Samantha Edwards, BSc, MA, PGDip, MBACP
I hold an up to date enhanced check by the Disclosure Barring Service (DBS) which allows me to work safely with all vulnerable adults and people under the age of 18. I am a qualified and registered member of the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (MBACP) and work in accordance with their Ethical Framework. A part of this framework specifies that I am to attend regular supervision with a qualified and registered Counselling Supervisor. This ensures that I work ethically and provide a service that is in the best interests of you, my client.
As well as my qualifications in psychotherapy and counselling, I also hold a BSc and MA in Psychology from Bangor University. During my time at University I majored in Risky Behaviour, Drug and Alcohol addiction and mental health. I also hold qualifications in management and public speaking. During my time working as a psychotherapist, mental health advocate and homelessness prevention officer I have also attended training in the following areas;
Rape and sexual abuse training, overdose prevention, motivational interviewing, communication skills, emotional intelligence, risk management, public speaking, conflict resolution, mental health awareness, medication handling, POVA, swine flu training, infection control, social care standards, challenging behaviour, drug and alcohol awareness, self-harm first aid, and suicide awareness.
I have ten years experience working in Mental Health primarily within the charitable sector. I am a motivational speaker and have had the opportunity to speak at many high profile events including TEDx, charitable events, award ceremonies and training days. I provide a safe and confidential environment for you to discuss your needs and work with you to find resolution.
What can I offer?
I offer an Integrative approach to counselling which means I draw on a range of different counselling theories and techniques in my work to accommodate the individual needs of each client. One of the benefits of such an approach is that I can be flexible; if the way we are working together doesn't feel like its addressing your needs, I can suggest alternative ways of working together to make sure you receive a service that you feel is helpful to you. I believe that each individual will have their own personal requirements and so with this in mind, my primary modality will always be Person centred. Person centred therapy is based on the view that everyone has the capacity and desire for personal growth and change, given the right conditions. I will work with you to ensure you are supported and nurtured throughout the therapeutic process in a safe and confidential manner.
When a person gets to a time in their life where they feel they need the help of a counsellor, it is more than likely that they have already tried many other methods of help. Being mindful of the reasons why a person may seek counselling makes it easier to understand the importance of a good working relationship. Individuals will rarely seek a counsellor because every aspect of their life is perfect and happy. They may be suffering a great deal and may have very deep rooted issues which they wish to resolve. This is why it is vital that the relationship between client and counsellor is as positive and professional as possible. A client who is feeling vulnerable, depressed, sad, confused, anxious, angry (and many other emotions) will require a safe and relaxed environment in which to pick apart their problems. I can offer you that environment.
What can I help with?
Addictions, Eating disorders, Obsessions, OCD, Phobias, Self-harm, Abuse, Anxiety, Bereavement, Depression, Loss, Post-traumatic stress, Trauma, Life coaching, Personal development, AIDS/HIV, Cancer, Disability, Health related issues, Cultural issues, Identity issues, Self esteem, Sexual identity, Sexuality, Spirituality, Women's issues, Infertility, Relationships, Sex-related issues, Anger management, Redundancy, Stress. And much more. please feel free to contact me to discuss your individual needs.
Types of therapy.
Behavioural therapies are based on the belief that your unwanted or unhealthy behaviours are a learned response to your past experiences. They focus on current problems and aim to help you learn new, more positive behaviours without having to analyse the past. I find that this method of therapy often works well for compulsive and obsessive behaviours, fears, phobias and addictions.
Brief therapy is a short-term therapy which focuses on finding solutions and making positive changes rather than focusing on the past causes of problems. I use this technique to help encourage you to look at what you do well, set goals and work out how to achieve them. This type of therapy can be effective in just four or five sessions.
Coaching supports individuals in achieving greater self-awareness, improved self-management skills and increased self-efficacy, so that you can develop your own goals and solutions. It is a collaborative, conversation-based process, which emphasises and builds on your existing and developing strengths. It is often focused on supporting you in making changes, either to how things are at present or to your near and distant future.
