Meet the Team

I have a great team of qualified practitioners working with me who all have a variety of experience in working with adults and children. We are all fully up to date with safe guarding procedures and attend compulsory safeguarding training yearly. All the have an enhanced DBS certificate.

Joanne

Manager / Director

Integrative Counsellor

Coach

Positive Psychology Practitioner

Clinical Supervisor

Safe-guarding lead

Domestic Abuse Champion 

Adults, Children/Young People.

Andrea

Assistant Manager

Counsellor

Safe-guarding lead

Domestic Abuse Lead

Family Practitioner

Adults, Children/Young People, Couples, Families. 

Almira

Counsellor

Domestic Abuse Champion

Adults, Children/Young People.

Nicola

Counsellor

Adults, Couples.

Angela

Counsellor

Adults, Children/Young People.

Sarah

Counsellor

Adults

Maggie

Counsellor

Adults, Teenagers

Angela

Counsellor

Adults, Teenagers

Kevin

Counsellor

Adults, Teenagers

Melanie

Counsellor

Adults

Billy

joanne gibson

Counsellor

Adults

Natalie

Life Coach

MindSet Coach

ADHD Coach

Team England Sport Coach

Adults, Children, Couples, Families.

Joanne

My name is Joanne and I was inspired to become a counsellor after my own experience of personal therapy, which helped me through some difficult issues I encountered in my life. Counselling allowed me to understand myself, and taught me that I had the ability to change. I had the answers but lost the ability to listen to myself and trust my own decisions. Counselling helped me to rediscover my full potential. This feeling was so empowering and felt like nothing I had experienced before. From that moment I knew that I wanted to help others to experience that feeling. I know that life can be challenging and painful at times and making the decision to seek help can be quite daunting. The stigma associated to mental health and counselling can make it even harder, you may feel judged by others about how you should, think, feel and behave. You just want to fit in and be accepted, so sometimes it’s easier to just carry on and pretend everything is ok. This can be exhausting and eventually stopped working for me. It does not have to be this way. If you decide that you deserve this support to free your mind from the pressures that life can bring, then here is how I can help you understand yourself and provide you with the tools to continue to help yourself and unlock your true potential.

I believe for therapy to be successful, the first thing you need is the therapeutic relationship. I want you to feel safe and at ease with me, so that you can share your experiences without fear or judgment. The space that I offer, is yours for 50 minutes, and I will be led by you and what you need. I will always be honest and transparent with you. I want to understand your world, and how you view your world. I will do this offering empathy and compassion.

In addition to my private practice, my professional experience ranges from working with bereavement in a hospice, Counselling students in a college setting, and counselling children in both primary and secondary schools from ages 6-16. I was also a school project manager, where I managed a counselling project within a school for a large organisation where I had to work with multi-disciplinary teams

Andrea

I am a qualified counsellor with a wide range of experience, working in various settings with children, adolescence, adults and couples.

I work to provide a safe, confidential and non-judgmental space for you to explore and identify your difficulties, at a pace that is comfortable to you. Whatever you are going through we can work together to help you make sense of your experiences.

I use an Integrative approach which means that I have trained in various models of therapy. These include Humanistic, CBT, Psychodynamic and TA. I decided to train in this way as it enables me to offer alternative methods of helping and allows me to adapt my approach to suit your individual needs and circumstances. I believe that therapy is not about telling you what to do, it is about nurturing your personal growth, becoming self-aware and guiding you so you are able to find your own solutions and make positive changes.

I am a relational counsellor and the essence of my approach is empathic understanding and emotional connection with my clients. Some clients have attended their first session expecting it to be quite formal, which they soon realise it isn’t. There are no airs and graces. It is important that we are comfortable with each other, and can build a trusting therapeutic relationship. A lot of us put on masks and put up barriers to the external world, but in the counselling room you are free to be yourself. I will not judge you and I will accept you as you are. Your feelings are real and valid, and will be acknowledged in our counselling space.

I decided to become a counsellor due to the difficulties I have experienced in my personal life. Counselling helped me to understand myself, and I became aware of how my thoughts and feelings impacted my mood and behaviours.

Therapy can offer you the space to unload the stresses of life in which you can experience being heard. It can help you to heal and provide you with the tools so you are able to help yourself in the future.

I also work with couples and children from the ages of 5-18. I work in primary, secondary schools as well as an agency setting. I currently work at Barnardo’s as a link therapist for the family support service. This involves working with individual family members or whole family support.

