Dr Valerie Thomas
I am a highly qualified and very experienced counsellor and psychotherapist based in S.E. Kent.
I am an integrative therapist and this means that I draw on a range of different therapeutic approaches such as humanistic, psychodynamic and CBT to suit the needs of each individual.
However, although the counsellor's approach is important, research tells us that the therapeutic relationship is the key to successful therapy. In other words there needs to be a good 'fit' between therapist and client.
In order to help you make this important choice, I offer a free initial 30 minute session without obligation, either face-to-face or by phone. In this session we will discuss how counselling or psychotherapy could help you and you will be able to ask any questions you might have about my practice and approach. This is an opportunity for you to get a sense of whether you could work with me and it will allow me to assess if I can offer you a helpful therapeutic service.
Training, qualifications & experience
- BA (Hons)
- Post Graduate Diploma in Counselling
- MA in Counselling & Psychotherapy
- Doctorate in Psychotherapy (through Professional Studies)
- Senior Accredited Member of the BACP
- I have over 25 years' experience of working as a therapist. I have had a private practice for 20 years and have worked in a wide range of voluntary and statutory settings. These include: substance misuse residential treatment centres; community counselling agencies; a bereavement support agency; a cancer patient support organisation; and an NHS staff counselling department.
- I have a specialism in working with addictions developed over 13 years' experience in the substance misuse field. I provide therapeutic support for individuals who are dealing with the psychological issues linked to drug dependency. This includes people who would like support for smoking cessation - see the following online support forum: https://quitza.com/forum
- I have been a counselling educator for ten years. I was a Senior Lecturer in Counselling at Anglia Ruskin University for eight years with lead responsibility for all counselling education programmes. I am a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy
- I have developed a specialism in the use of mental imagery in psychotherapy. I have researched its use and I have published academic papers and book chapters. I regularly present at conferences internationally and in the UK. You can see a description of my recent book here:https://www.routledge.com/products/9780415728867. The following are selected publications:
Thomas, V. (2017). 'Towards a deeper integration of creative methods in counselling: Some thoughts about frameworks for practice', British Journal of Counselling and Guidance, published online at doi: 10.1080/03069885.2017.1394443
Thomas, V. (2016). ‘Developing imagination-based methods to enhance researcher reflexivity’, The Psychotherapist, (62)
Thomas, V. (2016). Using mental imagery in counselling and psychotherapy: a guide to more inclusive theory and practice. Oxon: Routledge
Thomas, V. (2015). ‘Mental Imagery in counselling’, Therapy Today, 26(10), pp 30-33.
Thomas, V. (2015). ‘Some contemporary issues in psychotherapy training: Guest editorial’, The Psychotherapist, (61)
Thomas, V. (2015). 'The therapeutic functions of mental imagery in psychotherapy: Constructing a theoretical model', In: S. Goss & C. Stevens (eds.) Making Research Matter. Oxon: Routledge
Thomas, V. (2014) Drawing on creative reflective practices in counselling research: an example of using mental imagery to shed light on the research process. British Journal of Counselling & Guidance, Vol 42(1), pp 43-51.
V. (2010) Interior Spectating: Viewing inner imagery in psychotherapy. In A. Oddey & C. Wright (eds.), Modes of Spectating. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, pp 119-131
Thomas, V. (2009). 'Using visualisation techniques with cancer patients' (Abstract only) for Online Cancer Education Forum, European Journal of Cancer Care 18(2)
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.
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
Other areas of counselling I deal with
I also work with:
- creative blocks
- life changes
An inital 30 minute session (either face-to-face or by phone) is free with no obligation. Please contact me to arrange this.
£75 per session for individuals fac-to-face/telephone/Zoom
My premises are aproximately 15 minutes walk from the nearest main railway station (with regular high speed links to London St Pancras, Stratford and Ashford).
There is free on street car parking close to the premises and pay-and-display car parks nearby.