21 June 2017

Professional, confidential, friendly counselling in central Exeter


Serious about making changes in your life?

If you are looking for a therapist you have taken a courageous first step. Life can be hard for us all at times.  I love the work I do; helping people to explore what's troubling them in order to live more fulfilling lives.

I work privately from beautiful premises on Southernhay, right in
the centre of Exeter, Devon, with a wide spectrum of people with many differing presenting issues. Professional, approachable, open-minded and non-judgmental, I have the utmost respect for my client's individuality and life circumstances. 

I draw from several reputable theories of practice enabling me to work effectively, progressively and collaboratively with individuals and couples.

Offering a fully professional service I am fortunate enough to be able to work full-time at my dedicated Exeter practice, seeing clients five days a week. 

I am committed to facilitating the exploration of the issues you bring. If you are serious about committing the time and energy required I invite you to make contact to arrange an initial appointment.



Click here for Contact and Cost Details

 PLEASE NOTE THAT DUE TO CONTINUED HIGH DEMAND I AM NOT TAKING ON ANY NEW ENQUIRIES UNTIL SEPTEMBER 2017 AND HAVE CLOSED MY WAITING LIST UNTIL THEN 


This site is where you can find out information about counselling, my personal approach and services offered, and some details about my background, by clicking on the information tabs above. 

This is also a blogsite which I use to make regular posts about my work and continuing professional development as a counsellor. Click here for my Articles.

I would be very happy to discuss your requirements should you be interested in coming along for counselling. Embarking on a course of counselling can be daunting and I aim to help you feel relaxed and confident that you make the choice that is right for you.

Regulation 


Please, whoever you decide to have counselling with,  whether individual or agency, ensure that they are registered with an adequate professional body. Personally, I have most faith in the BACP as a professional body which is why I choose to be registered with them. BACP Accredited status is an established, recognised and accepted assurance of experience and maturity as a practitioner. Without membership of a self-regulating professional body then clients have no recourse should they feel that they are being treated unethically. At the moment, there is nothing to stop people practising as counsellors without this protection for their clients. Following the dreadful scandal involving the Exeter based Palace Gate Counselling Service I researched and wrote about this topic on this post about the regulation of counselling and psychotherapy

I campaign for the regulation of counselling and psychotherapy along with Phil Dore via the website Unsafe Spaces



12 March 2017

Recently published article on trauma work on counselling and psychotherapy

I used to blog so much more regularly however since working full-time as a private therapist (I went to 5 days a week in January 2015) I have had very little time for writing. Along with a busy life outside of work and campaigning for regulation of counselling and psychotherapy I often have topics I would like to write about...if I had the time...but, well...

Last year saw the important publishing of the Unsafe Spaces report which I co-authored along with Phil Dore* my fellow campaigner. Finding the time to focus on this was difficult but it is very important to me to contribute to discussion within the profession.

Then a few months ago I was invited by the online magazine The Counsellors Cafe to write an article. Having spent several months prior to that thinking about writing something about the difficulties of working with trauma I decided to use this opportunity to focus on producing something to get some of my concerns out there. So I finally got my act together and started to work on a piece which was published on 10th March entitled Care When Working With Trauma (click to take you directly to the article).

I had a few factors that had motivated me to write such a piece:


  1. Working directly with clients who have been abruptly dropped by a therapist and hearing accounts from service users in general about feeling abandoned when therapy is suddenly terminated with no warning or ending.
  2. My own journey of learning more about trauma from reading books by Babette Rothschild and Bessel Van Der Kolk and attending specialist trauma workshops such as those run by Positive Outcomes for Dissociative Disorders. I realised that there were gaps in my core training. 
  3. The realisation that a few years ago, when my therapist had to end sessions with me it was emotionally difficult, even though there were very good, ethical reasons for doing so.
  4. Hearing and reading various comments on counsellors forums which quite frankly have greatly concerned me about the competence of some practising therapists. 

Like anything I write, I reflected and immediately wished I had included more. I see this piece as work in progress and I have further work to do. I do believe that there is insufficient training in a lot of basic counsellor training and that there is a danger that therapists can unwittingly retraumatise their clients.

I've had some great feedback from other therapists who share similar concerns. I have done some research on whether qualified therapists believe their core training equipped them sufficiently for working with trauma. The findings were as I suspected; many did not feel that their training was enough. I just need to find an idle moment to make contact with some of the professional bodies who accredit training courses and see what their opinions are. Then bring it all together in a compelling article. It will likely take me while!

I don't want to put people off accessing therapy but I do believe that forewarned is forearmed and that as professionals we should be striving to improve our profession and keep it as safe as possible for our service users.

The work I value most is my working directly with my clients but the bigger picture of the profession is also very important to me.




*two days ago I received an official comment from the Professional Standards Authority on our report, requested on our behalf by Ben Bradshaw MP (my local MP and a member of the Health Select Committee). We are still awaiting as response from Jeremy Hunt.

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