I have also run social inclusion projects for young people that are in, or are leaving the social care system. The participants of the group have a range of difficulties and are from diverse backgrounds. I offer support with many social issues: domestic violence, drugs and alcohol, gang involvement to name a few. Mentoring and coaching as well as emotional support were part of this role.

Almira

My name is Almira and I am an Integrative counsellor. I work in various schools counselling children.  I am a fully qualified counsellor and registered member of the BACP. I feel very passionate about counselling and want to help people to access the support they need. Helping to empower people to find the best solutions for themselves. Together we can explore why you may be thinking negatively about yourself. Too often people compare themselves to others and not believing in their own qualities and strengths. They may not even realise they have those qualities and strengths. So together we can help you to feel more confident and build your self-esteem. Self-awareness is the key to helping you understand yourself better and move forward if you are feeling stuck.

 My training includes various models, Psychodynamic, Humanistic and CBT. I use a variety of techniques that enable me to adapt my approach to work with the client’s needs. I also use creative interventions for those clients that feel comfortable to do so. It is not always easy to talk and find the right words for how we feel, so using emotions cards and creative approaches make this easier for some people to express how they feel. I also work with children and have worked in various school settings for large organisations such as Place2Be. I use art and play therapy as well as talking  to help the children to feel more relaxed and build their resilience. I have a range of experience, working in various settings which includes working with children, adolescence, and adults.

 During these challenging times, many people have experienced issues with their mental health and well-being, and I am here to support you or your children with some of those challenges. Having so much time off school, missing their friends and not having a normal routine has all been very hard for many children and adults. I am passionate about counselling and well-being and supporting adults and children to feel happier and confident. I see the positive changes counselling can bring to people’s lives. I offer a confidential space to talk and explore your emotions. I know from personal experience how important it is to find someone that listens and supports you. 

Nicola

I am a qualified person-centred counsellor who uses Carl Rogers’ Person-Centred approach, which means that you, and your agenda, are at the centre of our work together.  I am able to adapt my counselling skills, using a combination of theories and techniques, to suit your needs and work collaboratively with you in a safe, non-judgemental way.
 
Originally trained as a teacher, I have fifteen years experience of working in education where I have worked in a variety of different roles. During this time, I encountered my own personal challenges and experiences of counselling which collaboratively led me to my counselling training. Being able to see the transformative, essential and soothing influence counselling has had on my life, I strive to offer the same to others in their time of need.
 
As your counsellor I would aim to offer you a safe, confidential, non-judgemental space- just for you- to talk through and make sense of what is going on in your life. It puts you back in control and helps facilitate the opportunity for you to make the changes you want. 
 
I can help support a wide range of issues, for example: depression, anxiety, stress, addiction, abuse, loss, relationship issues, bereavement, self-esteem, self-harm, mental health issues, eating disorders, trauma, social media or loss of direction.

Angela

Hello, and welcome,

I am Angela, a qualified adult and child counsellor and a member of the BACP. I offer therapeutic support to children, teenagers and adults here at Light and Shade Counselling. I also work as a school counsellor in local secondary and primary schools as well as supporting with Special Educational Needs (SEN) at primary school level.

It was my SEN role that led to my interest in counselling. I was responsible for co-ordinating support for two siblings in foster care. They had complex needs due to the adversity they had experienced in their young lives and were struggling with anxiety, low self-esteem, anger, lack of motivation and challenging behaviours as well as suspected neurodivergent needs. I liaised with many professionals to provide support for them, including a counsellor.

Over time, the positive impact of the counselling was amazing! I was inspired to find out if I could offer this kind of support too.

I received counselling as part of my training and experienced the transformative benefits for myself. I gained invaluable insights, ‘unpicked’ my life experiences and understood how they shaped my view of the world, relationships and of myself at a much deeper level. The trusting, open, non-judgemental relationship with my counsellor enabled me to feel safe to be vulnerable and ‘dig deep’. I was enabled to shift my perspectives, shed some redundant patterns of behaviour, and make positive changes in my life.

How can I help you or your child?

I use a range of therapeutic models and counselling tools to support and collaborate with you on your counselling journey.

I draw on several theories – Humanistic, psychodynamic, CBT, Transactional Analysis – adapting to what works best for you.

I use various tools – mindfulness, visualisation, art therapy, play therapy, journalling, emotion cards, reference objects and more to help develop your self-awareness.

