Life has a way of throwing us in at the deep end without a paddle – usually when we least expect it. This can leave us feeling overwhelmed, unprepared, or even feeling as though we are unable to cope.

Sometimes, the trigger is obvious,  such as the death of a loved one, a relationship breakdown, illness, or a harsh grilling on Facebook. There may be times when the trigger is not obvious to us when everything seems to hit us all at once, like a tsunami of small stuff. This may be particularly relevant now, during the Covid pandemic, with so much uncertainty surrounding our wellbeing, livelihoods, our children’s educations, and the added difficulties of being out of touch with family and friends for lengthy periods of time.

At times like these, it can be beneficial to seek professional support. Many research studies show Counselling to be an effective way of improving things.

People seek professional counselling support for a range of reasons such as anxiety & panic, low mood, anger, behavioural issues, addictions, grief, eating disorders, health concerns, uncertainty, unresolved trauma, or for a combination of reasons.

What to expect from Counselling?

The sessions involve meeting, talking, and listening together with the mutual purpose of paying careful attention to your concerns and gaining a greater understanding of your own particular situation. It is a shared process and the therapeutic relationship can only be nurtured in a safe and dependable environment.

We work carefully and respectfully, honouring your privacy, autonomy, and independence, and your freedom and ability to make choices for yourself. Within the therapeutic relationship, you can explore your physical and emotional feelings, your thoughts and behaviours, and the contexts in which they arise

At A Positive Start CIC, we provide professional,  confidential counselling and psychotherapy, both on and offline. Prices start from £35.00 per one hour session, and from £10.00 – £25.00 per hourly session for people on low and no incomes.  As a Community Interest Company, one of our aims is to ensure our services are accessible to everyone. Pricing is delivered on a trust basis; we will never ask you to provide proof of income.

Counselling aims to give you the opportunity to explore personal issues in a safe, confidential, and non-judgmental setting. This might include talking about life events, feelings, emotions, relationships, ways of thinking, and behaviour patterns, but there is no ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ topic to bring to counselling.

You may be struggling with current difficulties or unresolved issues from the past. You may have fears for your future – or not even know why you have sought support at this time. During counselling, you will have the chance to talk with a trained professional who will help you to find ways of coping, and together, we will work towards agreed goals.

Person-Centred Approach

All of our work at A Positive Start is unpinned by the Person-Centred approach.

We recognize that you are the expert in your life, and it is not our role to tell you how or what to think and feel.

As compassionate, honest facilitators, we are here to listen, encourage, and support you. Providing a non-judgmental space where you are safe to explore your thoughts and feelings without interruption or interference in your process of self-discovery.

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT)

CBT is based on the idea that the way we think about situations, can affect the way we feel and behave, you may hear me refer to this process as Think, Feel, Act.

The theory is; If you interpret a situation negatively, you may experience negative emotions as a result, and those negative feelings might then lead you to behave in a certain way.

Cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT) is a type of talking treatment that focuses on how your thoughts, beliefs, and attitudes affect your feelings and behaviour and teach you coping skills for dealing with different problems.

Integrative  Counselling

Integrative Counselling draws on specific types of therapies.  I work mainly with  Person-Centred, and Psycho-Dynamic approaches as well as Neuro-Linguistics and Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT). A framework/theory determines when and why each element is used.

Couples Counselling

Couples Counselling can be a positive experience at any stage of a relationship, as relationships pass through various stages new challenges and possibilities arise where counselling can facilitate growth, change, and alleviate conflict. Very often, relationship counselling is helpful when one or both of you are feeling misunderstood or isolated, or when you identify negative and destructive patterns

We provide a warm, supportive, and non-judgmental environment where couples can explore their thoughts and feelings, and we do not take sides.

Lived Experience/Trauma-Informed

Trauma results from a situation, a set of circumstances, event or, events, and is experienced by an individual as being emotionally or physically harmful or life-threatening, which has an adverse effect on a person’s mental, social, physical, emotional, or spiritual well-being. There are many types of trauma, as unique individuals, we each respond to trauma in different ways, in varying degrees for different lengths of time; there is no time limit for recovery from trauma.

At A Positive Start, we understand the effects of trauma and how it can impact every aspect of a person’s life. We recognize the importance of being heard and understood. We appreciate the need to feel safe and we understand how difficult it can be to trust, not only difficulty trusting other people, but also trusting what is truth, what is genuine; trusting your own judgment. It is important to recognize that these confusing, often overwhelming emotions are perfectly normal responses to trauma.

Therapy Online via Zoom

We have chosen the online service of Zoom, for the additional encrypted security it offers, which makes it more confidential than services like Skype and FaceTime.

Our counsellors have delivered sessions online prior the coronavirus emergency. They are able to provide equally effective treatments online and offline for individuals and couples.

As with face-to-face sessions, privacy is extremely important. Our practitioners work in a safe, private environment with no interruptions, and if Zoom sessions are to be effective, it will be necessary for you to also find a quiet and private space, with no interruptions for each online appointment, so that privacy and confidentiality can be maintained.

Although online Zoom sessions offer more flexibility around time and schedules, you would be expected to have the same commitment to your online therapy sessions as you would be asked to have for any face-to-face appointments. Punctuality and commitment are just as important, when the work is happening via Zoom.

Technical Advice

When you sign up for your initial appointment online:
1. Your counsellor will send you a link to the appointment.
2. Please click on the link before the appointment to make sure you can access the waiting area.
3. The program will ask if you want to join the meeting by opening Zoom in your browser or by downloading it. (You decide the option you prefer to use)
4. You can configure audio and video during the call.
5. At the time of your online zoom counselling session your therapist will admit you to the call.

Technical Issues

If you or counsellor experience technical difficulties during the zoom session or the connection fails, each party will re-join the meeting as soon as they can.

If the issue continues or cannot be resolved on the day, your counsellor may need to reschedule the meeting and will email to arrange this with you.

Is Zoom Safe for Therapy

With the most AES 256-bit GCM encryption, Zoom is as safe as a bank website and we recommend it to our therapists and clients.

How to Pay

Pay for your sessions when booking your appointment online via the appointment calendar, which can be found in Appointments on the main menu. Choose a suitable day and time for your appointment. Select an option from the drop down box provided, flexible payment plans are available, listed as Flexi-Pay

For more information on how to pay for pre-booked appointments, please follow this link to Fees & How to Pay 

Person-Centred Counselling Fees & Appointments

Employed – Book & Pay

(Can be delivered Face to Face, Virtually online via Zoom, Telephone Consultation or by Email)

Person Centred Counselling – £35.00 per 1-hour session (Individual)

Couples Counselling – £55.00 per 90-minute session (Couples)

Low/No Income Book & Pay

Low/No Income Counselling £10, £15, £20, £25 – Choose what you want to pay from the drop-down box when booking your appointment.

Therapy Fees

(Can be delivered Face to Face or Virtual Meeting Online via Zoom)

Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) £35.00 per 1 hour session (Individual)

Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) £35.00 per 1 hour session (Individual)

Trauma Healing £35.00 per 1 hour session (Individual)

Please Book and pay for your appointment online via our Appointments Page

Your first appointment is a Free assessment session that will last for between 50 and 60 minutes.

This is an opportunity to identify what your concerns are, whether or not counselling could help you work through your difficulties, or whether another service might be more suitable. During your assessment, you may also ask any questions you have about counselling.

If after your initial appointment you decide that you would like to begin a course of counseling, you will be allocated to a counselor and offered weekly or fortnightly sessions, whichever suits you best; you decide.