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About me

General Introduction.

Hi, thanks for visiting my profile. I've been a working full-time counsellor and CBT therapist for nearly 25 years now. I am one of those very lucky people who still really enjoys their job. I'm originally from Edinburgh and have slowly worked my way around the country and finally settled in the gorgeous Southwest. I've studied lived and worked in Newcastle, London and Kent until arriving here in Plymouth 15 years ago.

I currently work out of a lovely small building in New Street in the Barbican in Plymouth. I have daytime and evening sessions available from here on Thursdays and Fridays with plenty of parking places available nearby. From the 1st of September I will have a therapy room on the outskirts of Ivybridge. It's a rather quirky location as it's in an old Clay factory building. It has wonderful countryside views and lots of free parking. I will be working from Ivybridge on Wednesdays and Saturdays.

During the COVID Lockdown period I have been working remotely via telephone, Skype, Zoom, FaceTime and Teams. I am still able to offer remote work if preferred. I am now returning to face to face work. I have a risk assessment in place and client information available.

I've worked as a counsellor in a variety of settings. I started out in the NHS, worked in Community Mental health teams, worked for charities and even served a 3 year sentence as a prison counsellor! For the last 13 years, I have been self-employed as a full time counsellor in private practise in Plymouth.

I've completed several Counselling Diplomas and Certificates over the last 25 years. I started out in addiction work then specialised as a Cognitive Behavioural Therapist about 15 years ago. Since then I have studied transactional analysis, supervision and relationship/couples therapy.

I love my work as the variety of people and problems I encounter every day engages me fully and drives me to want to help people make real change. I'm a very warm person and really do feel compassion for my clients and their struggles. I'm also a pretty straightforward kind of therapist who will be honest and sometimes challenging with my clients. I work hard to build an honest counsellor-client relationship. I see all the people I work with as completely equal and as able as myself.

I work alongside clients to help them find ways of resourcing themselves to becoming unstuck. Almost all my clients come to therapy when they have come to an impasse in life or have got stuck somehow. They often have tried for years to become unstuck but somehow not quite managed it. In my counselling I focus on helping the client recognise what is keeping them stuck and then finding ways of moving forward. This usually involves the client having to "scare themselves!" by taking risks they haven't yet had the confidence or belief to do so. I do understand this is not an easy process but with good support, understanding, awareness and some new skills it is possible to achieve and move forward in life.

I use a variety of counselling approaches depending on the person and their problems sat in front of me. I am a very experienced CBT therapist and so draw on this model often. I also practise Transactional Analysis, Motivational Interviewing and help clients to explore mindfulness approaches to well being. I like to adapt my style and approach to each client and their preferences, problems and personalities. If clients are particularly creative or spiritual I am happy to explore ways or working which could be most helpful.

Cognitive behavioural Therapy.

I've been a CBT therapist for the last 15 years or so. CBT has had a lot of media coverage over the last 10 years, it is the approach most often used within the NHS. Cognitive Behavioural therapy is an approach to counselling that works with the client to have a better understanding of how their belief systems interact with their emotional systems and how together with our behaviours can keep us stuck in unhelpful loops of thinking , feeling and behaviours. We all have the capacity to be rational beings, we all also have the capacity to at times feel and behave irrationally. Its difficult to understand our complex brains and emotional systems at times and therefore difficult to change. The CBT approach helps people make greater sense of themselves and their lives. It can work well for depression, anxiety, panic attacks, OCD and phobias and more generally with a sense of dissatisfaction with your life or a lingering feeling of not being good enough in some way. CBT is not a miracle cure as sometimes suggested. It is a specific way of looking at your problems and finding solutions. All counselling approaches take commitment and effort. Some of the time the process can feel exciting and wonderful and life changing at other times it can feel very painful and frightening. It is my job as the therapist to help you navigate these feelings and experiences and support you through your journey.

Couples/relationship counselling

This area of work naturally grew from my individual work in the past 10 years. I decided to complete some post qualifying training a few years ago and now have a growing couple clientele on my books. I find working with couples very rewarding. I know the costs of divorce and separation on all involved including any children. Couples therapy really can help a couple find a way forward. To build a relationship that works well for both parties.

Unfortunately, we often stop attending to our most significant relationships when life stresses persist. We can all become unkind and selfish and stop treating our partners with the kindness and love we once did. It's difficult for us to attend to others when under stress ourselves. In couples therapy, I try to help couples reconnect and negotiate a life that would work well for both. Sometimes old hurts and wounds get in the way of the here and now and contaminate our relationships. I try to help both parties have a better awareness of these 'historical' issues and have compassion and understanding for each other. Making a change in relationships is difficult and challenging, it sometimes may feel easier to split, the danger here is that your problems may just repeat with another partner.

Affairs are unfortunately one of the key reasons couples access therapy. Affairs cause tremendous hurt and breach of trust. The reasons people have affairs are as varied. Couples therapy can help a couple understand the "story" that contributes to the affair and start to find ways to forgive and repair the relationship. It takes a brave partner to be prepared to consider forgiveness. It takes a brave couple to face the old reality and find a new way forward. Couples work can and does work for couples who are committed to change in themselves and the relationship.