I will also offer support in the form of psychoeducation, we may explore trauma theory, attachment theory, love languages or neurodivergence and consider how these may relate to you.

Most importantly we will build a trusting counselling relationship.

You will be offered a safe, confidential space for you to explore your thoughts, feelings, and experiences free from judgement. You will receive empathy, compassion, warmth, understanding and acceptance. We will work together so that you are empowered to realise what you seek from counselling.

I have personally benefitted from the positive life changes a trusting counselling relationship can facilitate. I am passionate about supporting you to experience this too.

What can I help with?

Anxiety, stress, feeling overwhelmed, low mood, low self-esteem, self-harm, lack of motivation, relationship difficulties, anger, people pleasing, dealing with life changes such as divorce, separation, redundancy, coping with bereavement, domestic abuse, sexual abuse, self-confidence, depression.

For many years I have helped support a wide range of Special Educational Needs in Primary School. My role involves co-ordinating assessment and support for children to help ensure any special education needs are understood and supported. I liaise with a wide range of professionals including CAMHS, speech and language therapist, occupational health, specialist SEN teachers, physiotherapists, educational psychologists amongst others. I help support parents with any concerns about their children’s needs and ensure they are supported and informed about SEN processes. I understand the complex process of applying for support and gaining an EHCP.

This knowledge and experience enables me to offer great insight to parents/carers of children with SEN such as autism and ADHD and to adapt my counselling style according to the needs of children with SEN

Sarah

Counselling offers the opportunity to empower, strengthen and heal us during all times of our lives. Through learning about who we are in a non-judgemental, confidential and safe space counselling gives us the possibility to step away from shoulds, musts and other people’s expectations.

I decided to train and become a counsellor following my own experiences of therapy after difficult challenges in my life. It taught me how to reframe, reflect and take a fresh approach to my relationships. The boundaries I have in place now make me stronger, positive and able to offer myself compassion. By having this knowledge and experience I can truly understand how my clients may feel when beginning therapy and the courage it can take.

I am an integrative counsellor working with teenagers and adults, following their lead in each session encouraging their autonomy, growth and resilience. I work with the main therapeutic models – CBT, Person-Centred Therapy and Psychodynamic theories and adapt my work to match each clients needs. In my toolbox I will use worksheets, therapeutic cards and most importantly actively listen to my clients to offer them a space to truly be heard and understood.  Mindfulness also plays a big part in my work as I believe it gives us a chance to slow our minds, tune in to ourselves and create clarity.

Maggie

I am very passionate about counselling and firmly believe that it is an empowering experience of personal discovery which leads to a greater sense of self-awareness enabling continued growth long after therapy has ended.  Grounded in Person-Centred therapy, I use a combination of talking therapy and other creative processes, such as visualisation, focusing on the client as a whole, as our bodies experience the world at the same time as our thoughts and emotions.

As a qualified counsellor and a registered member of the BACP, I have specialist experience in bereavement, gained as a volunteer counsellor with Saint Francis Hospice, and also in substance misuse, gained while working with a local charity supporting those with drug and alcohol addiction.  I also work with issues such as anxiety, low self-esteem, depression, suicidal thoughts, self-harm, emotional/physical/sexual/financial abuse, relationship issues and domestic violence all of which can leave clients feeling isolated, worthless or with deep shame.

I feel that it is an absolute privilege to work with anyone who has the courage to take that first step in counselling and so can assure you of a warm welcome into a safe, confidential space where you are seen and heard.  I recognise the bravery it takes for a client to dig deep as they seek to understand themselves, their experiences and the world around them, and believe that the therapeutic relationship is key to the success of the therapy.  I will provide an approachable and compassionate therapeutic experience where we can work collaboratively towards your desired goal, with you setting the pace and direction, as we explore what it is that is troubling you.

Life can be a rollercoaster and at times you may feel overwhelmed, confused, directionless  or lost and struggle to find your own true sense of self, burdened by expectations of others or the fear of what’s in front of you.   Together we will work towards identifying and overcoming any barriers, empowering you on your journey to greater self-awareness leading to growth and fulfilment, building on your self-belief and confidence.

I believe you have the resources within you to make lasting changes in your life and hope to part of your forward journey.

Angela

Let me introduce myself – I am Angela – a BA (Hons) Counsellor.

