Phyllis Smith MBACP (Accred), MA, Pg Dip (Law), MCIL
Who am I?
I am an accredited member of BACP. I am a Chinese woman who has been married to an Englishman and have been living in England for 20 years. My multicultural background is a valuable asset for counselling people who come from a minority ethnic background or those who may encounter difficulty in 'fitting in' with the others due to linguistic, cultural, or socioeconomic differences. I am specialised in anxiety, depression and stress.
I am also a linguist and I am fluent in both English and Chinese. My multicultural knowledge and linguistic ability have helped me to understand people more easily and naturally. As a counsellor and in my previous careers, I have worked with people from all walks of life, e.g. lawyers, bankers, medical professionals, social workers, and teachers etc.
I am friendly and approachable, warm and compassionate,and I am a very patient listener.
Why counselling may help?
Life is not always rosy. 1 in 4 people have emotional distress. You may be experiencing one of these:
Anxiety - feeling anxious all your life or feeling anxious recently due to some undesirable circumstances
Depression - feeling depressed or in a low mood because of some unpleasant experience or physical reason
Stress - feeling stressed owing to relationship issues, financial difficulties, workload or difficult choices in life
Loneliness - feeling sad and lonely because you feel you don't 'fit in' into a culture/subculture, find it difficult to make friends, or perhaps you are experiencing grief and find it hard to share with other people
Counselling is the journey where I'll walk with you to explore deeper in the above issues. Together, perhaps we can reflect on our past, look at what we are facing now and embark on making changes for a better future.
I will listen to your voices in the counselling room, let you be and become, and help you to make changes to improve your lives if and when you want to.
As a warm and compassionate counsellor, I adopt counselling approaches that cater for your needs depending on your issues, personality, age, ethnic and cultural background and most important of all, your personal preferences in how you want counselling to work for you.
What will my counselling sessions feel like?
Counselling can be a daunting experience, especially if you haven't done it before. It is my job to reassure you at our initial assessment session that counselling is what you are seeking and if not I may be able to signpost you on to other agencies. The initial assessment session is also an opportunity for us to meet and understand a bit about each other, have a preliminary discussion of the issues you want to focus on and for you to decide whether we can work together in this collaborative partnership.
I provide counselling to your best interests with the ultimate goal that you will be able to understand more about yourself and the situations you are in, to develop insights about your own issues, and eventually to make changes that may transform your lives in the longer term.
I offer short-term (just a few sessions) and long-term counselling (open-end). The duration is to be discussed between you and me and will be reviewed regularly. Each session lasts for 50 minutes.
If you are not sure whether counselling is for you and what counselling is about, please feel free to contact me for a chat; there is no obligation to commit to it until and unless you feel sure.
What are my special interests?
Health-related issues - I have an amateurish interest in medicine and a passion in helping patients who are going through procedures, diagnostics and treatments and the aftermaths of illnesses and are experiencing a mixture of feelings such as anger, shock, fear, health anxiety and depression due to a medical condition or illness. I have worked in various roles in Addenbrooke’s Hospital and have substantial experience working with clinical psychologists, consultants, nurses and patients.
Multi-cultural issues - Having lived in another country before, I have developed a strong interest in other cultures and the impact of cultural difference on people. My cosmopolitan experience also makes it easy for me to understand the negative thoughts and feelings of people living and working in the UK, e.g. issues with integration, identity and cultural barriers. I am also experienced in cross-cultural issues relating to second and third generations.
Existential issues - I am particularly interested in exploring personal issues within a spiritual context. This can be useful for people who want to explore existential issues, end-of-life issues, identity crisis and issues of faith.
Mental health issues - I have had training in mental health first aid and SAGE and THYME® which enable me to identify and support patients with emotional distress. It is estimated that 1 in 6 people experienced ‘common mental disorder’ such as anxiety and depression, I believe that it’s my mission as a counsellor to contribute my expertise to help people to manage their mental health better.
Training, qualifications & experience
Qualifications and professional membership:
- Level 4 Diploma in Therapeutic Counselling
- MA in Language and Law (Distinction)
- BA in English Language and Literature
- Postgraduate Diploma in Law
- Accredited Member of BACP (MBACP Accred)
- Member of Chartered Institute of Linguists
I am an Accredited Member of the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP). I am bound by the BACP's Ethical Framework for Good Practice in Counselling and Psychotherapy.
I have experience in the following settings:
- Dialysis Unit in Addenbrooke’s Hospital counselling renal patients;
- Cambridge Cancer Help Centre counselling cancer patients and survivors and their families;
- Netherhall School counselling students aged 11-18;
- Centre 33 counselling young people aged 13-25;
- JHD Counselling counselling students from Christ’s College, Cambridge University;
- Cambridgeshire Consultancy in Counselling to provide affordable counselling.
As a professional counsellor, I receive regular supervision and undergo continuing professional development to improve my skills and keep myself abreast of new ideas in the profession. Below are the training, workshops and courses I have pursued over the years:
- BACP Private Practice Conference 2018
- BACP Private Practice Conference 2019
- Child Sexual Exploitation
- Children bereavement
- Grief and loss
- Level 2 Psychological Assessment Skills (in clinical setting)
- Lure of Social Media
- Managing Risk, Self-harm and Suicidality
- Mental Health First Aid
- SAGE and THYME® (to identify and support people with emotional distress in a clinical setting)
- Self-harm and Risky Behaviour
- Group work
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 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
- Health Anxiety
- End of Life
- Cross-cultural issues
For individuals: £45 per session (50 minutes per session). Payment to be made in cash,cheque or bank transfer at the end of each session.
I also offer a concessionary rate on a case by case basis, please contact me to discuss further.
I am fluent in English and Chinese (both Cantonese and Mandarin) and I can provide counselling in either language as you prefer. I also have a diploma in French.