Michael Board MA. PG Dip. MBACP.
WHAT TO EXPECT IN YOUR FIRST SESSION.
To begin with I offer a 50 minute consultation/assessment session in which I can begin to get an understanding of the issues/problems you're struggling with and wish to address in counselling. It is also an opportunity for me to introduce myself and to give you some insight into how I work as a counsellor. Obviously the entire process is completely confidential and at this point there is no obligation.
HOW COUNSELLING CAN HELP.
Assuming you wish to proceed with counselling I normally recommend a a six week settling in period so that you can get a sense of what to expect from the process and whether you wish to continue. Sadly there are no magic pills for complex life problems but entering into a supportive, non judgemental, therapeutic relationship can be the start of getting one's life back on track. Often, being able to speak openly, truthfully about your experience and what you are going through, without fear of criticism, can in itself represent a significant new development for many people. This process is obviously different for each person, however everyone is an individual and it is important that each client works at their own pace.
Clients sometimes present for counselling with a specific issue they want to address. This could be depression, anxiety, anger management, bereavement, loss, work stress, relationship issues, family problems. The list goes on. It could be a combination of these factors or it could be more of a vague sense of feeling unfulfilled, feeling stuck and wanting to make a change. It is part of my job to help you get a clearer understanding of the challenges you face and help you to begin to address them.
Training, qualifications & experience
I have a Masters degree in Existential/Phenomenological Counselling (2007) and a Post Graduate Diploma in Person Centred Counselling (2002). I also hold an RA Certificate in Counselling Skills and the Development of Learning.(1999). My education as a counsellor was undertaken at what was formerly known as Thames Valley University. (Now the University of West London)
I also have a Masters degree in Fine Arts from Syracuse University, Syracuse, New York. I have teaching experience at university level from my time living in the USA. I also hold a BA in Fine Arts - Painting & Photography from the West Surrey College of Art & Design.
In my practice as a counsellor I have worked in the voluntary sector For Ealing Abbey Counselling Service for many years, alongside my work as a therapist and a career in the Museum sector. The client group in the voluntary sector is diverse in terms of age (min. 18), gender, race, nationality, education, profession and financial circumstances.
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.
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
£25 initial consultation.
£50 per session after that. Each session is a standard 50 minus hour.
Clients are required to pay for any sessions that are missed without prior notice of absence. The minimum notice period is 24 hours. As counsellor I will always inform clients of my absence beforehand with as much advanced notice as I can provide.
A brief Philosophy of Counselling:
I am drawn towards the approaches to counselling which are fundamentally philosophical and relational in kind. Few of us learn growing up, about managing "difficult" feelings, how to express strong feelings in non destructive ways or how to regulate and soothe ourselves. Until such issues start to have a negative impact in our lives, we might not be aware that this is a problem. We may have developed coping mechanisms which over time, have created other issues for us such as addiction or breakdown of relationships. Part of my job as a counsellor is to help unravel the behaviour patterns that are no longer serving you well and to begin to do things differently in your life. I believe counselling can help anybody who wants to work on themselves and that the "Examined Life" can make for a better life.
Meditation and mindfulness can help to reduce stress and I will sometimes suggest using these techniques if clients are open to it.
I work with adults, minimum age 18.