Sarah Wooster - UKCP registered Psychotherapist; Diploma in Counselling.
It may feel a big step to make the decision to look for a counsellor or psychotherapist. Often this may be after a long period of finding life stressful, confusing, challenging, or disappointing and pointless. It is natural to reach out to those closest to us at such times of difficulty, but often they can feel ‘too close’ or ‘too involved’, to be of any real, lasting help. We may also feel that we don’t want to ‘burden’ family and friends.
For many of us, it feels much easier to ask for help when we are ill physically; seeking out our G.P. for support. When it comes to our mental health, there is often a stigma attached; feelings of ‘failing’, ‘making a fuss’, the sense that we should just ‘be stronger and get on with it’. You may not know that in any given year, 1 in 4 of us will suffer some sort of mental health issue (1). Problems with how we feel and think about our life, and difficulties in managing these are very real and much more common than is evident because of the power of such stigma. However, in recent times, it has been helpful to see a ‘softening’ of this with household names such as Stephen Fry, Ryan Giggs, Rio Ferdinand, Kerry Washington, Angelina Jolie, Simon Pegg (to name a few) talking openly about their own struggles and what has helped them. The latter has recently noted in an interview that there remains “shame around mental health issues, especially in men; how there are still a lot of derogatory jokes”(2). It therefore makes complete sense that seeking help may feel daunting.
If this does feel a big step for you, I suggest taking time to contact a few practitioners that you are drawn to in the first instance, (as well as ensuring that they are properly qualified) as finding someone that you ‘fit’ with is very personal and important if the work is to get off to a good start. I always offer a brief phone call if a client has contacted me by e-mail, in order that you can get a sense of me, and equally so that I can gauge the issues you are dealing with, and whether I feel I can be of help to you (on occasion it may be more useful to refer you to a colleague or other health professional).
Counselling v. psychotherapy…. what’s the difference and what do I need?
There is no firm delineation between these two different ways of working; thus, it can be confusing to know what is going to be right for you. Perhaps an important difference to note, is that a psychotherapy training takes longer and is more in depth, requiring more academic training hours and more evidence of experience with clients prior to qualifying than a counselling training. With counselling, the focus differs in that it tends towards the shorter term, those more ‘problem focussed’ issues such as bereavement, work issues, marital break-up, life stage changes, for example. How psychotherapy may differ is if it became clear that for a client the current bereavement, for example, was bringing to the surface deeper issues of past losses that have impacted the client’s sense of themselves, their identity - who they are in the world - how life has or hasn’t been the way they had imagined; then we may begin to feel that longer term psychotherapy is indicated. If you came to see me, we may well begin with this ‘problem focus’ of counselling and move to something broader and deeper; psychotherapeutic, if that felt useful. For other clients, coming for a shorter number of sessions is enough to alleviate the issue and create some clarity.
I work one to one with adults, young people and couples. Some of the issues I work with are:
- Depression and anxiety
- Complex Trauma
- Anger management
- Bereavement and loss
- Relationship issues
- Menopause issues
- Pregnancy issues/loss/miscarriage/termination
- Eating disorders
- Career issues and choices
- Problems at work or school/college
I have a Certificate in Supervision from CSTD, Bath and I am particularly interested in working with those at the beginning of their practice.
I work from my dedicated home office in Chalford on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays. And I am based at The Practice Rooms in Cheltenham on a Thursday. This venue is centrally located in a purpose building with comfortable, quiet and secure rooms. I also offer online and telephone sessions Monday - Thursday.
Training, qualifications & experience
UKCP Registered Psychotherapist
Masters in Integrative Psychotherapy, Metanoia Institute/Middlesex University, 2017
Diploma Person-Centred Counselling, Metanoia, 1994
Certificate in Supervision at Centre for Supervision and Team Development (CSTD) Bath
Certificate in Couples Therapy, CRCT
Previous roles include Course Leader for Counselling and tutor at BCPC, Bath, in-house counsellor for multi GP practice, secondary school counsellor, Oasis Academy, Bristol, locum counsellor with Brook, volunteer counsellor with Wandsworth Youth Advisory Service, Cotswold Counselling and Isis Women's Centre and private practice in London.
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.
UK Council for Psychotherapy
The UK Council for Psychotherapy (UKCP) is a leading professional body for the education, training and regulation of psychotherapists and psychotherapeutic counsellors. Its register is accredited by the government's Professional Standards Authority.
As part of its commitment to protect the public, it works to improve access to psychotherapy, to support and disseminate research, to improve standards and to respond effectively to complaints against its members.
UKCP standards cover the range of different psychotherapies. Registration is obtained by training or accrediting with one of its member organisations, or by holding a European Certificate in Psychotherapy. 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
one to one counselling/psychotherapy £58 per 50 minute session with adults and young people
Couples £78 per 60 minute session
Concessions maybe available depending on circumstances
Supervision self-funded: £58 for 50 mins (organisations £68)
I have daytime and limited evening appointments
I offer telephone and online counselling and may undertake home visits on request. I am particularly interested in the personal and family impact of pregnancy, abortion, miscarriage, IVF, childbirth and women's life stages including menopause. I have many years experience of working with those in late teens/early 20's and the particular issues that can effect them. My interest in working with this age group is supported by evidence from my practice that shows early intervention and support for a young person can prevent and/or temper future problems.
I am experienced working with couples and have completed a 'Certificate in Relational Couples Therapy'.