Lou Allen Counsellor MBACP, Registered, Accredited. Dip Supervision
Welcome to my profile!
As a very experienced counsellor, I am skilled at building warm, safe, therapeutic relationships. I have a private practice providing a confidential, supportive counselling service to adults, couples, children, teenagers and families. I see clients at Studio One, just off Princesshay in Central Exeter and in Holcombe, near Dawlish.
Reaching out for help can feel very challenging, whether you're looking for help for yourself, as a couple or family, or for your child. Please feel free to contact me by phone, text or email to arrange an informal, no obligation chat about the support you are looking for and I will get back to you as soon as I can.
I receive referrals from individuals as well as other professionals such as Social Workers, Counsellors, Schools, Family Support Teams as well as Employee Assisted Programmes for workplace counselling.
Typical issues that I work with are: general and social anxiety, relationship issues, family issues, low self-esteem, communication difficulties, depression, low mood, bereavement and loss, work issues, anger, sexual abuse, domestic violence (current or in the past), parenting, ageing, transition and trauma (see the full list below).
My background is in Mainstream Education as an Early Years Teacher, in London, the South East and in Devon, supporting many children with additional needs, especially behaviour difficulties, anger issues, anxiety, autism, ADHD and learning difficulties. I have specialist training in supporting parents and families and in bereavement counselling for adults, children and young people. I worked as a volunteer counsellor for Cruse Bereavement Care in Devon for 5 years and also worked as a Supervisor for bereavement volunteers.
Young people and family work
Counselling children and teenagers is different from counselling adults, so I use a creative, intuitive approach to build a positive relationship of trust, helping clients to feel safe to explore any difficulties they are experiencing. As well as talking, counselling can involve using the sand tray, small toys/objects, art and images. I often teach short Mindfulness exercises and I am a qualified Mindfulness teacher with MiSP (Mindfulness in Schools Project) for young people aged 11-18.
Working in private practice enables me to work in a flexible way to offer individualised support for individuals, couples, children and young people, so please feel free to contact me for an informal chat.
Feedback from a father after some family counselling:
' Just having an independent & trustworthy professional available to speak to openly and
candidly outside of the family unit......we thought that perhaps there was something seriously
wrong with our situation, when actually we just needed to step back a little bit and view it
from a distance with the help of a counsellor'
I have a current Enhanced Criminal Record Certificate from the Disclosure & Barring Service
Couple & Relationship Counselling
I offer brief, solution-focused therapy to couples & adult families to help them to explore, identify and change patterns of communication that are causing difficulties and distress in family relationships.
At the initial assessment session, we explore the reasons you have come to counselling and identify the goals that each person has. If you decide to continue with counselling, I suggest attending weekly, or fortnightly for 6 or 8 sessions.
My role is to support and encourage communication between you, whilst offering helpful feedback in a non-judgmental manner. Many couples/families choose to have some individual sessions before meeting again as a couple/family. I often suggest communication tasks to try in between sessions, as many clients find this very helpful.
Please contact me for an informal, confidential chat if you would like more information.
Testimonials from recent clients:
'The most useful aspect of counselling was talking to someone who doesn't know me, my history or my background and the perspective and insight this brings.It was good that there was a freedom to talk about whatever felt right.
I have really enjoyed my sessions with Lou, she is very easy to talk to and has a calm and caring approach. I would really recommend her.'
'I found Lou welcoming and reassuring. For my first experience of counselling, Lou has given me the confidence to go on and explore myself further. I felt completely safe at all times...'
'I feel more robust in dealing with my past issues and empowered to take control of what happens in future. I would not hesitate in recommending you. The support I received was brilliant.'
'What I found most useful was the gentle and sustained support; clarity of insight; persistence when necessary.
Also a sense of humour and Lou being ordinarily human and responsive to the client on that level......I certainly managed to build on Lou's support to affect some notable changes in my life'
I am a qualified Supervisor, offering Clinical Supervision to qualified and trainee Counsellors, and people working in the helping professions (see Supervision profile)
As a Registered & Accredited Member of the British Association of Counsellors and Psychotherapists, I follow their Code of Ethics, confidentiality and good practice. I have regular supervision from a highly qualified supervisor to support my practice and I attend regular professional development and training.
