Karen Pollock Bsc (Hons) MBACP
Hello, and thank you for reading my profile.
Considering counselling is a huge step, often taken when you are struggling, or when life events just seem too much. Sometimes you will have agonized over whether therapy is the answer, for some people it is an impulse decision. Or perhaps you have talked to people, weighted up the options and decided, yes, this is the right moment.
However you ended up here, you have taken the first step and that is awesome!
You may be wondering how I can help you, as well as my Post Graduate Diploma in Counselling which covered all areas which might bring people to therapy, I have undertaken further specialist training in working with
gender and sexual diversities including; asexuality, BDSM, bisexuality, non binary identities, polyamorous and non monogamies, kink. trans clients, lesbian and gay clients.
Child Abuse including childhood sexual abuse and exploitation
Work related stress and anxiety
Rape and sexual assault
I am currently studying for the only post graduate gender, sexuality and relationship counselling qualification in the UK, with Pink Therapy
I see the job of a therapist as being creating a space where the client can explore what matters to them, a safe, non judgmental space which belongs to the client. I use a number of interventions, as appropriate, such as journaling, mindfulness, art therapy, stone work and other gestalt techniques. In many ways I see myself as a facilitator or guide on a journey the client has embarked on.
Clients tell me they value my down to earth attitude, my open mindedness, my compassion, and that I do not "seem like a therapist". I do not believe I am an expert who can tell you what to do. I am a trained professional who can walk alongside you and use my expertise to help you work out the issues that matter to you.
I offer online therapy, which can be particularly useful to a number of people, either because of time, location, other commitments, disability, and convenience. Sessions can take place either via webcam, or instant messaging. I work with clients from across the world, often expats who cannot find a therapist where they are based.
I also offer conventional in person counselling, based in the Tyne Valley and also walking therapy, where the sessions take place in the beautiful Northumberland countryside, and allow us to also harness the healing power of nature.
Sessions last for 50 minutes, usually take place weekly, and whether in person or online I adhere to the values, and ethical framework of the BACP. A copy of this, and their complaints procedure are available upon request. I am also fully insured and have a DBS check.
Qualifications and Training
I am a fully qualified counsellor with a professional diploma in counselling as well as further specialist training. This included 100 hours of supervised volunteer counselling in organisations who provided low-cost or free counselling to clients from very diverse backgrounds. It cemented within me the need for therapy to be more affordable and accessible to all.
My initial training was person centered, in essence this means believing you, the client, is the expert in your own life. I see myself as a guide, or navigator, whose role is not to take charge but to walk alongside you. I was fortunate that my department took an integrationist approach, encouraging us to use and develop skills from all schools of counselling. Studying for my Post graduate qualification in GSRD counselling has not only I believe, improved my theoretical knowledge, but increased my skills in working with all clients.
Choosing to start counselling is for many a huge step. People can be concerned about stigma, stirring up the past, being judged. Many clients approach me after previous negative experiences of counselling. I offer empathetic, non judgmental open-minded counselling, always rooted in my belief that everyone is doing the best they can, with the resources they have available to them.
I am a registered member of the BACP, the largest regulator of counselling in the UK. I adhere to their ethical framework, and complaints procedures. I believe passionately in ethical practice, and the need for strong regulation of counselling to protect clients from abusive or negligent therapists. I am also fully insured. It matters to me that clients feel able to make a complaint just as they would against any other professional. I advocate for better training of therapists in gender, sexuality and relationship diversity.
Frequently Asked Questions
What happens in the first session?
The initial session is very much a "getting to know you". It is important you feel I am the right therapist for you. We will discuss practicalities, such as time, contact between sessions, emergency contacts and so forth. We will both sign a written contract, which gives you a clear outline of what to expect from me. We will also discuss issues around self care, and understanding that counselling can stir up strong emotions, I feel its important clients have no pressure on them when making such an important decision so there is no charge for this initial session.
How do you work online?
Online counselling can take place either by instant messaging or video camera. No special equipment or technical knowledge is needed. I use encrypted secure sites either Appear.in or zoom. Skype is not suitable for online counselling, but I have written simple how to guides of how to both sites. I also have guidance on protecting your confidentiality if for example you are using a family or shared computer.
You are also a writer, will you write about our sessions?
Whilst my clients continually educate and inspire me, I take great pains to ensure that nothing from the sessions ends up in my writing. I do not anonymise, instead I use totally hypothetical situations if I am writing about counselling. It is understandable that you might be worried about confidentiality however I make it one of my guiding principles that if I cannot write about something without respecting the sacred bond of trust between me and a client, I do not write about it at all.
Training, qualifications & experience
I hold a Diploma in Counselling, A Professional Diploma in Counselling (level 5), a certificate in contracting and a Bsc (hons) in Philosophy.
I have undertaken further training in working with
- domestic violence
- Non monogamies
- LGBTQ clients
- Bisexual clients
- Trans clients
- Child abuse
- relationship counselling
I have been running my own private practice online for two years, as well as volunteering with local charities. I am a board member for Be:trans support and development North. I work locally training a number of organisations, including the NHS to understand better the needs of the gender and sexuality diverse communities.
As someone who has worked and lived overseas I have experience which expat clients have found invaluable,particularly in understanding the stresses and pressures of living, working overseas and raising third culture kids.
I am currently studying for a Post Graduate diploma in Gender, Sexuality and Relationship Diverse counselling.
Areas of counselling I deal with
- Affairs and betrayals
- Anger management
- Asperger's syndrome
- Body dysmorphic disorder
- Carer support
- Child related issues
- Chronic fatigue syndrome/ME
- Domestic violence
- Emotional abuse
- Family issues
- Feeling sad
- Gender dysphoria
- Internet addiction
- Learning difficulties
- Low self-confidence
- Low self-esteem
- Passive aggressive behaviour
- Physical abuse
Other areas of counselling I deal with
lesbian, gay, gender variance, trans, bisexual, sexuality, polygamy, non monogamy, asexuality, grey/demi asexual, kink, bdsm, queer, porn addiction, compulsive sexual behaviour, non binary identities, gender non conforming,
Photos & videos
I offer a sliding scale of payment, from £25 to £60 for individuals and £30 to £60 for relationship counsellng according to ability to pay.
Maps & Directions
Type of session
|Face to face counselling:||Yes|
Appointments available within 1 to 2 weeks including weekends and evenings.
Types of client
|Employee Assistance Programme|