Nicola Borthwick Verified Professional Verified Professional
Verified Professional

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PGCE, BSc (Hons), Dip Couns., MNCS (Accred), MBACP, MSET.

About me


At this present time my practice is in the process of moving to a hybrid model of a choice of online via Zoom/phone and once again, face to face appointments. 

Online counselling, which I have offered since early 2020 and completed further training to be able to provide,  can offer convenience, flexibility & accessibility if this medium suits your needs. Please don’t hesitate to contact me if I can support you during these, still, challenging times. 


Hello and welcome to my counselling profile ‘Clear Horizons Counselling & Training’.

About Me

I specialise in counselling adults (individuals & couples) from a diverse range of ethnic/cultural groups, who are experiencing various mental health issues/conditions and/or are at a difficult times in their lives. I have spent a number of years working in various community settings, including counselling parents at a children’s centre in north London, as well as co-ordinating a voluntary service for a north London charity and now, for 10 years, running my own private practice.   I have also just been accepted on a Level 6 Certificate in Therapeutic Supervision course, which will provide the qualification to enable me to supervise other counsellors and be responsible for their counselling case loads.  I am also a registered member of the BACP (British Association of Counsellors & Psychotherapists) and an accredited member of NCS (National Counselling Society).

In addition, I am a qualified adult community co-ordinator & tutor at a large,  north London college. I have worked in this sector for 25 years and work with various organisations in Barnet & Enfield offering training/workshops in Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy (MCBT)/Mindfulness, Mental Health, Transactional Analysis (TA), Assertiveness & Communication, Uncertainty/Change strategies and Self Esteem  for their professional staff, as well as for their clients/parents and College students.

I also have experience of working successfully with Employee Assistance Providers and counselling students.

How Can Counselling Help You?

Having taken the initial step to consider counselling, I am able to offer you a supported, safe, non-judgemental and empathic space to explore your thoughts, feelings and in time be able to reach decisions that are right for you, and therefore move towards your own ‘Clear Horizon’.

People from all walks of life can benefit from counselling. You may find that you’re struggling with relationships, having a crisis in your personal life, facing bereavement or illness, in an abusive relationship or perhaps experiencing anxiety over work issues. You may have feelings of hopelessness, a lack of self-worth or confidence, depression or stress. Whatever the reasons for your present difficulties, these can be explored in counselling. Counselling can help you to reflect and work through any problems in an understanding, secure and safe environment.

Please see the section at the bottom of this page detailing client testimonials.

Training, qualifications & experience

How I would Work with You

I am an Integrative counsellor, which means that I can integrate a range of counselling approaches tailored to your needs, to help you find a way through difficulties so that you find your own solutions.  This includes the following types of counselling: Person Centred, Cognitive Behavioural therapy (CBT), Transactional Analysis (TA)/Communication and basic Psychodynamic.  I offer both short term and long term counselling and have experience of working successfully with counselling students and Employee Assistance Providers.

My Experience

I have co-ordinated training in the community adult education/further education sector in north London for 25 years and have worked with an extremely diverse range of clients, in terms of physical and emotional needs which has led me to a counselling profession.

I have offered counselling to a broad client group who have experienced anxiety, health anxiety, depression, bereavement/loss/grief, sexual abuse, relationship issues/difficulties, family issues, suicidal feelings, anger issues, OCD and domestic violence.  In addition, I have worked with clients who have been diagnosed/identify with a number of conditions/issues including: EUPD/BPD (Emotionally Unstable Personality Disorder/Borderline Personality Disorder),  ASD (Autistic Spectrum Disorder)/Asperger's syndrome, Boarding School Syndrome and trauma related to 2nd generation holocaust survivors.

In my role with Barnet Southgate College, I also work with various organisations including Barnet Council and schools in Barnet & Enfield, offering workshops in Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy (MCBT)/Mindfulness, Mental Health, Transactional Analysis (TA), Assertiveness & Communication, Uncertainty/Change strategies and Self Esteem for their professional staff, as well as for their clients/parents and College students.

