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 (18+)
  • to individuals
  • in person in York
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, using elements from person-centred counselling, exploratory goal-corrected psychotherapy(C), transactional analysis and cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT)(My own take on CBT is here.)

I do 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.   

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 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 qualified in 2006. 

My experience as a counsellor

I have 13 years' post-qualification experience and have completed over 4200 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-emotional-education 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

My counselling qualifications are:   
I undertake regular Continuing Professional Development (CPD) to keep my skills and knowledge up to date.  Recent CPD includes a two-year training programme in exploratory goal-corrected psychotherapy(C) with Dr Una McCluskey, a day on Fear and the Therapist, and an ongoing CPD group focusing on working with autistic spectrum conditions. 

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.