Welcome, and thank you for visiting my site
I am a qualified, experienced, counsellor who takes an integrative approach to therapy. This means I try to focus on what the client needs, using techniques and theories from different areas.
I see my role as creating a space where a client can explore what matters in a safe, non judgemental space. I use a number of interventions, as appropriate, such as journaling, mindfulness, art therapy, stone work and other gestalt cbt and person centred techniques.
Clients tell me they value my down to earth attitude, my open mindedness, my compassion, and that I do not “seem like a therapist”. I do not believe I am an expert who can tell you what to do. I am a trained professional who can walk alongside you and use my expertise to help you work out the issues that matter to you.
I offer online therapy, which can be particularly useful to a number of people, either because of time, location, other commitments, disability, and convenience. Sessions can take place either via webcam, or instant messaging. I currently work with people from across the world, including expats who find online counselling ideal for their needs.
I also offer conventional in person counselling, based in the Tyne Valley.
Sessions last for 50 minutes, usually take place weekly, and whether in person or online I adhere to the values, and ethical framework of the BACP. A copy of this, and their complaints procedure are available upon request. I am also fully insured and have a DBS check.
Qualifications and Training
I am a fully qualified counsellor with a professional diploma in counselling as well as further specialist training. This included 100 hours of supervised volunteer counselling in organisations who provided low-cost or free counselling to clients from very diverse backgrounds. It cemented within me the need for therapy to be more affordable and accessible to all.
My initial training was person centered, in essence this means believing you, the client, is the expert in your own life. I see myself as a guide, or navigator, whose role is not to take charge but to walk alongside you. I was fortunate that my department took an integrationist approach, encouraging us to use and develop skills from all schools of counselling.
I have undergone specific extra training in working with:
- domestic violence
- child abuse
- relationship counselling
- working online
- drug and alcohol use
- family breakdown
- gender and sexual diversities including; asexuality, BDSM, bisexuality, non binary identities, polyamorous and non monogamies, kink and trans clients.
How I work
Choosing to start counselling is for many a huge step. People can be concerned about stigma, stirring up the past, being judged. Many clients approach me after previous negative experiences of counselling. I offer empathetic, non judgemental open-minded counselling, always rooted in my belief that everyone is doing the best they can, with the resources they have available to them.
I am a registered member of the BACP, the largest regulator of counselling in the UK. I adhere to their ethical framework, and complaints procedures. I believe passionately in ethical practice, and the need for strong regulation of counselling to protect clients from abusive or negligent therapists. I am also fully insured. It matters to me that clients feel able to make a complaint just as they would against any other professional. I advocate for better training of therapists in gender and sexuality diversity.
Frequently Asked Questions
What happens in the first session?
The initial session is very much a “getting to know you”. It is important you feel I am the right therapist for you. We will discuss practicalities, such as time, contact between sessions, emergency contacts and so forth. We will both sign a written contract, which gives you a clear outline of what to expect from me. We will also discuss issues around self care, and understanding that counselling can stir up strong emotions. You will only need to pay for this session if you decide to continue, I feel its important clients have no pressure on them when making such an important decision.
How do you work online?
Online counselling can take place either by instant messaging, camera or email. I use either Skype or an encrypted secure app called Appear.in. I have written simple how to guides of how to set up Skype accounts, use instant messaging, or Appear.in. I also have guidance on protecting your confidentiality if for example you are using a family or shared computer. Email counselling takes place weekly, just like any other counselling session, and I reply within 24 hours to your email, which will be sent at a set time each week when you can set aside the time to explore and reflect.
You are also a writer, will you write about our sessions?
Whilst my clients continually educate and inspire me, I take great pains to ensure that nothing from the sessions ends up in my writing. I do not anonymise, instead I use totally hypothetical situations if I am writing about counselling. It is understandable that you might be worried about confidentiality however I make it one of my guiding principles that if I cannot write about something without respecting the sacred bond of trust between me and a client, I do not write about it at all.
The choice of counsellor is an intensely personal one. Please explore my site, and writing, I feel it is so useful to get a feel for whether I would be the right person for you. Here I have suggested some questions clients might like to ask a potential counsellor or therapist.
If you would like to discuss counselling further you can contact me on Northumberlandcounselling@gmail.com telephone 07442808719 or use the contact form.
Finally, thank you for reading, sometimes simply clicking a link is the first, most vital step.