Veronica 'Nicky' James
How counseling can help
Part of my role is to help a person, or a couple, feel safe enough to ask questions that are bothering them. And safe enough to move on to talk about what they need to live life better. Stress, anxiety, depression, low confidence, anger and trouble with relationships are deeply felt and disrupt day to day life. Listening to clients, it is clear that such daily struggles may come from work, or home or both. Underlying them can be current or childhood trauma, like abuse, or illness, bereavement, family, mental health issues and bullying. It can be a real relief to talk – in a place where you feel ok, and safe.
Trusting people is something I have learned from working with people of all ages, from many different backgrounds, with a wide range of problems and difficulties. You know what is upsetting you. And I trust that you will be are ok to ask for help, and feel safe enough to explore what, if anything you want to change.
What you can expect in your first contact, first session and following sessions
I have come to counselling and psychotherapy through working in health services, charities, universities and business. As I’ve worked with adults, young people and couples, I’ve noticed that first contacts with a new person or organisation can be the hardest bit. Some of the unspoken questions in counselling and psychotherapy are, ‘how does this work? will I like the therapist? will they like me?’ If you contact me, I’d be happy for you to ask me those questions, and any others that are bothering you, as you work out whether I'm the right person for you.
The first contact can vary in length from a few minutes to arrange a good time to talk or email to a longer time - up to 30 minutes free - as you find out a bit more about me, and I find out more about you. If, following this contact we decide you want to formalise our connection, I will send out some forms. When I saw these first, I thought they were rather impersonal, so apologies for that. However, they do offer you a chance to reflect on what you want, and also to give you the information you need:
- ask you for background information - some is factual, such as age, contact details, general health, and some is exploratory, such as what you think you might want out of counselling
- a couple of brief (tick box) self -assessments, which are used by most agencies to establish a 'benchmark' and help me audit the quality of my practice - CORE,GAD
- a contract which outlines what we are both signing up for and details of payment, what happens if either of us is not available, which also includes a confidentiality statement about how I protect you information, and exceptions to confidentiality (eg child protection; terrorist activity!)
Saying hello - the first full session
The most important thing for you in the first session, is to find out whether you feel ok talking to me. That will be key to your confidence in our therapy. We also need to find out whether you are ok with me finding out more about you - in particular finding out more about what you need now, so that we can work out if there is something immediate we can do. We will also think about how many sessions you have in mind. It is important for you to have space to say what is most important to you and what you want to do. There tend to be more questions from you, and from me, in the first session, so it's not quite a 'usual' session, but you should be able to leave feeling welcome and safe.
Discovering options - following sessions
We can work in:
- short, medium and longer term agreements
- skype/zoom/WhatsApp and telephone can also be helpful for those who travel, or cannot leave their home, for whatever reason.
We can use whatever helps you best to learn about yourself and your options. So talking is a key element, but other things can help too. These would only be a part of our work, and only if you are happy with them. I will always ask you first, so they are always with your consent ....
- thinking quietly
- writing notes
- laughing together
- problem solving
- testing out the right words to say
I’ve also noticed that looking at the kind of messages you picked up about getting along with people during earlier years can form a kind of ‘script’, like in a play, and that sometimes these ‘scripts’ become a pattern. We can have a look at those patterns to see if they are all still useful, or if some of them are holding you back from living the life you hope for.
Saying goodbye can feel so awkward that many people avoid it in everyday life. The same can feel true in therapy - whether it is after a couple of weeks, or after a few months, or longer. So saying goodbye is an important part of what we can do, and we can work out a way to do it that feels best for you.
If you think I might be someone you could talk to and work with, please give me a call on 07946304245, or 0115 933 5053 (ansaphone available) or email me on: email@example.com
The first 30 minutes is free, so you can ask questions and find out about where I work in Radcliffe on Trent, or Nottingham, and I can find out more about you and whether I can help, or advise you about who else might help.
It might help to know that everyone calls me Nicky - but on formal pieces of paper, like certificates, I’m called Veronica.
My enjoyment in working with people, as individuals, in groups and couples, remains a privilege.
Most recently, I am a therapist with:
- Nottingham Counselling Service, with long term, EAP (Employer Assistance Programme), medium and short term clients, both as individuals and couples. Web: http://www.nottinghamcounsellingcentre.org.uk/
- CCaT (Counselling Contacts and Therapy), with schools.Web: http://www.ccatnottingham.co.uk/home-3
- Momentum Associates: executive coaching; coach supervision; leadership development. Web: momentumassociates.co.uk
In different roles, I have also worked in:
- Universities and higher education in UK (England, Scotland, Wales) and internationally (multiple roles)
- Charity sector
- Law courts and prison
Please don't hesitate to ask me about my experience, if you want to know more.
Training, qualifications & experience
- UKCP accreditation
- MBACP (Member of British Association of Counselling and Pyschotherapy)
- MSc Transactional Analysis Psychotherapy
- Certificate in Transactional Analysis (CTA)
- MA and PhD (Medical sociology)
- RN (Registered Nurse) - on register until December 2016, resigned
Undertaking a conversion course - MA Child and Adolescent Psychotherapy, at Terapia, Central Finchley, validated by Middlesex University.
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
end of life support
academic and exam anxiety
30 minutes of first session free
- £35 individual for 50 minutes
- £45 couple for 60 minutes or £65 for 90 minutes
- £28 students and trainee counsellors
- Limited low cost couple and individual places - please ask
Able to respond to phone calls and emails weekdays - some availability at weekend.
Easy access, including bus, from Nottingham, West Bridgford, Shelford, Lowdham, Bingham, Cotgrave