Experienced in working with a wide range of issues and difficult feelings, I have a particular interest in working with people who are highly sensitive, who struggle to fit in, and/or who are dealing with hidden loss or carrying a secret.
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 - for example - being highly sensitive, struggling with noise, having synaesthesia, being dyslexic. Many people I work with have learned to hide or apologise for their 'system' because others don't understand 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.
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:-
- being highly sensitive
- how trauma affects us
- abuse and other adverse childhood experiences
- living with chronic shame
- dealing with loss & grief
- how we hold emotions and experiences in our bodies
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
My areas of particular interest have come directly from seeing the difference that counselling can make to people who:-
- struggle with their sensitivity and/or may be highly sensitive (see article)
- have always felt 'different' or worried that something's 'wrong' with them because they see or make sense of the world in a way that others don't
- are in conflict with themselves and at odds with others, and don't understand why
- have suffered a hidden loss - one which isn't easily recognised by others, attracts little understanding if it is, and can't be shared or properly mourned.
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 session. At present, I am only working online and by telephone. If we haven’t worked together before, I offer a reduced rate of £30 for an initial session.
You can find out more about me and the work I do on my website (www.sallypendreigh.com).