My counselling is a mixture of three approaches - person-centred counselling, inner relationship focusing and understanding your "operating system". Each approach is about you and puts you at the heart of things. And each aims to help you understand yourself and your challenges better.
Person-centred counselling gives you the chance to say how life really is from your point of view, without being judged. So you can express and explore your thoughts, difficult feelings, hopes and dreams, losses and fears, without having to defend or justify yourself. And you decide what you choose to share.
Inner relationship focusing is a way of understanding and working with sensations in your body. For example, you might be aware of a tightness in your throat, a weight in your stomach, a tingling in your arms? Each of these can be a way in which your emotions and experiences are being held in your body. Focusing provides a chance to work with what you're aware of rather than ignore or dismiss it. And it also helps manage a range of emotions which may seem contradictory, irreconcilable or overwhelming.
Underneath your challenges and feelings is you. What you need to function and feel safe, how you process the world around you and how it impacts on you. I think of this as your 'operating system'. Your 'system' may involve noticing everything, having problems with noise, or working with colours, counting or connections. Many people I work with have learned to hide or apologise for their 'system' because others don't like or welcome it. But your 'system' is such a core part of who you are. Exploring it often brings relief from the biggest battle of all - with yourself, to be yourself.
I have experience of working with a range of issues and difficult feelings (see my website for more information). And I have a particular interest in working with people dealing with hidden loss, carrying secrets, or living with difficult and unresolved feelings.
Training, qualifications & experience
Training & Qualifications
- Senior Accredited member, British Association for Counselling & Psychotherapy (membership number 082480)
- Postgraduate Diploma in Counselling and Psychotherapy, Persona/Stirling University)
- Specialist Module in Bereavement and Loss (Cruse Bereavement Care Scotland)
- Certificate in Inner Relationship Focusing (Focusing Resources, California, USA)
- Certificate in Counselling Skills (Stevenson College/Napier University)
- Postgraduate Diploma in Personnel Management & Development (Napier University)
I have previously counselled with Changes Community Health Partnership, Edinburgh University Student Counselling Service, Employee Assistance Programmes (EAPs), Health in Mind (Craigmillar & survivors of childhood sexual abuse services), People Experiencing Trauma and Loss (affected by murder and suicide), Scottish Families Affected by Drugs (bereavement service), and Voice Of Carers Across Lothian (VOCAL).
Before becoming a counsellor, I was a civil servant for 26 years. During that time, I worked to improve information and support for victims of crime, witnesses & bereaved families; and unpaid family carers. And I was a personnel manager.
I want to be as good a counsellor as I can be for my clients, so I'm committed to continuous training and learning. Some events I've attended and participated in recently have been about:-
- dealing with loss & grief
- living with secrets and lies
- anger, rage and shame
- people affected by childhood sexual abuse
- using photographs in therapy
- how we hold emotions and experiences in our bodies
- the rules and stories we live by
I also receive regular supervision to ensure that I work as ethically and effectively as possible.
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
As important as the challenges you face are the feelings they lead to. A lot of the work I do is with people who are wrestling with difficult feelings - such as anger, betrayal, blame, disappointment, envy, guilt, isolation, loneliness, longing, regret, resentment and shame. These feelings are often based in childhood experiences and family dynamics, and go on to affect feelings of worth and relationships in later life.
As I mentioned earlier, I have a particular interest in working with people who have suffered a hidden loss. Such losses aren't easily recognised, attract little understanding, and can't be publicly or properly mourned. The loss might be a bereavement (people and pets) or it can be another type of loss (like your sense of yourself, your job or status, your health, a relationship, your hopes and dreams). If the loss isn't fully recognised and you can't grieve for it the way you need to, it's more difficult to deal with. In the words of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, "There's no grief like the grief that goes unspoken".
Whatever your challenges, they can affect so many things - your wellbeing, your relationship with yourself and with others, and your ability to deal with struggle and lead a fulfilled life. If you recognise any of what I've said here, and think I might be able to help, then please get in touch.
I charge £45 for an hour long face-to-face session. Online and telephone sessions are £35 per hour. If we haven’t worked together before, I offer a reduced rate of £30 for an initial face-to-face session and £25 for an initial online or telephone session.
You can find out more about me and the work I do on my website (www.sallypendreigh.com).