Trisha Parsons MBACP (Accred) Psychotherapist & Sex Addiction Therapist
If you're reading this, I'm guessing that maybe things are not going well for you right now, perhaps you're struggling to cope, you feel like you've hit a brick wall, or are looking for someone to talk to about problems in your life. Starting counselling or psychotherapy is a courageous step. Maybe I can help you. I will not judge you or tell you what to do. I am a highly qualified and accredited counsellor with over 30 years experience in helping many hundreds of people from all walks of life and cultures, whatever their sexual orientation, whether single or in a relationship, through all kinds of difficulties.
I have a private practice, working from my home in Newquay, within walking distance of the town centre, trains and buses, and with free on-street parking nearby. I have a dedicated therapy room, which is light and airy, with comfortable sofa and armchairs, overlooking a peaceful garden with free-ranging chickens.
PLEASE NOTE: for the duration of Coronavirus crisis, I am only able to offer telephone counselling (including FaceTime and WhatsApp).
I am here to talk to you in confidence about the things that are troubling you, and to try and help you find a way through these, whether this is anxiety, depression, childhood trauma, anger, bereavement, low-confidence, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), your relationships, family problems ... the list is endless. I have a particular interest in trauma, including child abuse, very earliest childhood trauma (which is sometimes explained as "not loved, not wanted and not protected"), rape (both female and male), assaults and violence, military and war trauma, witnessing family violence, and inter-generational trauma. It is believed that about 8% of people will develop PTSD during their lifetime. As an example, in the USA over 80% of patients in rehab for addiction are suffering from PTSD due to childhood abuse which has led to addiction as a coping behaviour. Psychotherapy is seen as the most effective way of working toward recovery (Harvard Health Blog).
I am a qualified couples' counsellor with Advanced Clinical Practice in Couple Therapy certification, and work with couples (whatever their sexuality) where the relationship is breaking down, or has broken down. Sometimes the couple have fallen out of love, or they may be struggling to recover from betrayal or an affair, one partner may be struggling with jealousy, or they may be unable to communicate effectively with each other. A 2019 study* shows that the most common issues people for which people seek couple's counselling are: communication problems (79.7%), rows and arguments (68.8%) and managing conflict (67.8%). Sadly, over 40% of marriages today end in divorce (it's an even higher figure for couples who are not married), with consequent emotional impact not only on the couple but all the family, especially the children involved. So, even if it looks like your relationship can't be saved, couple's counselling may give it a chance to succeed, or can help bring things to a close with respect and dignity to each other.
*Journal of Sex & Marital Therapy, 2019
Sex Addiction Therapy
I am a qualified and accredited sex addiction therapist working in what is a highly specialised field with individuals who have sexually compulsive behaviours which have become out of control (such as porn, sexting, sex workers, repeated one-night stands, affairs and infidelity, compulsive masturbation, love addiction etc). This is not the same as having a high sex drive, and sometimes it takes specialist professional help to enable you identify if you're addicted or not. I also work with the partners of sex addicts who are frequently left in shock and trauma, struggling to come to terms with the discovery of their partner's behaviours, helping them to rebuild their life either with or without the partner who's been acting out. People with any kind of addictive or compulsive behaviour often feel a deep sense of shame, guilt and helplessness, and the roots of addiction often lie in early childhood experiences or trauma. For example, in the USA, over 80% of patients in rehab for addictions have post traumatic stress disorder due to childhood abuse. At the moment, there are no comparable figures for the UK. I have considerable success in helping individuals and their partners recover from sex addiction. Some of my clients also simultaneously attend group meetings with Sex Addicts Anonymous (SAA) but this is not compulsory.
There is increasing evidence in the value that animals can play in helping humans cope with physical and emotional pain, as well as lowering of levels of the stress hormone cortisol, increasing levels of oxytocin, the hormone that gives a sense of happiness and bonding, and raising levels of dopamine.
I have a therapy dog! Ziggy Stardust is a Poochon (half Poodle, half Bichon Frise), who is a therapy-dog-in-training. Dogs have very high levels of empathy with humans, and they provide unconditional acceptance, affection and comfort with no strings attached. Ziggy is friendly, intelligent, playful, and offers unconditional love. He has a non-moulting and hypoallergenic coat (important for people who suffer from asthma or allergies). He adores being petted, hugged and stroked - all things that help anxious people feel more relaxed, particularly at the beginning of therapy. Research shows that having a dog in the therapy room can help with a number of mental health problems, particularly trauma. If you would like to have Ziggy in the therapy room with us, just let me know. He will usually be more than happy to snuggle up next to you. In the UK there are no national occupational standards and no regulated qualifications for animal-assisted therapy or practitioners, but I abide by relevant guidelines about using animals in therapy, which means that Ziggy will never be made to do anything he doesn't want to do.
Still unsure? If you don't know whether counselling is for you, whatever your issues, please free to contact me for a brief chat (you may have to leave a message on my voicemail but I'll call you back). I am happy to answer any questions or concerns you may have before deciding to embark on counselling.
