About me

Hello and welcome to my profile page.

I am a mature and experienced Counsellor and Psychotherapist with 20 years in practice and have over 35 years experience working across Social Care, Education and NHS services. I have a background in the Mental Health field and was the Team Lead of an NHS CAMHS service in both a Children's Secure Unit and Community Setting working with Families, Parents, Carers, Children and Staff . I have also worked as a University Counsellor, School Counsellor and Head of a Psychological Therapies Service in the Private Sector. I currently work in Private Practice with both adults and young people (secondary school age) and I am commissioned by both the public and private sectors to deliver Counselling, Psychotherapy, Supervision, Organisational Development and Training.

I hold an MA Degree in Gestalt Therapy from the Gestalt Centre London/London Metropolitan University, PG Diploma in Relational Organisational Gestalt and Diploma in Supervision. I am UKCP registered as a Child and Adult Psychotherapist and Approved Supervisor and I hold senior accreditation with BACP.

My work experience enables me to work effectively with primary issues such as bereavement, low self esteem, relationship problems, bullying, depression and anxiety as well as more complex issues such as developmental trauma, attachment/relational issues and abuse.

What to expect:

Deciding to have therapy can be quite frightening, for some people, and many people believe they will be judged by others or that it must mean there is something seriously wrong with them. This is a social stigma and the worry of how it may effect work or how they are viewed by work colleagues, friends and family is very difficult to manage - adding further  stress. Seeking therapy does not mean you are 'mad' or 'losing your marbles' and it takes a very brave person to seek help from someone else, to discuss their issues and explore how they can find equilibrium again. Life events tend to trigger all sorts of emotion and reaction and it is usually your nervous system in relation to your thoughts and feelings that has lost its balance. In its simplest terms, therapy re-balances the conflict between your thoughts, feelings and nervous system and this is generally done through talking - helping you to become more aware of unconscious processes, your senses, your feelings and what they mean. This process can help to integrate your different states into a functioning whole, alleviating anxiety and blocks that prevent you from achieving your personal goals in life. This is called self-regulation.

For some people, this imbalance started from a very young age due to the individual enduring, regular, traumatic events and for others it may have been triggered by a sudden traumatic or upsetting event.

Therapy is talked about in many different ways depending on the model of work someone is trained in. Most therapists have a core training with other training as an add on to their main qualification. I hold a Masters Degree in Gestalt Therapy with a special interest in Attachment, Trauma and the Neurosciences, please see my publications regarding this.

Amount and Types of sessions:

Short Term Focused: Short term therapy can be 6 to 12 sessions and is usually focused on a particular issue. Gestalt Therapy lends its self very well to short term therapy. The therapist focuses on how you are feeling and thinking, and how your body is responding to any mixed signals you may have about your issue. Mixed signals between thoughts, feelings and the nervous system can lead to people feeling stuck, anxious or depressed.

Psycho-educational: aspects of short term therapy can be educational for instance explaining what stress and anxiety is and your bodies physiological reactions to thoughts, feelings or the environment. It can also give you some techniques to reduce physical symptoms such as mindfulness techniques.

Long term therapy: works well with long standing issues. The relationship between the therapist and individual becomes part of the focus, becoming aware of how an individual may adapt in relation to the other, as some peoples anxieties or problems are in relation to other people and the environment/context i.e. someone who always takes care of other peoples feelings and needs may well find themselves doing this in therapy and the therapist gently brings this into their awareness.

Personal development. Some people enter into therapy for their own personal development, especially if they are training or practicing as a therapist.

First meeting: It is useful to have a think about what may suit you best in terms of long term or short term therapy and this can be discussed during the first meeting. The first meeting is an assessment process for both you and I.

1) To discuss your worries and concerns.

2) To establish if I am the right person to work with you and if I can help you based on my qualifications and experience.

3) Your own assessment of me and the environment I work in - is this right for you?

Location: My Psychotherapy practice is less than 1 mile from junction 8 on the M27, Just off the A27, and has free parking on the main road outside or further down the road, just past the shops, there is a short stay car park which is also free.

