Gail Venables

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Registered Accredited Member MBACP (Accred.)
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Leominster HR6 & Presteigne/Radnor LD8
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This professional has no current availability for new clients. Please enquire with them directly to discuss availability.

About me

Hello and welcome to my profile!  I am a Counsellor for individuals and couples, and also a fully trained Cognitive Behaviour Therapist, working in Leominster and Radnorshire.  

You are most likely looking at this page because you are experiencing some kind of difficulty in your life, or maybe you are hoping to help a friend or relative. Below you will find some information about me, my experience, and how I work.   I hope you find this helpful in your quest to find a suitable counsellor/therapist, which I know can be quite daunting! It is important that you find someone that ‘fits’ with you.  This doesn’t always happen first time, but please keep looking. We could all benefit from some professional support at some point in our lives. You are looking out for yourself, and that is a good thing.

I have had my own private practice since 2011 and started my counselling training with Relate (couples) in 2004.  My work with clients is informed by different therapeutic models. It may be useful for you to consider which approach might suit you best, and we can discuss this in the assessment. However, you do not ‘have to know’ before you start, as it may take some time for us to explore which approach would be most helpful.  We regularly review our way of working together, so we can ensure that you are getting the best you can from the sessions. I will explain more fully below.

Please note -  I am having difficulties with my web page at the moment, but all the information is here.  Also, if you do not hear back from me in 24 hours OR get an 'out of office' reply, then please text me - otherwise emails are preferred.  Thanks.

I can describe my ways of working as being predominantly: 

1.     Person Centred Counselling 

2.     Integrative Counselling 

3.     Cognitive Behaviour Therapy

4.     Couple Counselling

At present, all new clients that I take on will be ‘time limited’, in the sense that I aim to offer sessions that last anything from 1 week to 1 year.  I am happy to explain/discuss this further if you have any questions.

1.     Person-centred Counselling

The sessions here are all about ‘space’.

A space for YOU. A space to explore YOUR concerns, without fear of upsetting someone, being judged or having another’s opinion hurtling your way. A space for you to make sense of your experience, and find your own way through. A space for your emotions to be heard and validated.

Providing this invaluable space for yourself with a trained professional sitting along-side you, hearing, understanding and exploring your hopes and fears, (disappointment, shame, confusion, dilemmas, grief, loss, anger, stress, regret etc.); can offer significant therapeutic benefits to your mental health and overall well-being. 

As a counsellor, my role is to facilitate a good working therapeutic relationship, so that I can support you through this process, with compassion and understanding. My role here is to listen, to hear, to empathise, to get to know you and the problems that you are experiencing. I will ask some questions, but the emphasis is on what you want to talk about and explore.  It is not for me to set the agenda, or lead the discussion, but to be there with you, supporting you in what you bring. You are the expert on ‘you’, and this process aims to give you space and to help you achieve personal growth, expanding and strengthening your own identity.

2.     Integrative Counselling

As an integrative counsellor, I draw from many models and counselling approaches.  I use my knowledge and experience to help each client work through their unique problems, applying my skills accordingly.  My work here generally employs a proactive and problem-solving style, working in collaboration with your goals for therapy.

In the assessment meeting I will ask you questions.  I will need to know what you want to be different in your life, and what you would hope to achieve by coming for counselling/therapy. There would be a focus on ‘understanding’ AND ‘change’ in the work that we do.

I very much draw upon Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT) as I am trained to Diploma level and have been practicing CBT for 12 years.  I also draw from Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), Compassion-Focused Therapy (CFT), Schema Therapy, Gestalt Therapy, Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT), Psychodynamic theories, Solution-Focused Brief Therapy, Existential and Humanist Therapies, Systemic and Relational Therapy to name but a few!  

My role is to help you move towards your goals in an empathic, constructive and proactive manner, uncovering along the way any barriers that are stopping you from moving forward and leaving you feeling ‘stuck’.  Barriers to change can include thoughts, behaviours, beliefs, the consequences of childhood experiences and family scripts.  They can also be due to an intolerance of difficult feelings, avoidance, self-criticism, unhelpful/difficult relationships, and sometimes a lack of acceptance of the things that can’t be changed. It can feel challenging at times, but we explore this together and at a pace that feels right for you.  

