Welcome to my website. I am a registered, experienced, qualified, BACP Accredited Counsellor and Psychotherapist. I am also a qualified clinical counselling supervisor. I am trained to listen empathically, non-judgmentally and to communicate transparently. I am warm, sincere and caring. I believe in creating a safe and confidential space for clients to explore any issues that they wish to bring to therapy. I have a keen interest in health, wellbeing, resilience and education. I am passionate about autism, neurodiversity and learning.
Please take a look around my website and the best way to contact me is by email. I am happy to offer a free initial call to determine if we are a good fit. Once I receive your email, I will then come back to you with suggested times for a free phone or Zoom call - whichever works best for you. Please let me know where you are (as I work in different areas on different days) and whether you are seeking face to face, online, or walk and talk therapy and I will advise on my availability, thank you. When I receive an enquiry I aim to respond within 48 hours. Enquiries will receive a reply during weekday office hours. If I receive an enquiry on a Friday or at the weekend, I will respond on a Monday or Tuesday. Occasionally emails go into junk mail and I aim to check my junk mail once a week. I do not work on Fridays.
In an emergency there are organisations you can contact such as: Samaritans on: 116 123 (free 24-hour helpline) Website: https://www.samaritans.org or Shout - 85258 (24/7) Shout UK breathing exercise video is available here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eZBa63NZbbE Other numbers that might be helpful are:
Anxiety UK - 03444 775 774, Campaign against living miserably (CALM) - 0800 58 58 58, Refuge - 0808 200 0247 refuge.org.uk and I have other contacts listed at the bottom of my website.
We all experience times when things aren't going the way we might like. We can find ourselves anywhere from a bit grey and unhappy to extremely dark and depressed, overwhelmed, stressed and spun out. We can get stuck in negative patterns of thinking which are difficult to break, become worried or anxious about the future, or unable to reconcile past decisions. A neutral space to think and feel can be extremely useful. People come to counselling for a variety of reasons; it may be that you would like to:
· Develop better self awareness.
· Work through a loss, bereavement, relationship break-up, or redundancy.
· Increase your confidence, self-esteem or self-image.
· Work on patterns of behaviour that may be causing you concern.
· Discuss feelings of depression, anxiety, sadness, loneliness or emptiness.
· Find more of a sense of purpose in life, to feel less stuck.
· Try and resolve some issues from the past.
· Feel more comfortable expressing your sexuality.
· Work through a situation currently affecting your work life.
· Develop a better understanding of your relationship issues.
· Be able to resolve a family conflict.
· Talk about something you have been bottling up.
· Work on social skills to connect with people and make lasting relationships.
· Develop better communication skills & become more assertive.
· Develop better understanding of your partner & yourself.
Counselling offers a safe, confidential, non-judgmental and accepting space to think and talk about yourself, your experience, and your life. It can help you to make any changes that you would like to happen. Counselling may also be able to offer insights and help you to work on patterns of behaviour in a safe and confidential space. Counselling can help people to discuss their feelings openly and honestly.
I am an experienced, qualified, accredited member of The British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP) and I adhere to their ethical framework for The Counselling Professions. Accreditation is a thorough and meticulous process. It shows high standards of training, competence and experience. It demonstrates personal awareness and an understanding of how the way I work helps my clients. I hold a MA in Counselling and Psychotherapy Practice, also a CPCAB Level 6 Certificate in Therapeutic Counselling Supervision, a CPCAB level 5 Diploma in Psychotherapeutic Counselling and a CPCAB level 4 Diploma in Therapeutic Counselling. I also hold a teaching qualification. I am a qualified EMDR therapist and I have completed EMDR training parts 1-4. I am not currently offering EMDR due to time constraints. I undertake a minimum of 30 hours continuing professional development each year, in line with my professional body's requirements.
There are many different modalities of counselling/psychotherapy.
I work eclectically, with Person Centred Theory at the core of my practice. This puts the client at the centre of the process and recognises that they are the expert on themselves and empowers them to find their own answers. I am able to include other ways of working that are most appropriate for each individual client and their issues. I have always worked in a fairly creative and visual way and I use psychoeducation in my work.
I have an interest in autism and neurodiversity. I undertook unpaid voluntary work, providing a free of charge counselling service for an autism charity for 7 and a half years. This voluntary work only ended as the charity made local redundancies meaning the work sadly couldn't continue. During this period of voluntary work I offered pro bono one-to-one counselling sessions for many autistic people and I and facilitated psychoeducative groups.
