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Valerie Smith, PgDip, MBACP

Edinburgh EH10 & Cockenzie EH32

About me

I am a qualified, BACP-registered counsellor, with a private practice based in Edinburgh and East Lothian.  As well as seeing people face-to-face, I offer specialist telephone counselling.   I have a particular interest in telephone counselling people who live in small or rural communities.  However, I warmly welcome approaches from anyone for whom telephone counselling is a practical or preferred option.

Many things bring us to counselling...

For some of us, it is overwhelming emotions, such as loss or anger.  For others, it is painful or restrictive marital or family relationships.  Some of us seek counselling because day-to-day life feels pointless or it’s dominated by anxiety.  We may feel there is no way out.

A commitment to understanding you

Whatever your struggle, I can offer you a safe, non-judgmental experience and a wholehearted commitment to understanding you.  Witnessing people emerge from emotional difficulties, places where they previously felt stuck and limited, is a privilege.

Taking the first step

Making the first step to seek counselling however may be daunting.  I hope that this page and my website help explain what you can expect in working with me.  If you would like to know more or to arrange an initial meeting, please give me a call.  Finding the right counsellor is crucial; therefore I offer a half-price initial 60-minute session.  It is an opportunity for us both to assess whether counselling with me is right for you at this moment.

Training, qualifications & experience

Counselling Qualifications

- Post Graduate Diploma in Counselling (distinction), Edinburgh University
- Online Counselling Diploma (merit)
- Telephone Counselling Training: working with long and short term clients
- Emotion-Focused Therapy Training (levels 1 & 2), University of Strathclyde
- BACP (British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy) Registered Member


My training is in person-centred and psychodynamic counselling practice.  If you would like to know more about this, please visit my website:  www.valeriesmithcounselling.com


Prior to retraining as a counsellor, I worked for many years as a change manager in the Financial Services industry.  My role was managing teams and individuals through the tasks and uncertainties of changes to working practices.  It gave me a wealth of experience in supporting people through the impact of change.

Outside of my private practice, I counsel adults for the PF Counselling Service in Edinburgh.  I have also previously worked as a primary and secondary school counsellor for Place2Be, a nationwide charity which provides emotional and therapeutic services in primary and secondary schools.

Memberships and Insurances

I am a Registered Member of the BACP (British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy).  This means that I have been approved by the BACP as having received appropriate training, experience and supervision as a professional and ethical practitioner.  It also means that I work to their Statement of Ethics and Code of Practice.

I am fully insured with Public Liability and Professional Indemnity Insurances in place.

Member organisations


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

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.

Other areas of counselling I deal with

I specialise in working with younger adults 18-25, either face-to-face or via telephone.  This period in anyone's life is one of huge change whether we feel we are on the right path or not.  Leaving the family home or feeling that we 'should', finding a way socially at the same time as starting work/further education may temporarily strain our ability to cope.

Counselling offers a really helpful space to make sense of these difficulties and to adapt to these changes in a way which leaves you feeling in control of the experience, rather than at the mercy of it.

I counsel young adults face-to-face in any of the locations from which I practice.  Telephone counselling is a great alternative option for those who are leaving home for new jobs or university.  I can meet you face-to-face for an initial appointment before we start telephone counselling.

Therapies offered

  • Integrative
  • Person-centred therapy
  • Psychodynamic therapy


Fees are £50 per 60 minute session.

Further information

Counselling from Cockenzie Business Centre

I offer face-to-face counselling to adults Tuesday and Thursdays daytime.

Cockenzie Business Centre is a multi-use building with discrete access.  Free parking available.  It is on the Lothian Buses 26 and First Bus 129 route from Edinburgh.

Counselling from Bruntsfield, Edinburgh

I also offer face-to-face counselling to adults on Wednesday mornings from a dedicated counselling room within Bruntsfield Chiropractic Clinic.  The clinic is centrally located, opposite Bruntsfield Links and is easy to access (no steps).  The clinic is very well served with buses and there is ample, on-street metred parking.

Telephone Counselling...whether you live on an oil rig or an island...

I provide telephone counselling daytime on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

Telephone counselling offers great flexibility to those for whom access to a counsellor is a challenge.  You may live somewhere remote or you may have a disability or caring responsibilities.  Telephone counselling is a highly practical and therapeutic option.

Having undertaken additional, specialist telephone counselling training, I have adapted my counselling practice to the telephone, to ensure that you feel as supported as you would with me in the therapy room.

In my experience, people get used to working via phone by the end of the first session.  Indeed, some people find exploring thoughts and feelings easier without being seen by the counsellor.  Telephone counselling also has the advantage that you can do it from your own home, provided you have private, uninterrupted space.

Valerie Smith Counselling And Psychotherapy
Unit 11, Cockenzie Business Centre
Edinburgh Road
East Lothian
EH32 0XL

EH10 4JU

Type of session

In person
Home visits

Practical details

Sign language Unspecified
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

Types of client

Older adults
Employee Assistance Programme


Valerie Smith, PgDip, MBACP

Valerie Smith, PgDip, MBACP

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