My practice is above a shop called Beauty Within and there is a side entrance for you to use. Here there is an intercom system installed, which has Tree View written on it, please ring this on arrival. My practice is on the 1st floor at the back of the building, overlooking the garden and has a tree view. Please see my website for pictures of my therapy room.

Training, qualifications & experience


  • MA Gestalt Psychotherapy - qualified to work with individuals and groups.
  • Post Grad Dip Gestalt Therapy.
  • Post Grad Dip Supervision.
  • Post Grad Dip Relational Organisational Gestalt.

Registration and Accreditation with the below governing bodies who are regulated by the PSA (Professional Standards Authority):

  • UKCP Registered and Accredited Child and Adult Psychotherapist and Approved Supervisor. www.psychotherapy.org.uk/
  • BACP Registered and Senior Accredited Counsellor/Psychotherapist www.bacpregister.org.uk
  • UKAHPP Accredited Psychotherapist.

(Search the above registers under Catherine O’Brien)

Other Accreditations:

  • EAGT - GPO (European Association of Gestalt Therapist - Gestalt Practitioner in Organisations) Accredited GPO

My Publications:

  • Chapter: Child and Aolescent Mental Health,Theory and Practice, Third Edition, 2021 - A Whole Service Approach to Emotion-Regulation.
  • BACP CPD Hub, 2018 - Whole Serivice Approach to Emotion-Regulation.
  • Speaker: BACP Event Belfast Sept 2017 - Whole service/systems approach to emotion regulation.
  • BACP CYP JOURNAL, MARCH 2017, Article - Self, Other and The We.
  • ATTACHMENT JOURNAL - New Directions in Psychotherapy and Relational Psychoanalysis, Vol 7 No 1 March 2013, The Bowlby Centre, Karnac, Article - Disorganised and in Care - first published in the BACP 2011.
  • BACP CYP Journal, March 2012, Book Review Disorganised Attachment & Care Giving.
  • BACP CYP Journal, Dec 2011, Article - Disorganised and in Care.
    BAAF requested permission to use the above article in their training settings

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 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.


United Kingdom Association for Humanistic Psychology Practitioners

UKAHPP is a national accrediting organisation for all those who apply the theories of Humanistic Psychology in their work. The UKAHPP is an independent member organisation of the United Kingdom Council for Psychotherapy (UKCP) and the UK Register of Counsellors.

The Association is made up of a number of different membership classes e.g. Associate Members, Affiliate Members, Full Members, each with different requirements for entry. Full Members may use the initials 'MAHPP' after their names, and have undergone a rigorous accreditation procedure relevant to their discipline.

All members of the Association of Humanistic Psychology Practitioners must commit to acceptance of the UKAHPP Code of Ethical Principles, the UKAHPP Code of Practice, the UKAHPP Ethical Review Procedure and the UKAHPP Complaints Procedure.


UK Council for Psychotherapy

The UK Council for Psychotherapy (UKCP) is a leading professional body for the education, training and regulation of psychotherapists and psychotherapeutic counsellors. Its register is accredited by the government's Professional Standards Authority.

As part of its commitment to protect the public, it works to improve access to psychotherapy, to support and disseminate research, to improve standards and to respond effectively to complaints against its members.

UKCP standards cover the range of different psychotherapies. Registration is obtained by training or accrediting with one of its member organisations, or by holding a European Certificate in Psychotherapy. Accredited by the Professional Standards Authority.

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.

United Kingdom Association for Humanistic Psychology Practitioners

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.


EAP/Health Insurance Providers

  • Aviva

Additional information

Counselling and Psychotherapy: £50 for 50 minutes.

Clinical Supervision: £60 for a full hour.

NB There is a separate price list for work commissioned by organisations from the public or private sectors and this is due to the higher level of administration and  multi- systemic aspects of the work commissioned.


This service is currently full

Home&Away Psychological Therapies Service
1st Floor, Tree View Office, The Old Bakery
Portsmouth Road
Bursledon, Southampton
SO31 8EQ

Type of session


Types of client

Young people
Older adults
Employee Assistance Programme

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 gov.uk , or contact this professional directly


In person supervision
Online supervision
Telephone supervision

I hold a Diploma in Supervision and UKCP Registration as an Approved Supervisor.

View supervision profile