My Qualifications & Training

  • Registered member of the BACP (British Association of Counsellors & Psychotherapists), working to their code of ethics and am eligible to apply for accreditation status
  • Accredited Registrant with NCS (National Counselling Society)
  • BACP Certificate of Proficiency, Accredited Voluntary Register
  • PGCE in Post-16 Education & Training (University of Hertfordshire)
  • Level 6 Certificate in Therapeutic Supervision  (Independent Counselling Training, Bedford) (Accepted on course and due to start October 2022)
  • Level 5 (Equivalent) Certificate in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) (Amersham & Wycombe College)
  • Level 4 Diploma in Integrative Therapeutic Counselling (Aylesbury College)
  • How to do Counselling Online: A Coronavirus Primer - Level 2 (The Open University/BACP)
  • Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy Course for Personal/Professional Development (8 weeks)  & Mindfulness workshops (Various providers)
  • Counselling for Couples (Various short courses and workshops including: Langley Therapy & Training, Herts and Riverwood Counselling and Wellbeing Practice, St. Neots)
  • Various neurodiversity events including: 'Neurodiversity - Let's Change the Narrative' (Short Webinar),  Autism / ADHD in Women & Girls: 
    Under-identified & Under-supported (Interactive Panel Discussion),  
    Neurodiversity and Co-occurring Differences (Interactive Panel Discussion)
  • Counselling, Psychotherapy and Autism (Autism Spectrum Training & Counselling) (Short course)
  • Introduction to Autism for Counsellors & Autism in the Counselling Room (Counselling Works and Training LLP, Milton Keynes) (3 day workshop)
  • An Introduction to the Autism Constellation for Counsellors (Gloucestershire Counselling Service) (1 day workshop)
  • Personality Disorders Workshop (Cloud 9 for Life Group)
  • Borderline Personality Disorder Workshop (Barnet, Enfield & Haringey Mental Health NHS Trust) (Short workshop)
  • Boarding School Syndrome/Normalised Neglect and Privileged Abandonment (Wimbledon Guild Counselling Training) (1 day workshop)
  • Attachment theory, mental health and therapy (WPF Therapy) (1 day workshop)
  • Sex, Love and Relationship Addiction (SLaR)  (Langley Therapy & Training) (20 hours Workshop)
  • Adult Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) (2 Day Course. Future Path, Barnet)
  • Facilitating Psycho-Educational/Psychotherapeutic Groups (Langley Therapy & Training) (2 day workshop)
  • Neuro-Linguistic Programming (Barnet College)
  • Safeguarding & Child Protection for Professionals with Designated Responsibility (Group 4)(Barnet Council)
  • General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) (Staff Training Barnet & Southgate College)
  • BSc (Hons) 1st Class, Environmental Studies (University of Hertfordshire)
  • NVQ Training & Development Level 3 (Oaklands College)
  • HNC Business & Administration (Glyndwr University/NEWI)

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.


National Counselling Society (NCS)

The National Counselling 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.


British Association for Counselling & Psychotherapy (BACP)

BACP is one of the UK’s leading professional bodies for counselling and psychotherapy with around 60,000 members. The Association has several different categories of membership, including Student Member, Individual Member, Registered Member MBACP, Registered Accredited Member MBACP (Accred) and Senior Registered Accredited Member MBACP (Snr Acccred).

Registered and accredited members are listed on the BACP Register, which shows that they have demonstrated BACP’s recommended standards for training, proficiency and ethical practice. The BACP Register was the first register of psychological therapists to be accredited by the Professional Standards Authority (PSA).

Accredited and senior accredited membership are voluntary categories for members who choose to undertake a rigorous application and assessment process to demonstrate additional standards around practice, training and supervision.

Individual members will have completed an appropriate counselling or psychotherapy course and started to practise, but they won’t appear on the BACP Register until they've demonstrated that they meet the standards for registration. Student members are still in the process of completing their training.

All members are bound by the BACP Ethical Framework and a Professional Conduct Procedure.

Accredited register membership

National Counselling 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 Society
British Association for Counselling & Psychotherapy

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.

British Association for Counselling & Psychotherapy

Photos & videos


From £45.00 to £60.00
Free initial in-person, telephone or online session

Concessions offered for

  • Low income
  • Students
  • Trainee counsellors

Additional information

FREE Introductory Session for Individuals & Couples
I offer an initial FREE 15 minute introductory phone call, to explain how the first session looks.  This is then followed by a  FREE 50 minute session (preferably online via Zoom or over the phone), which provides you with an opportunity to see whether you feel that my counselling approach works for you.

