About me

Hello and welcome. My name is Sue Mackay and I would like to offer you a breathing space to be yourself.

Talking therapies can help by taking the time to concentrate on you in a safe space away from life's distractions. I am not here to tell you what to do or to judge you. I will work with you through whatever you bring. It is not about getting "fixed" it is about understanding how and why we do and think the way we do and releasing our own abilities.

We are the experts in our own lives, we know what works for us and what we need. Sometimes, for what ever reason ( e.g. loss, separation, depression, anxiety, anger, life changes, confidence loss or being faced with our own vulnerabilities) we need a space to clear the fog in order to see our options more clearly. I am here to listen,offer challenge to certain ways of thinking and to work with you to understand lifes dilemmas.

Contracting - I offer a 30 minute initial session. This is an opportunity to meet each other, ask any questions you may have and see if you think we can work together. If you wish to continue I will ask you to fill out a simple form with your contact details and an agreement on a time and a day to meet.
You chose how many sessions you want or you may decide on an open ended approach: either way we will review as we work, checking where and how you/we are. You can end the work any time that feels right for you.

Training, qualifications & experience

My experience led me to retrain from a life in the arts to a life engaging with people at a deeper level. Having been through therapy myself I realised how much I had needed to understand myself in relation to others and the possible origins of a depressive episode in my life.

Initially I attended an introduction to counselling course and applied to a local agency that offered, amongst many things, a listening service run by and supervised by an experienced counsellor. I took a foundation course in Art Therapy as this seemed an obvious choice for me but subsequently decided to take a leap and start the journey of becoming a qualified counsellor.

I trained in both psychodynamic and person centred theories at Edinburgh University
I consider my approach as led by you, the client, person centred and informed by psychodynamic theory.

My interpretation of this means that I work with what you bring and at your pace believing in your ability and wisdom to work out what is best for you. The work is based on empathy, respect and confidentiality. It is based on the relationship we make together, on trust and kinsmanship.
I appreciate family dynamics and how the past can colour who we are in the present as well as the conscious / subconscious internal conflicts that can afflict our thinking and being.

I work generically in private practice and have some experience of specialised work with carers, children and young people. 

I am particularly interested in the felt sense of isolation, the human need for belonging and being really heard in a busy world short on compassion.
We live in a world with easy connection and yet distance,at any level, is a barrier and can take its toll.
As individuals it is a tall order to change the world around us, we do have the ability to reflect on our own feelings, actions and behaviours in order to make decisions for ourselves within it.

I have worked for fifteen years within a therapeutic environment, as a listener, a trainee counsellor and as a qualified counsellor working towards accreditation.

Complaints Procedure.

In accordance with the guidlines offered by COSCA I adhere to their complaints procedure. These can be viewed online at www.cosca.org.uk.

Certificate in Supervision with Jenny Biancardi, Newcastle

Post Graduate Diploma in Counselling, Edinburgh University
Post Graduate Certificate in Counselling, Edinburgh University
Foundation Art Therapy, Queen Margaret University College

Introduction to Counselling, Stevenson College

Member organisations


College of Sexual and Relationship Therapists

COSCA is the professional body for counselling and psychotherapy in Scotland, and seeks to advance all forms of counselling and psychotherapy and the use of counselling skills by promoting best practice and through the delivery of a range of sustainable services. COSCA Counsellor Accreditation is a pathway to entry onto the UKRC.

It is a requirement of all individual and organisational members of COSCA to abide by its Statement of Ethics and Code of Practice and be accountable to the Complaints Procedure. Accredited by the Professional Standards Authority.

Accredited register membership

College of Sexual and Relationship Therapists

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.

Therapies offered

  • Person-centred therapy
  • Psychodynamic therapy


£45 face to face

£40 online

£35 Walk and talk

Students £35

Counselling Introductory session 30 minutes £15 face to face. Online free

Counselling sessions 50 minutes £45

Walk and talk on Portobello Beach 50 minutes £35

Students £35

Free sessions to front line workers during Lock down

There can be an opportunity of reduced rates to clients in financial hardship and
in response to Covid 19 I offer a reduced fee of £35 for online counselling as the set fee but with reductions if in hardship.

Concessions offered for

  • Keyworkers
  • Low income
  • OAPs
  • Students
  • Trainee counsellors
  • Unemployed



Type of session

In person
Home visits

Practical details

Sign language
Other languages None


Wheelchair user access

Wheelchair-accessible premises should have step-free access for wheelchair users and individuals who are unable to climb stairs. If a counsellor's premises aren't step-free, they may offer alternative services such as telephone/web-based appointments, home visits, or meeting clients in different location, so you can choose the option that suits you best.

You can contact the counsellor to discuss the options available.

Under the Equality Act 2010 service providers have a duty to make reasonable adjustments to ensure that individuals with disabilities can access their service. You can read more about reasonable adjustments to help you to access services on the CAB website.

Wheelchair user access Unspecified

If you have a disability that prohibits the use of stairs please do get in touch anyway as I will look at possibilities to enable you.


Mon-Fri  .Due to present predicament with Covid-19 I mainly offer online counselling. We can discuss other possibilities of working face to face or walk and talk in Portobello.

Types of client

Young people
Older adults


Dear colleagues, I am looking forward to working with some of you! I chose to attend supervision training with Jenny Biancardi and Lorna Kemp in Newcastle.

Online supervision
Telephone supervision

View supervision profile


Sue Mackay

Sue Mackay