What to expect from your first session with me
I offer a safe, friendly and respectful space for clients and the issues that they bring. The first session is often a natural point to talk about the things that have brought each individual to counselling and to discuss what they would like to get out of having some sessions. I also explain how I work and talk about an approach that might help.
General information about the service I provide
I have twelve years of experience and frequently work with difficulties like generalised anxiety disorder, low mood and stress. Often, these can stem from underlying issues which may become relevant as the counselling progresses. I offer support to help manage the day to day difficulties as well as space to explore the impact of historical and present relationships and/or events. I am experienced in offering support around different types of abuse, complex bereavement, relationship difficulties and other multi-layered issues.
I believe that a caring, attentive and respectful relationship in counselling is hugely important. I work hard to create a space where trust can develop and clients can feel safe and properly listened to. I have always felt passionately about the impact counselling can have on a person’s life and this permeates my work with clients.
The person-centred principles or ‘core conditions’ of being genuine, offering unconditional positive regard and empathy underpin my work. In my experience, counselling is at its most powerful if clients are given autonomy or freedom and so I encourage clients to take the lead within sessions. I also believe that challenge within the work is a crucial element and am attentive to how I might ‘pitch’ challenge in a way that is both safe and useful for an individual. I am a humanistic counsellor, meaning that I believe each person’s uniqueness and the fulfilling of the individual’s potential is a key aspect to therapy. I believe that my role is to facilitate the client’s understanding of their emotional, cognitive and embodied responses to help them process experiences and to make the changes in their lives that are right for them.
My original training was in Integrative Counselling, which means I use different theoretical approaches to encourage clients to consider ways of working that suit their needs as an individual. It may be that clients wish to tell their stories or explain their experiences and responses initially, which in itself can feel very helpful. Focusing on a particular issue from the outset - like a relationship or work stress - might suit another individual better. Some clients like to have guidance around how to use sessions, which I am very happy to offer. I also provide creative resources to help clients explore their emotions and accessible psycho-educational materials to understand things like relationship dynamics and the impact of trauma.
I am a registered member of the British Association for Counsellors and Psychotherapists (BACP) and have worked under the auspices of their Ethical Framework, from completing a BACP accredited Graduate Diploma at YSJ and in all the professional settings I have worked. My monthly supervision (to ensure I carefully consider my practice) is provided by a BACP senior accredited supervisor. I undertake regular CPD and am committed to furthering my skills and understanding. I am also fully insured as a counsellor.
Training, qualifications & experience
I began my counselling training in 2006, completing a Certificate in Counselling at York St John University, where I then went on to study Integrative Counselling and graduated with a Graduate Diploma (level 7) in 2009. I am also a qualified Counselling for Depression IAPT therapist, which is a person-centred experiential therapy designed for use within the NHS.
I have attended training covering a variety of subjects and issues over the years, such as: bereavement, sexual exploitation, solution focused ways of working, sexual abuse, working with suicidal clients, difference and diversity, the impact of trauma, Transactional Analysis, the Rewind Technique (to process single traumas), CBT.
Since qualifying as a counsellor, I have worked at a small charity offering therapeutic support to children and young people with issues of bereavement and loss, within further education and higher education counselling teams and within a local organisation as an IAPT (Improving Access to Psychological Therapies) counsellor. Within this role, I also became skilled in helping people who struggle with high levels of anxiety and panic due to abusive relationships and traumatic events. Over the last few years in particular, my work has evolved in a way that helps clients consider the links between emotions, how they think about something and often the connections between these things and also how their bodies might feel, or the physical symptoms they might experience due to distress. It is important for me as a practitioner, that clients can move away from feeling 'trapped' in patterns of behaviour or emotions that they understand to come from difficult experiences, and so I work explicitly with clients around this when relevant to them.
Prior to my counselling career, I trained and worked as a teacher within secondary education for ten years. This background enabled me to become an experienced workshop facilitator, delivering workshops and training to adults in both a local charity and on a freelance basis. I have facilitated workshops and training on topics including communication styles, managing and understanding low mood, bullying in the work place, mindfulness and relationship dynamics. Psycho-educational approaches can be of real benefit to help people understand why they might respond in particular ways and, when relevant, is something I also offer within one to one counselling sessions.
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
Other areas of counselling I deal with
Issues of difference, LGBTQ, faith and sexuality, loss, identity.
Concessions offered for
Each session is 50 minutes long. I charge £45 per session. You can either pay electronically via a card reader or through online banking.
I offer a reduced rate for anyone who is studying to be a counsellor, where having personal therapy is a requirement of their course. I also offer a cheaper first face to face session rate of £35 to all new clients, so you can meet me to help you decide if you want to continue working with me. All further sessions would then be at the full rate of £45.
I have morning and afternoon sessions throughout the week and some evening availability.
Please feel free to call or email if you are considering having counselling with me, but would like to talk through things first. I'm very happy to answer questions regarding how I work and whether this would suit you.