I may share strategies, exercises, ideas and suggestions for things that you might try out; where I see a need or think it might be helpful, tailored to your unique circumstances.  These will never be imposed in any way.  Collaboration and discussion are central to all that we do and initially it will take time for me to get to know you and what you bring, so there is no need to go rushing in with the techniques!

Your role is to keep in mind your goals and the direction you would like your life to be taking: to think about what arises in session and in-between sessions; to think about the session before you land there. This will help you get better value for your money! Reflection (in and out of the session) helps you build an understanding of your experience and how your responses can affect outcomes, or how your past is impacting on you today and on your beliefs about yourself and the future. This approach needs you to be willing to hold an ‘open mind’ whilst we explore your experiences and your options; to entertain the idea that there might be another way of looking at your life, your past, yourself, your thoughts and behaviours. Engagement with this process, whilst working towards your goals, (and within your values) can be life changing and fundamentally empowering!

3.     Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT) 

CBT actively challenges thoughts and behaviour patterns and works towards positive changes with a goal-focused, collaborative and problem-solving approach, providing strategies for coping with life beyond therapy. It is based on the theory that the way we think and behave has a direct effect on our mood, and our ability to cope with all that life throws at us.

CBT helps us to understand our lives better, and teaches us techniques to challenge and change old patterns, relieving distress and building resilience. It can help us break out of the vicious cycles that keep us where we don’t want to be.

I very much have my CBT hat on when working integratively, as I am trained in CBT to Diploma level and have been practising CBT for 12 years.  Many people say they ‘do’ CBT, but are often referring to their ability to share certain techniques/strategies, often having had minimal training.   

Being fully trained in CBT is much more than a ‘tool box’ of strategies. We work together to develop a ‘formulation’ of your where you are, the problems that you face, what you would like life to be like and what is stopping you be that person. It involves behaviour experiments, homework and a willingness to monitor thoughts and behaviours with a focus on learning and change.

Where possible, it does not concern itself with the day-to-day problems or difficulties that arise, unless they are relevant to the therapy goals and the agreed way forward.  Sometimes we may pause the CBT to deal with a crisis – sometimes life just gets in the way. 

I may incorporate Acceptance Commitment Therapy, Mindfulness and Compassion- Focussed Therapy into my CBT work, because these therapies are complimentary and known as the ‘third wave of CBT’, being more concerned with the relationship to thought and emotion, rather than just the content.  They all have a lot to offer, and what works for each client may be very different, but I keep in mind these approaches so that I can tailor the work to suit the individual.

Yours and my role in the therapy are similar to Integrative counselling, but with more of a strict focus on a particular problem that needs concentrated work. When working purely with CBT we are often working with an evidence-based protocol, that follows a well-researched treatment plan.

4.      Couple Counselling   can help you to:-

Resolve Conflict
Improve Communication
Increase Intimacy
Explore options
Move forward

Is your relationship in trouble?                                                                           Most of us feel devastated when our relationship gets into trouble. We are often at a loss as to where things went wrong and how to put things right. When there is no improvement, many relationships break apart, leading to separation and/or divorce.

How can counselling help?   Couple counselling can improve the quality of your relationship and help you avoid things getting to the point where separation feels like the only option. It can also help you make your own decisions as to the future of the partnership and/or come to terms with the loss of a relationship if one partner decides to leave.

There are many reasons why people do not seek help.  If you or your partner are unsure as to whether to try couple counselling, then please read on.

“We can do this by ourselves!”
Many do, but how long have you been feeling like this? How long have you been trying to make changes? Are you going over and over the same ground?

“There must be something wrong with me. I have failed”
We all have problems in our relationships at times, and outside stresses can put too much pressure on us. Going to couple counselling usually means that you care enough to try and improve your relationship and are not going to bury your head in the sand and pretend things are OK.  It means you deserve more!

“Talking about problems makes them worse”
Some people believe this, but more people leave because their partner won’t talk! Talking is more likely to improve things even though this can feel scary at first.

