You may feel many different ways about starting counselling; excited, confused or anxious. Having spoken to clients, one of the things many people feel apprehensive about pre-therapy is whether they have chosen the right counsellor. And that is important - you are making a commitment to be open to a complete stranger, in the hope that they can help you.
It is because of this that I am very happy to include this page on my website, on which I hope to let you know about my experience and qualifications as well as my ethos around counselling and how I support my clients.
If you have a question that isn't covered on this page, don't hesitate to contact me to find out more.
My journey into private practice
I first encountered counselling training when I was working in higher education. I was working in a role which supported university students. In this role, I came across many people who were struggling with the pressures of life, whether this was a personal family issue, studying or financial worries. I started to realise that behind many of these issues were deeper meanings - we are complex, and often our concerns, although relevant and valid, may be telling us about something deeper. Within my role, I was not a counsellor and therefore I would offer practical support. It was this that led me to my training and to working as a qualified counsellor today.
I attended four years of training to become a qualified counsellor. My training had a specific focus on working with loss and grief. Although this is a specific theme, loss factors into everyone's lives constantly and so this focus has been helpful to me in my counselling work. During my training, I undertook an placement for two years with a Manchester based charity that supports family carers. This rewarding work gave me the passion to continue with my counselling journey. I now see clients in my private practice.
My working ethos and viewpoint of mental health
I find working with clients incredibly rewarding; there is nothing better than seeing people resolve issues, create a new path for them self and grow in happiness. I am realistic that counselling may not solve everyone's worries, but I hope that all clients leave our time together in a better place than when we first meet. My viewpoint of mental health is that everyone's health is on a spectrum and fluctuates based on our life experiences and strategies for coping.
In my work, I take the time to ask 'what has happened to you' rather than 'what is wrong with you?' and it is on this basis that we work together to look at why you may have low mood, feel anxious, or sort through complicated life circumstances. Of course, there are times when I feel that someone may benefit from other support via their GP, and I am not against clients using medication (in fact this can help many people), but on the whole, I see you as a person with an individual set of experiences and beliefs and feel it is important to work with that in our sessions.
Issues I can help with via
Abortion, Anger, Anxiety, Bereavement, Bullying, Carers Support, Changes in circumstance, Depression, Disabilities, Grief, Life-changes, Loneliness,
Low self-confidence, Low self-esteem, Miscarriage, Pregnancy and birth, Redundancy, Sexuality, Shame, Stress, Work-related issues
If you have a concern not listed above, contact me to see if this is something I am able to help with.
My training and memberships
My qualifications and additional training are documented below:
Level 5 Diploma in Therapeutic Counselling
Level 5 Certificate in Coaching and Mentoring
Level 3 Certificate in Counselling Skills
Level 2 Certificate in Counselling Concepts
Certificate in Online Counselling and Telephone Counselling
Additional training I have attended:
Training in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy
Training in Transactional Analysis
Working with clients around shame
Helping clients with anger issues
I am a registered member of the British Association for Counselling & Psychotherapy (BACP) [membership number: 384031]. To me, this is important, and should be seen as such by all therapists, as my membership makes me accountable to an external body. As a BACP member, I abide by the Ethical Guidelines set out, which ensures that clients are placed at the heart of my work and that I am working in an ethical manner. You can view the BACP's policies and complaints procedure on their website here.