Liz Smith Verified Professional Verified Professional
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Accredited Counsellor

About me

“I feel like I’m existing, not living.”

“I just want my old self back.”

“I don’t know who I am anymore. I’ve totally lost myself.”

“My life has changed and I don’t feel in control anymore."

"I just don’t know where to go from here.”

If this sounds like you, I can help. My name is Liz and I specialise in helping people find themselves again. 

Life throws all sorts of curve balls at us all the time, and most of the time we cope, or at least muddle through. But sometimes things can happen that are so momentous we feel like we've lost touch with who we really are. Those things can be big or small. Some common ones include:

  • The end of any important relationship, whether you planned it or not.
  • Children starting school or leaving home.
  • Bereavement.
  • Menopause.
  • Pregnancy loss or IVF not working.
  • Job loss (unexpected or not) or retirement.
  • Experiencing a traumatic event, e.g. a car accident, natural disaster, being the victim of a crime, etc.
  • Health issues, like being diagnosed with a serious or chronic illness.
  • Or living with the effects of a pandemic!

When we're not truly connected with who we are--our values, needs, dreams--life can feel particularly challenging. You may be experiencing anxiety or depression, emotional or physical pain, lack of confidence. You might wonder if you're going crazy or feel as if your brain just isn't working as well as it used to. Sleep might be eluding you, and as for eating well and exercising? Ha!

Don't worry. These are normal feelings and thoughts, and you are not doomed to live like this forever.

Who Am I?

I'm a fully qualified counsellor and coach who can help you discover what's holding you back and tap into your own inner wisdom and strength. Even if you're not sure you have any!

Together we can explore not just what's happened in your past (if you want to) but what you really, really want for your future and how you can get there.

If you're ready to make positive changes in your life, call or email me for a friendly, confidential chat. We'll talk a bit about you and what you'd like to get out of counselling and, if you want to, we'll arrange our first session.

What do I do?

I offer both short- and long-term counselling and coaching by video or in a tranquil, relaxing setting 3 miles southeast of Bicester, and within easy reach of Oxford, Kidlington, and Aylesbury. (Note: face to face sessions will resume in April 2022, however in some cases I can meet you in your home. If that is of interest, please let me know.)

I aim to create a positive, healing space that allows you to access your intrinsic potential to make changes that will help you lead a more fulfilling life. You can freely express yourself without being judged, safely process negative feelings and experiences, and think about new ways of living your life and relating to others. You remain the expert on you, but I can offer information, insights and suggestions to help you achieve your unique goals.

Who do I work with?

I work mainly with women (cis or trans) and AFAB non-binary people. However, men (cis or trans) and AMAB non-binary people are very welcome.

Working with me

Whether we work in a virtual counselling room or a real one, you'll find a warm, friendly welcome and a commitment to helping you tap into your inborn capacity for change and healing.

I’m an accredited member of the National Counselling Society, and I work within their ethical framework. I undertake regular supervision and additional training to continually improve my work with clients.

Pregnancy and Infant Loss

I have undertaken specialist, accredited training in working with clients who have experienced the loss of a baby before, during, or shortly after birth. Whether one or both parents choose to seek counselling, you are assured of a gentle welcome and a safe, compassionate and non-judgmental space to work through this unique grief at your own pace.

Sexual Abuse and Assault

I have experience of frontline work with survivors of sexual assault and abuse and domestic abuse at the Oxfordshire Sexual Abuse and Rape Crisis Centre and Aylesbury Vale & Milton Keynes Sexual Assault and Abuse Support Service. Dealing with the aftermath of these experiences (flashbacks, dissociation, nightmares, hypervigilance, difficulties trusting other, etc.) can feel overwhelming and, unfortunately, not everyone is able to access free counselling services in a timely way (or even at all).

I've seen firsthand what a big step it is to ask for help as the survivor of sexual violence. I aim to create a safe, compassionate and non-judgmental space where you can carefully process your experiences at your own pace.

