Michael Armstrong - Adv.Prof.Dip. in Psch'y, MNCS, MBA and Qualified Supervisor
I have a wide variety of experiences and am currently I'm aware that anxiety over uncertainties such as Covid-19 is presenting people with a lot of problems just now.
IF, BECAUSE OF THE CURRENT SITUATION YOU'D PREFER SKYPE, ZOOM, PHONE, TEXT OR ONLINE COUNSELLING PLEASE EMAIL OR PHONE ME AND WE CAN DISCUSS A SUITABLE ARRANGEMENT.
As an integrative counsellor I can reflect individual needs by adapting therapy to the appropriate model be it classed under Humanism (i.e. person centred), Psychodynamic or Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT). I am a trained 'Critical Incident Responder' so can do one to one or group sessions to support people who have recently experienced a traumatic critical incident. I also practice Comprehensive Resource Model (CRM) therapy, an exciting, innovative model that works by connecting the body with the brain alongside boosting internal resources to help the client move forward.
I also offer clinical supervision to counsellors who work in the Scottish Borders, Edinburgh areas, or, online, across the UK. The model of counselling that counsellors use is not an issue, as I use various reflective models and I can adapt my style of supervision to suit all levels of experience.
If you contact me for counselling or supervision I can promise that I will:-
1. Attempt to contact you by email or phone within two days
2. Conduct a free 20 minute phone consultation within five days
3. Be able to empathise with your situation and offer responses that will foster confidence and start to establish a trusting relationship
4. Arrange a first appointment to take place within seven days if that's suitable for you
Beginning - first session
Anxiety often affects people attending a first session, this is understandable, especially if it's the first time you've attended counselling. My aim is to use a calm non-judgmental approach to create a safe space to help you feel comfortable in order for you to share your issues with confidence. As you'll see from the list below I am experienced in working in a multitude of different areas, sometimes being of a certain age can be an advantage :-) ! Just now I am witnessing an increase in anxiety, stress related matters, addictions and bereavements a lot of which is related to Covid-19
The first session will be an opportunity to:-
1. Get to know each other
2. Establish a trusting relationship for you to be able to talk openly to me
3. Explore what your aims are and how we can work together to meet them
Counselling is usually conducted in weekly sessions of 50 to 60 minutes. The amount of weeks required can vary depending on your needs, we can agree an estimated number but this is flexible and can be shortened or extended if required.
Middle - this part of the counselling journey is where the therapeutic treatment becomes part of your life. The differences that counselling makes is usually gradual and hence more sustainable, no one benefits from eureka or epiphany moments as they are often short lived. Naturally a client will wish to have an ending in sight and this is also my target too. Once progress starts it is often surprising how quickly things can change and how much a person can benefit from a short (or longer) programme.
The middle part of your journey means that:-
1. You can concentrate on the crux of the issues and I will use experience and skills to adopt appropriate models to help you to bring about change.
2. Fortunately I have many years involvement in change, work related stress, anxiety disorders and training and development I can also draw on non directive support for work and personal problems through coaching and mentoring.
3. I will support you in moving on to a better place in a holistic, confidential and non-judgmental manner.
Ending - Bringing our professional and therapeutic relationship to an end is an important aspect of counselling. I am conscious that clients come to rely on the weekly engagement in therapy so stopping that can be a challenge. However, depending on the length of therapy, I always take a flexible approach in balancing your new capabilities and confidence with an appropriate closure with due regard to your uncertainty that could be an aspect of you moving on in life.
I work online for the whole of the UK and plan to operate on a face to face basis in Dumfries and Galloway and North Cumbria once the current restrictions are lifted. Meanwhile working online is proving most effective, so, why not simply send me an email, text or make that phone call to me, it may help you to start to change your life! Remember this could be the first step in a journey of discovery and recovery.
Training, qualifications & experience
1. I came to be a therapist via a different route than most people in that I had a very successful career in prisons where I graduated from being a prison officer to attain senior management roles.
2. Alongside this career I worked as a volunteer support worker for victims of crime and counsellor. I have worked in all areas including employee assistance programmes, supporting survivors of sexual crime and other post traumatic stress areas.
3. I worked tirelessly in prisons to support staff after incidents, work related stress and to raise awareness and support for prisoners who were also survivors of abuse. I also trained managers in leadership skills, business planning, appraisals and effective communications skills.
4. I was heavily involved in training and development in all of the roles I performed.
5. I currently teach student counsellors to the level of Advanced Professional Diploma in Psychotherapeutic Counselling
I feel that my career, training and experience as a counsellor gives me a lot of skills to help people in many areas ranging from relationship problems, to bereavement, to complex trauma, workplace stress etc.
My qualifications are:-
Advanced Assessment and Treatment Strategies for People with Insomnia
Essential (Clinical) Supervision Skills Level Two
Essential (Clinical) Supervision Skills Level One
Advanced Professional Diploma in Psychotherapeutic Counselling
Diploma in Psychotherapeutic Counselling
Certificate in Counselling
Certificate in Comprehensive Resource Model
I am also a qualified 'Critical Incident Responder'
Accredited Member of National Counselling Society
I also have a Master's Degree in Business Administration, a Diploma in Management Studies and a Certificate in Management Studies.
I regularly undertake continuous professional development to ensure that I maintain a wide range of counselling, coaching and mentoring skills.
My next course is:- Introduction to Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP)
Recent courses attended are:
Advanced Assessment and Treatment Strategies for People
with Insomnia - November 2019
Foundation in Sleep Assessment and Management - November 2019
Essential Supervision Skills (online course)- September 26th 2018
Essential Supervision Skills - July 2018
GDPR - the new data protection act - May 2018
Safe Talk Training - Suicide Intervention - May 2018
Intrusive Thoughts - May 2018
Registered / Accredited
Being registered/accredited with a professional body means an individual must have achieved a substantial level of training and experience approved by their member organisation.
National Counselling Society
The National Counselling Society
This Not For Profit association of counsellors and psychotherapists aim to support the counselling profession, members and training organisations.
In 2013 the NCS register was accredited by the Professional Standards Authority under the Accredited Voluntary Register Scheme. 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
Financial stress, cumulative stress issues, work/life balance and stress management skills. I am also a critical incident responder and can facilitate individual and group sessions for post incident workshops, prices for this can be negotiated.
I charge £45 an hour for one to one sessions.
For couples the charge is £60 an hour.
Families, groups and organisations would be negotiable depending on the type and length of work required, distance involved and the amount of people involved.
Concessions offered for
I offer clinical supervision to counsellors who work in the Scottish Borders or Edinburgh areas, the model of counselling they use is not an issue and I can adapt my style of supervision to suit all levels of experience. I charge £45 an hour for supervision.