Sam Archer, MBACP, Dip.Couns
Living life is not only about being able to absorb the ups and downs, it is also about growing from them too. Yet there may be times when we are unable to grow; unable to live in a way that allows us to feel at our best and get the most from each present moment.
At these times it may be useful to speak to a professional counsellor; someone who can know you differently to the way a friend or family member might and who can accept all of who you are safely, honestly and without judgement.
I work with a range of issues: loneliness and depression, anxiety and stress, self-harm, bereavement, gender and sexual identity issues, autism, anger, trauma, low self-esteem or lack of confidence.
Yet sometimes our sense that something is not right cannot be so neatly labelled. Perhaps you just feel out of control, find it difficult to cope with life or are questioning its very meaning. Maybe you struggle with personal relationships or feel different but don’t know how to deal with it. The way we feel is often very hard to put into words and may be caused by a combination of things happening in our life now and from our past experiences.
I will work with you to identify what it is you feel is causing pain or holding you back, and work towards reducing its effect on your life. My aim is to create a safe environment where you can think freely, without judgement, and feel encouraged to talk about whatever comes to mind. In this way, I will support you in exploring your own solutions and to begin the process of making the changes you need to make in order to live a more enjoyable, fulfilled and rewarding life.
Training, qualifications & experience
- Certified Member of BACP (MBACP Reg. No. 374212)
- CPCAB Diploma in Psychotherapeutic Counselling
- CPCAB Diploma in Therapeutic Counselling
- CPCAB Certificate in Counselling Studies
- CPCAB Certificate in Counselling Skills
- CPCAB Award in Introduction to Counselling Skills
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
- All sessions last 1 hour and are charged at £50 per hour.
How do I get there?
If you are driving, there is usually plenty of parking on my road. Alternatively, I am a 12-15 minute walk from all the local stations - Sutton, Carshalton, Carshalton Beeches - and most major bus routes stop very close.
How do I know if I need to start counselling?
Well, perhaps a helpful way of thinking about this question might be to ask yourself, ‘Could I benefit from counselling?’
Sometimes there is the idea that we only need counselling when we have exhausted all other options and are at rock bottom. Indeed, it is sometimes only when we hit the bottom, and have nowhere else to turn, that we decide something has to be done. Yet this doesn’t have to be the case.
Increasingly we are coming to realise that, in this often stressful, distressing, fast paced world in which we live, it may be useful to talk to a counsellor about how we are and what is going on for us. Just checking in with our inner world every now and then can often help us to rebalance and reground just enough to be able to untangle some of our worries and see the road ahead in a fresh light.
How long will it take?
If you have a fairly clear understanding of what brings you to therapy, it can take less time to reach a stage where you feel it has been usefully addressed. If the issue is more complex and long-term in nature, it may take longer to reach the same stage.
Our client/counsellor relationship is at the heart of therapy. Reaching a place where you feel comfortable enough to talk freely can also take time. This length of time is different for each person but is also very much part of the therapeutic process.
The duration of the therapeutic process will depend on the type of difficulty or problem you are facing. Some people prefer to work with an open contract, whereas others prefer to work with a fixed number of sessions - maybe 8 to 12. However, in all cases we will review the therapeutic process together every six to eight sessions. This helps you and I to assess whether your needs are being met and will also help - if required - to change the way we are working and/or establish new goals.
How will I know when to stop counselling?
During our initial meeting, we will agree upon a number of sessions to start and, for you to get the most from the experience, it is important you are able to make a commitment to this therapeutic process. Every 6 to 8 weeks we will have a review of how you feel things are going and, if it feels right for you, we can agree an end to therapy.
Yet counselling can be challenging. We may be working with strong, uncomfortable, unfamiliar emotions which are often exhausting and, for a time at least, you may feel that things are are not improving. This is part of the normal process. Sometimes therapy can feel overwhelming and it may be that we have to work through these moments before they get better.
Part of my work as a counsellor is in helping you experience these powerful moments in a way that feels safe and manageable; to feel through them as you move towards understanding, acceptance and growth. So, while I will never try to encourage you to continue or dissuade you from therapy, I would always support you in talking about feelings of wanting to end, in case it is important to your understanding of yourself or what originally brought you to therapy.
You are in control of when and if you start and finish counselling. All I ask is that we manage any ending in a way that feels right and safe for you.
What happens next?
When you contact me, we will aim to arrange a first meeting. I will then send you a welcome email to read over before you arrive which will give you some more information about the service offered and what you can expect.
During the initial session we can discuss the issues that have prompted you to seek support and identify what you would like to achieve from counselling. I will also be able to answer any questions or concerns that you may have about the counselling process.
This initial session will also give you the opportunity to think about how comfortable you feel with me, which will help you decide whether I’m the most suitable therapist for you.
If you decide that you would like to continue, we will then arrange to meet on a regular basis until you feel ready to stop. Therapy sessions are weekly and last for 1 hour.