Shirley Lau MBACP | Integrative Counsellor | Individual Counselling
Providing support for stress, anxiety, depression, loss, pregnancy issues and relationships.
Hello I'm Shirley, Counsellor and Founder of Lau Counselling, supporting people's wellbeing and emotional health. I work integrative which means working in different ways and my main approaches are Person-Centred Therapy and Psychodynamic Therapy. This means exploring your current issues and making sense of them by looking back at past experiences and how they might have caused difficulties in later life.
My experience enables me to offer effective individualised talking therapy. I treat a number of mental health disorders and look at issues such as stress, anxiety, depression, bereavement, pregnancy issues, relationships and provide a neutral ground to individuals living in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
Understanding your life and being able to make meaningful sense that encourages growth and better decisions is my priority which is why it is essential to have trust and respect. Therefore I can provide a safe and confidential space for individual counselling using an online video service. Although our sessions are confidential there maybe rare occasions when confidentiality might be compromised if there is a legal requirement requested by law or significant harm to others or yourself. In all circumstances, you will be made aware of this before action is needed.
This also includes notes and personal data which will be kept for up to 7 years before destroyed and in accordance with data protection (GDPR).
Lau Counselling is fully insured and registered with the ICO for data protection. I am also a registered member of the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy and guided by their rules to provide fair and non-judgemental therapy. My work is also supervised where I have regular meetings with my supervisor to talk about your case and client identity remains private between the client and myself.
Further information about my practice can be found by clicking on Visit website at the top of this page.
If you're interested in having therapy or want to ask a question then please feel free to get in touch and I will respond as soon as possible.
My experience includes stress, anxiety, depression, bereavement, pregnancy issues and relationships.
Is Online Counselling second best to In-Person Counselling?
At first I was a bit sceptical about online counselling because in-person counselling was how I started my profession and I had no prior experience until early last year in 2020. Covid-19 lockdown meant I had to move my clients from in-person to online counselling using Zoom video. Over time I have seen the benefits of going online to provide therapy.
People who work whole days might find evening counselling much easier to manage if they are not having to travel to another place. Clients are more relaxed in their own environments because they can choose their own safe space, make themselves a warm drink and even have their pets in the room for comfort.
After their sessions they can reflect on their feelings without having to immediately leave to travel home. This is particularly helpful when there has been a difficult session; it can be a distraction if they also have to concentrate on getting home safely from an in-person counselling.
Using a webcam means counsellor and client can see each other just as you would in a therapy room environment. Zoom video is secure and very simple to set up and your counsellor will be able to guide you step-by-step in setting up an account.
All email communication and documentation is processed through secure online platforms. This is through a third party but will only require limited data such as an email address. Client confidentiality and the process of setting up counselling is just the same as in-person. If you’re interested in having counselling with Lau Counselling then you will be asked to complete an application process, be invited to an assessment and then you can decide whether you would like to continue or not just as you would for in-person counselling.
So is online counselling second best to in-person counselling? I think it’s just as good. However, this does depend on individual circumstances (for example for some people home is not a safe place and there is a need to escape from it or they prefer to be in a room with their counsellor). The added benefit of online counselling for most clients is that they can be in their own homes (and some people even use their cars as a space for therapy) which is more comfortable and convenient for them.
When do we know it’s the right time to seek help?
Some people seek help quickly when they realise that they cannot manage their problems, or when they are encouraged or referred to by others; and some may wait until their problems become increasingly difficult to cope with.
People choose their own times when they are ready to look for help and only then is it right for them. When we are ready to face our difficulties and want to seek a better life, it then takes bravery and courage to admit our problems to others.
The most common route is talking to our family and friends. However, even though they mean well, often their advice and opinions reflect on what they would do if they were in our situation, but not necessarily fit in with how we are able to deal with our problems ourselves. This can increase anxiety and frustration of feeling that we are not being understood or heard. We may have supportive people in our lives but still feel alone in our worries and sadness.
An example of this is someone grieving for a loved one. Someone might say to a bereaved person that their loved one is now in a good place because they are no longer suffering from the pain or sickness when they were here. The bereaved person may not find such a comment helpful but instead would want people to understand their pain of missing a loved one and perhaps what it means to lose part of their identity if it is a couple.
We often go round in circles with our negative thinking and then become frustrated of not getting the answers we are looking for to resolve our issues. But by speaking to someone who understands these behaviours, we can gain a deeper insight into why we do things the way we do and how they are linked to our history and past and present relationships.