During this session, it is an opportunity for you to explain about what brings you to counselling and your expectations & hopes.  It  also allows me to explain how I work, to share my therapeutic agreement and by the end of the session, how I think we could possibly work together going forward (which naturally would be a collaborative agreement). 

Fees for Online/Phone Sessions

All online via Zoom/phone sessions are charged at £45 per counselling hour for individuals (50 minutes) and £57 per hour for couples (60 minutes)

Fees at Welwyn

Face to face Sessions in Welwyn are charged at £50 per counselling hour for individuals (50 minutes) and £60 per hour for couples (60 minutes)

Fees at Colindale

Face to face sessions in Colindale are charged at £50 per counselling hour (50 minutes) and £60 per hour for couples (60 minutes).

Trainee counsellor/other concessions may be available. Please enquire for further details.

When I work

Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat Sun

Some afternoons, evenings and Saturday mornings.

Further information

Where I Offer Counselling

Counselling sessions in Old Welwyn are held in my conservatory overlooking my peaceful garden and there is free road parking. I offer Monday late afternoon/evening, Tuesday late afternoon/evening, Thursday & Friday evening and Saturday morning appointments. (Please see photos above)

In Colindale, they are held at The Colindale Communities Trust's Venue, (15 Osler Court, Charcot Road, NW9 5XW) in the heart of Colindale which is close to public transport links, including both tube (nearest tube is Colindale)/ bus and there is also nearby free road parking.  I offer TBC evening appointments here between 6.30pm and 9.30pm.

Testimonials from Previous Counselling Clients

Couples Counselling Feedback

  • 'A welcoming and supportive environment in which we were provided with strategies and resources to help improve our communication as a couple. We were able to express ourselves openly and freely whilst being challenged in an appropriate manner, to reflect and discuss particular issues and circumstances. All in a very positive atmosphere.' (Anon, Couple, Jan 2020).
  • 'Nicola provided a safe and neutral space was to discuss our goals, challenges and solutions. I particularly found the exercise useful of us both writing down goals/expectations separately and then discussing together. We have learnt a lot about each other -thank you for your support and guidance.' (Anon, Couple, Jan 2020)
  • 'Nicola offered the space and tools to reflect on our situation and move forward positively.  It's been great to work together as a couple with the expertise of someone who was neutral and ensured that we didn't get caught up in the conflict. It's breathed a new lease of life into our relationship. Thank you so much! You've added so much value to our lives and I'm so grateful to be closer than ever with my partner.' (Anon, Couple, Nov 2018)
  • It was helpful to have a safe place to resolve conflict and learn communication methods. I'm much happier within my relationship and that's made me more excited for the future. Nicola has been an amazing counsellor. She has helped to keep my relationship together. I'm looking forward to my individual counselling sessions.' (Anon, Couple, Nov 2018).

Individual's Counselling Feedback

  • I can thoroughly recommend Nicola and found her to be professional at all times and very courteous. She has a broad knowledge and listens intently to get to the crux of the issues and really helps you, to help yourself. She is very patient and gave me tools to continue my journey, which will really help me progress in the future. I feel Nicola could be of great help to many people, whatever issues you may be going through. Please don’t hesitate to contact Nicola if you are looking for help as she will guide you through the process and keep you at ease throughout. Thank you for your help, regards, from a happy client (Anon, June 2022).
  • 'I found Nicola very easy to talk to, and an active listener.  She really does listen to all your problems - without judgement.  She was very supportive, and helpful with my confused thoughts, and worked with me to help me make decisions - which I had a big problem with!
    I would certainly recommend her to anyone who is looking for a truly caring, professional to help them.' (Anon, March 2022)
  • 'By talking through difficult emotions, I have worked with Nicola to untangle many years of irrational and OCD like thought processes, make sense of their origin and finally leave them in the past..... where they belong. Thank you.' (Anon, March 2022)
  • 'Through my counselling with Nicola, I have gained a greater understanding of myself and an insight into other people's behaviour. I have also learned to develop skills that enable me to handle situations differently, resulting in more positive outcomes. More importantly, I feel comfortable in myself and empowered.  Nicola was the right person for me at the right time and I really appreciate that. Thank you.' (Anon, December 2021)
  • 'I think the only word that sums up my time with Nicola is I feel 'liberated'.  Liberated from constantly wondering why I was feeling the way I was in certain situations which was at times, exhausting.  I now have a better understanding of why I suffered with the anxieties I had and now have the tools to keep me on track.  Thank you Nicola.' (Anon, October 2021)

