A confidential space to explore the thoughts, feelings and challenges in your life

About Valerie

Hello, and welcome to my profile. My name is Valerie and I am a qualified Private Psychodynamic Counsellor, and I am a registered member of BACP.

I have over twenty years of experience providing face2face counselling for Individuals, couples and children. I have been working remotely and only offering telephone & Skype sessions at the moment.

As a Registered member of the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP) I adhere by their code of ethics and framework which helps keep client and counsellor safe.

I qualified in 2004, and have a Diploma Level 4 in Therapeutic Counselling. For the last 18 years I have been privileged to work with many adults and children from a variety of social, cultural and ethnic backgrounds facing a wide range of difficulties and challenges. These have included loss and bereavement, relationship issues, self- harm, depression, chronic illness, anger, abuse, anxiety, family issues, low self – esteem, confidence issues, separation.

I have also worked as a counsellor for family matters, a charity which provides counselling for survivors of physical, sexual and emotional abuse. Whilst working for family matters I received training in art therapy using different types of art media. If appropriate and with the clients consent I work creatively (e.g drawing, painting, sand tray, letter writing) this is to aid emotional expression. I have had experience working with school children offering play therapy in a school setting. This was for a charity organisation Theplace2be.

I have provided counselling for people training to become a counsellor. The focus for this work has been working with their personal issues and their development through personal counselling.

I have also undertaken work with clients in the work place, offering time limited sessions. The key benefits of counselling for staff are: supporting staff Wellbeing, including productivity and burnout. improving staff morale can reduce staff sick leave and absenteeism. staff are likely to feel more valued providing a safe and confidential place for staff to “offload”

Training, qualifications & experience
  • Diploma Level 4 in Therapeutic Counselling Advanced
  • Certificate in Counselling Skills and Theory
  • Certificate in Counselling Theory
  • Certificate in Counselling Skills
  • Certificate to Introduction to Counselling
  • Sexual Abuse Awareness Training (SAbAT)
  • Advance Art Therapy
  • Introduction to the Arts as a Therapeutic Process Helping Children tell their stories
  • Childrens emotional wellbeing
  • Working with difference and diversity
  • MindEd Courses with BACP (children and young people)
  • Professional indemnity insurance
  • BACP Proficiency test
  • BACP Registered member
  • CBT Diploma Training (ongoing)
  • Certificate introduction to relationship counselling
  • Sibling Transference in the Adult Couple Relationships ( The Tavistock Centre For Couple Relationships)
  • Registered with Information Commissioners Office (ICO)
  • Enhanced Certificate – Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS)
  • Certificate of Completion Understanding Autism, Asperger’s and ADHD (ADHD Foundation)
  • University of Derby Certificate of Completion Domestic Abuse (CPD certified)
  • CPD working with addiction: Underlining causes (BACP)
  • CPD working with Bereaved clients (BACP)
  • CPD working with identity and self-esteem in young people with eating disorders (BACP)
  • Certificate of Completion Behavioural Therapy for eating disorders
  • Certificate of Completion Bridging the dementia divide, supporting people living with dementia
  • Certificate in Online and Telephone Counselling
  • Certificate of Completion CPT Practitioner, transformation Science of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy.

Speak in Confidence

My role as your counsellor is to enable you to explore thoughts and feelings that may not have been spoken about before. This can feel daunting and upsetting but it can also bring a sense of relief and understanding which can provide a way of moving forward. I offer a confidential, warm, safe, and non- judgmental environment.

A problem shared...

I offer both long term counselling, if you wish to explore deeper aspects of yourself, or short term counselling, if you wish to focus on a particular issue. Counselling normally takes place once a week, sessions last for one hour, everyone’s counselling needs are different, some people benefit from just a few sessions while others continue for longer.

Make better choices

After an initial meeting if you are happy to go ahead with the sessions we will make an agreed contract, this will outline limits to confidentiality, time, day, cancellations, holidays, fees. If for any reason we feel we are not able to work with each other, I will do my best to help you find suitable support if you so wish.

Counselling - My Approach

My approach focuses on belief that counselling and psychotherapy is a process which places emphasis upon building a trusting therapeutic relationship between counsellor and client. This can provide a secure base from which to explore your thoughts, feelings and anxieties. This will enable you to gain confidence and will enable you to manage your life more effectively.

As well as exploring present difficulties we can focus on your past to consider how previous experiences might be impacting on your current issues. Building and maintaining a trusting therapeutic relationship with you is an important part of my work as a counsellor because I want you to feel safe and supported enough to be able to talk about your innermost thoughts and feelings. I understand that it is not easy to take that first step in coming to counselling, but whatever your difficulty I strive to make you feel welcome and I listen to you with respect.

In times of difficulty and distress it can be easier to talk to somebody who is independent of family, friends or colleagues. In my role as a counsellor I am not here to tell you what to do, but to support you in drawing on your own inner resources and in finding your own way forward. In order to do this safely I offer a warm, safe, confidential and comfortable environment.

I offer a non- judgemental attitude and work at your pace, recognising the uniqueness of your individual values, belief system and cultural background. This will support you to get beyond negative patterns, to see thing differently and reconnect you to aspects of yourself.