Training, qualifications & experience
Training & Qualifications:
Advanced Diploma in Integrative Counselling, BACP Accredited
Certificate and Diploma in Supervision
Certificate in Relationship & Couple Counselling
Thrive Practitioner for children and young people (3-18)
Dot b Mindfulness Teacher (young people 11-18) MiSP
Paws dot Mindfulness Teacher (children 7- 11) MiSP
Incredible Years Practitioner
Bereavement Counselling for Adults, Children & Young People (CRUSE)
Post Qualifying Certificate in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT)
Certificate in Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP)
Diploma in Thai Massage
Private practice as a counsellor since 2008 and clinical supervisor since 2010
Counselling Experience in the Voluntary Sector
5 years with Cruse Bereavement Care, counselling support for clients aged 13 to 80. I also Supervised groups and individual Cruse volunteers
Counsellor at Compass House, Exeter NHS Mental Well-Being & Access (anxiety & depression)
General Counsellor with adults at Margaret Jackson Centre, Exeter
School Counsellor at South Dartmoor Community College
Additional Related Experience
Extensive experience working with children and families in school and home settings as a counsellor, teacher and Support Worker.
Lead Professional at Team Around Child meetings for CAF
Extensive experience of multi agency work
Early Years & Special Needs Teaching (1985-2010)
Supporting children at risk of exclusion and their families
Parent Support Worker in Primary and Secondary Education from 2010-2014
Individual parenting coaching trained in Incredible Years
Leading parenting groups and support group for parents with children who have additional needs.
Registered Accredited Member of BACP (British Association of Counselling & Psychotherapy)
Accredited register membership
Areas of counselling I deal with
- Affairs and betrayals
- Anger management
- Asperger's syndrome
- Behaviour problems
- Carer support
- Child related issues
- Childhood bereavement
- Childhood bullying
- Children’s learning difficulties
- Chronic fatigue syndrome/ME
- Depression and anxiety in children
- Domestic violence
- Eating disorders
- Emotional abuse
- Family issues
- Feeling sad
- Gender dysphoria
- Generalised anxiety disorder
- Learning difficulties
- Low self-confidence
- Low self-esteem
- Panic disorder
- Passive aggressive behaviour
- Physical abuse
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Postnatal depression
- Pregnancy and birth
- Relationship problems
- Seasonal affective disorder (SAD)
- Separation and divorce
- Separation anxiety
- Sex problems
- Sexual abuse
- Suicidal thoughts
- Work-related stress
Other areas of counselling I deal with
CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy) can help clients with anxiety, negative thinking and low self-esteem.
I am a trained Mindfulness teacher and research shows that regular practice can be very helpful for a range of issues, such as low mood, anxiety, negative thoughts, busy minds, work overload and stress. Children who experience anxiety, low self esteem and sleep difficulties also find short Mindfulness exercises very helpful.
I may suggest creative ways of exploration in the session, using a range of materials, such as images, writing, sand tray, sculpting and drawing.
£50 per 55 minute session for adults
£50 per 55 minutes for organisations/EAPs
£40 per 45 minutes for children & young people (age 11-18)
£60 for 60 minutes for couples/relationship counselling
£60-70 for 60 minutes for adult family work
I can offer an initial 30 minute assessment appointment at the reduced price of £25 for 30 minutes
I have a limited number of concessionary places for trainee counsellors, students and people on a low income - please ask if you think this may apply to you.
You are very welcome to phone, text or email the link at the top of the page for more information.
I have an enhanced DSB (CRB) disclosure (2018) and Level 3 Safeguarding training to enable me to work with children, young people & vulnerable adults.
I am an experienced, qualified Clinical Supervisor and I work with experienced and trainee counsellors as well as people working in the helping professions
Maps & Directions
Type of session
|Face to face counselling:||Yes|
Tuesday & Wednesday 9.30am - 6pm in Holcombe; Thursday 10.45 - 6pm in Exeter
Types of client
|Employee Assistance Programme|
Supervision & training
I am a Registered, Accredited Integrative Counsellor, and qualified Clinical Supervisor working in private practice in Central Exeter and Holcombe, near Dawlish.