I offer an integrative approach to counselling. I believe that everyone has the capacity to look within themselves and develop new perspectives in their lives. As a practitioner this is at the forefront of my mind. In my practice I work from a person-centred approach, drawing on theories such as transactional analysis, cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) and other approaches to suit the individual’s needs.
I accept referrals from external agencies such as GP services and EAP's (Employee Assistance Programmes). I am a Registered Member of the British Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy (visit www.bacp.co.uk) and I abide by their ethical framework.
Counselling /talking therapies can help people come to terms with childhood traumas, difficulties in coping with life and in acquiring new perspectives of life situations. This process can equip clients with better life strategies and look ahead with more clarity and a sense of direction. We would initially look at what you want to experience/gain from the counselling process and discuss the most appropriate way forward.
I am very passionate about empowering and motivating people and to help them regain a healthier perspective on life. I am committed to a holistic approach to health and wellbeing. My aim is to build a trusting relationship with clients and support them in becoming more self aware and reaching personal goals. Taking on a counselling journey, for whatever reason, can be challenging and daunting and I strive towards providing an honest , compassionate and non judgemental experience that works for each individual person.
Counselling has helped me in my own life to grow in confidence and self-belief and also to have healthier and happier relationships with others. I find it very rewarding to see other people develop their own strengths and resources.
My particular areas of interest and experience are in childhood issues, domestic abuse, relationships, anxiety, depression and female issues, such as pregnancy, abortion and postnatal depression. I will always strive to check with you that the work we do together does have a positive effect on your life. I believe that the therapeutic relationship is best seen as a collaborative process in which we work together to identify how best to achieve a sense of personal development. I am also committed to my own personal ongoing professional development and attend regular workshops, seminars and I am a member of a local support and training group for counsellors and psychotherapists. In line with the BACP guidelines I have regular supervision, hold a current DBS certificate and public liability insurance.
I have several years experience providing face to face counselling in an educational organisation supporting young people and adults with a variety of issues including: anxiety, low self-esteem, low self-confidence, domestic abuse, emotional abuse, sexual abuse, family issues, physical abuse, work-related stress, bi-polar and disorder/manic depression. I have also practised therapeutically in a GPs practice where I have experience in particular with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. (PTSD), relationship breakdown and depression. I have also offered workshops around issues of self-harm and suicide and general mental health awareness. I have worked with groups delivering on issues such as bullying, anger, domestic abuse and sexual health.
Counselling /talking therapy can help people manage and understand their feelings better. It can be an opportunity to get things off your chest, sometimes things you have never spoken to anybody about before. People often say that it’s easier to talk to a person who is completely separate from their lives and someone who will not give advice or pass judgements but will help you make your own sense of your situation. As well as gaining a deeper understanding of yourself you will be helped to develop improved strategies for dealing with current and future challenges. For example counselling can help to bring about improvements in relationships with family, friends and work colleagues.
Counselling can help with issues from the past, possibly stemming from difficulties in childhood and also with current issues such as relationship difficulties, bereavement and problems at work. People who would like to work on ongoing issues relating to low self-esteem, low confidence or managing anger or anxiety also find counselling helpful. What will happen at the first session? After our first contact, by phone or email, we will agree to meet for an initial consultation session. The purpose of this session is for us to decide together whether the type of counselling I offer is likely to help you. I will ask you to give me an overview of what your difficulties are and what you are hoping to gain from counselling but we won’t be going into any depth about your issues. I will explain how I work and you will have the chance to ask any questions you may have. You may not feel ready to decide whether to start counselling with me during this session; you may need to go away and think about it, which is fine. If we agree during this session that another type of counselling is likely to be more beneficial for you I will help you to find a different counsellor.
I offer a warm, non-judgemental, authentic and safe presence. I encourage clients to express and explore their thoughts and feelings about their current situation and also about things that may have happened in the past. Counselling is not just a friendly chat discussing the week’s events as you would do with a friend or family member. I will not be offering an opinion or giving advice as they might do (though I may sometimes provide information which I think could help you). A counsellor is an impartial professional who is trained to listen in a non-judgemental way and to work with your emotions while not getting emotional themselves. One of my aims is to help you develop and explore your understanding of yourself and of other people in your life and to help you come up with strategies and solutions for yourself, solutions that will work for you.
The sessions last for 50 minutes, and generally occur weekly at the same time and day but this is open to negotiation. This is something we will discuss at the first session and we will review it on a regular basis. Initially I usually recommend weekly sessions as I have found this works best for most people; people often reduce the frequency of sessions subsequently.
If you are unable to attend a session my preference is for us to rebook for another time that week or the following week. A very late cancellation of a session (less than 24 hours’ notice) or failure to attend a session could incur the full fee (unless this is due to a family emergency or sudden illness/accident). I will inform you well in advance if I am not going to be available, e.g. due to a holiday or training session. If I am not able to make a session, e.g. because of illness, I will give you as much notice as possible and will offer you an alternative session at the earliest convenient time..
This will be negotiated between us. It is likely to be at least several weeks. Some clients attend for a few weeks, some for a few months. Sometimes clients have a break and then return when they feel that counselling would be useful again. We will review every few weeks, to discuss how the counselling is going; part of this will be to look at how many more sessions to have.
You are free to end the counselling at any time and there will be no pressure on you to continue counselling against your wishes. This will be discussed during our work, as mentioned above and we will work towards an ending at the time it feels right for you.
Confidentiality is a very important part of the counselling process: its purpose is to provide you with privacy which can enable a deeper exploration of your difficulties. Information disclosed by clients is kept strictly confidential; the only occasion it might be broken is if there was a potential risk of serious harm to you or somebody else. In addition to this as a member of the BACP I am required to have regular clinical supervision and I will need to discuss our work with my supervisor form time to time. However I will not disclose your name or anything that would enable you to be identified.
I keep brief notes of sessions, which do not identify you by name and which are securely stored in a locked filing cabinet. These notes are kept for 6 years and then destroyed. What do I do if I’m not happy about how counselling is going? If you have any concerns about our work together please speak to me in the first instance. If this doesn’t resolve the issue for you and you wish to complain this should be directed to the BACP (British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy) the counselling body responsible for issues of professional conduct. As a member of the BACP I adhere to the BACP Ethical Framework for Good Practice which is available from the BACP website www.bacp.co.uk/ethical_framework/guidance.php
I offer all new clients an initial 20 minute assessment, which can be done over the phone and is free of charge. This will give you the opportunity to ask any questions you may have about the process and for us to decide if we would be comfortable working together. Sessions are charged at £45-50 per 50 minute session, payable by cash, cheque or BACS transfer prior to the appointments. I can offer reduced rates for students and individuals on benefits or low incomes.
Availability: I work flexibly in an attempt to suit all client requirements and am happy to refer and recommend alternative therapists where I cannot be of assistance. Any queries just call or email.
"I feel more confident and happier in myself. I feel much more positive about the future. 'I used to live in the past and felt very depressed. Jackie offered me a safe, non-judgmental space to explore my beliefs and how they impact my life."
"Having the opportunity to discuss these issues has helped me address them in a positive way."
"It has helped me explore the person I am and now I feel very strong and capable."
"Jackie helped me to open up which I did not think I could do. I am more positive in my outlook. And more aware of how I interact with other people and compassionate to myself .I used to put myself down at every opportunity and now I feel more confident and assured in myself to cope with life."