Mary Hunter (Masters in Counselling. IFS level 1. PG Cert. in CBT. MBACP. )
I see my job as being to create a safe, therapeutic space in which issues can be explored at depth. I am not wedded to any one approach. Different clients respond to different approaches and different problems need different kinds of solutions. I will try to find a good fit for you.
In my counselling work I often see people with anxiety, depression, relationship problems, unresolved grief and trauma. Sometimes difficult and abusive pasts have shaped how people feel about and treat themselves now; also shaping what they feel they can expect from others. Even in more benign circumstances the past can cast a shadow over how we live our lives in the present and it can be useful and enlightening to explore it.
Counselling provides a confidential space where you can explore things in your life that can feel too personal or difficult to discuss with a friend or partner. Sometimes we don't think that we 'should' feel as we do because other people have bigger problems, or it's too negative or other people will judge us. It can be tempting to try not to feel what doesn't seem to fit with who we want to be, but this approach can leave us stuck. Really taking the time to explore what hurts in your life can pave the way for seeing things differently and making positive changes.
What I have noticed in my practice is that as people explore their issues they automatically start to feel differently about themselves and make positive changes in their lives; in the way they treat themselves and in their relationships. It can seem almost magical at times. As we change our attitude towards ourselves, the world around us also changes.
I have also been (and continue to be) a mental health nurse since 2002 - I now work in the community as part of a team delivering psychological therapies in primary care. This has given me a breadth and depth of experience in working with all kinds of problems. I don't think you necessarily have to have a "problem" or a diagnosis to come into therapy though. Often people just have a sense of dissatisfaction or want to explore issues in a safe, confidential place.
My training as a counsellor was at the University of Edinburgh. It encompassed both person-centered and psychodynamic approaches. Prior to this I studied group work for 3 years with the Institute of Group Analysis. I have since completed the post-graduate certificate in CBT.
I have just (March 2020) completed level 1 of an approach called Internal Family Systems which was created by Richard Schwartz. It has been used successfully with many problems including trauma, eating disorders and chronic pain. I have reduced my practice during this training but plan to increase my hours of practice during 2020, incorporating this new approach.
I'm a keen runner and wrote my Masters dissertation on the subject of running, how central it can become in peoples' lives and the difficulty of adjusting to illness or injury.
I have had a regular meditation practice for more than 20 years. It is a strong foundation stone for building a good relationship with yourself.
I currently do my counselling work on Thursdays; afternoons and early evenings.
Training, qualifications & experience
- IFS level 1. Internal Family Systems UK 2019-2020
- PG Certificate in CBT QMU and South of Scotland CBT 2016-2017
- Masters in Counselling with distinction. University of Edinburgh. 2010-2014
- Advanced Certificate in Group Analytic Psychotherapy. 2007-2010
- Diploma in Mental Health Nursing. Napier University. 2000-2002
- Certificate in Counselling Theory Telford College 1996
- Certificate in Counselling Practice Telford College 1997
- MSc in Information Technology University of Stirling 1991-1992
- Ba (Hons) in English Studies (IIii) University of Stirling 1984-1988
- I have had my own private counselling business since January 2015
- I also work for the NHS as a nurse-therapist in a psychological therapies team.
- I worked as a tutor on the PG Diploma Course at Edinburgh University from 2015-2017.
- I provided counselling in the voluntary sector from 2012 - 2015.
- I worked as a Mental Health Nurse in the Royal Edinburgh from 2002 - 2010. While still working in the Royal Edinburgh I facilitated and co-facilitated more than 200 groups.
- I was a support worker with people with physical disabilities 1993 - 2000
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
I charge £25 for a first exploratory session.
My full fee is £40 an hour but I will negotiate if this is too much. My time in therapy has been dependent on working with therapists who were willing to work for less.