Julia Yates

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MBACP Dip (H.E) Person Centred Counselling Expressive Arts
Available for new clients
Available for new clients

This professional is available for new clients.

Lancaster, Lancashire, LA1
Available for new clients
Available for new clients

This professional is available for new clients.

About me

About Me

Hello, welcome to my profile. I'm a Person Centred Counsellor with experiential training in Expressive Arts Therapy. This method, used alongside counselling is based on the work of Natalie Rogers. She believed that we all have the ability to create and that the creative process can be harnessed for change. In sessions I offer art materials and figures (miniatures) to assist in the process of self exploration and expression. This is often an enjoyable and revealing process bringing fresh insight to the work. You don't need to be good at art or to have used this method before.

I have experience working in several organisations and settings, including addiction, mental health, higher education and schools. Creative therapy is particulatly suited to working with young persons. I have been lucky enough to work with people  across the lgbtqia+spectrum including non binary people. This is my community and I have a particuler interest in gender politics. Whether you identify within or outside of the binary, gender identity can feel restrictive and difficult or dysphoric.  Identifying outside of the binary can feel lonely or confusing. 

I believe that each person has the right to be who they are in a safe, non judgemental environment. My belief and experience over many years is that we all have the inner capacity for change, creativity and to find our own way towards a more fulfilling life. At times this is hard to see when we suffer with emotional pain, distress and anxiety.  My approach is to provide a space for you where we can work through this at your pace using mark making and images to express what is often hard to put into words.  I also use sand trays and/or miniature figures alongside talking. We can use stories, collage and writing so feel free to bring your own work or experiment in sessions. There is no such thing as perfection, only ways of expressing that work for you. I firmly believe that in this way we can work through difficulties and come to a place where you feel happier and more in control, where you understand your story better and are comfortable with who you are.

I bring my sensitivity and empathic perception to my work , alongside creative insight from over 20 years of using therapeutic art and collage for my self. I bring my passion for all things creative and therapeutic and my firm faith in this approach.

My Practice

I hold individual sessions near to the city centre, with parking facilities near by. It is also wheelchair accessible.

Individual sessions are one hour for talking therapy and up to an hour and a quater if you are using the art materials in the session.  I can offer guidance on how to use them if you are new to it all. We focus on mark making as a reference for exploration, expression and psychological healing. We can also use images created in between sessions if you would like to use them as a reference point.

Creative Expressive Therapy simply means expressing ourself through colour, line, shape and form using art or collage materials. If you struggle to describe your experiences in words it may be really useful for you to try this method. It gets us in touch with our emotions and helps to process them through the materials. This symbolic work goes beyond the limits of verbal communication.

I also facilitate small therapy groups, up to 8 members where I encourage participants to use mark making and art as a form of self expression. I provide art materials and guidance on how to use them to explore issues that people would like to work with. Participants bring a variety of issues and experiences to the group and everyone has the chance to talk about these. We then have a short relaxation which is a simple breathing exercise before focusing on how to translate inner feelings into a simple picture form. Wethen focus on a creative exercise, reflecting on the images afterwards. People can say as much or as little about the images and their personal meaning to them. It is a safe supportive group where participants enjoy engaging with the process. We are currently taking new members.

If you would like to join a group we would meet or speak on the phone to discuss the boundaries and confidentiality and what you would like from the sessions.

Sometimes we believe that we can't draw, paint or write creatively because we didn't meet certain standards set at school or college. Therapeutic creativity is not a restrictive or a precise process, it can open us up to finding new ways of speaking out and working through even really difficult experiences. The images can be very simple or abstract and can still give us insight into ourselves. Feelings come through as shapes, symbols, colours or characters which have individual personal meaning. There is no right or wrong in this process, you can experiment with different mediums, different colours and shapes exploring your own feelings in a safe and often enjoyable way. In this process you are the author of your experience, to speak through this fascinating language without judgement. You won't need any previous experience or skill. I provide all materials and figures but you're also welcome to bring your own.

If you struggle to be assertive and speak up for yourself then you may benefit from using creative therapy.  We can focus on what you feel and what you want to say in a safe supportive environment. It may sound strange to say that creative techniques can strengthen your voice but in my experience they can. The creative outlet reduces the pent up stress of not speaking up and helps you to identify areas of your life you'd like to work on. Creativity in a safe space gives you the freedom to do this.

