Valerie Smith

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IFS Therapist, PgDip, MBACP (Accred)
Available for new clients
Available for new clients

This professional is available for new clients.

Haddington, East Lothian, EH41 3JD
Available for new clients
Available for new clients

This professional is available for new clients.

About me

I am a fully qualified, BACP Accredited Counsellor, working in-person, online and over the phone.

What type of therapy do you offer and how does it help?

At the core of my practice, I am a Person-centred practitioner, working with people on their present-day experience of themselves and in relationship with others. It can be a powerful way of healing restrictive beliefs and enabling growth.

I am also trained in Psychodynamic counselling practice.  So, you may choose to examine earlier relationships or it may become clear that early relationship patterns are limiting your present-day interactions.  My role there would be to support you as you reflect on how those previous relationship experiences are playing out and to help you find what you need now.

Internal Family Systems Therapy (IFS) – healing your ‘parts’

I also use Internal Family Systems (IFS) therapy within my practice.  IFS helps you heal the 'parts' of you that get in the way of your joy in life.  For example, you may have a part of you that wants to achieve certain things but another part of you procrastinates, putting off important tasks and threatening those dreams.  Many of us struggle with a critical part when we make mistakes.  It can leave us feeling ashamed of our efforts and reluctant to try new things and grow as people.   Some of us have parts that flood us with rage, anxiety or hopelessness.

IFS therapy believes that all parts of us, however difficult, have an important role in our lives.  I support you by helping you offer understanding and compassion to the parts of you that feel unwelcome, even frightening, and to the parts of you that take over when you get triggered. This brings healing to the parts and uncovers the calm, confidence and courage that is already within you.

Taking the first step

Seeking counselling can feel daunting.  If you would like to know more before committing to a session, please give me a call or email me.  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 time.

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
- Internal Family Systems Therapist (level 1)
- Emotion Focused Therapy Training (levels 1 & 2), University of Strathclyde
- BACP (British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy) Registered Accredited Member
- ACTO (Association for Counselling and Therapy Online) Professional Member


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


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.

As well as running my own private practice, I have worked in the charitable and public sectors.  I counselled adults for the PF Counselling Service in Edinburgh for six years.  PF is a charity providing counselling to adults of all ages regardless of their ability to pay.  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 Accredited Member of the BACP (British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy).  This means that I have been approved by the BACP as having achieved their higher standard as a competent, ethical and independent practitioner.  It also means that I work to their Statement of Ethics and Code of Practice.

I am a Professional Member of ACTO (Association for Counselling and Therapy Online).  ACTO is the national professional body for qualified, professional counsellors and psychotherapists working online. The organisation is committed to setting and maintaining the highest standards of therapy in online work. 

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

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.

The Association for Counselling and Therapy Online (ACTO)

The Association for Counselling and Therapy Online

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 have a particular interest in working with younger adults 16-25, face-to-face, online 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.


£60.00 per session

Health Insurance/EAP

  • BUPA

Additional information

Fees are £60 per 60-minute session regardless of method.

When I work

Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat Sun

Availability daytime on Mondays and Wednesdays (in person).  I work online or via phone Tuesdays and Thursdays.

Further information

I offer in-person counselling from Haddington in East Lothian.

Counselling from Haddington 
Fairbairn House is a centre for health and wellbeing, situated in the heart of Haddington.  The building contains several consulting rooms and a group room which are spread over three floors, assuring a peaceful, discreet and quiet space for all those using the centre.

Online and Telephone Counselling...wherever you are...
I offer online counselling in the following ways:
-   Webcam (video counselling) using secure, free-to-download technologies such as Zoom or VSee (similar to Skype).
-   Voice only – using Zoom or VSee with video off.
-   Text-based online counselling using Instant Messenger (Signal or VSee chat) and e-mail.
I also offer telephone counselling.

Feel free to get in touch if you have any questions about working in this way or if you would like to make an appointment for an initial session.

Valerie Smith Counselling, Fairbairn House, 1 Court Street, Haddington, East Lothian, EH41 3JD

Type of session

In person

Types of client

Young people (13-17)
Adults (25-64)
Older Adults (65+)
Employee Assistance Programme

Key details

PVG Scheme

In Scotland, criminal records checks are carried out by Disclosure Scotland. Professionals working with children or vulnerable adults must join the Protecting Vulnerable Groups (PVG) Scheme. You can learn more at , or contact this professional directly.

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