Dr. Nancy Leaver: Counselling Psychologist
There is hope in everything. I strongly believe that despite adverse experiences, general hardships and difficulties, people can change from within, and have a meaningful life and future. Everyone is equal, and deserves the same chance to be content, regardless of differing background experiences, culture, sexuality or age.
I provide a safe and confidential space, in which you can feel free to speak, and explore your life experiences. At the root (and heart) of my experiences as a therapist is my willingness to help you to build on an understanding of yourself, who you are, to consider blocks and traps that may hold you back sometimes, to empower you and to consider what could enable you to make the changes that you want to make. You do not have to remain with the things that make you feel stuck and I am so interested to hear your story. I offer compassion and support.
My training is in Counselling Psychology, and CBT. I am based in Penrith, but would be open to seeing people throughout Cumbria and Scotland. I provide face to face and online therapy.
I understand how lockdown has been really tough on us all, and aware that there has been much trauma, bereavement, relationship difficulties (and some relationship breakdowns), struggles in families and general pain. I am open to offer a safe space to be heard and to build on strengths and resilience.
My counselling psychology training has been informed by humanistic therapies, including person-centred, psychodynamic psychotherapy, acceptance, commitment therapy (ACT). This means that everyone will be treated with respect and dignity. I am also trained in trauma-focused psychotherapy; including eye movement and desensitisation reprocessing therapy (EMDR) and trauma-focused cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT). This means I have the tools to work sensitively with experiences of trauma or PTSD. I strongly believe that there are strengths from all these experiences that can help you to repair or re-build. I am aware how trauma from earlier childhood, could impact on later life experiences, although this does not always have to be the case. Finally, I am a trained mindfulness teacher. Mindfulness meditation helps to bring gentleness, and softness to emotions that are sensed as loud.
I have 16 years of experience working in the NHS and I currently provide frontline psychological support across the county. I have had experience of assessing and offering therapy to people who have had long-term conditions, such as cancer, diabetes, cardiac and respiratory difficulties. In the past, I have worked with adults who have felt blocked and trapped by depression and anxiety. I realise how these experiences can be debilitating and immense. I have also worked within an eating disorder NHS service, and in a psychotherapy service within a refuge for women who have escaped from domestic violence. My experience has taught me that therapy is a deeply creative and personal journey.
I have worked with both individuals, and groups alike. For the latter, I co-facilitated a mindfulness group for people based in the NHS and MIND charity, and an external group for healthcare professionals and therapists (MBCT focused) working in the NHS. I also co-facilitated psychosis and emotional regulation therapeutic groups for people who have struggled with unusual or intense experiences.
I am interested in exploring wider cultural issues, such as discrimination in workplaces, bullying, racism, abuse and other forms of prejudice. The wider culture does affect and impact on us all, and no doubt our experiences are informed by events, and decisions that may feel initially outside of our control. A sense of control can be reclaimed with time and support.
On a personal level, I enjoy walking and climbing mountains. I am passionate about reading, and read poetry and fiction. I love photography and creative writing.
Training, qualifications & experience
My qualifications are as follows:
Doctorate in Counselling Psychology: Manchester University
Certificate in Eye Movement Desentisation Reprocessing (EMDR)
Certificate in Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT)
Post Graduate Diploma in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy: Reading University
Foundation Course in Group Analysis: Group Analysis North
Masters in Education Psychology: Manchester University (distinction for thesis)
Post-Graduate Certificate in Primary Care Mental Health
BSc Honours in Social Psychology and Sociology
EFL Diploma (teaching English as a Foreign Language)
I have travelled widely and adapted well to different cultures. I lived and worked in Spain for three years, and spent some years working as an English Teacher.
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 Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapies
The BABCP is the lead organisation for Cognitive Behavioural Therapy in the UK.
Membership is open to anyone with an interest in the practice, theory or development of CBT. BABCP also provides accreditation for CBT therapists.
BABCP accredited members adhere to the Standards of Conduct, Performance and Ethics in the Practice of Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapies, and are willing to be scrutinised in this adherence as required.
Areas of counselling I deal with
Other areas of counselling I deal with
I have an interest in working with people who have experienced different types of discrimination, such as workplace bullying, harassment or racism.
£60.00 per session
Free initial telephone session
Concessions offered for
I offer a free half an hour telephone consultation.
Individual Therapy: £60 per session.
I can offer a discount rate for students or people on lower income.
e-mail me and I'll phone straight back. I am quick at responding.
I keep up my professional competency through continuous personal training and development, engagement with clinical supervision, and through compliance with the Health Care and Professions Council (HCPC), the British Psychological society (BPS) and Behavioural and British Association of Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapy (BABCP) professional and ethical standards.