Lou Clark, Counselling & Coaching: Kent, London MBACP, Dip.Couns, FHEA
How can counselling help?
I decided to become a counsellor because I enjoy working with people to support them to create a more fulfilling journey for themselves and recognise that they can create changes. Focusing on this can be the last thing we do among all the other concerns and pressures in life, some of which are distressing and distracting.
Perhaps you are trying to deal with - anxiety, depression, generalised anxiety disorder, feeling sad, physical or emotional abuse or historic abuse, panic attacks, unhelpful thinking patterns, patterns of behaviour, stress, betrayal, bereavement, family dynamics, an affair, isolation, relationship problems, work issues, decision making, low confidence or self esteem, shame, changeability, self harm, communicating, restlessness, identity, anger, confusion, loneliness, suicidal thoughts, hopelessness or fear?
Many people need someone who will fully listen and understand their thoughts and feelings before they can feel themselves again. The lost self can be restored and nurtured towards growth. Losing a sense of who you are often happens during times of stress or ongoing trying situations. This can feel like emptiness, a lack of or too many emotions, or subtle changes in behaviour. It may also feel like an ongoing crisis.
Whatever your concerns, together we can look at a way to understand this and help you to feel a sense of direction. Perhaps we will investigate your sense of what is missing, or your values and what makes you you and perhaps we will look at the thoughts and feelings you may have. Together we can find a way for you to know yourself more deeply and find your answers.
Making a decision to come to counselling can seem hard, especially if you have not opened up to anyone about how you feel before. I can reassure you that this is an aware and practical step forward - to choose to take responsibility over your feelings and thoughts in order to process them and find personal growth. It is both inspiring and brave. The therapeutic work is collaborative and sometimes hard but you may also enjoy the exploration. Knowing that you have at last made time for yourself and can recognise your journey through this supportive process, as do my other clients (see testimonials).
I am a fully qualified Integrative Counsellor, which means I can use a combined approach to work in a way which best suits the issues you bring, your individual preferences and outlook. The flexible approach means that you greatly influence how the therapy takes place to find your full potential and be you. All that is needed is your commitment and openness. I have a wide range of experience to draw on including arts, management processes-coaching and education which may also be useful depending on your needs.
I am experienced in working with adults and young adults (from age 16), no matter their age, sex, orientation, background, culture or issues. I provide a warm, friendly, non-judgmental and confidential environment so that you feel comfortable to speak about anything which is troubling you. I have consulting rooms in Belvedere and I also work remotely through the methods of telephone and video conferencing. Please feel free to give me a call if you have any queries. During the pandemic I am only working remotely and I find this works well and is also convenient for my clients.
My therapies include:
Person Centred Therapy (PCT)
Gestalt Therapy (GT)
Person Centred Therapy is an approach and value system that ensures the therapy follows the direction you choose. The emphasis is on listening and providing a very supportive, warm environment. The approach aims to support you to understand and recognise you have all you need to find your answers. It is empowering and powerful.
Gestalt Therapy focuses on subtle expressions and supporting you to find areas of meaning through genuineness and trust. Creative ‘experiments’ can be used in collaboration with you to explore what is meaningful at a deeper level. These are helpful in seeing beyond a habitual way of thinking, or if you feel stuck. The approach is also supportive and works well along side Person Centred therapy. One benefit of this approach is to identify what are your thoughts or feelings and what are those given to you by others.
I also offer professional level Coaching: I have many years experience of coaching people from all backgrounds and with a range of goals both career and personal. I have been successful in an organisational setting. We can look at areas such as limiting beliefs, finding the positive, clarifying aims and achieving a bigger goal in small steps. This approach will look at your personal skill base, potential and values. This is a goal focussed approach which is different from counselling as it does not look as deeply into your psychology and it necessitates you having a clear aim or goal. We can together seek clarity through a range of reflection tools. Coaching can be about your career or your life or a combination of the two if you choose to just take up this approach.
I sometimes utilise one or two coaching tools for particular clients during their counselling therapy with me. However you need to choose which approach you want to use - counselling or coaching. Coaching can sometimes follow counselling if we assess to agree your readiness for this different approach but to return to counselling after coaching there would need to be a break between the two modalities.