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT)
CBT aims to help you change the way you think (cognitive) and what you do (behaviour). Rather than looking at past causes, it focuses on current problems and practical solutions to help you feel better now. The way we think about situations affects the way we feel and behave. If we view a situation negatively, we may experience negative emotions and feelings which lead us to behave in an unhelpful way. I will help you identify and challenge any negative thinking so you can deal with situations better and behave in a more positive way.
Gestalt therapy looks at the individual as a whole, and within their surroundings, rather than breaking things into parts. Counsellors help you to focus on the here and now and your immediate thoughts, feelings and behaviour to better understand how you relate to others and to situations. This can help you find a new, positive perspective on problems and bring about changes in your life. Gestalt therapy often includes acting out scenarios and dream recall, and is effective in treating issues such as anxiety, stress, addiction, tension and depression.
The psychodynamic approach is derived from psychoanalysis, but focuses on immediate problems to try to provide a quicker solution. It stresses the importance of the unconscious and past experience in shaping current behaviour. I will aim to build an accepting and trusting relationship, encouraging you to talk about your childhood relationships with your parents and other significant people.
Training, qualifications & experience
Qualifications related to counselling and psychotherapy:
Bangor University - Post Graduate Diploma in Education Studies (Counselling)
Bangor University - MA. Psychology
Bangor University - B.Sc. Psychology
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
I have specialist knowledge, interest and experience in the following areas:
- Panic Disorder
- Relationship Issues
- Generalised Anxiety Disorder
- Mental Health
- Family Issues
- Bipolar Disorder
- Self Harm
- Affairs and Betrayals
- Domestic Violence
- Work Related Issues
- Sexual Issues
- Sex Addiction
I offer: Long-term face-to-face work, Online counselling, Short-term face-to-face work, Telephone counselling, and Time-limited Counselling.
Fees are £35 per hour.
Within my client work, I use three core conditions to ensure I am working with your best interests in mind at all times. These core conditions are:
If you have lost a loved one, and later in life a friend confides in you that they have just lost a loved one, you can almost be certain that the feelings you have towards your friend include empathy. This is much deeper than sympathy, when a person feels empathy for another, what they are actually doing is feeling just as that person is feeling. They are metaphorically putting themselves right into the shoes of that person and feeling the same emotions, the same pains, the same fears, the same thoughts, the same worries. To empathise with someone is to feel that persons feelings on a much deeper level. Empathy within a counselling environment of course needs to have certain limits, for example it would be counter productive for the counsellor to literally feel all the emotions that the client was feeling- if this were the case the counsellor would be unable to properly counsel the client. And of course if the counsellor felt this way for every client, he/she would ultimately suffer with emotional burn-out. The skill for a counsellor is to empathise with the client on a deep level whilst remaining professional- easier said than done but with practice and supervision it does get easier.
Congruence is a term used to describe the ability to be genuine and open. If you were to enter a room whereby you were asked to share your most inner feelings, would you feel comfortable doing so if the person listening to you was wearing a clown’s mask? (probably not). To be congruent, you must be yourself, no masks, no lies, no fears of judgement. A counsellor (in order to be congruent) must be able to show a genuineness and level of openness and honesty that enables the client to relax safe in the knowledge that the counsellor isn’t being ‘fake’. If a client can see that the counsellor is genuine and honest, they themselves will feel able to open up in a genuine manner too.
Unconditional Positive Regard
Total unconditional positive regard describes the ability to look beyond every human flaw, every bad deed or disagreement, and treat a person with total respect love and value regardless of who they are or what they have done, what they believe or what they stand for. It is a very instinctive desire for each of us to want to be liked, valued, loved and appreciated- even from very early childhood we aspire to be loved- preferably unconditionally, however many find it challenging to love without conditions or expectations. The role of a counsellor is leave all judgements at the door. I believe a good counsellor has the ability to look into the eyes of their client, and deal with the client in that moment- no expectations, no judgement, no hatred, no conditions, just simple love and respect for a fellow human being regardless of flaws and faults, age, sex, religion, crime, sexual orientation, values, or anything else that we tend to put in the way of deep loving relationships. Only where unconditional positive regard lives, can a person truly feel strong enough to show their true self to another. In the role of counsellor, if a client is given total positive regard, they will feel safe and secure enough to truly unravel the issues that need to be dealt with. Without fear.