Am I your kind of therapist?

I am a counsellor/psychotherapist working in York and I help people to learn about themselves, overcome difficulties, improve their relationships, and grow in confidence.

Who I work with (and who I don't)

I offer counselling:
  • to adults aged 18 and over
  • to individuals
  • usually face to face in York; currently all my work is online or by phone due to COVID-19
I do not work with children and young people who are 17 or under.  I do not offer couples counselling (also known as relationship counselling or marital counselling).  These are specialisms for which I have not been trained.

The kind of counselling I do

I am an integrative counsellor and psychotherapist. 
I tailor my approach to each individual who asks for my help, doing my best to explain things without using jargon.  I invite you to tell me regularly how counselling is working for you (or not) so that we can make changes if we need to.

I'm responsible for the process of counselling - contracting, reviewing, timekeeping - but you are responsible for the content, so in each session, once we have concluded any necessary "business", I hand over to you to say what you'd like to talk about.  In this way we make sure we are using the time to explore the topics you choose. 

People that have researched counselling tell us
that the most important factor
- after your own motivation and commitment - is the quality of the working relationship between us.  That's why it is important for you to decide if I am "your kind of therapist" as well as me having a chance to say whether I am competent to work with your particular difficulty.    

For those who are interested in theory, you may like to know that I use elements from:
(My own take on CBT is here, and a brief summary of EGCP is here.)

Did you know that anyone can call themselves a counsellor? 

Even people who have had no training in counselling, or who have never experienced therapy themselves!  I am happy to tell you about what brought me into counselling and about my training, qualifications and experience, and will show you my certificates on request.

A bit of my history

I came to York to study
at the University of York and graduated BA (Hons) in Linguistics and Education.  I then worked in Poland for several years teaching English as a foreign language.  On my return to York I worked as a support worker for adults with learning disabilities, and then spent 10 years in the field of community mediation as an administrator, mediator, trainer and service manager.  As a volunteer I helped establish the York branch of the Alternatives to Violence Project in 1994 and for several years ran conflict resolution workshops as part of a team of facilitators. 

How I got into counselling as a profession

I've done a lot of group work but have always loved working with people on a one-to-one basis.  My own experience of having counselling was life-changing and I wanted to offer the same opportunity to other people.  So I was delighted to be offered a place on the Graduate Diploma in Counselling at York St John University in 2004 and I graduated in 2006. 

My experience as a counsellor

I have 13 years' post-qualification experience and have completed over 4300 clinical hours with clients.

I have held voluntary and paid counselling roles in a number of organisations in and around York, including a specialist role counselling men and women who have experienced childhood sexual abuse. 

I established my independent counselling practice in 2011, offering counselling and psychotherapy to individuals and
psycho-educational workshops to the general public

I qualified as a supervisor of counsellors and psychotherapists in 2013 and offer clinical supervision to trainee and qualified counsellors. 
I am a member of Yorkshire Supervisors Forum.

My qualifications and ongoing training

My counselling qualifications are:   
It is a requirement of my accreditation with BACP that I undertake regular Continuing Professional Development (CPD) to keep my skills and knowledge up to date.  Plus I love learning!  My recent CPD includes:
  • 2020: How to do counselling online
  • 2020: Using technology in therapy and supervision
  • 2019: Fear and the Therapist
  • 2019: EMDR refresher training
  • 2019: Conference with Tony Attwood on relationships and Asperger syndrome
  • 2019: Women and girls on the autistic spectrum
  • 2019: Presence and absence in supervision
  • 2018-date: ongoing CPD group on autistic spectrum conditions
  • 2016-2017: two-year training programme in exploratory goal-corrected psychotherapy(C) with Dr Una McCluskey
And this is what I've been reading over the last year:
  • Talking with Bereaved People
  • The Road Less Travelled
  • Running on Empty
  • The Chimp Paradox
  • Life and How to Survive It
  • LGBTQ Clients in Therapy
  • Being Mortal
  • In Therapy
  • Cutting It Out
Professional membership, accreditation and registration 
  • 2007: Membership of BACP (British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy)
  • 2010: BACP Accreditation
  • 2013: BACP Registration number 23222 (check my Register entry here)

As a member of BACP I work within BACP's Ethical Framework for the Counselling Professions.  As part of my ongoing accreditation and registration requirements I attend supervision on a monthly basis which I view as an essential and valuable way of safeguarding and developing my practice.

I hold Professional Liability Insurance and am registered as a Data Controller with the Information Commissioner's Office, as part of my commitment to holding and processing personal information about my clients and supervisees in line with the law.