Valerie Smith, PgDip, MBACP
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 either a free initial 30-minute call or a reduced fee of £20 for the 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
- Post Graduate Diploma in Counselling (distinction), Edinburgh University
- Telephone Counselling Training: working with long and short term clients
- 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.
Areas of counselling I deal with
- Affairs and betrayals
- Anger management
- Domestic violence
- Emotional abuse
- Family issues
- Generalised anxiety disorder
- Hearing voices
- Low self-confidence
- Low self-esteem
- Panic disorder
- Passive aggressive behaviour
- Physical abuse
- Pregnancy and birth
- Relationship problems
- Separation and divorce
- Sexual abuse
- Suicidal thoughts
- Work-related stress
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.
Fees are £45 per 60 minute session for face-to-face counselling and £40 per 60 minute session for telephone counselling.
Counselling from Cockenzie Business Centre
I offer face-to-face counselling to adults Tuesday evenings and daytime on Thursdays.
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 The Whole Works, Edinburgh
I also offer face-to-face counselling to adults Monday morning and early afternoon from The Whole Works which is situated in the heart of Edinburgh's Old Town. You can make appointments to see me at The Whole Works either directly with me or via The Whole Works.
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.
Maps & Directions
Type of session
|Face to face counselling:||Yes|
My practice is currently full. Availability likely in the New Year.
Types of client
|Employee Assistance Programme|