By talking to someone who does not know us, in the same way as our closest ones, they can help us see our problems from a different perspective, which then helps us to find our own solutions and understand our feelings, thoughts and emotions.
Are you ready to seek help? It requires your own autonomy to make the choices for yourself and by embracing counselling it can have a positive effect.
If you are searching for answers to your problems, then do get in touch. We are here to help.
Sharing your problems with a stranger
Clients are often nervous in their first meetings with their counsellors especially those who have never had counselling before. They are unsure what to expect and whether they could actually pour their heart and soul out to a complete stranger who they have never met before…
As counsellors we try to make them feel as comfortable as possible by providing them a clear process of how counselling works and how we can help them. We reassure our clients that we can provide a non-judgemental and safe space for them to talk about anything that they bring to the room.
They wonder whether they can get along with their counsellor and we try to reassure them that we can understand their problems with respect by maintaining kindness and support. We aim to provide a calm presence and empathic understanding of our clients’ issues and their wellbeing is always our top priority.
Clients wonder whether their counsellor will be shocked by their stories/problems and how they will manage it when they are not able to manage it themselves. Will there be a good connection that they can trust their counsellor with their deepest secrets, and if for any reason confidentiality was compromised, will they still be able to support them?
Can clients trust their counsellor to respect and understand their problems when they have never lived their life, like a surgeon who operates but has never had an operation themselves? The answer is yes, with mutual respect, trust and understanding, a counsellor can help you look at your problems and develop ways to manage them and explore ways to live a happier life.
Yet not all clients can work with their counsellors. It might be because their problems are not within the counsellor’s practicing ability, or an ethical dilemma has occurred that becomes difficult for either the client, counsellor or both to continue with the work. Whatever the reason, we stay with the client’s problems to the best of our ability and make appropriate referrals if needed. The client is always in control of their sessions and can leave at any time with or without an explanation and we respect those wishes.
Our aim is to provide a supportive environment where clients can talk about their problems and find solutions for themselves with the help of an empathic counsellor, who can see their issues from their shoes.
You do not need to be in a meltdown to ask for help
Many people think they have to be at their worst moment before they can seek help. In fact, counselling can be used as a preventative measure by talking to someone unbiased about your problems before reaching rock bottom.
For example, someone who has a drug addiction which is causing frequent disagreements with someone important in their life and no matter how much they try, they just cannot reach a mutual truce. What if they could speak to someone who could help them get a better understanding of their situation and the reasons behind the addiction? Could there be an attachment or an avoidance issue with a past relationship that is the cause of their problems? Gaining a better insight in themselves and their past could help sort out their addiction and repair the relationship before it breaks down completely and they lose the connection.
Losing a meaningful connection can be distressing and frustrating. We often look back at situations and wish in hindsight that if we could have done things differently, it could have saved a lot of pain and sadness. Sometimes it is not obvious how to make changes although we are aware that something is not quite right.
People who have had life changes such as job losses, divorce, death of a loved one, health changes from accidents or sickness, a trauma, or noticed changes in behaviour such as low self-esteem and low self-confidence, may benefit from counselling.
You might not always get the answers you are seeking in counselling, but it can certainly help you think about your problems in a space and time when the focus is just on yourself with the help of someone who understands you.
Therapy can last from a few weeks, to a year or longer. The time you need to deal with your worries is in your control.
Disclaimer: The addiction example made in this blog has no real life connection to any of my past/present clients and if there is a situation that is the same or similar for someone else then it is purely coincidental at the time of writing this blog (16/6/2021).
For more information about Lau Counselling visit www.laucounselling.co.uk.
Training, qualifications & experience
- Online and Telephone Counselling (Counselling Tutor - BACP Approved)
- Level 4 Diploma in Therapeutic Counselling (CPCAB)
- Level 3 Certificate in Counselling Studies
- Level 2 Certificate in Counselling Skills
- Level 2 Cruse Bereavement Care ABC (Ascentis)
- Foundation Level Cruse Bereavement Care
- Level 1 Safeguarding Adults (ME Learning)
- Level 1 Safeguarding Children
- Mental Health First Aider (MHFA England)
- Hold a current DBS
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
£45.00 per session
Concessions offered for
An initial assessment is required before counselling is agreed. Assessment and sessions are for 50 minutes.
- £25 Persons with low income include assessment.
- £30 Student Trainee Counsellors include assessment.
- £45 Adults (full price) & £50 for initial assessment.
Initial assessment and sessions are payable in advance before the assessment/sessions by bank transfer or PayPal. Sessions missed or cancelled in less than 24 hours before the session are payable.