Joanne Gibson Verified Professional Verified Professional
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Light & Shade Counselling BA (Hons) MSc MBACP MNCS (Accred)

About me

My name is Joanne and I am an integrative adult and child counsellor, which means I have trained and qualified to use the following approaches, Psychodynamic, CBT and Humanistic.  There are many types of counselling and I know it can be confusing to know what type of counselling may be best for you. I am also a positive psychology practitioner and psychology coach which means I have a diverse range of skills to help you move forward.

I decided to become an Integrative counsellor as it is a combined approach to psychotherapy that brings together different elements of specific therapies. Each approach offers explanation and insight into human behaviour.

As an Integrative therapist I take the view that there is no single approach that can treat each client in all situations. Each person needs to be considered as a whole and counselling techniques must be tailored to their individual needs and personal circumstances. Integrative counselling maintains the idea that there are many ways in which human psychology can be explored and understood – no one theory holds the answer. Essentially this means that as an integrative counsellor I am able to tailor therapy to clients and not the client to the therapy. The positive psychology aspect of my work as a counsellor and coach allows transformational change known as post traumatic growth, meaning we can gain resilience and use that to help us grow and learn from difficult, traumatic and painful experiences.

I was inspired to become a counsellor after my own experience of personal therapy, which helped me through some difficult issues I encountered in my life. Counselling allowed me to understand myself, and taught me that I had the ability to change. I had the answers but lost the ability to listen to myself and trust my own decisions. Counselling helped me to rediscover my full potential. This feeling was so empowering and felt like nothing I had experienced before. From that moment I knew that I wanted to help others to experience that feeling. I also discovered and realised that these experiences helped me to grow. This led me onto a Masters (Msc) programme in positive psychology and coaching psychology. This has enabled me to build on my therapeutic skills and offer an enhanced experience to my clients. 

I know that life can be challenging and painful at times and making the decision to seek help can be quite daunting. The stigma associated to mental health and counselling can make it even harder, you may feel judged by others about how you should, think, feel and behave. You just want to fit in and be accepted, so sometimes it’s easier to just carry on and pretend everything is ok. This can be exhausting and eventually stopped working for me. It does not have to be this way. If you decide that you deserve this support to free your mind from the pressures that life can bring, I can help you understand yourself and provide you with the tools to continue to help yourself and unlock your true potential.

I also work with children from the ages of 6 through to 18. I work in primary and secondary schools and I have also worked in a sixth form college with 16-19 year olds. I have managed a counselling project within a school for a large organisation. Also worked in various schools as a school based counsellor in different boroughs. The work that I do with children varies depending on their age.

A child’s experience of counselling is unique to them and some children prefer to be in school, staying in the school environment with what’s familiar to them, but some children prefer to be away form school in a neutral environment. I wrote a piece of research on counselling children In schools which supports and informs the way I work with children, as this offered me insight into some of the issues they face, and in most cases they were scared, worried or simply embarrassed to seek help.

The most important thing to consider in counselling children and young people is that they need to feel safe, and trust is key. So my first goal is to build the relationship with them, so they feel safe to work with me, then and only then, can the work can begin.

I believe for any therapy to be successful, the first thing you need is the therapeutic relationship. I want you to feel safe and at ease with me, so that you can share your experiences without fear or judgment. The space that I offer, is yours for 50 minutes, and I will be led by you and what you need. I will always be honest and transparent with you. I want to understand your world, and how you view your world. I will do this offering empathy and compassion.

I offer both short-term and long-term therapy, which will be led by you.

The daily challenges of life can become overwhelming and whilst family and friends can be a great source of comfort and support, speaking to those personally involved can be difficult.

I offer a space for you to share those concerns, and not being personally involved means I can listen, be objective and you can feel safe and reassured that what you share will go no further.

I know from personal experience it can be difficult to make that initial contact with a counsellor, and take that first step to seeking help. I want you to feel at ease before you meet me, so I offer a free 15-minute telephone conversation; this will give you the opportunity to decide if you feel comfortable to work with me or if you prefer you can email me.

If there are any schools that might like me to come in to offer a full day package this can be arranged after a meeting and further discussion.

