Paula Mayes

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Accredited (MBACP-Accred) Dip. Couns,
Available for new clients
Available for new clients

This professional is available for new clients.

Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS10 4GS
Available for new clients
Available for new clients

This professional is available for new clients.

About me

Are you feeling lonely, stressed, struggling with anxiety or like you don't fit in? Does it feel like some of your relationships don't work? Are you wondering how you got here and unsure how you could get back to your usual self? Often we feel this way when we have taken care of others and the things we want and need are left at the bottom of the pile. Maybe you're even tired of trawling through all the other counselling profiles and you just want to get started.

My work here at Paula Mayes Counselling works by having meaningful conversations about the things that matter the most to you. We are told we can have it all so when we begin to feel like "having it all" isn't working for us, we can often internalise that and believe we are somehow defective or faulty. The life on social media suggests we should be in a professional career, whilst juggling the school run, taking care of elderly parents and have fulfilling relationships and there is increased pressure to be meditating, eating plant based and finding time to work out on top of all that. Just thinking about all of this can be stressful, so when we feel like we aren't achieving, that takes its toll on our self-esteem and we feel miserable. For you this might mean you are irritable, you're not sleeping, you can't concentrate or maybe you've lost interest in the things that usually give you pleasure. This is the time to give me a call to arrange our first appointment.

Training, qualifications & experience

Counselling began for me around 2007 when an introductory course was advertised at Dewsbury college. This sparked a passion for me that is still alive 15 years on. As a trainee, you work towards achieving a portfolio of work that includes 100 client hours at a placement that is designed to offer you lots of support and supervision to get you on your way to being an experienced therapist. My placement was at the Well Women's Centre in Wakefield, where I worked alongside inspirational women who came to talk through what was most important to them; family, health and relationships. Very early on in my training I discovered that all the trappings of a successful life such as a nice house, car, and wealth are not as meaningful as having a supportive partner, good positive physical and mental health and rewarding relationships. At the Well Women's Centre, they provided me with lots of training and experience in areas such as: self-harm, childhood sexual abuse, working with suicidal ideation as well as helping me achieve the required 100 hours to pass my counselling diploma. 

During this time as a student, my day job was working at a drug and alcohol clinic managing the medical team who support the drug using community to reduce their drug and alcohol use. This was challenging but rewarding work as it tackled physical health alongside mental health as well as poverty, housing problems, crime and working with statutory services such as social care and probation.

Level 4 Diploma in Counselling - November 2010

My placements continued after my qualification and with good quality supervision, I was able to set up my private practice, initially working from premises in a doctors surgery, then later from home in Middleton, Leeds.

Here I see clients with a range of barriers to a lifestyle that they are happy with. For example, relationship difficulties, depression and anxiety and work related stress. Often people come to see me when they can't figure out exactly what is wrong, but they know they aren't happy and they want things to change.

In 2013, I began working for the Sir Robert Ogden Macmillan Centre, at St James's Hospital in Leeds. This is a centre specifically designed to help people who are experiencing a life limiting illness such as cancer, motor neurone disease and MS. Here I worked 121 with patients attending the hospital for treatment, as well as working with their family members. With my colleagues, we set up a monthly support group where guest speakers would come along and give talks to the patients and family around topics that were pertinant to them such as wig fitting, how to manage eating and sleeping during cancer treatment and talks from a medical perspective. This was when I was approached by a charity, then called BTRS but is now called Yorkshire's Brain Tumour Charity. It was at YBTC that I set up a counselling service for people who are experiencing a brain tumour. Often with a brain tumour, they are living with a loss such as mobility, speech or hearing loss for example, as well as some others who are told it is a terminal diagnosis. My work at YBTC saw me working with many hospices, other healthcare providers and the Maggie's Centre where I ran a monthly support group. It was at the beginning of my time with YBTC that I decided to train as a clinical hypnotherapist.

2016, I was approached by the Charlie's Angel Centre in Leeds to be one of their counsellors. Charlie's Angel Centre was set up when the grandson of the founder died very shortly after birth. It was recognised at the time that the provision for mothers and family members was scarce or absent and upon a child's death, there was no support. The Charlie's Angel Centre is for anyone experiencing a child's death, even if it's your adult child and there is no time limit on when you can approach them for support.

It was also in 2016 that I achieved accreditation with the BACP for the hours and experience I have completed throughout my career. This is a high standard that demonstrates a good understanding of theory but also a commitment to working to a high ethical standard where clients are at the centre of our work. 

Most of my work with the various charities has involved bereavement and end of life counselling and it was in 2018 that I took some additional training with Leeds Bereavement Forum to be one of their freelance trainers. With LBF, I work with other professionals who work with the bereaved. People who are social workers, doctors, teachers, and carers.

This year I have recorded a lecture for Counselling Tutor on Working with Clients who have a Terminal Illness and support students at Leeds Beckett University as they embark on a degree.

Throughout my counselling career, I have worked in many settings. Some areas include the NHS, different charities within Leeds and Wakefield and my private practice. I am also a freelance trainer for Leeds Bereavement Forum, working alongside Leeds City Council, many of the Leeds based Universities, including being an associate lecturer for Leeds Beckett and within healthcare and hospice settings.

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.

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

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

Other areas of counselling I deal with

Due to my work within the bereavement field, I have also worked with clients at the end of their life and with their family members.

Therapies offered

Photos & videos


£50.00 per session

When I work

Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat Sun

47 Murray Avenue, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS10 4GS

Type of session

In person

Types of client

Young adults (18-24)
Adults (25-64)
Older Adults (65+)
Employee Assistance Programme

Key details

DBS check

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Wheelchair user access
Wheelchair user access

Wheelchair-accessible premises should have step-free access for wheelchair users and individuals who are unable to climb stairs. If a Counsellor's premises aren't step-free, they may offer alternative services such as telephone/web-based appointments, home visits, or meeting clients in different location, so you can choose the option that suits you best.

You can contact the Counsellor to discuss the options available.

Under the Equality Act 2010 service providers have a duty to make reasonable adjustments to ensure that individuals with disabilities can access their service. You can read more about reasonable adjustments to help you to access services on the CAB website.

Parking is available outside my practice


In person

Warm, accepting and appropriately challenging clinical supervisor, working within the BACP ethical framework and core competencies.

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Paula Mayes
Paula Mayes