Pennie Aston - SPECIALIST DYSLEXIA COUNSELLOR - MSc NCS (Senior Acc)
Pennie Aston (MSc, Dip Hyp, Dip Couns, PGC Leadership, Dip Supervision, Dip Therapeutic Coaching, Cert Psychology)
I am a keynote speaker, counsellor, coach, trainer and supervisor specialising in addressing the emotional repercussions of Dyslexia. I am the creator of the Dyslexia Aware Counselling and Coaching Approach, am dyslexic myself and have raised a dyslexic family.
As a relational psychotherapist and counsellor, I am an experienced and skilled facilitator of positive change in both individuals and organisations and have worked in the restorative field since 1999. This was preceded by a 20-year career in television and the performing arts. My specialisation and interest in dyslexia aware therapy comes from my personal and professional experience of being an un-diagnosed dyslexic person subject to professional conduct procedures. It has given me an exceptional understanding of the emotional repercussions of hidden disability and the needs and dynamics of people and organisations (and the relationships and structures within which they function) - plus the challenges that can arise when secondary presentations of Dyslexia are not fully understood both by the person and society at large.
Since setting up the charity GroOops Dyslexia Aware Counselling and Coaching in 2007, we have supported over 2000 clients through 1:1 support and groupwork. My work focuses distinctively on providing emotional support for those with an assessment of dyslexia* (along with their families); facilitating positive communication in educational and workplace settings through keynote speeches, trainings, workshops and presentations; helping people come to terms with and fully understand what dyslexia means to them; understand and adapt to its emotional and lifelong legacy; gain acceptance and allow dyslexic people to develop a resilient sense of identity and become their own best advocates.
*I use the term ‘Dyslexia’ because it is the most common of all Sp.L.D.s. What I do is largely applicable to all the other conditions known to be related such as Dyscalculia, A.D.H.D., A.D.D., Autism Level 1 (Asperger’s Syndrome), Dyspraxia and Dysgraphia. Many of these conditions can overlap and often coexist.
As a 'Creative', (I am an artist, writer and singer/songwriter), I have a particular interest in supporting individuals with careers in the performing arts who are dyslexic and other organisations with similar interests in positive dyslexic identity development.
When not actively engaged with work, I can be found singing and playing guitar (badly but with great enthusiasm), writing, gardening and painting.
My areas of expertise include:
- Keynote speeches relating to the Emotional Repercussions of Dyslexia
- Dyslexia Awareness Training
- Anxiety and Dyslexia
- Relationships and Dyslexia
- 1:1 Dyslexia Aware Counselling
- Provision of Supervision to professionals - individual and group
- Professional Conduct Emotional Support
- Adult Dyslexia Therapeutic Coaching
- Dyslexia Aware group counselling
- All aspects of Bereavement and Loss particularly in the context of neurodiversity.
- Performing Arts - Events, showcases.
- Life Course Development - Ongoing psychological development throughout the life course
In addition to my formal qualifications, I have Continuing Professional Development expertise in:
Ego State Work
Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT)
Training, qualifications & experience
Training, Qualifications & Experience
MSc Life Course Development - University of London -Birkbeck College.
Diploma in Counselling at Post Graduate Level - University of London - Birkbeck College.
Diploma in Casework Supervision - ABC Level 4
Diploma in Individual and Group Supervision: Counselling, Psychotherapy and Related Professions - Cascade Training Associates
Diploma Clinical and Analytical Hypnotherapy with Psychotherapy - (ICET)
Diploma Gold Psychotherapeutic Counselling - (ICET)
Diploma Therapeutic Coaching - (Fusion - NCFE Accredited)
Post Graduate Certificate in Leadership and Management Practice - Middlesex University.
Masters Level Certificates: University of East London (Counselling Young People; Young People Centred Counselling Assessment; Counselling Young People who Self Harm; Working Creatively with Young People).
