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About me

Hello, my name is Maria and I am a qualified and highly experienced mental health professional and counsellor. Over the last twenty years, I have worked for the NHS, the private sector and in private practice. In this time, I have worked with people from many walks of life as they deal with and face, very often, huge obstacles in their lives. This has ranged from relationship matters, trauma and loss, eating disorders, depression, anxiety and loss of meaning in life. I have also worked with people who are dealing with addictions, stress, miscarriage and illness. I am an experienced and skilled group facilitator and also enjoy working with couples.

As a counsellor, I am very aware of how hard it can feel to make contact when life feels so difficult. I try to ensure that a first telephone contact is warm and inspires a sense of confidence. It is important that you feel heard and be given a sense that I am someone with whom you could talk to, even if this is hard at first. I encourage you to ask questions and to try to gain an initial sense of your needs and wishes from the beginning. If you decide that you would like to arrange a first meeting, then we will meet together at a suitable time in a very private, peaceful self-contained practice room in the garden of my home. We will start to talk about what is bringing you to counselling at this time in your life. I will guide you and ask questions, though I will also seek to gauge how much space you need at this point just to talk. The process of counselling and psychotherapy will help us to create space for you to begin to see a clear picture of what is going on for you and how this is impacting your life.

I trained initially as a mental health nurse and very soon realised that I wished to focus on developing advanced therapeutic skills. My counselling training began with the psychodynamic approach, which focuses on trying to understand patterns of behaviour which may have been initiated in the past. However, I have gone on to develop further skills, where the focus is on the here and now, not just the past. It's very important that we work out together which approach is best suited to you and your personal needs, and this may need a different focus at different times. This again is a process which we discuss together at all times.

Counselling can be short term (six to eight sessions) or longer term, according to each person's situation. Sessions are 60 minutes long. The first session can take longer, however, in certain situations, as there can be so much to discuss in this meeting and I ask some people to allow 90 minutes for this where possible. If I can help by having a free initial telephone talk with you, then please do contact me.

Training, qualifications & experience

BSc (Hons) in Nursing (Mental Health) (1994)
Registered Mental Health Nurse (RMN) (1994)
Post Graduate Diploma in Psychodynamic Practice (1998)
Certificate in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (2000)
Consultation and the Organisation - A Psychoanalytic Approach (Tavistock Institute of Human Relations (2003)
Mindfulness Teacher Training (University of Bangor) (2006)
Master Practitioner Training in Eating Disorders (2009)
Visiting lecturer to University of Surrey in Eating Disorders for mental health degree courses. (2015 ongoing)

School counselling position (2018)

Member organisations


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

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.

Therapies offered

  • Cognitive therapy
  • Couples counselling
  • Group therapy
  • Integrative
  • Mindfulness
  • Psychodynamic therapy


Additional information

Individual one hour session - £60
Adolescent and parent session 90 minutes - £90
Eating Disorder Assessment 90 minutes - £90

Home visits can be arranged in specific situations according to need. There will be a small additional charge to cover travel costs and time.

Group and family work available. Fee information available on request.

Please do not hesitate to discuss fees with me, as I do apply a sliding scale to ensure affordability wherever possible.


weekdays morning, afternoon and some evening slots

Further information

I also offer my services to schools and education establishments for mental health or organisational consultancy, teaching and bespoke intervention packages. Please contact me to discuss.

I have a comfortable, peaceful, purpose built practice room in a garden setting. There is convenient parking available on site.

I have many years of experience in working with eating disorders and with adolescents/young people.


Type of session

In person
Home visits

Types of client

Young people
Older adults
Maria Sutherland BSC (Hons), RMN, PG Dip, MBACP

Maria Sutherland BSC (Hons), RMN, PG Dip, MBACP