Addiction Counselling

I started my counselling career working in Addictions 25 years ago. To date it is some of the most challenging and rewarding work I have done. Addictions ruin lives. Not just the person living with the addiction but those around them who love them. People with addictions are often viewed very negatively in our world. In my experience behind the addiction there is usually a very sensitive and wounded person who found a substance to help them survive. Addictions are substitutes for other things we are missing. They are a way of numbing, ignoring, avoiding, denying things we cannot face and don't believe we can cope with. They can act as a substitute for attachments we never had and at least in the early days help us feel more secure in some way. they help us cope with feelings and thoughts we find confusing, distressing and scary. They help us numb shame and embarrassment and helps feel able to cope with our worlds. No wonder so many people have some form of addiction. Addictions offer us much an cost us dearly.

I work with all forms of addiction. I guess my speciality is alcohol, largely due to its prominent position in our society. I can help you understand the functions alcohol plays for you. i can help you compassionately understand why and how you developed your addiction and most importantly I can help you find ways of living your life well without the substance or perhaps with more control. Usually people with addictions have some copying deficits or at least have forgotten how to cope without the substance. We can explore this and learn new coping skills. Taking the substance away does not take away any underlying pain or wounds but it does give you the opportunity to start to find other ways of living with or coping with the pain you have experienced. Often people with addictions have never had the opportunity to talk with another person to truly have their experience of life acknowledged and understood. I can offer you help with changing your addictive behaviours and over time help you develop a loving compassionate relationship with yourself and others. Addictions counselling is usually middle to longer term work.

*Addictions to substances can be complex and occasionally need some medical intervention alongside therapy. If this is the case for you, with your consent I would work along side your GP or other addiction specialist services.

Work related Stress

A large part of my workload has included providing counselling and training for large work organisations. I have considerable experience of helping clients manage issues within the workplace. Most of my clients who are experiencing work related stress are incredibly hard working and conscientious. They have often tried to manage their stress by doing more, trying harder working longer hours etc.. Some of these help temporarily but ultimately take their toll on the individual. I can work with you to find other sustainable solutions. Sometimes the changes may be within you and the way you approach your work life, sometimes you need to bring about changes in the system you work in. Again, both can be scary and challenging. with the right support and some developing skills you can start to see a clearer path forward.


Finally, I also offer Supervision to other professionals. I currently have 20 or so people I provide supervision for. These include Nurses, Counsellors, OT's Social worker's teachers and psychologists. The supervision provides personal and professional support to people working with people. It is a confidential and independent space where you can discuss your experience of your work and the impact it has on you. It can be safe to reflect and consider your experiences. It can be an opportunity to explore dynamics in your client relationships and change unhelpful team interactions and find ways of staying well in a stressful workplace. Supervision is usually for an hour to an hour and a half monthly.

How long does it take? How many sessions will I need?

This a very commonly asked question. An important one. You will likley want an idea of time and financial commitment. Unfortunately not the easiest question to answer with certainty or accuracy! i can usually give you a rough idea once we have had a chat on the phone and a more accurate idea after our first session. I will be honest and open with you. If you have a budget or strict time constraint we can prioritise what is the most important aspect for you to deal with first. I do often give a price reduction when it is longer term work.

If you think I could be a suitable therapist or supervisor for you please send me a message and I will give you a call to see if we think we might work well together. If so we can go ahead and arrange an appointment. If not I may be able to point you in the direction of someone else who might be a better fit.

Training, qualifications & experience

  • Qualifications and Training
  • Diploma in Addictive Behaviour St Georges Medical school. London 1998
  • Diploma in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy. goldsmiths College . London. 2005
  • Post qualifying Cert in Supervision. 2008
  • Post qualifying Cert in Transactional Analysis 2009
  • Advanced Diploma in relationship therapy 2018
  • Ongoing professional development. ongoing.
  • Experience
  • Private Practise 2007 to present
  • Eating disorder Service 2011 till 2015
  • The Eddystone Trust Charity 2005 -2007
  • NHS East Kent Community 2000-2005
  • Prison Service (Secondment) 1997-2000. (NHS)
  • Young peoples Drug services 1996-1997

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.

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.

Other areas of counselling I deal with

Insomnia and sleep problems.

Friendship problems.

Family conflicts.

Coercive / controlling relationships.

Lacking confidence.

Asserting yourself.


Childhood neglect.

Abusive relationships.

Extensive Loss.

Panic attacks.


Free initial telephone session

Concessions offered for

  • Low income
  • OAPs
  • Students
  • Trainee counsellors
  • Unemployed

Additional information

  • Fees are £50 per one hour individual session.
  • Fees are £50 per couple session
  • I will consider lowering my price if there are real financial difficulties.
  • I can invoice employers if required.
  • Some insurance work considered.
  • Supervision £50 per hour or £70 per 1.5 hours


I have face to face and online spaces starting from the 4th of January 2021.

Further information

There is wheelchair access at my Ivybridge location (Wednesdays and Saturdays from 1st September 2020) but not at New Street the Barbican.

Please feel free to leave a message on my work mobile and I will get back to you quickly. 07919340747 Regards Jo

I am on leave from the 14th of September 2020 until the 1st of October 2020.

I have been a member of the BACP since 2005

I am presently waiting for my accreditation to be approved by the BACP

Plymouth And Ivybridge

Type of session

In person

Types of client

Young people
Older adults
Employee Assistance Programme


Online supervision
Telephone supervision

I completed a Certificate in Supervision at the Iron Mill Institute in 2008.

View supervision profile

Jo Maguire CBT -Couples-Addictions-Supervision

Jo Maguire CBT -Couples-Addictions-Supervision