Rachel Butcher is a counsellor in Staffordshire and online

What attracted you to become a therapist?

Knowing the importance of feeling heard, and being the person to hear and bear witness to another human's life journey.

There will always be so much going on in the world that presents so many different challenges for us all and noticing that people struggle to cope means that counselling will be useful to people at those times.

Where did you train?

I trained for my Diploma in Person-Centred Counselling at PCCS Manchester, and my Diploma in Therapeutic Counselling from the University of Scotland. 

Throughout my career I have continued to obtain additional CPD certifications including my certification in counselling from the University of London: Birkbeck.

Can you tell us about the type of therapy you practise? 

As an integrative counsellor, I am trained in three modalities – person-centred counselling, attachment theory and psychodynamic – however, I draw upon techniques from other schools of thought such as systemic theory and narrative therapy in order to tailor the most effective course of counselling for each individual. 

My approach values honesty, individual difference, finding one’s own path, integrity, connections and relationships, and I respect our inner resources and spirit to bring us through adversity.

How does integrative therapy help with symptoms of trauma?

Integrating humanistic and cognitive-focused approaches presents the best of both worlds to traumatised clients. 

As my professional working mantra relates to the therapeutic relationship, ‘Relationship, Relationship, Relationship’, the quality of our relationship is at the core of all work we do. 

We will explore what you want out of counselling and the therapeutic process. This allows you to direct the therapy and to work on what you want to address. Once you know what you are wanting to focus we will explore and be curious about your actions, thoughts, feelings and also what is happening in your body.

What sort of people do you usually see?

I see a variety of people from diverse backgrounds, from children and young people to adults in their 90s, from individual counselling to couples counselling also. 

I see myself as an observer with a foot in my own world and your world, providing clarity, safety-net, support and a listening ear. 

I have a wealth of experience in supporting clients with various life issues, such as childhood abuse, addiction, bereavement/loss, trauma, work-related concerns, mental health issues, family and parenting concerns, relationship issues, domestic violence, childhood issues, self-harm and eating distress, and existential thinking. 

I also provide couples counselling and relationship therapy to help couples reach a better understanding of themselves and each other.

Have you noticed any recent mental health trends or wider changes in attitude?

I would say that post-pandemic, a lot more people are needing additional support from our mental health system, which is pushing it to its limits. 

I would say that certain groups of people face more risk of poor mental health such as those who work in health and care services during the pandemic and now, those who have been financially impacted by the pandemic and those who have been bereaved.

I have also noticed that more children and young people have experienced their mental health worsening during the lockdown and the impact being due to the social isolation and closing of schools.

What do you like about being a therapist?

I enjoy how varied my work is; no day is the same. Being able to be alongside someone and witness their immediate struggles and also their survival is immeasurable, but also knowing that the person was not on their own through this.

I love the flexibility of my work as I am a mum to five children, so that is a big bonus!

What is less pleasant?

What I would call less pleasant for me is the business side of promoting, marketing, and essential paperwork needed to maintain my counselling practice, but all is so important for me in learning and my own growth.

How long have you been with Welldoing and what you think of us?

I have recently re-applied to Welldoing, as I feel this is another way to reach people who are looking for counselling, being more accessible.

Do you ever suggest books or apps to clients?

I love books, journaling and I am an advocate for externalising all that we carrying within us, so if I have ideas of ways to manage these heavy feeling then I will suggest either programmes, books, apps, website, creative means.

What you do for your own mental health?

Even though I have a large family, I strive for solitude also where I love reading, writing, and just being, watching and listening to the outdoors. I love travel, walking and also time spent with friends and my family.

You are a therapist in Staffordshire, what can you share with us about seeing clients in this area? 

As I work with people either in-person or online, so there are no geographical restrictions to those people I work with.

I feel that what defines the client-base I receive are those who are willing to commit to being curious and explore their-self.

What’s your counselling room like?

I have a beautiful, warm and relaxing traditional counselling room with a sofa and chairs, plants and few pictures and also a more creative, artistic studio space where people are then able to also express themselves more freely using various artistic, playful mediums.

What do you wish people knew about therapy?

Counselling carries a warning sign above it as there will be change within yourself and to others. You may be open to this experience of a shift and change but others may not keep up.

Counselling is such a valuable, creative, expansive, life-learning experience.

You have a choice who you speak to you, this is up to you!

This is your investment, your space, your pace.

What did you learn about yourself in therapy?

I have learnt my limitations, my strengths, my abilities within relationships and within myself.

Contact Rachel here

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