Certificate Counselling and Counselling Skills
Certificate Institute of Leadership and Management - (ILM)
Certificate British Mindfulness Institute - Professional Training in the Therapeutic Use of Mindfulness
Certified Facilitator - Strengthening Families Strengthening Communities
Professional Conduct Panel Member - National Counselling Society
Approved Supervisor for the National Counselling Society
Senior Accredited Member of The National Counselling Society (MNCS Senior.Acc)
As a keynote Speaker, Presenter, Training Facilitator or Counsellor, I have provided my services to:
- ADSHE - North and South
- Access to Work
- All Party Political Group (APPG) for dyslexia and other SpLDs
- Bath Adult Dyslexic Group
- British Dyslexia Association International Conference
- British Dyslexia Association - Webinars
- Birkbeck College - University of London
- Bexley, Bromwich and Greenwich Dyslexia Association
- Camden Working Men's College
- Catch 22
- Celebrated Hub
- Crisis UK
- Dyslexia Association of London
- Dyslexic Success Greenwich
- Festival of Dyslexic Culture
- Grief Encounter
- Hampshire Inspection and Advisory Service SEN
- Kent West Dyslexia Association
- Leicestershire Dyslexia Association
- Middlesex University
- Minster Centre
- NHS IFRS South
- NHS Barnet
- Octavia Ducan Housing Association
- PATOSS Bath
- PATOSS Bucks
- Waltham Forest Dyslexia Association
- Westminster Council
- as well as developing all the in-house training at GroOops.
Preceding my involvement with the therapeutic world, I spent over twenty years in television and the performing arts, initially as a singer/songwriter and subsequently as a lifestyle writer and presenter for Music Box, Premier, SuperChannel, BSkyB, Sky, BA, Channel 4, Channel One and ITV and was Co-Director of a successful television production company.
As an executive producer of Expressive Arts Shows I have produced several 'Kidz Take Kontrol' productions with GroOops and 'Make That Change - Together', a project that encompassed 21 schools, 13 boroughs, 120 participants and 150 parent/carers, culminating in an outstanding performance at the Albert Hall for the Business In The Community Awards Ceremony in front of an audience of 1400.
My voluntary portfolio includes CHAIR of BCVYS (Barnet Council for Voluntary Youth Services) Steering Committee - part of CommUNITY Barnet; Healthy Schools Steering Committee, CAMHS (Child and Adolescent Mental Health) Core Board and the Teenage Pregnancy Strategy Board.
Accredited register membership
Areas of counselling I deal with
- Affairs and betrayals
- Anger management
- Anorexia nervosa
- Binge-eating disorder
- Bulimia nervosa
- Career counselling
- Domestic violence
- Drug abuse
- Eating disorders
- Emotional abuse
- Family issues
- Feeling sad
- Generalised anxiety disorder
- Learning difficulties
- Low self-confidence
- Low self-esteem
- Obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD)
- Passive aggressive behaviour
- Physical abuse
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Postnatal depression
- Pregnancy and birth
- Relationship problems
- Seasonal affective disorder (SAD)
- Separation and divorce
- Sexual abuse
- Work-related stress
Other areas of counselling I deal with
- Public Speaking
- Dyslexia Counselling Specialist
- Expressive Arts Forums
- Professional conduct procedure emotional support
- Cognitive and behavioural therapies
- Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT)
- Couples counselling
- Family/systemic therapy
Photos & videos
Please visit www.GroOops.org for details.
In certain situations, such as students in training and those on low income, reduced fees can be discussed. Please make contact to discuss.
If you or someone you love is feeling low because of something to do with dyslexia then you have come to the right place. I can offer you an empathic and nurturing space to explore what is going on for you; explain some of the constitutional difficulties we as dyslexic people can experience and guide you to strategies that can help.
Brainstorming with someone else who knows what it feels like can be extremely healing and restorative. Many of my clients' comment that their dyslexia aware counselling experience was the first time they had not had to explain themselves and that the sense of relief at being understood has been life-changing.
I provide a warm, empathetic, safe environment to explore all the vagaries of living a dyslexic life to the full and developing a well-rounded dyslexia friendly approach both personally and professionally.
I am a Senior Accredited Member with and an Approved Supervisor for the National Counselling Society.
I am on a voluntary register that has been accredited by the Professional Standards Authority. The AVR scheme was set up by the Government to improve standards and safety for the benefit of the public.
Maps & Directions
Type of session
|Face to face counselling:||Yes|
Mon to Fri daytime. Evening and weekends by arrangement.
Types of client
|Employee Assistance Programme|
Supervision & training
I am an approved supervisor for The National Counselling Society.