  • 'My experience of having counselling with Nicola has been very positive.  I was very confused and unhappy, suicidal in fact, when I first contacted her, and over many months she helped me analyse my feelings and cope with situations and emotions which had been troubling me for a very long time.  I had not previously experienced Transactional Analysis, however, to analyse the dynamics of my interactions and communication was a powerful tool which I now use every day.  This has made managing my personal issues much easier. 
    Through this process, Nicola helped me to unravel my thoughts and emotions and gave me strategies for dealing with ongoing issues in my life. 
    I have tried breathing techniques before, but with Nicola I found they actually worked. This still helps me on a daily basis to deal with emotions of anger, frustration and confusion. 
    Due to the Covid crisis, my counselling sessions were conducted via zoom. This was surprisingly trouble free, especially as Nicola could share a screen to show me helpful material and send me my personal copies, which are still a useful prop for me when negotiating everyday life and occasional crises. 
    I would recommend Nicola’s integrated approach to everyone. ' (Anon, August 2021)

  • 'The thing that was super helpful was the task Nicola gave me before we started our sessions, which helped me explore why I go to therapy and be more prepared for the sessions. The sessions were structured; Nicola would allow me to speak and then we would dive into the real work, CBT etc. Nicola was always prepared with useful resources and gave me worksheets and small tasks to work on during the week, and then report back the week after. Nicola always listened to me and made me feel heard.  She validated my feelings, which helped work through tough feelings.  Nicola also asked the right questions which helped break down the issues and look at them from a different perspective, which can be difficult when experiencing difficult situations/feelings. Nicola and I established a good rapport which made me feel comfortable enough to talk about certain things and again work through them.  It was a professional, judge free environment (although online) and I felt safe to speak about certain things.' (Anon, June 2021)
  • 'It was very helpful that the sessions were based on what I wanted to talk about and Nicola was very open and friendly making it a lot easier to talk. Sessions were incredibly insightful and supportive and just as effective even though the sessions were virtual.' (Anon, July 2020)
  • 'I found Nicola to be very professional, understanding and caring. She created a very easy, comfortable atmosphere during the sessions.   Nicola can cover so many aspects of counselling, always interacts, doesn’t just listen. I would thoroughly recommend Nicola.' (Anon, July 2020)
  • 'I found the materials and sheets really useful and the fact they were sent to me after each online session meant that it was easier for me to refer to them and work on anything discussed within the sessions in my own time. I found editing the letter I sent to a relative really helpful as it brought to my attention things I wouldn’t necessarily realise, which helped me communicate calmly In the discussion that followed.' (Anon, May 2020)
  • Really helpful to be able to decide what I would like to talk about. Nicola then use different strategies to discuss or explore situations and past events. Good to recap each week. Good to be able to cry and allow some feelings out. I felt very comfortable in the room, quiet, no distractions, pleasing to the eye (not clinical). I was afraid to look at the emotions chart, but Nicola was sensitive to my needs and with some encouragement I read out some feelings. I would definitely recommend Nicola as she has been extremely professional. I have been able to explore lots of issues in depth (never done before) and understand why I react in certain ways, think in a different way and feel more at peace.' (Anon, April 2020).
  • 'I found the sessions extremely helpful during a time of stress and growing anxiety. The tools and techniques Nicola helped me with really helped me to manage my stress and anxiety! I would strongly recommend counselling with Nicola. Spending time and and money on your own mental well being is one the best things you can do in my opinion.' (Anon, December 2019).
  • 'I found the counselling picture cards very interesting to reflect on and also the drama triangle very useful, putting it into practice in everyday situations.  The unhelpful thinking habits sheet was very useful in understanding and processing thoughts and feelings.' (Anon, November 2019).
  • 'All the CBT learnings were extremely valuable. Nicola was incredibly patient, kind and non judgmental. She explained all points in a way I could understand on a deep level which allowed me to make the changes necessary in my thoughts and life. Thank you for creating a space for me to learn and grow.' (Anon, October 2019).