Another interest of mine is loss, grief and bereavement and until March 2021 I was employed as a Counselling and Bereavement Lead for a charity. I left to focus on my private work. I am experienced in sitting alongside people in their grief. Grief is a natural process but it can be devastating. Adjusting to life after losing someone close means you can feel lonely, sad, despairing, empty, angry and/or guilty.
I have wide ranging experience with bereavement and also with people at end of life, and with those who have terminal illnesses. Coming to terms with death is likely to be a difficult experience, and individuals who have a terminal illness may experience conflicting and varied emotions.
Previously I taught counselling. I was also employed in counselling education for a leading awarding body (examinations board). My role involved supporting counselling training and upholding standards, moderating and standardising qualifications from levels 2 to 6, and approving schemes of work for centres wanting to deliver the awarding body's qualifications.
I am passionate about my work and I feel privileged to be able to help people. I work in private practice as a counsellor, psychotherapist, consultative supervisor and trainer. I have also assessed and moderated counselling and counselling supervision qualifications from levels 2 to 6.
In my spare time I can usually be found enjoying the outdoors and walking my dog.
My Master's research was about therapists' experiences of working with autistic people. Whilst working on placement with an autism charity I became curious about how other therapists worked with autistic people. I was mindful that I had adapted my own therapeutic approach to ensure my clients had a suitable therapeutic environment. Examples of how my work has been adapted are: I consider sensory needs and the environment that I use, I use a very visual approach in my work, as well as lots of psychoeducation, and I incorporate topics of interests where appropriate. I used an Interpretive Phenomenological Approach for my research.
Neurodiversity is the diversity of human minds and variations are normal and valuable with neurodiversity being the concept that neurological differences are to be recognised and respected as any other human variation. The term ‘neurodiversity’ was coined by the Australian sociologist Judy Singer in 1998, and stands in opposition of viewing people as ‘suffering’ from deficits, diseases or dysfunctions in their mental processing, suggesting instead that we speak about differences in cognitive functioning. The term ‘neurodiverse’ includes attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), dyscalculia, dyslexia, dyspraxia, various mental health issues such as depression, obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), anxiety issues, acquired memory losses, Tourette’s and other neurominorities. Rooted in the social model of disability, neurodiversity sees disability as entrenched in society rather than the individual, and proponents of the neurodiversity movement want to make it easier for all neurodiverse people to be able to contribute to society as they are rather than how society would want them to. The neurodiversity viewpoint accepts that society pathologises autistic behaviour. Autistic people are in the minority and they can be misunderstood, marginalised, and discriminated against.
I use a neurodiversity-affirmative approach to working with my clients. My belief is that neurodiversity is a part of human diversity that doesn't need to be fixed. We need diversity in all forms as it makes the world a far richer place. Ableism refers to attitudes in society that devalue and limit the potential of people that are neurodivergent. It assumes that a neurotypical way of being is the norm, this can lead to neurodivergent people thinking their way of being in the world is wrong or unacceptable and therefore they mask and try to fit in. This can leave people feeling drained and exhausted trying to conform to neurotypical rules or expectations that are socially enforced expectations of behaviour. This can lead to stress and anxiety as well as autistic fatigue and burnout. Here is a link on autistic fatigue for more information: https://www.autism.org.uk/advice-and-guidance/topics/mental-health/autistic-fatigue/autistic-adults
Counselling can help with things like: Coping strategies, developing assertive communication, learning about appropriate boundaries, learning self-advocacy skills, developing better self esteem, challenging cognitive distortions, relaxation techniques, developing self-awareness and self-acceptance, understanding difference, looking at self care and energy accounting (to ensure you set manageable limits on your energy levels so you do not deplete yourself to the point of burnout), understanding self and identity, and exploring relationship issues. My role is to work alongside you, with acceptance, care and understanding and help to encourage you to celebrate your strengths. A lot of my work is often about forming and maintaining healthy relationships.
Please feel free to get in touch for a free initial telephone consultation. I can offer online therapy, face-to-face or outdoor therapy. You're welcome to ask me about this.
Availability - I work on weekdays but not on Fridays.
Counselling and psychotherapy - my day time fees are £70.00 per 50 minute session for individuals. For organisations my fees are slightly higher to cover resources provided.
Evening availability - I have very limited evening space and sessions from 5pm are charged at £80.00.
Counselling and Psychotherapy students - I am able to offer reduced rates for therapy, mentoring, or supervision for counselling students.
Concessionary rates for counselling - I offer a limited number of concessionary rates for people that are unemployed, on benefits, or on low income - there is usually a waiting list for these sessions.
Supervision - I offer integrative supervision for trainee and qualified counsellors and psychotherapists as well as other health professionals.
