My name is Sarah. I am an experienced Counsellor, Accredited by the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP), with a private practice in Kings Hill, West Malling, near Maidstone, Kent.
Making the first step in seeking help can be a hard decision to make, especially if you have never had counselling before. This is why I have detailed as much information in my website as I can to give you an insight into counselling, who I am, how I work and how I can help you find emotional wellbeing.
First, there are many reasons why someone seeks counselling. Perhaps you are:
- Stressed, anxious or depressed
- Experiencing a loss, bereavement or trauma
- Having relationship difficulties
- Trying to cope with family issues
- Going through a personal crisis or life change
- Recovering from an addiction
- Struggling with your weight
- Feeling sad
- Suffering from low self-esteem or confidence
- Looking to gain a better understanding of yourself
It’s not always easy to talk to family or friends about your thoughts and feelings. You may be worried about the affect of sharing these would have on them or they may be part of the problem. I can offer you a safe, non-judgmental, confidential space where you can say it how it really is and explore what is important to you.
What is counselling?
Making the decision to engage in counselling can be a difficult one. The thought of sharing your private thoughts with a stranger can feel like a very daunting prospect. You may feel that your issues are too insignificant and that you might be seen to be “making a fuss about nothing”. Alternatively, you may fear that your problems are so big that they may overwhelm anybody you choose to share them with. These feelings are normal.
Counselling is very often called a “talking therapy” because it gives you the opportunity to talk about what is troubling you. Counselling is time set aside regularly just for you, where you can let go, explore and feel safe in knowing that you are being heard and understood by someone who isn’t going to judge you.
Sometimes life can put obstacles in our way, which can mean that it becomes increasingly difficult to live how we wish to. These obstacles can be significant life events such as the death of a loved one, the breakdown of a relationship or the loss of a job. Alternatively, experiences in our past and our ways of being in the world may have an impact on how we relate to others and how we respond to challenges that we face. Maybe we feel angry or upset all the time but don’t know why.
Counselling is about helping you to understand yourself: how you relate to yourself internally and how you relate to others around you. Together, we will work at a pace that suits you. It is not about me telling you what to do, it is about supporting you to find your own solutions, giving you the choice to make changes in your life.
Where Do I Start
It’s sometimes hard to know where to start, especially if you have never been to a counsellor before. It is important to find the right counsellor for you – someone you can relate to, you feel comfortable and safe talking to, you trust and who understands you. The relationship itself is an important factor for a positive outcome.
I would like to invite you to a FREE 20-30 minute introductory session. During this session,we will be able to discuss how I work, begin to talk about what is troubling you, explore what your expectations of counselling are and any concerns or anxieties you may have. If we are comfortable and feel that we can work with each other, we will then discuss how we are going to proceed. There is no obligation to continue after this session.
My core training is as a person-centred counsellor, however I also use cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) techniques and elements of Transactional Analysis (please see my FAQ page for a description of these therapies). Working this way enables me to adapt the way I work to suit you, to ensure I am meeting your individual needs.
I undertook my own personal counselling as part of my training. I found it helped me overcome anxiety and grief that I had been holding on to and that had previously turned my world upside down. I was able to find more meaning and balance in my life. Having experienced counselling first-hand, I understand the sense of vulnerability and am very mindful of the need to feel safe enough to explore any difficulties you have in a non-judgmental and confidential environment.
I have experience of working as a Counsellor and Psycho-educational Group Facilitator for an NHS Tier 3 weight management provider, where I received specialist training to work with obesity and patients with a high BMI, as well as an understanding of bariatric surgery. I have also worked for a residential rehabilitation programme offering counselling to those in recovery from drug and/or alcohol addiction, as well as volunteering as a Bereavement Counsellor for Cruse Bereavement Care.
I am an Accredited Registered Member of the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP). Accreditation means that my “practice has been deemed to meet [the BACP’s] higher standard as a competent, ethical and independent practitioner”. I work within the BACP’s Ethical Framework for Good Practice. I am fully insured, have ongoing clinical supervision and regularly attend courses to enhance my knowledge and professionalism.
Training and Qualifications
CPCAB Diploma in Therapeutic Counselling
CPCAB Certificate in Counselling Studies
CPCAB Certificate in Counselling Skills
CPCAB Certificate in Understanding Substance Misuse
Ascentis Cruse Bereavement Awareness in Bereavement Care
Transactional Analysis 101
Certificate in Couples Dynamics
Accredited Registered Member of the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP) – Registration No.098208
Continuing Professional Development
Cruse Bereavement Care – Sudden and Traumatic Death
Kenward Trust – Drug and Alcohol Awareness
PODS – Working with Relational Trauma, DID
Wealden Institute -Trauma and Recovery Foundation
Mindbody Breakthrough – Generalised Anxiety & Panic Disorders
KCC – Safeguarding & Adult Protection Awareness
Professor Julia Buckroyd – Understanding Your Eating
One In Four – Working with Shame
Kent Police – Connect 5 – Ways to work with mental wellbeing
Therapy Partners – Eating Disorders
The Psychopathology of Obesity/Bariatric Surgery
Psychological Assessments/MDT Assessments
Assessing People with Complex Mental Health Difficulties
Facilitating Psycho-Educational Groups
Psychological Wellbeing Training – CBT Intervention
Kent Psychotherapy Network – Learning Through Dreams
Are sessions confidential?
How many sessions will I need?
How long is each session?
How often are sessions held?
Will I need to agree to a contract?
What types of therapy do you practice?
Person centred: A non-directive approach which believes in your ability to make the right choices and your potential to make the changes needed.
CBT: Looks at how our thoughts affect our feelings and behaviour.
Transactional Analysis (TA): Helps to explain how we think, feel and behave in the way we do.
What if I don’t like it?
Will you tell me how to solve my problems?
Will I have to talk about things I would prefer not to discuss?
What should I do if I feel better and don’t want to see you again?
What is supervision in counselling?
What does supervision mean to confidentiality?
Do you keep notes?
Continued Professional Development
Who are the BACP?
Free 20-30 minute Introductory Session
Fees for 50 minute counselling session:
Individuals (Adults 18+), face to face – £45
Some concessions available (daytime only), please ask.
Discounts for student counsellors, please ask
Fees are per session and are payable at the end of each session by cash or card.
Length and Frequency of Sessions:
50 minute one-to-one sessions usually held on a weekly basis.
Arriving for Sessions:
I do not have a waiting room, so please could you arrive as close to your appointment time as possible. Sessions will start on time and so if you are late for a session, the session will still end at the normal time.
Please call or text me on 07895 044714 or use the form below.
If I am not available when you call, please leave a message and I will aim to get back to you within 24 hrs (Mon-Fri). I will not return missed calls, i.e. where no message has been left, in order to keep confidentiality.
My counselling practice is based in Suite 7, 30 Churchill Square, Kings Hill, West Malling, Kent ME19 4YU. The room is on the ground floor and there is ample free parking.