take, helping to bring your concern to an end which you yourself decide upon, without interference from others’ points of view. 

Contacting a counsellor can be a frightening first experience, as walking into the building may make you worry about being seen by acquaintances who may not see confidentiality as an important factor.  Counselling by phone / online offers that added guarantee and also means that you can talk to the counsellor from a location that feels right for you. 

My Experience to Date

I have been working as a qualified person-centred counsellor for twenty two years and have a wealth of knowledge and experience in many difficulties in life (divorce, unemployment, death  (a bereavement counsellor in a hospice), disability, illness, neurodiversity, Asperger’s syndrome, domestic abuse, loneliness, dementia, a knowledge of many disabilties and, in particular, hearing loss and deafness, having spent thirty eight years working in the deaf community in many different roles, including sign language communicator, lipspeaker and counsellor).  I am hearing and sign to stage III level.  I am also trained as a level 2 lipspeaker, for those with hearing loss who prefer to read lips to signing.

The First Session

The first session can be a short (fifteen minutes or so)' getting to know'  introductory call, allowing us to see if we feel well-matched for the purpose of counselling.  A good counsellor will know how to present themselves to a client.  In this case, ‘presenting’ means the overall impression that the counsellor will offer of themselves to the client in all sessions.

Training, qualifications & experience

  • City and Guilds 3704 in advanced counselling skills.  
  • City and Guilds 3705 diploma in humanistic counselling.
  • Level 4 in Health and Social Care.
  • NVQ4 Registered Managers’ Award.
  • Diploma in pet loss and bereavement. 
  • BSL (British sign language) stages I, II and III.
  • Level 2 vocational certificate in lip speaking.
  • Online training in telephone counselling.
  • Disability training + constant updates and research
  • Level 2 in understanding climate change and environmental awareness.

Experience in all roles:-

BSL communicator, lip speaker and counsellor for hearing people and for those with hearing loss.  I also worked as a disability adviser for many years and have a good knowledge and genuine interest in all disabilities and health conditions.

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

Other areas of counselling I deal with

I have knowledge and experience in working with partners of dementia and this in an area where I feel group therapy often proves beneficial.

People with dementia can also benefit from having counselling support, helping them steer the moment they find themselves in and recalling past importances.


£45.00 per session
Free initial in-person, telephone or online session

Concessions offered for

  • OAPs
  • Trainee counsellors
  • Unemployed

Additional information

Fees can be paid into a British bank account, or into a Paypal account.  If a client cancels an appointment at least twenty four hours before the session begins, I will forego the payment.  If not cancelled before this cut-off time, I will ask for a payment to be made.  For discounts to apply for any of the groups mentioned above, evidence of such status will be requested.

When I work

Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat Sun

Whilst I have stated that I work Wednesdays and Thursdays, I can, on occasion,  make myself available at other times, when the need arises.

Further information

Please find here three topics of information / learning:-

1 - Residential Homes and Hospices

2 - Deafness and Hearing Loss

3 - Asperger's Syndrome / Autism / On the Spectrum / Neurodiversity.

1 - Residential Homes and Hospices.

I am familiar with residential homes and hospices and have also worked as a voluntary facilitator for both loneliness groups and for spouses of those with dementia (both with Age UK), as well as a listener for Good Sam Responders during the pandemic years), so I am comfortable with environments and systems in place.

I ask forty pounds per counselling hour but give discounts to elderly people (incidentally, as well as to student counsellors and unemployed people). I ask twenty five pounds an hour (I’m happy to include my travel costs within a ten mile radius at this reduced amount) to be there for elderly people nearing the end of life, needy of visitors and for those who do indeed need some form of counselling support.  People in the last years of life often need someone to whom they can tell their story; it brings loose threads together and can create a much wanted feeling of peace.

If this service is something you recognise a need for, feel free to contact me.


Denise Watson.

Humanistic / person-centred counsellor (since 1999). 

MBACP (Member of the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy).

07835 576 850.


2 - Deafness and Hearing Loss

My journey with an interest in British sign language (BSL) started at the age of thirteen, when learning the alphabet and a half a dozen words made me think that I was ready to communicate with sign language users.  How wrong I was.
In 1990, and at the age of thirty seven, I managed to get onto a stage I sign language course and I progressed from there, passing stage III in 1992 and stage III around 2001.  For me, as a hearing person, I measure stage I as infant talk and a beginning of understanding on how this visual language works, stage II as an ‘O’ level / GCSE and stage III as an ‘A’ level.  Since passing my stage III, I have progressed with my understanding of sign language, via use and research.
As a hearing counsellor to sign language users, and to lipreaders (I qualified as a lipspeaker in 1996), I offer a two-way communication journey and full confidentiality.
I can also be contacted by email at
If you would like to approach me for counselling, please feel free to text me on 07875 576 850 and, together, we will plan a time when you and I can speak via Zoom or Google Meet, to see if we can work together through the counselling process.

3 - Asperger's Syndrome / Autism / On the Spectrum / Neurodiversity

Autism is a neurological change in some humans, whereby they think differently to the larger population.  Imagine being removed from your normal way of life (from your family or your partner) and, from tomorrow, you’re going to take up residence with another family in a foreign country, where they speak a different language and the culture is completely different to yours (let’s go to Mexico, Iceland, or China).  We can agree that all people need the same things from life but, in your new life, the culture is so different that you will be out of your depth in most things you do, as there’s not enough information available for you to manoeuvre in this ‘new culture’.  This can give you a sort of understanding of what it’s like to be autistic and to be ‘neurodivergent / on the (autistic) spectrum’.

 - Asperger's Syndrome

Being unable to read the larger neurotypical population (those not on the spectrum) means that social interaction becomes extremely difficult and so the Asperger’s individual (the aspie), who is not so socially driven, may in some way isolate him-/herself from the goings on of the moment.  This person’s behaviour may appear different to others present, as the aspie tries to fit the bill in a neurotypical environment.  When overloaded by lots of people, they isolate themselves and can appear insensitive.

The aspie may have difficulty understanding other people’s feelings and intentions and, being unable to express one’s own feelings may appear to be insensitive, even though this is not the intention.
Whilst all these points give you a feeling and understanding for what it must be like to feel different to others in a social environment, it is true to say that, when you have met a person with Asperger’s, you have met one person with Asperger’s, as each individual is indeed individual.

 - Neurodiversity and Links with Addiction

Therapy Today Magazine- November 2023 – ‘Missed, Misunderstood and Misdiagnosed’.

I’d like to bring this amazingly informative article to people’s attention, as it shows that counsellors need to be aware of the ‘potential links between neurodivergence and substance abuse’.  Cutting it down to a nutshell, it indicates that, for those experiencing ADHD, there is an underactivity of dopamine in the brain, the substance linked with reward mechanisms / feeling good.  Turning to substance abuse provides that ‘high’ which neurotypical individuals capture via their natural bodily systems.

Knowing that someone who is trying to quash substance abuse may be potentially ‘on the spectrum’ holds a lot of weight on a successful route for a new future.


Denise Watson.

Humanistic / person-centred counsellor (since 1999). 

MBACP (Member of the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy).

07835 576 850.

Peterlee, Durham, TS27

Type of session

Home visits

Types of client

Young people (13-17)
Adults (25-64)
Older Adults (65+)

Key details

DBS check

In England and Wales, the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS, formerly known as CRB) carry out criminal records checks for individuals working with vulnerable groups, such as children. To find out more, visit , or contact this professional directly

Additional languages

BSL (British Sign Language)

I speak a high level of British sign language and a fair level of Spanish.

Online platforms



Denise Watson
Denise Watson