Is my Counselling for you?
If you have struggled to manage your mood, relationships, anxiety, or simply want to learn more about yourself and live better, counselling can help you. The type of counselling I offer can also benefit more complex difficulties. If you would like to discuss this with me further, please do ask.
What to expect from the first session:
Seeing a counsellor for the first time can be daunting, especially if you are not sure what to expect. The first session gives you a chance to talk about where you want to get to with the counselling. It also gives me the opportunity to get an idea of the best way to do that.
Getting the right counsellor is vital. The first session is a chance to check out if we can work together. If it doesn't seem quite right for you, that's OK. There is no obligation to commit to any more sessions. It's also a chance for me to see whether I think there's something I can offer you, too. Counselling works well but isn't for everyone and we can talk about whether it is for you at the first appointment.
About my work:
Mainly I use a person centred counselling style which is versatile enough to manage a wide range of needs from work and relationship stress to more severe mental health and personality issues. Appointments typically last one hour and happen weekly. Sometimes longer term work is best for a client, other times just a handful of sessions is enough and this can be worked out often within the first session or two, giving you an idea of what to expect from the sessions.
I came to counselling having worked as a Psychiatrist because I wanted to offer my clients something different to what was possible in NHS Psychiatry; an alternative to a medical diagnosis and prescription. My therapy work is not psychiatry though and many of my counselling clients have never seen a psychiatrist. The type of therapy I offer can be used for a whole range of issues from the most straightforward to the more severe.
Any Questions? Please ask.
Training, qualifications & experience
I attended Manchester University where I Graduated as a doctor in 1997.
After post-graduate training and hospital work, I qualified as a General Practitioner, working in and around the South Lakes area. I was always more interested in my patients than their illnesses so after a time working as a GP, I began to learn about different therapy styles.
To begin with, I studied Transactional Analysis. I trained in this for a year before transferring my study to the Person Centred technique. I chose this because I felt that, whilst Person Centred theory was simple, it was a challenge to get it just right. At its best, Person Centredness provides the optimum conditions for a person’s growth and development. Onto the foundations of a Person Centred relationship can be laid other psychotherapeutic theory. It is my aim to do just that in my therapy.
I finished my Master of Arts in Person Centred Psychotherapy and Counselling, passing with distinction, in 2015. My research area and special interest focused on power relations and how they are played out in Psychiatric discourse. (The idea of relational power and how it makes people feel is something which interests me still. Feeling powerless can be at the heart of people’s distress.)
For four years I worked as a Psychiatrist principally in General Adult Community work giving me good insights into managing all the common adult psychiatric presentations. As a part of my psychiatric training I took part in a year long Balint group which taught me how to use psychodynamic principles to understand people. I left NHS Psychiarty in November 2015 to concentrate on my psychotherapy practice.
All these ideas and theories come into my work but more important than any theory is having the right therapeutic relationship where you can be free to talk . Most of all, this underpins my work. The theory just helps.
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
Other areas of counselling I deal with
I do not offer counselling for couples or young adults.
Hourly appointments available Monday to Friday in Grange over Sands including some evening availability weekdays.
Face to face session, Skype sessions and walk and talk therapy available.
Where to find me:
I am based in Grange over Sands.
I work from home in Grange over Sands, which is midway between Kendal and Barrow and easily accessible by both car and public transport. Here's some useful information about getting there but if you need anymore, please ask...
There is a good rail link connecting Grange with Lancaster, Preston and Manchester and Barrow.
A bus service runs between Grange, Kendal and Barrow, stopping outside Grange train station.
My practice is about a twenty minute walk from the station but it is uphill at the way so it might be hard work if you are not used to the exercise.
Coming by car is easier, given the steep hill and there is free parking outside the practice. I can forward directions to you via e mail to help.
There is one step up to the front door and my consulting room is on the ground floor.