Training, qualifications & experience

Qualifications

  • Advanced Diploma in Psychotherapeutic Counselling (accredited by the National Counselling Society)
  • Certificate in Pregnancy and Infant Loss (accredited by the Foundation for Infant Loss)
  • Professional Diploma in Hypnotherapy and Psychotherapy (accredited by the General Hypnotherapy Standards Committee and the Hypnotherapy Association)
  • Academic qualifications: BA, MBA.

Experience

  • Specialist counsellor for survivors of sexual abuse and assault and domestic abuse at Oxford Sexual Abuse and Rape Crisis Centre and Aylesbury Vale & Milton Keynes Sexual Assault and Abuse Support Service.
  • 15+ years’ experience as a manager and coach in a corporate environment

Professional Development

  • Wellbeing Coaching
  • Treating Intrusive Thoughts
  • Treating Generalised Anxiety and Panic Disorders
  • Self-Acceptance (CBT)
  • Internal Family Systems (parts therapy)
  • Trauma-Informed Stabilisation Treatment
  • Working with Suicide and Self Harm
  • Self-Relations Therapy

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.

NCS

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.

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

Other areas of counselling I deal with

I specialise in working with women (trans) women are welcome) who feel they need to 'find themselves', e.g. leaving a relationship, experiencing menopause or hormonal upheaval, empty-nesters, etc.

I am also a specialist counsellor in sexual abuse and assault, and in pregnancy and infant loss.

Fees

From £55.00 to £75.00

Concessions offered for

  • Low income
  • Keyworkers
  • Unemployed

Additional information

I offer a free telephone consultation. It's not a full session, but offer an opportunity for us to get to know each other a bit more and for you to ask any questions you might have. Online counselling: £55 per session

Face to face counselling (starting April 2022):

£65 for sessions between 9am and 5pm

£75 for sessions at 8am or after 5pm

All sessions are 50 minutes

Currently all of my concessionary slots are filled. 

When I work

Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat Sun
Morning
Afternoon
Evening
Night

I offer flexible appointments (doesn't have to be the same day and time every session). Last appointment on Thursday is 6pm. Limited early morning appointments are available. Just ask.

Further information

I am potentially at risk of serious illness if I contract Covid, but I really want to offer face-to-face sessions for those who want them! As a compromise, I'm asking that face-to-face clients are fully vaccinated and boosted. Non-vaccinated clients are welcome to see me online.

My counselling room is not naturally ventilated but has an air filter. You won't need to wear a mask, but can choose to do so (and can ask me to) if you wish. 

If you have any symptoms of Covid, I ask that you do not come to your session, even if a lateral flow test is negative. We can meet online or reschedule face to face sessions, as you prefer.

I am located in a pleasant village 3 miles southeast of Bicester, within easy reach of Oxford, Kidlington and Aylesbury. There is free parking on-site and the counselling room is accessible for wheelchair users.

There are two cats and a dog (aka the furapists) on-site. If you have allergies or any concerns you may want to do online counselling instead as it's difficult to keep them out of the way completely.

Blackthorn, Bicester, Oxfordshire, OX25

Type of session

In person
Online
Phone
Home visits

Types of client

Adults
Older adults
Organisations

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

Wheelchair user access

Wheelchair user access

Wheelchair-accessible premises should have step-free access for wheelchair users and individuals who are unable to climb stairs. If a Counsellor's premises aren't step-free, they may offer alternative services such as telephone/web-based appointments, home visits, or meeting clients in different location, so you can choose the option that suits you best.

You can contact the Counsellor to discuss the options available.

Under the Equality Act 2010 service providers have a duty to make reasonable adjustments to ensure that individuals with disabilities can access their service. You can read more about reasonable adjustments to help you to access services on the CAB website.

Premises can be made accessible by wheelchair but is not permanently accessible. Please get in touch if you have specific access needs. I will do everything I can to accommodate them.

Online platforms

Skype
Whatsapp
Zoom

Social