Other counselling approaches I offer are: Meditation and relaxation techniques, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy approaches, Transactional Analysis approaches, Psychodynamic approaches and creative work.
I believe therapy works best when you feel safe and comfortable to talk freely about your concerns, which is why I will always emphasise that I am not here to judge you and provide a warm and welcoming environment. It also helps that the counselling is designed to be individual to you. We will review how the work is going at regular intervals. Choosing counselling is one of the most intelligent decisions anyone can make, to understand the self better and have more power over your life. It doesn’t matter what you wish to talk about there is meaning within it and we will look at this together when you are ready to.
“Am now able to understand the issues I had and realise that I’m a decent person.. Also came to terms better with bereavement. Able to cope better with worry .. Lou has been amazing throughout and I truly believe I wouldn’t be in the content and happy place I am now without her help” RM
“ Lou is a lovely lady…kind and understanding. She’s willing to try different techniques to help me to relax and understand the things that have happened in my life.” SK
“Being allowed to vent my problems and learning to express myself without being too guarded about what I have said. Lou has also been very patient and non-critical with me. Lou has helped me immensely..also discovered a lot of my creative side..this has been a good learning curve for me. I think it is very beneficial for others to enjoy their journey where ever it may lead.” LR
Training, qualifications & experience
ABC Therapeutic Counselling Diploma, Level 4: Humanistic approaches
BACP (British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy) Counselling Certificate of Proficiency
ILM5 (Institute of Leadership & Management) – Professional Coaching & Mentoring qualification.
Online & Telephone Counselling course - 80 CPD hours (Counselling Tutor)
Counselling Children and Adolescents (Udemy)
I am a registered member of The British association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP) and I adhere to the Ethical Framework of the BACP which helps to keep both client and counsellor safe. I hold therapeutic insurance.
I regularly attend workshops and training, including online training as part of my continual professional development.
I have completed voluntary/low cost counselling work within organisations, supporting students or lower income adults, some who have experienced abuse. I also have over 7 years coaching practice, and experience in education and the arts.
PGCert qualification: Teaching & Communication in HE, Inclusive Learning & Teaching, Teaching Development Project. Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (FHEA)
PGCE, Secondary, Art
BA (Hons) Glass and Ceramics
British Association for Counselling & Psychotherapy
BACP is one of the UK’s largest professional bodies for counselling and psychotherapy. Therapists registered with the Association fall into a number of different membership categories such as Individual Member, Registered Member MBACP and Registered Member MBACP (Accred), each standing for different levels of training and experience. MBACP (Accred) and MBACP (Snr Accred) members have achieved a substantial level of training and experience approved by the Association.
Registered members can be found on the BACP Register, which was the first register to achieve Accredited Voluntary Register status issued by the Professional Standards Authority. Individual Members will have completed an appropriate counselling and/or psychotherapy course and started to practise, but will not appear on the BACP Register until they've progressed to Registered Member MBACP status.
All members are bound by a Code of Ethics & Practice and a Complaints Procedure. Accredited by the Professional Standards Authority.
Accredited register membership
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.
Areas of counselling I deal with
Other areas of counselling I deal with
Young adults and students (18+)
During the pandemic my current counselling method is remote counselling. We can find the most suitable, recommended approach for you.
Current special offer for remote (video or voice call/telephone) counselling 50-55 minutes - standard remote counselling: £35
Concessionary remote counselling (students, trainee counsellors, retired, not in work): £25
[Face to face counselling 50-55 minutes: Standard fee: £45. Student, trainee counsellors, retired, not in work concessionary fee: £30]
Concessions offered for
I offer a much reduced fee for students, not in work and retired clients to make counselling affordable. Please see fees section. There can be some adjustment in concession rate from £25-30 depending on circumstances, £25 for really struggling.
I can provide weekly or fortnightly sessions. Fortnightly are best after at least 5 weekly sessions to get the counselling started and these may not be helpful for all clients. Happy to discuss your preferences with you to find the best approach.