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Who I am

photo of Peter Edwards

I am a single practitioner based originally in Turnchapel but now in Plymstock, Plymouth. I have been providing personal counselling services since 2009. I am a fully qualified Psychotherapist, listed on the BACP Voluntary Register accredited by the UK Professional Standards Authority. If you would like to speak with me directly or send me a text, I can be contacted on:

07917 666 494.

Alternatively, you can E-mail Me.

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Contents

 

 

 

What I provide counselling for:



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Cost of Counselling & Clinical Supervision

I will deal with the cost of my services 'up front' as this is usually one of the key factors for clients in deciding whether to go ahead or not. I have recently increased my fees for new clients for the first time in five years. This is in recognition of: 1) the steadily increasing costs of providing counselling services; 2) my personal investment in training, development and qualifications, and; 3) ensuring that my work is sustainable in the longer term. It may not seem an obvious point, but valuing myself and my skills fairly supports me in valuing my clients.

Service Fee
Standard fee per session of Psychotherapy: 40
Psychotherapy fee per session for students & those on benefits: 25
Relationship therapy fee per couple/family: 50
Supervision fee per 1.0/1.5 hours: 45/60

It is recognised good practice for a Contract to be set up for the counselling work. A copy of my standard contract can be found here. I am happy to discuss this either by phone or at a (free) introductory session.

My contract for supervision work can be found here. Again, I am happy to discuss this either by phone or at a (free) introductory session.



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Why you might want counselling:

"But I don't need counselling! That's for people who are mentally ill!" If you are worried that people may think there is something wrong with you if you have counselling, you are not alone. To be truthful, there is still prejudice against counselling though that is reducing with time. There is also prejudice against any kind of admission of mental difficulties - however, one in four of us experiences mental health difficulties at some point in our lives (NHS figures). As with physical health services, counselling covers a wide range of requirements - everything from mental 'keep fit' to help with severe and persistent difficulties.
If you have heart problems, or diabetes, you are not made to feel guilty and you expect to get treatment - and no-one thinks twice; so when when our minds are strained by the challenges of life, is it not sensible to get treatment? "But I'm not ill. I haven't been to the Doctor." Even if you don't have a clinically diagnosed mental health problem such as depression or chronic anxiety, think how helpful it is at times simply to discuss a problem with someone who does not try to tell you what to do and does not judge you. It is often helpful just to talk through issues in confidence with a person who is a skilled listener, who can ask the right questions, and who trusts you to make your own decisions once you have worked things through - and who can help you to understand and trust yourself.

There are many reasons why you might find counselling helpful. The following list is not complete, but includes some of the most common problems that counselling addresses:

  • Depression - feeling constantly sad, without energy, powerless;
  • Anxiety problems, panic attacks;
  • Difficulty with family members, mums and dads, children, or personal relationships;
  • Difficulties in managing anger - too much or too little;
  • Overcoming the consequences of abuse - domestic, emotional, physical or sexual;
  • Low self esteem, unassertiveness, having your feelings and point of view ignored;
  • Stress - the everyday stuff or post traumatic stress;
  • Relationship difficulties, divorce, separation;
  • Bereavement - having lost someone important to you, or even something important such as a job, a house, etc;
  • Work or study problems, career choices, working effectively with others, motivation, prevarication;
  • Sexuality issues;
  • Phobias, Obsessive/Compulsive Disorder;
  • Coming to terms with disability, physical illness, or simply getting older;
  • Facing big decisions - wanting to make a change but not knowing how to start.

Often, my clients say that the most valuable part of counselling is being able to talk freely about what has been bothering them, without being told what to think or being judged.

I also find that counselling is useful to systematically consider how we relate to other people in our personal lives and at work. We all have strengths and weaknesses that can help or hinder us in the things that we do. The chance to work through what is happening when we have difficulty making decisions or getting things done, making friends or working with particular people, can have a really positive effect on our lives. Counselling can really help to work through what is affecting us and to remove some of the blocks to achieving what we want - it can even help us work out what we really want in the first place!

Counselling is not the answer to everything however - I don't fix broken legs or hair loss....

I recommend that my clients make an appointment with their GP (if they have not already seen them) just to make sure there is no underlying physical cause of problems.



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The type of counselling I offer (and have training in):

I use an evidence-based, pluralistic approach utilising the following types of counselling appropriately to each client's individual needs.