People come to me for support with a wide range of issues. Here are a few of the more common difficulties that can be supported through psychodynamic counselling:



Affairs and betrayals



Asperger’s syndrome


Bipolar disorder/Manic depression


Child related issues

Compulsive hoarding


Domestic violence

Drug abuse

Emotional abuse

Family issues

Generalised anxiety disorder

Low self-confidence

Low self-esteem


Obsessive compulsive disorder

Panic disorder

Passive aggressive behaviour

Personality disorders


Physical abuse

Post-traumatic stress disorder

Postnatal depression

Relationship issues

Self harm

Separation and divorce

Sexual abuse


Suicidal thoughts


Psychodynamic Counselling

Psychodynamic Counselling is one of the major traditions within contemporary psychotherapy. Its aim is to help us achieve insight and understanding around the reasons for our issues, and to translate this insight into a mature capacity to cope with current and future difficulties. Five key principles of the psychodynamic approach:

1. People have troubled relationships because they are repeating a destructive relationship pattern from the past.

2. The person may seek to control or hide difficult or unacceptable mental desires, memories and feelings by use of defence mechanisms, such as transference, projection, denial, repression, sublimation, splitting and projective identification.

3. It is important for helpers, including counsellors to be aware of their own feelings, fantasies and impulses in relation to the person they are helping.

4. The person’s issues can be understood as representing unresolved developmental tasks (e.g. separation from the mother/parents)

5. People have a need for secure, consistent emotional attachments.

Psychodynamic methods have been applied to understanding and treating a range of psychological issues. Its origins are found in the work of Sigmund Freud, but the approach has developed significantly over the years. The goals of psychodynamic therapy are to increase a client’s “self-awareness” and to understand the influence of past events on present behaviour.

The psychodynamic therapy assists the client in gaining insight in order to recognise their character traits, their actions, responses and behaviours to present situations. This approach enables the client to explore unresolved conflicts that arise from past relationships, which are having an effect on current relationships.

My location

I am based in Canterbury, Kent within easy reach of Dover, Greenwich and London

In addition to providing face-to-face therapy, I also offer telephone counselling and online sessions for clients throughout the UK. Contact me to find out more about how online therapy works.


The first session will be an Assessment, this will last for 1 hour.

The assessment will give us the opportunity to discuss your concerns and decide if how I work meets your needs.

After the assessment, there is no obligation to continue if you do not want to. Each session after is 50 minutes


Mon -Thur 9 am – 5 pm


Friday 9am - noon


Continued sessions from 5pm – 9pm


Fees paid by BACS the day before the session.

Student Counsellors, concession available between 10.00am-5.00pm

Get in touch

Feel free to contact me if you have any questions about how counselling works, or to arrange an initial assessment appointment. This enables us to discuss the reasons you are thinking of coming to counselling, whether it could be helpful for you and whether I am the right therapist to help.

You can also call me on 07913669832 if you would prefer to leave a message or speak to me first. I am happy to discuss any queries or questions you may have prior to arranging an initial appointment.

All enquires are usually answered within 24 hours, and all contact is strictly confidential and uses secure phone and email services.

Some frequently asked questions

What's the difference between counselling and therapy?

Counselling is usually a good way to help with a current problem; something that can be discussed and - hopefully - resolved within a limited number of sessions. Over a certain number of weeks the understanding of the problem improves and away forward becomes clear. Therapy often describes work that goes a bit deeper, towards more substantial life issues and problems having a deeper effect on the client’s life. Therapy often requires a long-term approach, so the number of sessions can be open-ended.

Which option is most suitable depends on the client and the difficulties they are facing. In some cases counselling works well as an ongoing, longer-term option - or therapy can manage to resolve an issue in just a few sessions.

Will everything I say be kept confidential?

Everything that is said within the counselling room is private - this is one of the main ways counselling and therapy differ from talking to a friend or relative. Once you are comfortable with the format of weekly sessions and the safe space they provide, you will find the freedom to speak in confidence is of great value.

Note that there are some situations where you may be a risk to yourself or others, and there the law requires that I notify an authority; in these cases I may not be able to keep total confidentiality. Breaking confidentiality is very rare though, and only happens after the person concerned has been informed.

Can I bring a friend or relative with me?

Usually I am asked this question by people who are nervous about entering into counselling, or when they are looking for support in coming to see a therapist. This anxiety is understandable, but a key aspect of therapy is that you should feel free to talk about any issues you feel are important to you. Having someone else with you who can be connected those issues makes this opening-up more difficult, so for this reason I do not see clients accompanied by friends or family.

How long will I need to have counselling?

How long a period of counselling lasts will vary from person to person and depend on the depth of the issues they are facing. For some people a couple of sessions helps to bring their problems into focus, and they feel ready to move forward; other problems may require more of an open-ended approach.

Before we begin any work we will agree on the number of sessions we’ll undertake, and at the end of that number review our progress. As long as we both agree further therapy will be of benefit to you, sessions can continue.

How long will I have to wait for an appointment?

My aim is to offer a first appointment - known as an initial assessment - within 1-2 weeks. Then we would arrange a set number of counselling sessions to take place at the same time every week, that is convenient for you and where I have availabity. How quickly these sessions can begin will depend on the availabity of that free ‘slot’.