Samantha Biswas MBACP (Accred)
I am a fully qualified, accredited and experienced counsellor offering professional, non judgemental and confidential counselling in a safe and quiet environment where you can explore the issues which concern you. I am also a qualified supervisor offering integrative supervision to qualified counsellors.
I work in an integrative way which means that I am able to draw on a number of theoretical models and together we can find what works best for you. My core way of working is psychodynamic which means that we look at how your past may be impacting on your present. We will explore limiting patterns, often stemming from childhood, which may be holding you back and keeping you stuck. Gaining awareness and an understanding of yourself is the first step to change.
Once we have established what is troubling you and why and explored what may be underlying this, I am able to use various models to help you think about making changes. For example, you may feel you would like a cognitive approach where I help you to look at your thought processes as well as your feelings. I can then give you some exercises or alternative ways of thinking and dealing with things between our sessions. Alternatively you may find a very focused approach works best for you and some Solution Focused Brief Therapy could be helpful.
For some people the most therapeutic aspect is just to be able to tell their story and to be heard and listened to. This is particularly so if you have suffered a loss or trauma which you need to work through and process the painful and possibly confusing emotions involved. In this case I would take a very person-centred approach, following wherever you lead and ensuring you have the space to go at your own pace.
For some clients there may not be an obvious trigger for your distress and you may be at a loss as to why you feel so lost or why life has no meaning. You may be depressed or anxious. This often happens during life transitions such as becoming a parent or on retirement and can be very confusing. It can be helpful to explore this with someone objective and with whom you can be totally honest about your feelings. My specialist accreditation in Counselling for Depression may help you find a way through.
If you are struggling with existential or spiritual issues and wondering about your life's purpose or a loss of faith you may find it helpful to explore this in a safe and non judgemental environment.
I am also legally qualified and registered to counsel those affected by adoption at any time in their life. This could be an adult who was adopted as a child, an adoptive parent who is struggling with their adoptive child (who may now be an adult) or a birth parent who gave their child up for adoption. I have specialist training in this area and work as a therapeutic counsellor for Barnardo's.
I have worked for many years as a counsellor in GP practice so have a wide range of experience with people from all walks and stages of life.
I work with individuals from age 18 years upwards and offer short term counselling or longer term psychotherapy according to your needs. I believe that the quality of the relationship between counsellor and client is key to the success of any therapy and so suggest an initial session to start. This does not commit you to any further sessions but will enable you to get a sense of whether I would be the right counsellor for you and you will also have the opportunity to ask me any questions you may have about the counselling process.
When you telephone you may get my answerphone which is confidential. If you leave your name, number and a time you can be contacted, I will return your call.
Training, qualifications & experience
I hold the following counselling qualifications:
Diploma in Integrative Supervision - The Grove Practice
Approved Adoption Counsellor for Barnardo's - LINK Barnardo's
Counselling for Depression Accreditation - University of Nottingham/BACP
Postgraduate Diploma in Counselling - University of Hertfordshire
Diploma in Counselling - University of Hertfordshire
Certificate in Psychodynamic Counselling Skills - Herts & Beds Counselling Foundation
I have specialist training in bereavement and loss. I have also completed the specialist Counselling for Depression Accreditation which enables me to work in a more focused way with depression.
I am strongly committed to continued professional development and regularly attend conferences and training courses.
I am an Accredited and Registered Member of the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy and adhere to their Ethical Framework for Good Practice.
I hold full professional indemnity and public liability insurance and have an up to date DBS certificate.
In addition to undertaking long term therapy, I am also experienced in working in a time-limited way with a wide range of issues and clients through my part-time work in a GP's counselling service.
I have also worked for two specialist bereavement agencies and counselled for several years in the charitable sector in a Women's Centre.
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
£55 per 50 minute weekly session.
I am also registered with BUPA, Aviva Health, Nuffield Health and Vitality Health to provide counselling and psychotherapy under the terms of these private health insurance policies.
I offer counselling in a private and comfortable environment from my consulting room in St Albans. Toilet facilities are available.
I am within easy reach of Junctions 21A and 22 of the M25 and Junction 7 of the M1. Parking is unrestricted and free.
I can also be reached via St Albans City train station and my consulting room is on good bus routes.