I offer a concessionary rate for students in training. Please contact me to discuss rates as well as your needs if you are a qualified professional or a student in training . Please also get in touch if you would like to join my supervision group.
Training, groups, seminars, and group supervision - please make contact with your requirements to discuss what I can offer along with my fees.
Mentoring - Please get in touch if you would like to book a mentoring session.
Cancellation Policy - My cancellation policy is 48 hours notice, or the full fee for the session remains payable. I do not work Fridays or weekends, so for cancellations for a Monday session, this must be made by the close of the business day on Thursday.
Please email me to discuss your counselling, psychotherapy, training or supervision requirements at email@example.com
Online counselling and telephone counselling - Sessions can be offered within the safety of your own home, or another private space. This way of working can offer more flexibility as there is no need to factor in travel. Sessions can take place in a lunch break or after work. By working online or over the telephone, this gives more flexibility as it gives the option of working with a counsellor who may not be in your local area and this may give you more choice. I recommend my clients use a private, safe and quiet space in which to carry out online or telephone counselling. Putting a note on the door might be helpful if others are around to ask them not to disturb you. I work from a private and confidential space and I use headphones for privacy. Telephone and online counselling can help with many of the same issues as face to face counselling but it may not be suitable for everyone, which is why I offer a free introductory call to allow us to ask any questions we may have to determine if we are a good fit to work together and to find a way of working together that is the most suitable.
Online Counselling - Means we can work from the comfort of your home or workspace. You will need a private, safe space for online counselling sessions. Online counselling is carried out via a secure and encrypted web platform. This means you can work from your computer, tablet, or telephone. When working online I am able to share and show information and interventions through screen sharing. If there is a problem with working online, for example a power cut, I will text or telephone to ask if you would rather have a telephone session. When working online I encourage clients to use a personal private password protected computer or device and private email address and I will do the same. Please ensure that you keep your anti-viral protection up-to-date and I will undertake to do the same. I use a paid for Proton email account to ensure emails are encrypted. Proton was created with the goal of protecting privacy rights and democracy in the digital age.
Telephone counselling - Working over the telephone means that we will not be able to see each other. Some people find it more comfortable to communicate and express themselves over the telephone. If you are thinking about working on the telephone, you may want to consider how you feel about not having visual cues such as no body language or facial expressions. Non-verbal communication can be conveyed in the pace of speech or tone of voice.
I offer integrative supervision for established counsellors and therapists as well as other health professionals that may need support. I also supervise students in training. I believe supervision should be a collaborative working partnership, where therapists can discuss not only their day-to-day client work, but also their professional and academic development, in a safe and restorative environment.
Supervision is essential to maintain our well being and ensure good practice throughout our working life. It provides us with regular and ongoing opportunities to reflect in depth about all aspects of our practice in order to work as effectively, safely and ethically as possible. Supervision also sustains our personal resourcefulness which is required to undertake the work.
I hold CPCAB's Level 6 Certificate in Therapeutic Supervision and I use the Seven Eyed Model in my supervisory work.
I can offer face to face, telephone, online or a blended approach for supervision offering a blend of different ways of working depending on your needs.
Please contact me to discuss your individual or group supervision requirements.
I am an experienced group facilitator and trainer. I have run workshops whilst volunteering for an autism charity for 7 and a half years. I facilitated groups for autistic people and these included: What is autism? understanding sensory needs, managing anxiety, communication skills, relationships, and understanding ourselves.
I previously ran a well being group which allowed people time to stop and think about their well being and how well they are looking after themselves.
I have been involved in standardisation training events for a leading Counselling Awarding Body. I have previously taught counselling and I have assessed, moderated and standardised counselling qualifications from levels 2 to 6.
I presented my MA research on working therapeutically with autistic people at the Iron Mill College's A is for Autism day.
I have delivered a range of well being and resilience training.
During the COVID-19 pandemic I provided a supportive space for employees of a care home. I have also provided communications training to a group of autistic medical doctors.
Feel free to get in touch if you would like me to deliver a workshop, seminar, therapeutic group, or a development group.
