Michael Armstrong

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Adv.Prof.Dip. in Psch'y, MNCPS, MBA and Qualified Supervisor
Available for new clients
Available for new clients

This professional is available for new clients.

Carlisle CA2 & Canonbie DG14
Available for new clients
Available for new clients

This professional is available for new clients.

About me

Once you've read through my profile I hope you take something from my inspirational quote at the end, I change these on a regular basis, for instance 'did you know that stressed is desserts spelt backwards?'

I see clients on a face to face basis in Carlisle, Dumfries and Galloway (D&G) and North Cumbria.  If you feel  that life can seem impossible to deal with, for instance stress levels are increased, worry and anxiety might  be taking hold and this may lead to all sorts of problems. These issues can seem unsurmountable but, in reality, can be fairly straightforward to  manage, it's just knowing what to do that's needed. It might help if you talk to a professional so, a simple email, text or phone call could lead the way to you being able to make positive changes. Reaching out means you have nothing to lose and, potentially, everything to gain.

About me

I welcome new clients regardless of the issues that they are struggling with. As an integrative therapist I can meet a client's individual needs by adapting therapy to an appropriate model be that Humanism (i.e. person centred), Psychodynamic or Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT). 

I first became interested in being a therapist back in the 1980's when I  volunteered for my local Victim Support scheme.  This led to diversification in many areas, for instance I am a trained 'Critical Incident Responder' and I also specialise in supporting survivors of trauma (abuse of any kind, one off incidents or sustained/accumulated complex trauma). For these issues I use Comprehensive Resource Model (CRM) therapy, an innovative model that works by connecting the body with the brain alongside internal resources to help the client move forward from their trauma.

I have a wide range of experiences and am happy to welcome anyone with any issues.

I also offer clinical supervision to counsellors who work anywhere in the UK (video sessions) face to face in Carlisle, North Cumbria and D&G (please click on my supervisor tab below). The models that the supervisee uses is not an issue as I use various reflective models and 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. Contact you by email or phone within two days
2. Offer you 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 during the consultation to take place within 14 days if that's suitable for you

Nerves about engaging with a therapist

Issues such as Anxiety, Depression, Stress etc. can often affect people attending a first session, this is understandable, especially if it's the first time you've ever attended counselling. I promise to use a calm non-judgmental approach to create a safe space for you to feel confident in sharing your issues. As you'll see from the list below I am experienced in working in a many areas, my motto is

"Sometimes the fact that I am of a certain age can be an advantage :-) !"

I also have a keen sense of humour so like to create an atmosphere where 'it's good to have a laugh.'

The counselling journey - (this is how a counselling process usually pans out).

Beginning - first session

The first session will be an opportunity to:-

1. Get to know each other, agree a contract and conduct a brief assessment
2. Establish a trusting relationship for you to feel able to talk openly to me
3. Explore what your aims are and how we can work together to meet them. At this point there are often strategies to learn which will help you to work in between sessions on simple improvements.

Counselling is conducted in weekly sessions of 50 minutes. The advantage of weekly sessions is that positive momentum is easily created. The amount of sessions required can vary depending on your needs, we can agree an estimated number if you wish but this would be flexible and can be shortened or extended if required.

Middle - this part of the counselling journey is where the therapeutic sessions become part of your life. The differences that counselling makes are usually gradual and sustainable. Naturally a client will wish to have an ending in sight and this is 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 whilst I use experience and skills to adopt appropriate models to help you to bring about change.
2. Fortunately I have many years involvement in facilitating change, 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 important in therapy. I am conscious that clients may well come to rely on the weekly engagement so moving on from that can be a challenge. However, depending on the length of therapy, I take a flexible approach in balancing your new capabilities and confidence with a managed closure process to accommodate your uncertainty over finishing.

Training, qualifications & experience

My History

1. I came to be a therapist via a unique route 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 extensively as a volunteer support worker and counsellor for victims of crime. I have worked in all areas including employee assistance programmes, supporting survivors of sexual crime and other post traumatic stress areas through 'Critical Incident Responder' work.

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. I use a blended approach to therapy and support work for all my clients.

4. After retiring from the prison service I managed the provision of therapy and advocacy (for seven years) nationwide for a Scottish charity supporting survivors of abuse, most of whom were suffering from complex PTSD.

5. I was heavily involved in training and development in all of these roles. I have also taught student counsellors to the level of Advanced Professional Diploma in Psychotherapeutic Counselling

I feel that my career, training and experience as a therapist gives me a lot of skills to support people in many areas ranging from relationship problems, to bereavement, to complex trauma, stress, anxiety, depression etc.