Training, qualifications & experience

I have a Diploma (H.E) in Person Centred Counselling from University of Cumbria 2010

I have over 100 hours training in Person Centred Expressive Arts Therapies Dinah Brown 2011 Kendal

50 hours Expressive Art Therapy training The Adult College Lancaster 2007-2011

I have facilitated over 50 workshops in organisations across Lancashire including Making Space, The Well, Willow Lane N.H.S Specialist Rehabilitation Unit, Peer Support House and several women's groups. I have also delivered workshops at Halton Mill and The Tara Centre. I continue to work with groups who want to work through emotional distress and improve psychological wellness using creativity.

My background is in Holistic Therapies, Educational Mentoring and Psychological support for mental health and long term illness. I have also trained in Domestic Violence Awareness (Women's Aid), Interpersonal Skills (OCNW), Vocational Mentoring (OCNW), Difference and Diversity (NCBI) and Mixed Media Design and crafts (City and Guilds)

Areas of expertise

Work Related Stress

I have several years experience working with professionals in teaching, N.H.S and Welfare Services experiencing depression and high anxiety due to work stress. Professional occupations have higher rates of work related stress, depression and anxiety, than all other occupation categories. If you're feeling like this, you're not alone.

In Great Britain 595,000 workers suffer from work related stress, depression and anxiety.

When we experience work and financial pressure it's difficult to balance this with family or social life, we can feel that our life is no longer in our own hands. It can be hard to deal with the power dynamics of a stressful job or profession and our health can be affected. Working through this with talking and mark making in a neutral, safe space can help to identify coping strategies, build inner resources and prioritise self care. When self esteem is raised we feel better, more in control and able to handle difficult situations.

Young People

I have worked with many young people from the age of 13 to 22 years. I have worked with students at Lancaster and Morecambe College, Central High School and in private practice. Many young people feel isolated with identity and mental health struggles. The pressure of exams, relationships,sexuality and image can be extremely intense and young people face long waiting lists in order to access support. Relatives often feel extremely concerned and at a loss to help.

I feel that it is crucial that young persons can access support when it's needed to reduce distress. I offer individual or group support to help the person develop creative tools to express difficult feelings and explore their mental health issues in a a safe way. This can help build up coping strategies and self esteem.

I have an enhanced CRB to work with children and young people and have spent time since the birth of my own child facilitating children's groups in the local area.


I have worked with people from across the spectrum of gender and sexuality and am committed to supporting the LGBTQA+ community. I have worked on a long term basis with people at various stages of transition, accepting the person exactly as they are. I feel that as a society we have work to do in embracing a view that is broader than the one created by the binary system we live in today.

I have worked with clients of different genders who experience relationship difficulties and want to make change. I believe that as individuals we have the right to be who we are free from oppression, manipulation or abuse and to express our feelings and needs appropriately. Emotional change can be painful and I provide a safe and holding environment to support you through it.

Member organisations

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

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

Coercive control, gaslighting, oppression, separation where children are involved, historic abuse, LGBTQA+ issues.


£40.00 per session
Free initial telephone session

Concessions offered for

  • Students
  • Trainee counsellors
  • Unemployed
  • Refugees

Additional information

Individual sessions cost £40. This is a full hour and a quater inclusive. This gives us time to set up and use the art materials or figures and reflect on the creative work afterwards. .All materials are provided. There is a student and young person's reduced fee, if needed of £35. This also applies to refugees and people out of work. This also allows for an hour and a quater.

The cost for running workshops is £50 an hour for organisations. 

All materials for groups are provided.

Appointments can be made to fit around work hours and family life. I have some appointments available on Saturdays between 1pm and 4pm. Monday or Tuesday I am available evenings. up until 7.30pm.

We would meet to agree our counselling contract, talk about Confidentiality and also about how the sessions would work before starting therapeutic work.

If you would like to join a group or workshop then please email me and we can take it from there.

When I work

Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat Sun

Further information

You can find out more about my approach and groups on my Facebook page at www.facebook.com/JuliaYatesCounsellorLancaster or Instagram at www.instagram.com/lancaster_creative_counselling

Lancaster, Lancashire, LA1

Type of session

In person


Julia Yates
Julia Yates