I provide counselling and psychotherapy in Leicester and Nottingham. My focus is on helping you to make change, gain new insights about yourself and others, to feel happier, and to develop a greater sense of wellbeing.
What to expect from Counselling:
Counselling aims to enhance and develop your sense of wellbeing to support you to make the life changes you are aiming for. We all experience problems and darker times in life, and sometimes it really helps to have space for you to explore your thoughts and feelings. Counselling involves working with an unbiased and qualified professional in a safe, predictable, and confidential environment, typically weekly, for an agreed period of time.
Whilst good counselling can be an effective process, it isn’t always an easy one - it's important to feel challenged within a safe and supportive environment. Commitment and work are inevitably needed in order to make lasting change. You may want to work on one specific issue over a short period of time, or you may want to engage with longer term in-depth work.
How I work:
I work face-to-face and one-to-one with clients aged 18+. The heart of my therapeutic approach appreciates our uniqueness as individuals and on your developing sense of ‘psychological integration’. This means that I would help you to consider ways in which you might experience a deeper sense of wholeness and comfort within yourself. I draw on a wide variety of theoretical approaches to help us reflect on how your thoughts, feelings, and behaviour may interact, converge, or diverge. For example, I appreciate the importance of the mind (thoughts), body (physiological experience), socio-political culture, and our ‘spiritual’ selves, and how all these aspects can impact us in our everyday lives.
We all take in messages of some sort from the world and we will have our own way of reacting to these. These messages might be explicit and direct or implicit, say through body language, and might come from our parents, peers, siblings, larger family, from society as a whole, the media, or from our culture. Sometimes the messages we take in are supportive and helpful, but other times they may not support our needs and identity and might create difficult feelings and a sense of unease.
I have experience of both long and short-term work. I'm open to working creatively, and consider the potential role of metaphor, symbolism, the arts, and the language of our body in addition to an explicit verbal narrative. As a focus of our work would be to support your personal empowerment, I cannot 'tell you' what to do. Instead, I will offer suggestions and feedback that we can evaluate together.
I believe that everyone has the capacity to grow, develop themselves, and feel happier if we are given safe enough challenges, space, time, and circumstances that work for us. I work humanistically and relationally, am open-minded, and have a warm and collaborative, style.
If you would like to explore working with me, please do contact me, and we can decide whether or not to move forward with an initial session. In your initial contact please let me know if you are looking for counselling in either Leicester or Nottingham. An initial session would be an opportunity for us to explore your aims and needs and to get a feel for what it would be like to work together.
Training and qualifications
- Certificate of Higher Education in Counselling (Cert. Couns) (University of Leicester)
- Clinical Diploma in Integrative Psychodynamic Counselling (Clin.Dip) (Metanoia Institute, London) leading to MBACP.
Other related non-counselling qualifications that enhance my clinical work:
- BSc. (Hons) Psychology (University College London)
- Postgraduate Certificate of Higher Education (PGCHE) (Nottingham Trent University) leading to Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (FHEA)
- Registered British Psychological Society Test User: Occupational, Personality (RQTU)
- Ph.D in Psychology (University of Leicester) leading to C.Psychol, AFBPsS (Chartered Member and Associate Fellow of the British Psychological Society)
I am a qualified Counsellor registered by the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (Registered Member MBACP). I have a Certificate in Counselling from The University of Leicester and a postgraduate Clinical Diploma in Integrative Psychodynamic Counselling (Clin.Dip) from the Metanoia Institute in London. Overall I have completed 6 years of clinical training to date excluding shorter courses. Some examples of shorter / brief courses I have sought out include motivational interviewing, transactional analysis, assessments, safeguarding, working with LGBT+ clients, working with HIV+ clients, sexual and gender diversity, and working clinically with attachment. I have some specialist experience working with HIV positive clients. I’m an LGBT affirmative therapist.
Related qualifications and experience include a Postgraduate Certificate in Higher Education (University) teaching (PGCHE), and a PhD in Psychology. My PhD involved researching anger experience and different ways we might connect and attach emotionally to significant others. I have many years’ experience of teaching psychology and mental health from Undergraduate to PhD level, and I previously worked as a full-time University Lecturer in Psychology. Although I am not a CBT-specifically qualified practitioner, I able to integrate a 'training'/ 'CBT-style' approach into our work if it feels appropriate.
I currently work as a counsellor for the Terrence Higgins Trust and I also volunteer and assess a few hours per week at a Leicester Counselling Centre. I have some experience of psychiatric environments. Alongside my practice, I remain affiliated with a university in the East Midlands as a lecturer and researcher.
I am insured, have had full / enhanced DBS checks, and have regular clinical supervision with a UKCP and BACP registered psychotherapist. I have experienced regular, weekly counselling and psychotherapy myself as a client for several years and can therefore appreciate the process from both standpoints. I work within the BACP ethical framework.
Other areas of experience/ specialist experience:
- I have past experience working with clients with an HIV diagnosis as a Buddy in the 1990s, and now continue to work with HIV positive clients as a counsellor. I have a special interest in working with long-term survivors of HIV, and in understanding and managing HIV related stigma.
- I am a qualified higher education lecturer in psychology and have worked with undergraduate and postgraduate students in higher education as a tutor, academic supervisor, examiner, course team member, and senior lecturer for several years. Therefore I have a good understanding of student needs, both in adapting to university and throughout the educational process.
- I am a member of the Terrence Higgins Trust.
- I have a special interest in men's mental health and wellbeing.
- I am a member of the Leicester Counselling Centre and am one of their clinical assessors.
- My current standard fees for individual counselling are £50 per session. Each session is 60 minutes.
- Fee for the first face-to-face session is at a reduced rate of £20. You are under no obligation to continue after this first session.
- I offer a 10% discount on my standard fee if sessions are booked in blocks of 4 and paid in advance.
- Fees are payable by cash at the start of the session or via a bank transfer arrangement.
- For those on benefits or who receive a low income, I am willing to negotiate concessions/ sliding scale of fees for appointments before 5pm. All concessionary rates are individual and dependent on financial circumstances. Please enquire.
Once we have made an agreement to start counselling, I reserve a time for you. I therefore need 48 hours notice for any appointment you cancel please, otherwise the fee is chargeable at the agreed usual rate.
I do not have the facility to work with clients in immediate crisis: If you feel in crisis, please contact your GP as soon as possible, GP out of hours service, NHS 111, the Samaritans on 116 123, or SANEline on 0300 304 7000 (6-11pm). If you are a man, you can contact CALM, which is a charity specifically supporting mental health in men. https://www.thecalmzone.net/help/get-help/ (5pm-midnight).
If necessary please go to your local Accident and Emergency department (if you cannot go on your own ask a friend or safe other to take you there). If you are unable to get to A and E and you feel you need to go, and all other options have not worked, call 999 for an ambulance.