Training, qualifications & experience

In addition to my private practice, my professional experience ranges from working with bereavement in a hospice, Counselling students in a college setting, and counselling children in both primary and secondary schools from ages 6-16. I am also a school project manager, where I manage a counselling project within a school for a large organisation.

I am a registered member of the (BACP) British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy. I adhere to the BACP ethical framework f and attend regular clinical supervision for all my counselling work.

I keep myself up to date with the current legislation within counselling, both in private practice and in schools..

I am registered with the DBS update service and have an enhanced up to date DBS.

I have completed various safeguarding and child protection courses and my certificates are up to date, and updated yearly. I attend regular CPD workshops and have attended the following so far.

  • Advanced Grief, Loss and Bereavement
  • Art and Play Therapy
  • Child protection
  • CBT Working with Guilt and Shame
  • Trauma, Dissociation & recovery
  • Sexual Abuse : The Unspoken Trauma
  • Culturally Competent Palliative & End of Life Care for LGBT people
  • Existential Philosophy
  • Safeguarding children
  • Prevent Channel General Awareness Module with the College of Policing
  • Making Endings with Children
  • Hidden Harm (The impact of drugs and alcohol on children and their families).
  • Young Gamers and Gamblers
  • Adult Safeguarding
  • Neuroscience and the brain (Trauma and Anxiety)
  • Attachment
  • Self harm and suicide
  • Emotional Intelligence

I hold the following professional qualifications

  • BA Honours Degree in Integrative Counselling
  • Registered Member of the (BACP) The British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy
  • Level 3 Diploma in counselling skills NCFE
  • Level 2 Certificate in Counselling Concepts AQA.

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.


National Counselling Society (NCS)

The National Counselling Society

This Not For Profit association of counsellors and psychotherapists aim to support the counselling profession, members and training organisations.

In 2013 the NCS register was accredited by the Professional Standards Authority under the Accredited Voluntary Register Scheme. Accredited by the Professional Standards Authority.


British Association for Counselling & Psychotherapy (BACP)

BACP is one of the UK’s leading professional bodies for counselling and psychotherapy with around 60,000 members. The Association has several different categories of membership, including Student Member, Individual Member, Registered Member MBACP, Registered Accredited Member MBACP (Accred) and Senior Registered Accredited Member MBACP (Snr Acccred).

Registered and accredited members are listed on the BACP Register, which shows that they have demonstrated BACP’s recommended standards for training, proficiency and ethical practice. The BACP Register was the first register of psychological therapists to be accredited by the Professional Standards Authority (PSA).

Accredited and senior accredited membership are voluntary categories for members who choose to undertake a rigorous application and assessment process to demonstrate additional standards around practice, training and supervision.

Individual members will have completed an appropriate counselling or psychotherapy course and started to practise, but they won’t appear on the BACP Register until they've demonstrated that they meet the standards for registration. Student members are still in the process of completing their training.

All members are bound by the BACP Ethical Framework and a Professional Conduct Procedure.

Accredited register membership

National Counselling Society

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.

National Counselling Society
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.

British Association for Counselling & Psychotherapy

Other areas of counselling I deal with

I am also happy to come into schools and offer a one day counselling package, or maybe half a day. Alternatively if you just have one student you would like me to see for one to one counselling within the school, this can be arranged. Please contact me for further information.

Photos & videos


From £30.00 to £40.00
Free initial telephone session

Additional information

£40 Standard fees for individual counselling 50 minute session, fee reductions due to covid19 on discussion.

£60 - Standard fees for individual counselling 90 minute session

£80 Couples sessions 1 Hour £ 115 for 90 mins

Student rates and concessions and reductions available on request.

School package prices available after further discussion.

When I work

Covid safety measures in place for face to face counselling but zoom and telephone are still an option if face to face does not feel comfortable for you. 

Further information

I am happy to discuss reduced rates at this time due to the current climate and issued faced with COVID19

Hornchurch Business Centre, Light And Shade Counselling, 7 Station Lane, Hornchurch, Essex, RM12 6JL

49 Station Road, Room 1.1, Harold Wood, Romford, Essex, RM3 0BS

Type of session

In person

Types of client

Young people
Older adults
Employee Assistance Programme