Cathie O'Brien MA. UKCP Reg Child and Adult Psychotherapist. BACP Snr Accred.

Cathie O'Brien MA. UKCP Reg Child and Adult Psychotherapist. BACP Snr Accred.

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


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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 yrs experience working across Social Care, Education and NHS services. I have a background in social care and the mental health field and was a team lead of a NHS CAMHS service in both a children's secure unit and community setting working with Families, Parents, Carers, Children, Staff teams and Multi-agency services, working across the youth justice, social care, education and NHS departments.  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 Complexions 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 in 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
BACP Registered and Senior Accredited Counsellor/Psychotherapist
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:

  • 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 have requested permission to use the above article in their training settings

Member organisations

Registered / Accredited


Accredited register membership


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.

Maps & Directions

Bursledon, Southampton, SO31 8EQ

Type of session

Online counselling: Yes
Telephone counselling: Yes
Face to face counselling: Yes
Home visits: No

Practical details

Sign language: Unspecified
Other languages: None


Accessibility information
Wheelchair user access: No

I can offer on line counselling

Types of client

Young people
Older adults
Employee Assistance Programme

Supervision & training

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

View supervision profile