I have received formal training in each of these modalities:

  • Person Centred (Rogerian)
  • Gestalt
  • Mindfulness techniques
  • Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT)
  • Psycho-Dynamic (Psycho-Analysis)
  • Transactional Analysis (TA)
  • Group Work/Facilitation
  • Equality issues, use of translators
  • I have completed the Cruse course on bereavement care

If you are wondering what the difference is between a 'Counsellor' and a 'Psychotherapist', the answer is simply that Psychotherapists generally are trained to a higher level, though the process is the same.



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Supervision Service

I offer non-directive, professional supervision to both counselling workers and other staff involved in working with people. The BACP requires counsellors to undertake a minimum of 1.5 hours of supervision each month, so I usually arrange supervision sessions for this amount of time. For other workers 1 hour is often sufficient.

I am working towards the Level 6 Diploma in Clinical Supervision which I expect to complete in July 2017. Since 2014 I have worked as a counselling supervisor with Simply Counselling CIC in Plymouth and in private practice. My Masters Degree studies in Organisation Development included diagnostic, consultancy and coaching skills and I have many years' experience of providing support for professional colleagues in private practice and in a range of organisations. I am a qualified trainer and have delivered accredited training in basic Counselling Skills. I attend Supervisors' Supervision sessions on a regular basis to ensure safe and ethical practice.

My Supervision Contract is available for viewing here. This is unusually formal and detailed in comparison with many other examples. I make no apology for this as my studies and experience in supervision work have caused me to believe that such thoroughness is both helpful and necessary. It underpins a clear understanding between Supervisor and Supervisee right from the start of our collaboration.

My aim is to work in a supportive and collaborative way with each supervisee. Counselling work is by nature demanding and stressful. A sensible balance is needed in supervision between structure and purpose, and attention to relationship, process and wellbeing.

Professional Counsellors and Psychotherapists are required to undertake professional supervision in order to maintain their accreditation. Other workers, such as care providers, teachers and nurses are not so required. The benefits of supervision do however apply to such workers: I therefore offer this service to a wide range of people beyond the counselling profession. There is evidence that supervision improves work-related wellbeing, reducing staff turnover and sickness rates. Supervisees often report significant benefits in terms of managing problems at work and reducing adverse effects on home life.

My approach to Supervision work is detailed here.


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My Qualifications, Ethics, Registrations and Insurance

I have the following relevant qualifications and memberships:

Please note that my approach is client-centred and non-prescriptive. I support my clients in working through difficulties to find their own solutions.

I am committed to the ethical framework of the British Association of Counselling & Psychotherapy, including the requirement for regular professional Supervision.

I carry appropriate Professional Indemnity insurance for the protection of clients.

I am registered with the Information Commissioner as required by the Data Protection Act.



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Other Services

Coaching for Individuals

As an experienced manager and Chartered Member of the Chartered Institute of Personnel & Development, I can provide mentoring/coaching support for individuals developing their careers, but this is a distinctly separate service to counselling.

For Employers

I offer support services for employers. Every employer has a duty of care under law to their employees, to ensure that there is support for individuals who may be experiencing high levels of stress or emotional distress arising from their work. Further, it is cost-effective to provide support for employees who are struggling with their roles at work, either because of external factors or because they find work relationships or aspects of their work difficult. Timely access to counselling can be highly effective in assisting employees to stay at work, to return to work, or to make considered choices in respect of the suitability of their roles. An employee enabled to work effectively with colleagues and to make wise choices in respect of work is more effective.

For more information on these services, call me on 07917 666 494 or E-mail Me.



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Timing and Duration of Appointments

I usually see clients once each week, and this is preferred at the early stage of counselling. The frequency depends primarily on the needs of the client for support. More or less frequent sessions can be agreed where that is appropriate.

Sessions each last 50-60 minutes, and can usually be arranged at a time to suit the client, Tuesdays to Thursdays. I have a therapy room at my home address in Plymstock which provides privacy and appropriate facilities. (See the directions provided here. I can offer home visits for clients with mobility problems, though there may be additional cost, depending on the location.

At the initial session I work to agree a contract with each client that covers appointment arrangements, fee payments, confidentiality, (my) ethical principles etc. If you wish to read a copy of my contract, click here .

The first, introductory session is free of charge. The most important factor in counselling work is the quality of the relationship between the client and therapist; part of the purpose of the initial session is for you to decide if you will be happy to work with me. If you are happy to proceed my standard charge is 30 per session, or 40 for couples. For supervision work I charge 40 per session. Fees are payable in advance either in cash or by PayPal (I can accept payment by card with a small additional admin fee of 1). For clients who are in receipt of benefits and for students, I reduce my fees to 20 per session.



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