About Me and How I Work
A little bit about me.
Laura West, MBACP, PG Dip, BA JHons.
I’m Laura. I’m a counsellor and I work predominantly with children and teenagers online, via telephone and face to face in Ilkley, West Yorkshire. I trained in the Relational Therapy approach, and as such, I believe the key to therapeutic success lies within the relationship built between counsellor and client. I build a safe, respectful and trusting working relationship in collaboration with you- in which you are able to talk about and explore whatever it is that might have brought you to counselling. Together, we will work through your thoughts and experiences and in doing so, we might discover links and patterns between the way you are feeling and the choices you make, consciously or unconsciously, when choosing relationships or ways to behave. In doing this and identifying such patterns, the door is opened to discovering new ways of being, both with yourself and with others.
Though a relational framework is my key working modality, I also draw upon other theoretical influences, such as CBT, TA, and psychodynamic theory. My way of working is heavily influenced by attachment theory, as my clinical experience has taught me that the way we form attachments to others has a huge influence on all other aspects of our lives. If we are provided with the necessary safety, empathy and respect within therapy, then we can form a secure attachment with our counsellor. The work we then do together becomes a much more powerful agent for real positive changes.
I have had extensive personal therapy myself, and I believe that experiencing my own therapy journey and the emotions I have felt throughout have made me into an empathic, attuned and caring therapist. One that understands just how courageous it is to sit in the “other” chair, and one that is passionate about the potential for positive personal change through a strong therapeutic relationship.
I hold a Postgraduate Diploma in Counselling and Psychotherapy, and a level 4 diploma in Counselling Children and Adolescents. I am fully insured to practice, as well as being a registered member of the BACP (British Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy). I attend regular individual and group supervision, and undertake regular CPD in order to continuously increase my knowledge and therapeutic skills. I also hold an enhanced DBS certificate.
My Clinical Experience.
I have experience of working with children, adults and adolescents. I work as a staff and student counsellor in a further education institute, and I work in a primary school as a children’s counsellor. I also work as an associate children’s counsellor for an online therapy provider alongside private practice.
I have experience of working with issues such as depression, anxiety, relationship problems, stress, bereavement, loss, attachment difficulties, self- harm, suicidal thoughts, abuse, trauma, sexual abuse, and poor self- esteem. I am especially passionate about working with those under 25; I have a real empathy for the specific troubles that young people encounter today, and from my experience counselling at this age can help to foster real and lasting change at this crucial stage of personal and interpersonal development.
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