My qualifications are:-

Advanced Professional Diploma in Psychotherapeutic Counselling - March 2017

Diploma in Psychotherapeutic Counselling - February 2016

Diploma in Transformational Coaching - July 2021

Diploma in Neuro Linguistic Programming - May 2021

Advanced Assessment and Treatment Strategies for People with Insomnia

Essential (Clinical) Supervision Skills Level Two

Essential (Clinical) Supervision Skills Level One

Certificate in Counselling -2013

Certificate in Comprehensive Resource Model (CRM) - 2014

I am also a qualified 'Critical Incident Responder' - 2006

Accredited Member of National Counselling and Psychotherapy Society

I also have a Master's Degree in Business Administration, a Diploma in Management Studies and a Certificate in Management Studies - Summer 2000

I regularly undertake continuous professional development to ensure that I maintain a wide range of counselling, coaching and mentoring skills.

Recent courses attended are:

Working with suicidal ideation - Oct 2023

Understanding Border Line Personality Disorder (BPD)  - Oct 2023

Self-harm and self-sabotage - Oct 2023

Trans awareness - May 2023

Diploma in Transformational Coaching - 2020/21

Diploma in Neuro Linguistic Programming - May 2021

Advanced Assessment and Treatment Strategies for People
with Insomnia - November 2019

Foundation in Sleep Assessment and Management - November 2019

Essential Supervision Skills level two - September 26th 2018

Essential Supervision Skills level one - July 2018

GDPR - the new data protection act - May 2018

Safe Talk Training - Suicide Intervention - May 2018

Intrusive Thoughts - May 2018

Member organisations

Registered / Accredited

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.

NCPS
National Counselling & Psychotherapy Society (NCPS)

The National Counselling and Psychotherapy 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

National Counselling & Psychotherapy Society
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.

National Counselling & Psychotherapy Society

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 fatality workshops, prices for this can be negotiated.

Fees

£55.00 per session
Free initial in-person, telephone or online session

Concessions offered for

  • Trainee counsellors

Health Insurance/EAP

  • Health Assured

Additional information

I charge £55 for each 50 minute one to one sessions, this includes any work I have to do in between sessions.

For couples the charge is £65 an hour, this includes any work I have to do in between sessions. If each person wishes to have a solo session before they embark on couple counselling the fee is £65 for each person requiring a solo session.

Families, groups and organisations would be negotiable depending on the type and length of work required, distance involved and the amount of people involved. I also offer Critical Incident Support sessions to individuals or organisations, fees to be agreed. This work generally has to be actioned within three weeks of a fatality to be effective.

When I work

Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat Sun
Morning
Afternoon
Evening
Night

Remember

Whatever distress you're holding onto can materialise at any time, like a pressure cooker there's no knowing when this may boil over. It's your choice as to how you deal with it.

Further information

People often have a misconception about having therapy, it isn't a weakness to need help, in fact it's a strength to embark on therapy sessions. People close to you will often try to offer solutions. That's not going to help as much as having a genuine, non judgemental therapist who can empathise and at the same time help you to gain the confidence needed to make changes.

I offer face to face supervision to counsellors in Carlisle, Cumbria and Dumfries and Galloway. I also offer supervision for the rest of the UK via Zoom video sessions. The model of counselling a therapist may use is not an issue and I can adapt my style of supervision to suit all levels of experience. I charge £60 an hour for supervision.

Bourne House Business Centre, Milbourne Street, Carlisle, Cumbria, CA2 5XF

Canonbie, Dumfries and Galloway, DG14

Type of session

In person
Online
Home visits

Types of client

Young people (13-17)
Adults (25-64)
Older Adults (65+)
Couples
Families
Groups
Organisations
Employee Assistance Programme

Key details

PVG Scheme

In Scotland, criminal records checks are carried out by Disclosure Scotland. Professionals working with children or vulnerable adults must join the Protecting Vulnerable Groups (PVG) Scheme. You can learn more at mygov.scot , or contact this professional directly.

Hearing induction loop
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.

I can arrange suitable mobility facilities for Carlisle clients as and when required.

Online platforms

Skype
Whatsapp
Zoom

Supervision

In person
Online
Phone

Do you want open minded, highly qualified and dynamic supervision in relation to your professional needs (regardless of what they are) please read on.

View supervision profile

Michael Armstrong
Michael Armstrong