Valerie Shipp Verified Professional Verified Professional
Verified Professional

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BSc, BA, MBACP(accredited)

About me

I live in Mealsgate, North Cumbria close to the Lake District National Park. Spending time in the outdoors is an important part of my life and I take full advantage of all that the Lake District has to offer. My partner and I are keen fell walkers, we sail and canoe on the lakes and the sea and we enjoy our large garden. Connection with nature is an essential part of my spiritual renewal and it informs my practice as a counsellor and healer.

I have two locations that I work in; our home in Mealsgate has a purpose built therapy room, dofwnstairs loo and waiting area which are all disabled accessible, though you will need to drive to get to us. I also have a counselling room in Carlisle, 10mins from the city centre; again all the rooms are disabled accessible.

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What to expect from  counselling

  • You will be accepted for who you are.
  • You will be supported throughout your time with me as you talk about your life.
  • Your feelings and thoughts about your experiences will be listened to and respected.
  • You will be given the time it takes to tell your story and you will be heard.
  • And slowly, as your story emerges, you will come to a better understanding of whatever has brought you to my counselling room.
  • We will explore how you can develop healthier relationships and behaviour patterns so that old situations do not keep happening.
  • You will leave with a clearer sense of who you really are, and how to deal with life from a more integrated and powerful self.

Individual Counselling

One to one counselling is about building a particular kind of relationship between the client and the counsellor. The counselling relationship is built on trust, respect, empathy and care which the counsellor offers as unconditionally as possible.

It seems that someone taking the time to listen is becoming a rare event in our modern lives and we underestimate how important it is as a part of caring for each other.

Clients often report a huge relief, a lifting of a weight off their shoulders after just one session, simply because they have told their story and been listened to.”

Building trust and rapport is an essential part of the early stages of the therapeutic relationship which will happen at the pace that is comfortable for you. I will give you the time and space to get used to this new kind of relationship and how person-centred counselling works.

I understand how important confidentiality is when you are wondering how much you can say. A key part of the ethical framework within which I work* states that, as far as possible, whatever you disclose in the counselling room is held in the strictest confidence.  I also know how risky it feels to start talking about painful or shameful events which you may not have told anyone about. I will listen without judging you and with an open mind. This is what person-centred counselling is about; being given the time and support you need to tell your story.

* The British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy Ethical Framework for Good Practice in Counselling and Psychotherapy

Couples Counselling

When a couple comes for counselling it usually means that they have lost the ability to communicate properly with each other so need a third person to help that process.

Often the situation has built up over months, maybe years and there are patterns of behaviour and thinking which keep couples ‘stuck’ in a loop which neither can see a way out of. Sometimes one or both have a history of poor relationships in their family background which is affecting their ability to relate to their current partner.

My skill in working with couples is about treating both people with equal care and respect, allowing contradictory positions to be equally valid and gently untangling the misunderstandings and assumptions which so often keep relationships in unhealthy patterns. Relationships can be a source of great joy but also great pain and I know how important it is to care sensitively for people when they are most vulnerable.

“Working with relationships is some of the most demanding but most rewarding work I do. To see a couple become more loving and open to each other is always a moving experience.”

Employee Assistance Programmes (EAP’s)

When things are going badly for someone often it is their work colleagues who notice a difference in the person and in their ability to work effectively. While work mates will give that person some support and allow them to ‘coast’ for a few weeks, there comes a point when the employer feels they have to take action. Managing people is one of the biggest challenges an employer has. Obviously being a good boss includes taking care of people’s needs, but this has to be balanced with the company’s needs too.

I have been working in Employee Assistance Programmes for over 10 years with a wide range of companies from multinational banks to small local concerns with only a few employees. I offer short term solution focused counselling to employees who are sponsored by their companies for a limited number of sessions – usually between 5 and 10. These sessions allow the client to talk in confidence about the problems they might be having at home or at work and to start finding a more effective way of dealing with them.

Sometimes the person might continue to go to work when they could have taken sick leave, or perhaps they return sooner as a result of the counselling they receive. Perhaps the client might feel more confident in asking for a change in their hours or sometimes they simply need some better strategies in managing their own working practices.

For example I can demonstrate stress management techniques, conflict resolution, dealing with bullying or perhaps helping people to separate work and home life to create a better balance overall. These are life skills which can be learned and which make the working environment easier for everyone.

I am also trained in trauma or crisis intervention in the event of a critical incident or redundancy announcements. I can work one to one or with groups depending on the circumstances and will tailor my approach to suit the situation.

Companies whose employees I have helped; Lloyds TSB, RBS, Skipton Building Society, Carlisle Probation Service, Scottish Prison Service, Glasgow City Council, Strathclyde Police, Caledonian University, Virgin Trains, First Scot Rail, Dumfries & Galloway Fire Service, Barnardo’s, NSPCC, Ernst & Young, Dept of Work & Pensions, HM Revenue & Customs, McVities Biscuits,  Let Go (Carlisle).

Telephone Counselling

Sometimes it is simply too difficult or time consuming to come to the counselling room so I offer counselling by telephone. This can be used either to bridge a long gap between face to face sessions or a purely telephone counselling arrangement can be agreed. Much of what has already been said about face to face counselling applies to telephone counselling. Having someone take the time to listen to your story with care and compassion is a transforming experience in itself. Once a counselling relationship has been developed the method of communication ceases to be important.

Before I became a full time counsellor I was a volunteer for the Samaritans so I am experienced in using this way of connecting with people.