“We don’t argue like other couples do, so we must be alright!”
If one of you wants counselling then this is a strong indication that you need it!  You don’t have to have arguments to be at risk of separation, some never argue, but the problems can still run deep.

“It might lead to us splitting up.  I would prefer things to stay as they are, even if I am unhappy” It is a risk, but it is also an opportunity for increased happiness. You might prefer things to stay as they are, but do they? Might they leave anyway?  You have a chance to stop this happening by trying couple counselling.

I meet you for separately for one session each, then start sessions together.

There is no shame in getting help.  Don’t leave it too late!

Please do get in touch if you wish to book an assessment or have any questions.

I wish you all the best in moving forward, whoever you choose as your counsellor/therapist.
I hope the information was helpful.

Privacy Policy - please refer to my webpage to read my privacy policy, which is a requirement by the General Data Protection Regulation (May 2018).

Some feedback:-

"I can't thank Gail enough for her support and professionalism"

"Gail is warm and engaging"

"She guided and encouraged me through each session, always at my pace and has the ability to make you feel able to address painful issues and work through coping strategies"

"She enabled me to transform my life"

"I am feeling that I am now walking on solid ground"

Training, qualifications & experience

I am a registered member of the BACP (British Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy) but more importantly an accredited member (they are not the same thing – look out for MBACP (Accred)).  Accreditation is a quality standard for experienced practitioners, designed to recognise capacity for independent, ethical and competent practice. 

I have been counselling in and around Herefordshire since 2004 and have been in private practice since 2011.   I have a Postgraduate Diploma in Cognitive Behaviour Therapy and am also a qualified Couple Counsellor. I have experience of working with adults, couples, small family groups and young people.

I worked part-time as a Cognitive Behaviour Therapist for Powys Health Board, 2009 - 2011. I also worked at Mediation Herefordshire as a Child and Family Counsellor, 2010 - 2011. Previous to the above, I worked for Herefordshire Relate and CLD Counselling Youth Trust.  I also worked as a Family Support Worker for families with children with a disability or special need.

I am a member of the British Association of Behavioural & Cognitive Psychotherapies (BABCP) Independent Practitioners Special Interest Group and also a member of (and the Administrator for) the Pilot CBT support Forum of the BABCP.

Since working in private practice, I have worked with depression, anxiety, panic, self-esteem, bereavement, stress, anger, childhood sexual abuse, obsessive compulsive disorders (OCD), sexuality, relationship difficulties, worry, self-harm, insomnia, and pain, - to name a few. Each year I undertake continual professional development/training, plus having monthly clinical supervision. 

My qualifications are:

·       Graduate Certificate in Couple Counselling  2004

·       Fully trained Relate Counsellor  2006

·       Post Graduate Diploma Cognitive Behaviour Therapy 2007- 2009

·       BPS Approved Certificate in Clinical Supervision 2013

·       B.A. Degree in Social Science  Westminster University, London 1986  2:1

I am on the Accredited Voluntary Register for Counsellors and Psychotherapists

MBACP(Accred). Bristish Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy

Further Training

·       Trauma and the body- Somatisation and Dissociation 

·       Working with Psychosis 

·       CBT-E for eating disorders

·       Working with suicidal behaviour 

·       Mindfulness based CBT                

·       Behavioural Couples Therapy

·       Focussing 

·       Dialectical Behaviour Therapy 

·       Compassionate Therapy for Complex Presentations 

·       ACT Acceptance Commitment Therapy (with Russ Harris)

·       Schema Therapy 

Member organisations

Registered / Accredited

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)

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


£55.00 per session

Additional information

Assessment session £55

Counselling   £55

Couple Counselling £60

Cognitive Behaviour Therapy £55

1 slot a week can be offered on a concessionary basis for up to 30 weeks.

When I work

Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat Sun

Day-time only

Further information

I work in Leominster,  and the Presteigne/Radnor area of mid-Wales.

Leominster, Herefordshire, HR6

Presteigne/Radnor, Powys, LD8

Type of session

In person

Types of client

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

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.

Gail Venables
Gail Venables