Sue Thompson MBACP Adv Dip Couns, PQ Dip in Couns Children and Young People
Hello and welcome to my profile. I offer counselling and therapeutic support to adults, children and young people. Please feel free to contact me for an informal chat about about how we might work together.
Whatever brings you to counselling, you will be heard with interest, respectfully and confidentially. I offer a warm, caring and safe space in which you will be heard. I will not judge you negatively, make assumptions or tell you what to do. I will encourage you to express and explore your feelings and support you to move towards how you would like to be. It is important that you feel I am someone you feel comfortable with and can trust.
People come to counselling for many reasons and there is nothing which is too large or too small to bring. If it has been on your mind, then it is something worth bringing. You are welcome to come for one session or many. It may be that you would value someone with whom to talk about something which has been bothering you or some difficulties you are experiencing. Or perhaps to explore some changes you would like to make in your life. You may wish to develop your self-awareness and use counselling for personal growth, to gain some insight into yourself, some of your choices, or how you are in the world.
Sometimes things happen in our lives which have a major impact, such as a loss or a trauma which can knock us sideways. Counselling can offer a safe space whilst you grieve, make sense of what has happened and slowly regain your capacity to live more fully.
Like many counsellors I welcome enquiries from all. I have some areas in which I have developed a particular interest: these include identity, attachment, autism, trauma and loss. I have experience of both bereavement and pre-bereavement work and for this, I work with families, relationships or friendships. I also have experience of working with those with a learning difficulty or communication challenges. If this applies to you, I will do my best to make you feel comfortable in therapy.
There are many styles and approaches to counselling. I work as an Integrative counsellor, which means I draw upon a range of approaches to best fit your needs. Although counselling is often thought of as a talking therapy, there are many other ways of expressing and exploring feelings that don't need us to talk and I may occasionally offer these. Sound, art, movement and objects can be helpful tools, but you are always in control and I will never ask you to do anything which you do not feel comfortable with. If you would prefer to talk, that is what we will do.
If you are considering counselling for your child, it is likely to be because you are concerned for them. Perhaps because some of their behaviours are worrying you or you are concerned for their emotional well-being. Handing them over to the care of someone you don't know, even for just an hour a week can seem daunting. Before your child starts, I would like to offer you the opportunity to meet me, to ask any questions you may have ans to reassure yourself that I am someone you are happy to have working with your child. Counselling may seem a big step, but generally I would say that children seem to genuinely enjoy their sessions. Depending on your child and their developmental stage, I work mainly through play and creative activities. I know more about making slime than any adult my age should, and have an enormous selection of toys and craft materials.
Counselling is an opportunity for children to meet with a caring adult who is not a member of their family or social circle. Sessions give them space and opportunity to explore their feelings and perceptions. For children who are withdrawn, sad, angry or anxious, it is a safe space in which to have a look at these feelings, to learn ways of coping and work towards resolving them. Counselling also offers children opportunities to feel better about themselves, to gain confidence, review thoughts and behaviours which are not helpful to them and develop social and emotional skills.
Part of my previous career was working with children with additional needs and I have experience of learning difficulties, communication difficulties, behavioural challenges and complex needs. I was for several years a specialist teacher for children and young people with autism. I also have an interest in children and young people who are exploring gender and identity issues, who are facing bereavement or who have been bereaved and those who are fostered, adopted or in social care.
Adolescence and young adulthood is a time of major changes - not just physically, but emotionally, as you move from childhood to your own independence. It can be an amazing, exciting and creative time, but it also has greater challenges and intensities of feelings than you are ever likely to have experienced before. Having a supportive adult, who is not a family member or friend can be immensely helpful. I will not judge you and will not break your confidentiality, unless there is a serious safeguarding issue. This is true even if someone else is paying for your sessions. All of what is written above about how I work with adults is similar to how I work with young people. I really like working with young people and you will be welcomed and treated respectfully. You may initially feel that you would be too embarrassed to talk, but in my experience this quickly passes.
Theraplay : As a Theraplay Foundational Practitioner, I work with parents / carers and their children from birth to 11 years of age. This is an important aspect of my work, please ask if you would like further details. It is particularly helpful for newly blended families, families where there has been post-natal depression, foster and adoptive families, families where there has been some trauma or loss and families where a child's behaviour is causing concern, but it can be helpful for almost any family.
Supervision for staff working in schools, childcare and residential care for children and young people:
Very likely you are in this kind of work because you care, but sometimes this can add to the challenges. I offer a reflective, empathetic safe-space for you to offload, debrief, explore and evolve your practice. How often you come is entirely up to you - once a month or once a half-term is a common choice, but we can be flexible. This service, like counselling, is confidential and I will not report back to your organisation, even if they are paying for you. The exception to this is if there is a serious safeguarding concern. I offer an early morning session, lunchtime and evening sessions to fit with your work.
Training, qualifications & experience
I am now in my fifth year of private practice. I am a registered member of the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP), which means I work within a rigorous ethical framework. For you, this means that I have accountability to a professional organisation as well as to yourself, to work safely, professionally and ethically.
I have the following relevant qualifications:
- Theraplay Level 1
- Certificate in Working Therapeutically with Lesbian, Gay and Transgender Identified Clients
- Mental Health First Aider Training
- Post Qualifying Diploma in Counselling Children and Young People (Level 7)
- Advanced Diploma in Integrative Counselling (BACP Accredited)
- Certificate in Counselling
- M.Ed Autism in Children
- Certificate in Intensive Interaction (for working with pre-verbal children and adults)
- I have a DBS certificate
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
Adults: £50 for 60 minute session. (Shorter sessions can be arranged for those who would find a full hour difficult.)
Children and young people: £45 for an hour, £40 for 45 minutes
Theraplay Informed Practice: £45 per session, (35-45 minutes).
Supervision and mentoring for school staff and those working in residential care or childcare: £25 for 30 minutes, £35 for 45 minutes or £45 per hour.
I firmly believe in the value of counselling and so if affordability is preventing you from accessing therapy please ask. I offer four concessionary places. If none of these is available when you contact me, I will happily take your contact details and contact you when one becomes available. Concessionary places are offered for up to six months of therapy.
Counselling students: I offer two reduced fee places, please ask.