Hello I am Ingrid Coombs. I am I. C. Counselling
My journey into counselling started as the result of being the victim of a hit and run on 29th April 2002.
After 3 years of believing I could cope with what had happened to me, I finally accepted that actually I couldn’t cope at all and needed professional help. I knew I was finally ready to start dealing with my situation rather than just coping with it. Hence my journey began.
I thought my experience was going to be straight forward and I would speak with my counsellor about the shock of the event and the physical pain, but how wrong I was. The topics of discussion ranged from “why me?” to “what if?, from childhood dreams to what was expected of me, and I’m fed up of being “The Victim”, to name just a few.
Over the years I have worked with four separate Counsellors at different stages of my journey to “put to bed” my life “traumas” and each one played a different roll. However, without a shadow of a doubt they all helped me to make life changing decisions, find the answers I was looking for, but above all equipped me with the life- long skills to develop into the person I am today…a very much happier one!
I had been working with counsellors for the best part of four years, on and off, before I decided to train to become one myself. I began that journey in 2009, qualified in 2013 and have been in practice ever since.
For me being a Counsellor is an extremely rewarding job on many counts, but above all, it is about helping others to help themselves move closer to the happier, more positive lives they crave. I work with people to overcome and deal with their life traumas. I have helped people deal with potential marriage break downs in addition to supporting young adults who have been the victims of divorce. I have engaged with those who have been subjected to Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) and have supported those who have been the victims of neglect, abandonment and rape. I have journeyed with many who are in recovery from alcohol and substance addiction and I have walked along side survivors of cancer.
Trauma comes in many guises and it is only when we allow ourselves to open up and ask for help that we can begin to really deal with what lies beneath. Without the support and help I received from my Counsellors I’m not quite sure where I would be today.
In addition to having my own private practice I work for a Counselling Charity in Portsmouth and I am a mentor at a local secondary school working with teenagers.
And finally I am a keen runner simply because now I can!
Training, qualifications & experience
I am a Registered Member of the British Association of Counsellors and Psycotherapists (BACP), one of the UK's leading governing bodies for Counsellors and Psycotherapists. The BACP is accredited by the Professional Standards Authority. My membership number is 107242. As a Registered Member of the BACP I am bound to adhere to their code of ethics and I am also goverend by their complaints procedure.
I qualified as a Counsellor in 2013 from the University of Greenwich. My training was in Integrative Counselling (2009 BACP accredited course) which means that I am qualified to work with different modalities that best suit the person I am working with, at any stage of their counselling journey. Some of the modalities I use are Gestalt, Cognitive, Transactional Analysis and Psychodynamic.
However, none of these therapies stand any chance of success if the relationship between client and therapist doesn’t grow to form a trusting bond between both parties. I believe that a trusting relationship is the fundamental basis of successful counselling, hence the bedrock of my practice is based on the theories of Carl R. Rogers i.e. "The therapeutic relationship is the critical variable..." .To develop such a relationship takes time but has to start somewhere.
I began my career as a Counsellor with Phoenix Futures, a residential rehabilitation organisation for drug and alcohol dependency. This gave me the experience of working with people from all walks of life and all ages helping them deal with past events that led them to a life of addiction.
From Phoenix Futures I moved to All Saints Counselling Service, a charity based in Portsmouth. Again, giving my time to ASCS, along with my private practice, gives me the experience of sharing the journies of individuals from a wide range of backgrounds and cultures. My area of expertise is in trauma which in turn encompasses a diverse field of topics such as anxiety and depression to sexual, physical and mental abuse, all of which can be either happening in the here and now or come from the past. Which ever the case, all can have a negative impact on a happier future and my aim as a counsellor is to ensure that by being part of your journey, together we can prevent that from happening.
( McLeod, S. A. (2015). Person centered therapy. Retrieved from https://www.simplypsychology.org/client-centred-therapy.html )
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.
Accredited register membership
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.
Areas of counselling I deal with
I offer short term, medium term and open ended counselling.
FREE initial 30 minute conversation.
Initial meeting lasts upto 90 minutes and costs £40.
All other subsequent sessions last a full 60 minutes at a cost of £50.
Tom - 60 years
"I can thoroughly recommend Ingrid as a counsellor. She helped me through a very difficult time and as a result of her gently probing sessions I was enabled to see that I have more choices in life than I had realised. Ingrid is an acute listener and helped me to hear how the way I speak reflected my negative feelings about myself. More than this, Ingrid helped me to change the way I feel about my life and the world. Thank you!”
Ella - 29 years
“I was a client of Ingrid's for just over a year and cannot thank her enough. When I started my weekly sessions I was in a desperate place but with Ingrid's help and non-judgemental ear I am now in a position to return to full-time work for the first time in over three years. With Ingrid as my sounding board for worries about both the past and the future I found the confidence to work on sorting myself out and I will always be grateful for our sessions. I am constantly recommending her to friends!”
Rebecca - 20 years
“Thank you very much for all your help and support over the past few months. You are a very inspirational woman and I feel I have become a stronger person because of my counselling sessions. It’s been an honour working with you. All the best for the future”.
Andy - 46 years
“I began my counselling whilst finishing a 6 month residential treatment programme to help me understand my substance misuse issues. I felt the need for counselling to continue looking at my past addiction issues and general life issues combined with some behavioural and thinking patterns that I had developed throughout my addiction.
I think that Ingrid is a very competent counsellor and over a year and a half of working with her I received a high level of counselling which gave me a great opportunity to look at my past behaviours and thinking and correct them accordingly and put new tools into action in my ongoing recovery. I have felt the benefits and continue to have a positive life, and get the rewards of recovery from substance misuse.
It was a privilege to work with Ingrid and a positive experience from start to finish. I appreciate the challenges and feedback I received from Ingrid which enabled me to grow and develop through our working relationship.”
J. R. - 23 years
“Ingrid was a very insightful, respectful, and professional Counsellor. She helped me think about questions that I hadn't thought of that led me to a much more happier and stable outlook on myself and my life. She didn't give me a lecture on how I should help myself, but through talking things out and bringing another perspective on things, was able to help me help myself truly. I am very pleased to recommend her service."
Lisa - 46 years
“I came to you nearly four years ago. Through your time and commitment, sitting and listening to me, on a more or less weekly basis, questioning my thoughts and beliefs, mostly listening so I could hear them so that I could hear what I was saying. I was angry and occasionally wanted to run. I found some compassion for me. Today I am alive. Today I am good enough for me. I don’t just say that, I believe that. Today I am alive and loving life today. Today I am looking forward to the challenges life will bring.
Thank you for giving me the time I needed. One of the biggest gifts life has given me was you. My soul thanks you. I know you will have an amazing future helping people, listening to them to find their better selves. When I think of you I will always be filled with gratitude.
We did it !
Gemma - 32 years
“Ingrid I am eternally grateful for the time you gave me. The help you provided will help me for a lifetime. Thank you so much for your kindness and expertise. I now have hope that I will learn to love myself and move forward from my childhood".