Autism and Neurodiversity
.Autism by Fletcher-Watson and Happe
· Neurotribes by Steve Silberman
· Asperger Syndrome and Anxiety by Nick Dubin
· Martian in the Playground by Clare Sainsbury
· Autistic Community and the Neurodiversity Movement by Steven Kapp
· Different Like Me - My book of autism heroes by Elder (this is a great book for kids aged 8-12)
· The Asperger Couple's Workbook by Maxine Aston
· A Mismatch of Salience by Dr Damian E M Milton
. Odd Girl Out by Laura James
Counselling and Psychotherapy
· A Way of Being by Carl Rogers
· Working at Relational Depth by Mearns and Cooper
· On Psychotherapy by Petruska Clarkson
· The Skilled Helper by Egan
· Love's Executioner by Yalom
· Staring at The Sun by Yalom
· Existential Psychotherapy by Yalom
· TA Today by Stewart and Joines
· Making and Breaking of Affectionate Bonds by Bowlby
. Standards and Ethics for Counselling Action by Tim Bond
· Supporting People through Loss and Grief by John Wilson
· Grief Counselling and Grief Therapy by J. William Worden
. With the End in Mind by Kathryn Mannix
. The Race Conversation by Eugene Ellis
A to Z
Charity providing support if you have been diagnosed with an anxiety condition.
Phone: 03444 775 774 (Monday to Friday, 9.30am to 7.30pm; Saturday to Sunday, 10am to 2pm)
National Autistic Society
Charity that's here to help the 700,000 autistic people in the UK and their families. Be it running specialist schools, campaigning for improved rights or training companies on being more autism-friendly, NAS are dedicated to transforming lives and changing attitudes.
Telephone: 0207 833 2299 (Monday to Friday 9am-12pm and 1-3pm)
A charity helping people living with manic depression or bipolar disorder.
CALM is the Campaign Against Living Miserably, for men aged 15 to 35.
Phone: 0800 58 58 58 (daily, 5pm to midnight)
Men's Health Forum
24/7 stress support for men by text, chat and email.
Mental Health Foundation
Provides information and support for anyone with mental health problems or learning disabilities.
Promotes the views and needs of people with mental health problems.
Phone: 0300 123 3393 (Monday to Friday, 9am to 6pm)
Voluntary charity offering support for sufferers of panic attacks and obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD). Offers a course to help overcome your phobia or OCD.
Phone: 0844 967 4848 (daily, 10am to 10pm). Calls cost 5p per minute plus your phone provider's Access Charge
Support for people with OCD. Includes information on treatment and online resources.
Phone: 0845 390 6232 (Monday to Friday, 9.30am to 5pm). Calls cost 5p per minute plus your phone provider's Access Charge
A charity run by people with OCD, for people with OCD. Includes facts, news and treatments.
Phone: 0333 212 7890 (Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm)
Young suicide prevention society.
Phone: HOPELINEUK 0800 068 4141 (Monday to Friday, 10am to 10pm, and 2pm to 10pm on weekends and bank holidays)
Rethink Mental Illness
Support and advice for people living with mental illness.
Phone: 0300 5000 927 (Monday to Friday, 9.30am to 4pm)
Confidential support for people experiencing feelings of distress or despair.
Phone: 116 123 (free 24-hour helpline)
Emotional support, information and guidance for people affected by mental illness, their families and carers.
SANEline: 0300 304 7000 (daily, 4.30pm to 10.30pm)
Textcare: comfort and care via text message, sent when the person needs it most: www.sane.org.uk/textcare
Peer support forum: www.sane.org.uk/supportforum
Information on child and adolescent mental health. Services for parents and professionals.
Phone: Parents' helpline 0808 802 5544 (Monday to Friday, 9.30am to 4pm)
Abuse (child, sexual, domestic violence)
Children's charity dedicated to ending child abuse and child cruelty.
Phone: 0800 1111 for Childline for children (24-hour helpline)
0808 800 5000 for adults concerned about a child (24-hour helpline)
Advice on dealing with domestic violence.
Phone: 0808 2000 247 (24-hour helpline)
Addiction (drugs, alcohol, gambling)
Phone: 0800 917 7650 (24-hour helpline)
National Gambling Helpline
Phone: 0808 8020 133 (daily, 8am to midnight)
Phone: 0300 999 1212 (daily, 10am to midnight)
Provides information on dementia, including factsheets and helplines.
Phone: 0333 150 3456 (Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm and 10am to 4pm on weekends)
Cruse Bereavement Care
Phone: 0808 808 1677 (Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm)
To find your local services phone: 0808 802 9999 (daily, 12pm to 2.30pm and 7pm to 9.30pm)
Phone: 0808 168 9111 (24-hour helpline)
Phone: 0808 801 0677 (adults) or 0808 801 0711 (for under-18s)
Charity working with people with a learning disability, their families and carers.
Phone: 0808 808 1111 (Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm)
Advice on all aspects of parenting, including dealing with bullying.
Phone: 0808 800 2222 (Monday to Friday, 9am to 9pm and Saturday to Sunday, 10am to 3pm)
The UK's largest provider of relationship support.
I use a paid for Proton Mail account to ensure emails are encrypted. Proton was created with the goal of protecting privacy rights and democracy in the digital age.