Michaela Gaffney MBACP Counsellor and Mindfulness practitioner
Welcome. Our journey will begin with us. You and me establishing a therapeutic relationship. I am not the expert you are. I do however, to help this process have 12 years mental health experience. Starting from grass roots as a support worker within the rehabilitation service for individuals with long term enduring mental health issues, such as paranoid schizophrenia and borderline personality disorder to then training and qualifying as counsellor with extensive Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), Mindfulness based stress reduction experience. I am able combine all of these together in a more person centred integrative approach, to support you. My natural approach is one of openness and honesty.
This has always served me well with both adults and children. I am finding that my previous experience as a nursery nurse and school counsellor is supporting my more playful and inquisitive approach with under 16.
Training, qualifications & experience
I started my career in nursery nursing and after moving to London and starting a family, I was working in a very busy GP surgery in the heart of north London. I then embarked on a psychology and education degree as I still wanted to use my skills with children. After working within a Pupil referral Unit after University as a family we relocated back to Kent. I then began my career within mental health services. First as a support worker, then as a member of the DBT (dialectical behaviour therapy) consultation team and then on to train as psychological wellbeing practitioner in Thanet for 2 years, whilst writing various wellbeing group programmes and increasing access to psychological support for new Mums in Margate.
I returned to Secondary Mental health services for a while as a Vocational Advisor, finding placements and education opportunities for individuals with long term mental health difficulties to enable them to support themselves with my support. After this I was asked to train as a Hi intensity CBT therapist for a year. This for me was a challenging year as there was significant loss within my family and the intensity and fast pace of this specific service did not completely sit well with me personally. I gained invaluable experience and my recovery rates were exceptional but I have now found a more open, non prescriptive model of therapy, with the choice of more sessions to suit the individual feels more genuine and all in a kinder approach. I can now take all of this valuable experience forward and use this with in our sessions.
In the last two years I have been in 3 services and have been running mindfulness sessions. 2 of the services I have been attending our community counselling services for individuals that need psychological support but may not quite fit the services recommended by the GP. We offer longer term therapy and do not turn individuals away. We one way or another find the appropriate support for them. I feel this has helped me decide that this is a much more suited approach for me and also for lots of individuals. A non-judgemental creative approach. I have also been a school counsellor for 18 months for primary school children and have embraced this fully and thank these individuals for reminding me how fantastic it is to be in the presence of these little humans.
2000-2005 BSc (Hon) Applied Psychology and Education
2008 Dialectical Behaviour Therapy Skills Group Training
2009 Behavioural Family Therapy - basic Skills Training
2010 Postgraduate Certificate Psychological Wellbeing Practice (low intensity CBT)
2011 Mindfulness Based Teacher Training
2013 Mindfulness and Neuroscience Applications
2014 Specialist Teacher Training in Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy
2015-2016 Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (High intensity)
Cognitive Behaviour Therapy for Anxiety Disorders
Consolidation of Fundamentals of Cognitive Behaviour Therapy
Fundamentals of Cognitive Behaviour Therapy
2017-2019 Therapeutic Counselling
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.