  • 'Nicola helped me to take control of my own choices and understand that I cannot change those around me, but I can choose my own actions and reactions. I feel I now have the skills and mindset to deal with the challenges ahead, whatever they may be. I feel empowered and in control.' (Anon, October 2019).
  • 'I was seeing Nicola over a period of 1.5 years. I was a counselling student at the time and was required to spend a specific amount of hours in personal therapy- Nicola was very accommodating to my very limited availability which was extremely helpful. She was great in her capacity as a counsellor- she helped me become more self-aware and helped me get in touch with my feelings. I always felt comfortable discussing my issues and she was always able to give me something to reflect on and process in my own time, which supported my personal growth both as a person and a therapist alike. Nicola was also amazing when it came to discussing some parts of my course materials- things that I was learning about she used in my own therapy. This gave me better understanding of how I could work using certain materials and how those materials could help me support my clients.  I would highly recommend anyone that would like to see a therapist to give Nicola a chance- I think she is a brilliant and skilled therapist and a very warm person that can really help make a positive change to one’s life.' (Anon, September 2019)
  • 'I found helpful that I had the freedom to speak about and explore whatever was a priority for me that day and to run with it and let the session flow from there - pausing to unpick anything important that came naturally.' (Anon, August 2019)
  • 'I found the opportunity to talk about anything and everything, without judgement very helpful and cathartic. I was nervous about taking the step to professional help but I am so glad that I did.' (Anon, June 2019)
  • 'I have been attending weekly sessions with Nicola for 16 weeks and it has changed my life considerably. My relationships and self confidence have improved.  I had not had one to one counselling before so I was unsure what to expect, but Nicola made me feel relaxed and I enjoyed the sessions.  I would recommend counselling to anyone suffering with anxiety/self-esteem/anger issues as you develop skills to help overcome these feelings.' (Anon, May 2019)
  • 'I found having a place to express my thoughts and feelings with no judgement or bias was incredibly helpful. The questions posed to me helped challenge my thoughts and open my mind to different perspectives. I needed to be challenged by someone external to my friends and family.  I personally have found counselling beneficial and this has been supported by Nicola's friendly personality that challenges you but not in a confrontational manner.' (Anon, May 2019).
  • 'Worked through in a structured and tailored way to best fit my needs.' (Anon, May 2019)
  • 'I arrived hurt, asking why did this happen to me? and Nicola helped me gain perspective on the events in my life and to investigate my feelings in a warm and positive environment. Nicola is a very good listener and she always makes you feel heard. During my time I used unhelpful thinking tools and grief modelling to gain a greater understanding of the Why. I also learned important things about myself such as my personal resilience and positive outlook. Nicola has helped me get through the most difficult time in my life and I am very grateful for her help. I recommend her very highly. Thanks Nicola' (BH, April 2019)
  • 'After 6 solo sessions with Nicola, I rediscovered my sense of confidence and value. Nicola helped me to explore some of the root causes of my low self-esteem and supported me with finding practical solutions to move forward. I feel equipped to move on to the next phase of my life and I'm happy to be happy again.' (Christopher Mitchell, February 2019)
  • 'The sessions provided me with a safe space to explore and unpack some deep rooted issues.  I always felt held and supported and listened to and the interventions offered were conducive to my development. Thank you Nicola. I have found my voice and developed greatly working with you!' (Anon, Oct 2018)
  • 'I found the CBT resources (Unhelpful Thinking Habits and the STOPP worksheet) useful. They helped me recognise what I was feeling and how to overcome the feelings. Having someone to talk to without judgement has been reassuring.' (Anon, Oct 2018)
  • I found counselling very helpful and it has changed my outlook on my future dramatically.' (Anon, Oct 2018)
  • 'Counselling has given me the opportunity to have a safe place to think and talk about my feelings and I feel stronger to move on.  I didn't miss any days off work because of the counselling support which I received.' (Anon, Oct 2018)
  • 'It was helpful to talk through issues and understand that there is a way forward with coping with it'. (Anon, Oct 2018)

9 Charcot Road, London, NW9

Type of session

In person
Home visits

Types of client

Older adults
Employee Assistance Programme

Key details

DBS check

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