Supervision for counsellors and related professions

All counsellors are required to have supervision with another counsellor who has been specifically trained as a supervisor. This is part of the support that counsellors need in order to do their work and remain emotionally open and healthy. I have my own supervisor who supports my work and I also offer this service to other counsellors or related professions. I completed my counselling supervision training in 2008 and I now work with counsellors and other related professionals as their supervisor.

Humans are naturally empathic, so caring for people in crisis is a difficult experience. If we have this experience repeatedly without being cared for ourselves, we run the risk of becoming disconnected from our emotions, becoming too well defended or alternatively we end up overwhelmed by our own and other people’s emotions. Either outcome is emotionally unhealthy and ultimately will cause us problems, physically or psychologically.

If you are working in one of the caring professions or regularly have to deal with people in crisis, perhaps some additional support would be welcome.

“Caring for the carers is one of the most important tasks, and caring for ourselves as carers is part of our responsibility to ourselves and others around us.”

I can offer you my experience as a counsellor and supervisor to give you the space to release the backlog of emotions and help you learn how to manage your emotional health so that your work can continue in a balanced and sustainable way.

I currently work as an external supervisor for a number of organisations which deal with particularly difficult client groups.

Training, qualifications & experience

Qualifications & Training

1982 – Bsc (Hons) in Ecology

1997 – Diploma in Person Centred Counselling

1998 – BA (Hons) in Psychology

2001 – Certificate in Person Centred Supervision of counsellors and other related professionals

2010– Present; Ongoing training as a practitioner of Therapeutic Shamanism; Families and Ancestors, The Medicine Wheel, Soul Retrieval, Plant Spirit parts 1, 2 & 3. Death and Dying.

Workshops & Personal Development

1986 – 1996    Volunteering with the Samaritans

1995 – 2000    Counselling abused children who have special needs

                        Working with the shadow

                        Sexuality and Identity

                        Counselling couples in crisis

                        Creative and play therapy

                        Jungian symbolism and spirituality 

1996 – 1998    Second Aid Spiritual Psychotherapy

2005 – Express Your Spirit; spiritual workshop facilitators’ training

2006 – 2007    The Transpersonal Self; advanced empathy in the counselling room

2007 –El Silencio,California; a week long Core Process workshop including deep energy work, spiritual psychotherapy and Vision Quest.  

Accreditation and professional bodies

  • MBACP (Accredited)

As an accredited counsellor with the BACP I have met the standards for training, experience and ongoing professional and personal development that the BACP requires for this designation.

  • Full member of Person Centred Therapy (Scotland)

Member organisations

Registered / Accredited

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)

BACP is one of the UK’s leading professional bodies for counselling and psychotherapy with around 60,000 members. The Association has several different categories of membership, including Student Member, Individual Member, Registered Member MBACP, Registered Accredited Member MBACP (Accred) and Senior Registered Accredited Member MBACP (Snr Acccred).

Registered and accredited members are listed on the BACP Register, which shows that they have demonstrated BACP’s recommended standards for training, proficiency and ethical practice. The BACP Register was the first register of psychological therapists to be accredited by the Professional Standards Authority (PSA).

Accredited and senior accredited membership are voluntary categories for members who choose to undertake a rigorous application and assessment process to demonstrate additional standards around practice, training and supervision.

Individual members will have completed an appropriate counselling or psychotherapy course and started to practise, but they won’t appear on the BACP Register until they've demonstrated that they meet the standards for registration. Student members are still in the process of completing their training.

All members are bound by the BACP Ethical Framework and a Professional Conduct Procedure.

Accredited register membership

British Association for Counselling & Psychotherapy

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.

British Association for Counselling & Psychotherapy

Other areas of counselling I deal with

I am currently training in Therapeutic Shamanism as an additional way of helping clients. Shamanism is the oldest form of spirituality which humans have practised for at least 60,000 years. It is based on developing close connections with nature and the elements and being able to use ancient wisdom along with spirit guides to help with the most deeply entrenched problems.

According to Shamanism there are only two reasons why people get ill; Soul Loss and Power Loss. Soul Loss occurs when part of a person's soul leaves, usually as a result of trauma, abuse, illness or stress. It is commoner than is generally recognised and in its most extreme forms can be debilitating to the person and their relationships. After a short interview with the client, the shamanic practitioner will journey to where the lost soul is hidden and will encourage it to return to its rightful place. Usually the reunion is both joyful and deeply moving.
Power Loss is often associated with situations which evoke a sense of powerlessness or abuse of power which the person was unable to deal with in the past, possibly in childhood. Again the shamanic practitioner will establish how and when the power loss occurred and will journey on behalf of the person in order to find out how to restore the lost power and make sure the situation does not arise again.
These are just two of the functions of a therapeutic shamanic practitioner. If you would like to discuss how shamanism could be part of your healing process, feel free to call me or email.

Photos & videos


£48.00 per session

Concessions offered for

  • Low income
  • Students

Health Insurance/EAP

  • BUPA

Additional information

Individuals    £48 / 1 hour session

Couples        £55/ 1 hour session

Supervision   £60/ 1.5  hour session

Student and unwaged concessions available.

When I work

I am not taking on any new clients or supervisees until October 2021.

Bourne Business Centre, Bourne House, Milbourne Street, Carlisle, Cumbria, CA2 5XF

Wigton, Cumbria, CA7

Type of session

In person

Types of client

Young people
Older adults
Employee Assistance Programme

Key details

Wheelchair user access

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.

I am also able to offer telephone or online/video counselling if you are unable to attend sessions in person.


In person

Supervision for counsellors and related professions All counsellors are required to have supervision with another counsellor who has been specifically trained as a supervisor.

View supervision profile