About me

Welcome, and thank you for visiting my site

I am a counsellor and psychotherapist who takes an integrative approach. This means I try to focus on what the client needs, using techniques and theories from different areas, whilst my initial training was person centered.

I see my role as creating a space where you can explore what matters in a safe, non-judgmental space. I use a number of interventions, as appropriate, such as journalling, mindfulness, art therapy, stone work and other gestalt CBT and Person Centered techniques.

Clients tell me they value my down to earth attitude, my open-mindedness and my compassion. 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 on the issues that matter to you.

I offer online, telephone and in person counselling. Online options can be particularly useful to a number of people, because of time, location, disability, convenience, family commitments, or other reasons. 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 work as equals. 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
  • bereavement
  • relationship counselling
  • working online
  • drug and alcohol use
  • rape
  • family breakdown
  • gender,  sexual and relationship diversities including; asexuality, BDSM, bisexuality, non binary identities, polyamorous and non monogamies, gender variance and gender diversity, gay, lesbian, and queer identities
  • Trauma

I am currently undertaking a post graduate diploma qualification in Gender, Sexuality and Relationship diversity, offered by Pink Therapy, the leading GRSD therapeutic organisation in the country.

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. Clients often approach me after previous negative experiences in therapy. 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 counsellors and psychotherapists 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 or video conferencing. I use either Skype or via encrypted secure apps Appear.in or Zoom. Often the choice of which to use depends where in the world you are based. I have written simple how to guides of how to set up Skype accounts, use instant messaging, or Appear.in/Zoom. I also have guidance on protecting your confidentiality if for example you are using a family or shared computer.

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 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 or use the contact form.

Finally, thank you for reading, sometimes simply clicking a link is the first, most vital step.

Karen

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