Training, qualifications & experience
I started counselling many years ago when employed as a Welfare Officer for Royal Mail Group, responsible for the welfare of all of Royal Mail's employees in Devon and Cornwall, helping with all kind of personal, work-related, financial and mental health problems from birth to death, gaining significant experience from the huge range of different issues I was confronted with. I went on to obtain a certificate in Person Centred counselling, followed by a Diploma in Gestalt Counselling, and then a Post-Graduate diploma in Organisational Counselling. I have since worked as a counsellor to employees in a number of different organisations. I have also trained and qualified in the specialist field of sex addiction and couple's counselling. Additionally, I have undertaking extensive further additional professional training and development in such areas as alcohol and drug misuse, bullying, suicide, bereavement, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), unresolved childhood issues, childhood trauma (including emotional, physical and sex abuse), hypnotherapy, neuroscience, attachment theory (i.e. how we learn to feel safe in earliest childhood), grief and loss, and intergenerational trauma. I have also been a trainer for other counsellors, running a number of workshops in the west country on such topics as Anger, Jealousy, Suicide, Dreams, and Gestalt therapy.
Apart from my current private practice, my counselling experience includes working with individuals, and couples, working for different organisations, working within an occupational health team, working in several different Employee Assistance Programmes, as well as providing counselling for HM Coastguard, a TV company (Firecracker Films) and charities (e.g. NSPCC and Retail Trust). I am committed to ongoing professional development and training, and have enhanced my knowledge and experience with experts in their field, including those from the USA and Germany.
British Association of Counselling & Psychotherapy
I am an accredited member of the British Association of Counselling & Psychotherapy (BACP) and thus entitled to use the letters MBACP (Accred) after my name. BACP is the UK's largest counselling organisation. Choosing a practitioner who is a BACP registered member will give you an assurance that the counsellor meets the standards of proficiency and ethical practice you have a right to expect. BACP members will typically have had extensive professional training, will be under on-going supervision, will continuously update their practice, will have substantial professional indemnity insurance and will practise within BACP's Ethical Framework for Good Practice. Becoming an accredited member involves a further detailed application and assessment process and is a higher quality status for experienced practitioners who can demonstrate high standards of competent and ethical practice.
Sex Addiction I have had extensive training and experience of working with individuals (both male and female) in the specialist subject of sex addiction and am an accredited member of the Association for the Treatment of Sex Addiction (ATSAC). My therapeutic work is with either the individual with the addiction, or with his or her partner.
Couple's Counselling I have a certificate in Advanced Clinical Practice in Couple Therapy from the Mary Clegg Clinic Relationship Programme, which encompasses the work of many-world-class relationship therapists, and is a well-proven and evidence-based model of relationship therapy.
I have had training in a number of different psychotherapies, including Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), Transactional Analysis, solution-focused therapy and hypnotherapy, although my principal way of working is Gestalt and integrative therapy.
How many sessions will I need? Whilst it is difficult to say how many sessions an individual might need, or be able to afford, I have experience of working in a time limited way l (usually between 6-10 sessions) as well as long-term therapy that could last a year or more. However, although some people find that one or two sessions are all they need, I also work with people who have suffered from significant trauma in their life, and the psychotherapeutic recovery work is much longer term. I usually work on the basis of weekly sessions (possibly increased to two or even three times a week in the event of major crisis or suicidal intent), but I recognise that financial constraints mean that some people will only be able to afford fortnightly or even less frequent sessions, and I'm OK with this.
A final word of warning. If you are looking for a counsellor or psychotherapist, please beware. At present anyone in the UK can call themselves a counsellor, psychotherapist or therapist, and set up a practice, regardless of the training and experience they may or may not have.
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.
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.
Association for the Treatment of Sexual Addiction and Compulsivity
The Association for Treatment of Sexual Addiction and Compulsivity (ATSAC) is the leading UK organisation providing hope, information, support, and treatment options for those affected by sexual addiction and compulsivity.
ATSAC sets standards of practice for qualified therapists and provides accreditation for specialist training courses. A therapist who has gone through ATSAC recognised training will have the knowledge to respect and work with you sensitively to find out how best to support your needs.
Therapy options may include one-to-one sessions, group work, and/or relationship counselling. ATSAC is a not-for-profit organisation.
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
My fees are £50 per hour for individual one-hour counselling sessions, and £60 per hour for couple's counselling, payable by cash at the time of the session or bank transfer before commencement of session.
Here is some feedback from counsellors who have attended training workshops I have run for other counsellors (I do not post testimonials from individual therapy):
"Trisha very open and personable."
"Trisha never fails!"
"Trisha facilitated a safe and very informative workshop, thought-provoking, I learned a lot."
"Well done Trisha, I appreciate the amount of time and effort put into preparation of training"
Trisha was excellent as useful - very relevant, informative."
"Trisha feels like a really safe pair of hands. She has a calm and authoritative presence, and you really feel she knows her stuff."
"Fantastic, it was wonderful to see a real expert working with dreams"
"Brilliant workshop, I learned more about my dreams in an hour with Trisha than another training course did in a day"
"It was wonderful to watch Trisha demonstrate how she works as a therapist, and to learn from her"
"Trisha, I love your style of teaching. You are a wonderful facilitator"