Common questions

Sometimes I’m asked about my website logo and what it represents. This abstract art work was created by Anthea Helliwell and is titled Enso: The Moment of Enlightenment. I’ve been drawn to this image since first seeing it. For me it symbolises imperfection (the beauty of being human), the excitement of life, and being bold, as in daring to be oneself in this world.

Below, you’ll find answers to some other commonly asked questions. If you’re wondering about anything I’ve not covered here, please let me know.

Frequently asked questions

What qualifications do you have?

I hold an MSc in Gestalt Psychotherapy and an MA in Counselling, as well as a number of diplomas in related areas including coaching, NLP, and casework supervision. A full list of my qualifications, and more about my background, can be found here.

What did you do before counselling and psychotherapy?

Originally I worked as an electronics engineer and supervisor in industry. After qualifying as a counsellor, I was a full-time tutor for Oldham College (programme leader for counselling diploma courses) and then a lecturer and facilitator for University of Salford (joint course leader for undergraduate counselling degree programmes). I have also been guest tutor at Bolton College, Warrington Collegiate, Southport College, and CTPDC Counselling Training in Liverpool.

Are there clients you won’t work with?

Yes, sometimes what I offer doesn’t suit some people. Potential clients can discover this during the free initial meeting or quite quickly as the work progresses. If this is the case I will help find other therapists or more appropriate sources of help.

Will my work with you be completely confidential?

Generally, yes. There are a few exceptions. The first would be if I consider you to be at risk to yourself or others, in which case I would involve another professional, such as your GP. Also, in some circumstances I am legally required to disclose if you are breaking the law. This includes involvement in terrorism, money laundering, and drug dealing. Where practical, and legally permitted, I would inform you of my intention to break our agreement of confidentiality.

What is Gestalt therapy?

It is an approach to psychotherapy that considers the person as a whole; mind, body and soul. It focuses on their experience in the present moment, the here and now, and how they respond within the environmental and social contexts of their life. You can read more about it here.

Have you ever been a client?

Yes, initially I was encouraged to have therapy because of personal problems. I was very sceptical of anything relating to counselling or psychology. I persevered and it made a substantial difference to my life, and because of this I developed an enduring fascination and respect for this subject. I was in therapy for many years also as part of my Gestalt training – this was one of the most important aspects of my development as a therapist. I have been fortunate to have experienced some very competent therapists.

What do you think about the use of medication such as antidepressants?

I respect the work of many doctors and psychiatrists and support the use of medications alongside counselling work. Unfortunately many psychotropic medications lack sophistication and do not suit some individuals. Some antidepressants work very well. It is usually best to follow the advice of your GP.

Have you ever had a complaint made against you?

No. I am well supervised and work within my limits. I abide by the GPTI code of ethics and the BACP ethical framework. Each are rigorous in their respective standards of professional practice. By clicking on the above links you can learn more about these standards.

The important thing is not to stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existence. One cannot help but be in awe when he contemplates the mysteries of eternity, of life, of the marvellous structure of reality. It is enough if one tries merely to comprehend a little of this mystery each day.Albert Einstein