Sarah McWhirter, MBACP Reg. (Accred), BSc (Hons), BA (Hons), PG Dip
Set backs, and unforeseen problems in life such as difficulties with relationships, loss & bereavement, anxiety & depression, lack of direction over career paths, or a general sense of sadness can sometimes occur at times when we least expect it. When problems are left unaddressed and unresolved our sense of well-being, happiness and even our health can be affected, both in the short and longer term.
I am a well-trained, empathic and experienced counsellor/psychotherapist working in private practice in Hampshire. Someone who can enable you to have a greater understanding of the areas in your life that are troubling you, who can help you to come to terms with and overcome those difficulties, and who can enable you to find a fresh perspective and a renewed sense of direction. Working together, I can help you to find a more positive way through a challenging period in your life.
I practice from a discreet and welcoming studio in a tranquil setting just outside Alresford where I offer a confidential, relaxed and safe space for my client-work. My areas of expertise focus on people who need to find some form of direction and re-orientation in their lives, those experiencing the pain of loss & bereavement, depression, anxiety, difficulties with relationships & marital breakdown, together with the after- effects of separation and divorce and empty nesting. I also work with clients suffering from a range of eating disorders & those suffering from long-term illness. I also offer Couples Counselling.
My practice also includes work with young people & I have considerable experience with younger clients experiencing problems relating to low self-esteem, depression and anxiety-related issues. In addition, I also offer a safe and confidential place for younger clients to talk about difficulties with relationships both within and outside the home.
With many years' previous experience in the commercial sector, I have also worked with clients experiencing problems within the work-place, with their careers, and with people facing difficulties around life-stages such as children, empty nesting and retirement.
How I practice:
I work 'Integratively' & 'Reflectively', which means giving very careful consideration to the therapeutic approach best suited to each client, while involving the client in this process. I place considerable importance on the strength of the relationship between the client and counsellor, as this in itself can be very therapeutic and healing.
I offer short-term counselling, 6-12 sessions, for clients wishing to address and work on a particular goal or difficulty, and mid to longer-term counselling and psychotherapy where a range of deeper, more complex issues can be explored and resolved.
Having also trained extensively in CBT, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, I offer CBT where appropriate, finding it particularly successful in helping to achieve specific shorter-term objectives. I also draw on Transactional Analysis, TA, and Person-Centred Counselling and Psychotherapy, together with a range of creative tools, which I believe can greatly assist the therapeutic process.
My objective is to enable each client to achieve a sense of release from the problem or range of issues being addressed, while at the same time helping each client to gain a sense of greater personal understanding, with the objective of providing achievable and sustainable well-being in the longer-term.
Training, qualifications & experience
BSc [Hons] in Reflective Therapeutic Practice [First], Metanoia Institute, London
Accredited Diploma in Integrative Counselling, University of Southampton,
Certificate of Higher Education in Counselling, University of Southampton,
Diploma in Integrative Supervision, The Minster Centre, London
Post Graduate Diploma : Professional Practice in Counselling and Psychotherapy (Supervision), University of Middlesex in collaboration with the Minster Centre, London
Level 3 Certificate in Counselling Skills,
Transactional Analysis 101 Certificate,
Course in Working with Eating Disorders
Certificate in Couples Counselling
Developing Skills in Couple Work, International Summer School, Tavistock Institute
CBT 4th Level, Assessment of Competency covering 4 levels of CBT skills,
CBT 3rd Level, working with Fractured Relationships,
CBT 2nd Level, working with issues around Food, Loss and Trauma,
CBT Core Skills,
I have been involved for a number of years with a voluntary counselling agency in Winchester offering counselling across a range of areas such as bereavement, loss, difficulties with relationships, divorce, depression, anxiety & mental health issues. I have also worked within a large University Counselling Service offering shorter-term counselling to students and members of staff.
BA [Hons] French & Politics, University of Reading, fluent French speaker.
Accredited register membership
Areas of counselling I deal with
- Affairs and betrayals
- Anger management
- Anorexia nervosa
- Antisocial personality disorder
- Avoidant personality disorder
- Binge-eating disorder
- Bipolar disorder
- Bulimia nervosa
- Carer support
- Child related issues
- Childhood bereavement
- Chronic fatigue syndrome/ME
- Depression and anxiety in children
- Drug abuse
- Eating disorders
- Emotional abuse
- Family issues
- Feeling sad
- Generalised anxiety disorder
- Low self-confidence
- Low self-esteem
- Narcissistic personality disorder
- Obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD)
- Obsessive-compulsive personality disorder
- Panic disorder
Other areas of counselling I deal with
Younger adults suffering a lack of self-confidence and low self-esteem.
Couples with difficulties in communication and strains in their relationship
French speaking clients
- Cognitive and behavioural therapies
- Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT)
- Couples counselling
- Existential therapy
- Humanistic therapies
I am able to offer one stand-alone, 50 minute no-obligation Initial Consultation at a cost of £55. In this way you will be able to find out if you would like to work with me while also ensuring that my approach and experience correspond with your particular needs.
Individuals: each subsequent 50 minute Consultation : £55
Couples: each subsequent 50 minute Consultation : £70
I can offer a reduction for students and other concessions where appropriate.
I adhere closely to the terms of the BACP Ethical Framework at all times
My counselling rooms are situated 2 miles South of Alresford. Free parking is always available. Disabled access can be provided.
I will always try to contact you within 24 hours of your e-mail or phone call.
For further directions please contact me via e-mail or by telephone using the contact details as given above.
I hold an enhanced CRB certificate.
Maps & Directions
Type of session
|Face to face counselling:||Yes|
Day-time appointments and some evening appointments.
Types of client
Supervision & training
I am a fully qualified Integrative Supervisor, offering clinical supervision to counsellors, psychotherapists and other professionals within the helping professions.