Maria Scholes

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BSc Couns Dip CBT&Coaching Anxiety & Stress Specialist MBACP
Available for new clients
Available for new clients

This professional is available for new clients.

Bournemouth, Dorset, BH3
Available for new clients
Available for new clients

This professional is available for new clients.

About me

Hello, my name is Maria and I deeply believe in the human capacity for change and personal growth.  I am passionate about supporting clients to overcome their struggles, make positive changes and help them to flourish.

I am a qualified and experienced BACP registered counsellor, CBT therapist, Addiction Therapist and Personal Development Coach. I am also a counselling supervisor

I feel it's vitally important for clients to feel safe, truly heard, understood and validated. My private practice 'Choosing Change', was set up to offer a warm and empathic therapeutic service to support people through the process of change, personal growth and self development as well as providing therapeutic support for many of the presenting problems that challenge our mental health and well-being at times.

Change may mean a new direction, challenging current unhelpful thinking and behaviour patterns and creating new coping strategies. Perhaps you would like to gain insight in how to understand yourself or others, events or circumstances in a different way. Whatever brings you to counselling, my hope is that the remainder of this profile will help you  see how we might work together to achieve your desired outcome.

My practice is approximately 1 mile outside of Bournemouth town centre making it very accessible to clients in the whole of the Bournemouth and the rest of East Dorset. There is ample on-road parking and I'm very close to a good public transport route. 

Choosing Change also offers a Personal Development Coaching service which can help you to get out of your head, past your feelings and start taking action in the areas of your life that you wish to change. I can help you identify your goals, achieve those goals, guide you through the changes and any obstacles and so facilitate you in  following your dreams and living the life you want.

Training, qualifications & experience

Counsellor BSc (Hons) Fd Couns, Dip Therapeutic Couns, Dip CBT. MBCAP

I offer therapeutic counselling  within a supportive, compassionate and empathic relationship. I work from an integrative approach which means that I believe there are many ways of exploring and understanding human functioning and that  no single approach will help all clients in all situations.

How I work

My work is grounded firmly within the Person-Centred approach as I believe in peoples potential and ability to make the best choices for themselves. I also firmly believe that people possess an innate capacity for self-healing, personal development and growth given the right therapeutic environment.

My integrative training means that I can also draw upon Transactional Analysis (TA), Gestalt, Solution Focused Therapy (SFT), Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) and Mindfulness practices. To find out more please contact me or take a look at this Counselling Directory website where they give clear descriptions of the various types of therapy. What is really important is that the therapy is tailored to you the client rather than the client to the therapy.

I am a member of the British Association for Counsellors and Psychotherapists and you will find me on their accredited register.

Addictions Therapist BSc (Hons)  Addiction Couns. Dip CBT

As an addiction therapist I am qualified to work with various addictions, but my speciality is substance misuse particularly alcohol misuse and dependency.

I provide an independent service as I realise that not everyone wants to engage with public funded local community based treatment programs that are based on group work. My private practice offers you confidential bespoke one-to one sessions.

I have over twenty years experience in the field of addiction as well as further relevant experience in a more generic counselling practice. I also hold the NCSCT smoking cessation qualification.

How I work

I am committed to excellence and I'm passionate about offering you a confidential, quality professional service  embedded in evidenced based best practice as recommended by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence whilst incorporating any client preferences for a particular approach. I may also draw upon  other approaches from my integrative counselling training where appropriate.

Clients will receive  counselling sessions that are client centred and facilitate them in exploring their relationship with alcohol or other substances/behaviours in a safe, non-judgemental environment and support them with their choices and goals. For those that may choose abstinence as their way forward, I will offer an evidenced based relapse prevention awareness program tailored to you.

Other areas of counselling

Personal development coaching and Positive ageing/well-being coaching

Diploma in Life Coaching & member of the Association for Coaching

At the heart of Life Coaching is the idea that clients must be given the power to help themselves. Life coaching aims to help and empower others to make, meet and exceed personal and professional goals - including excelling in the workplace, becoming happy and fulfilled in the home /relationships, exploring the self and the world, and achieving ambitions. I am passionate about equipping others to unlock their potential, to thrive, to flourish and be the best they can be

I am particularly passionate about supporting and motivating people in middle age and beyond  who want to make their second half their best half. Successful 'agers' accept that although our  bodies grow older, that doesn't have to stop us  continuing to grow and develop and move forward in new directions. Ageing well doesn't just happen; it requires a decision and action. If we choose to, there is a great deal we can do to cultivate a positive approach to ageing that facilitates emotional resilience and a future that is full of possibility. I would love to support you in exploring such a journey

My experience

As well as private practice, I have worked within  primary care for the NHS, community counselling settings, the voluntary sector and an addictions treatment agency. I have worked  with clients with general anxiety, social anxiety, depression, stress, addictions, OCD, phobias, life changes, bereavement and loss and relationship and self-acceptance issues. I also have experience in self esteem, confidence and assertiveness coaching and I have a special interest in helping clients explore aspects of positive ageing and well-being.

I am also a qualified and experienced therapeutic group facilitator and deliver psychosocial workshops and personal development training.


BSc (Hons) Addictions Counselling
Fd(Open) Counselling

L6 Certificate in Counselling Supervision
Diploma in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy
Diploma in Therapeutic Counselling (Integrative)

Diploma in Life Coaching
NCSCT Smoking Cessation certified practitioner
L5 certificate in Management and Leadership
PTLLS Teaching qualification

With your safety and wellbeing always in mind

I am fully insured to practice (full public liability), Enhanced DBS checked and as a reflective practitioner, I have regular supervision. I abide by the BACP Ethical Framework for Good Practice and am committed to the process of continuing professional development.

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

Other areas of counselling I deal with

Personal development coaching (Life Coaching)

Group work
Alcohol awareness training
Psychosocial workshops
Smoking cessation

Photos & videos


£60.00 per session
Free initial online session

Concessions offered for

  • Trainee counsellors

Additional information


My fees are £60 per counselling session (50 mins)

CBT and addiction therapy are £60 per session (50 mins)

Personal Development Coaching: £75 for 1 hour

Coaching package: £375 (6 x 1hr sessions)

I offer a limited number of concessionary fees on an honesty basis. Please contact me to discuss further

I offer a free initial 20 minute  session to help you decide what your next step might be.

Reduced rates offered to counselling students.

Supervision Fees: £65/90 minutes

When I work

Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat Sun

Weekdays up to 7:00pm

Further information

Please call me  for your free consultation (with no obligation) on 075 267 20502 or

Email me at....

My practice is approximately 1 mile out of central Bournemouth making it very accessible to clients across the Bournemouth and Poole conurbation as well as those from across the rest of East Dorset. There's ample parking and Im on good transport routes

Bournemouth, Dorset, BH3

Type of session

In person

Types of client

Adults (25-64)
Older Adults (65+)
Employee Assistance Programme

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 , 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.

Ground floor venue

Online platforms



In person

Passionate about supporting reflective practitioners . Experienced therapist/supervisor/coach offering individual & group supervision. F2F & online.

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