Karen O'Hara Verified Professional Verified Professional
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BScHons Gestalt Couns(1st Class) RegMBACP (Red Tree Therapy)

About me

Hello, I'm Karen, and firstly I'd like to thank you for visiting my page. So you're looking for a counsellor and maybe thinking, 'How do I choose?' Let me summarise my way of working, my experience and my qualifications ...

I'm a Gestalt counsellor, with training in CBT and Person Centred therapy and my approach is encouraging and supportive. I feel very strongly that the relationship I build with my clients is key to their development and my aim will be to make sure that you feel truly heard and understood. I provide a safe space for my clients to heal and I will work with you in a collaborative way, in order to help you feel empowered.

My Gestalt training enables me to work in a holistic way, focusing on your individuality in the here and now.  I take into consideration the person you are and  the life experiences you have had, and I adapt our sessions to work in a way which suits you best.

Alongside talking therapy, my Gestalt background also means I can offer creative ways of exploration. Some clients find this is an extremely helpful way of expressing their emotions and working through issues. Whichever way we decide to work, I can help you to increase your awareness of blocks and unhelpful patterns, I can guide you through making meaning of painful events or memories and I can support you in finding new ways of living and relating to others.

I have helped clients with a range of issues, such as anxiety, depression, low self-esteem, self-harm, relationship difficulties, bereavement, anger issues, identity issues and more.  I have also worked in a charity which supports survivors of sexual and domestic abuse which has given me experience of Trauma and PTSD work.   I am also an LGBTQ+ ally and I'm committed to offering non-judgemental support and affirmative therapy .  I've previously worked providing pastoral support for young people in a secondary school and also on placement at a youth counselling service.

If want to feel calmer,  have healthier relationships, make positive changes, feel more motivated and more able to manage your life,  please do get in touch. I am happy to offer a free 30 minute session for you to ask any questions you may have and to decide if we could work together.

Training, qualifications & experience

  • BSc Hons Gestalt Counselling (First Class) (University of Portsmouth)
  • Dip HE Counselling - Humanistic Gestalt (University of Portsmouth)
  • Level 3 Certificate - Counselling Skills
  • TA 101 course (The Official Introduction to Transactional Analysis)
  • BA Hons - Education/Eng (University of Surrey)

In addition to my work with survivors of sexual and domestic abuse,  I have worked in a Youth Counselling charity organisation and I have worked in a Pastoral and Safeguarding role in Secondary Education.

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

Photos & videos


£40.00 per session
Free initial in-person, telephone or online session

Concessions offered for

  • Trainee counsellors

Additional information

30 minute introductory telephone/zoom/in-person session - free

Adults: 50 minute sessions - £40 per session, or block booking rates - £220 for 6 sessions

11-18 yrs: 40 minute sessions - £35 per session, or block booking rates - £260 for 8 sessions

Counselling Student concession - £30 per session

When I work

I offer various daytime, evening and Saturday morning sessions.   

Further information

I am a Registered Member of the BACP (British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy) and I have an enhanced DBS Certificate.

52 Shirley Road, Shirley, Southampton, Hampshire, SO15 3EW

Type of session

In person

Types of client

Young people
Older adults

Key details

DBS check

In England and Wales, the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS, formerly known as CRB) carry out criminal records checks for individuals working with vulnerable groups, such as children. To find out more, visit gov.uk , or contact this professional directly

Online platforms