My core practice is humanistic (Person Centred and Existential).  Where appropriate, I may use techniques from other therapeutic models and approaches to support how we might work together, such as Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, Transactional Analysis, Psychodynamic, Mindfulness, Art/Play therapy, etc.  With your agreement, I might use other resources such as work sheets, interactive exercises, or therapeutic cards for adults/young people, as a creative way to help with understanding and supporting your needs.

My decision to retrain as a counsellor has been informed by my own experience of life’s demands and recognising the positive difference that counselling can make in managing these.

As part of my counselling training, I work with a school based mental health charity, where I provide emotional and therapeutic support to young people aged 11-18.

I have a keen interest in mental health issues predominantly affecting women, also issues relating to LGBTQ+, disability and race communities.

I am looking forward to listening to and providing you with the therapeutic support to help you with the challenges that you are facing in a safe and confidential space.

Kevin

Hi, my name is Kevin and I am a fully qualified counsellor registered with the BACP.
I decided to become a counsellor after my own positive experience with therapy,
I have a real passion for it, and I am currently studying to teach counselling and
psychotherapy. 

I also work at an East London college providing counselling support for students and members of staff. I work predominantly with adolescents and young adults helping them with issues of Generalised anxiety disorder (GAD), depression, behavioural disorders, loneliness, and acts of self-harming, often triggered by social discrimination, exclusion, stigma, and the influential pressures of social media.

My approach encompasses three well-established forms of therapy – Person-centred, Psychodynamic, and Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) – which I adopt as necessary to meet my clients individual needs. I do not exert what ‘I think’ is best, preferring instead to work alongside my clients, valuing their autonomy and preferences, and tailoring their therapy to achieve the best outcomes.

As a counsellor, I see the value of utilizing different methods and the power of
collaboration between myself and my clients. By working together, I hope to build a strong therapeutic bond that offers empathy, compassion, and clarity.

Counselling offers a safe and comfortable environment to reflect and speak freely. A space to examine how you are feeling, free from judgement, advice, or opinions. Crucially, feeling heard supported and acknowledged, and free to realise your own strengths and values, healing emotionally painful wounds, and regain the self-belief to overcome personal challenges. Enabling you to gather your strength to step away from the pressure and expectations of others.

I love what I do, and becoming a counsellor was one of the best decisions I ever made. It has awarded me the privilege of meeting and working with some incredibly genuine and amazing people.

Melanie

Hi, my name is Melanie.

I am a fully qualified integrative counsellor, which means that I can call on different types of therapy to best suit your needs.

As a counsellor I am very passionate about what I do, and my aim is to offer you a warm, empathetic, non-judgemental space, where you feel seen and heard and truly listened to. A space where everyone is a unique individual. A time to reflect on what is happening for you today as life can be tough at times. As you become more comfortable with therapy and the trust in our relationship grows, we will work together with what you bring to the room, is there something happening today that you may have supressed from your past and are your current behaviours serving you well today.

Together we will work to build a trusting relationship to empower you to become more self- aware and conscious of your own individual needs, in order to bring about change, for you to be your true self.  Are you looking for change? The best part is you get to decide and together we can help you thrive.

Before becoming a counsellor I worked in the corporate world managing and coaching teams to success, but counselling is truly where my heart is. Having personal counselling myself has been the best thing I have ever done for myself. It allowed me to get to know myself better, and understand why I did the things I did. Through counselling and having a trusting relationship with my counsellor, I was able to process what was going on for me, it empowered me to bring about change, acceptance and being able to let go.

I have worked with low self-esteem, anxiety, depression, anger, trauma, attachment issues, the effects the menopause can have on mental health, grief and families bereaved by suicide, self-harm, suicidal thoughts, and other common life issues that can have an effect on mental health.

Billy

My name is Billy and I am a qualified counsellor. I am also a registered member of the British Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy and adhere to their ethical framework of good practice.

Working for many years in HR roles in the hospitality industry, I have come across lots of different people, from all walks of life and experiences. This involves coaching and supporting teams and individuals through difficult situations, from addictions and health conditions, to discrimination, bullying and harassment. Patience, confidentiality, empathy, and attention to detail are just some of the skills required in such situations.

I sought therapy to overcome my own difficulties. I experienced the worries and thoughts that stop you from doing the things you want to do; that keep you awake at night; being someone other than yourself to suit others; the sadness, the fear, the pain, the loss.

When you don’t know where to turn, or what to do to overcome those difficulties. I turned to counselling for support. This support encouraged me to become a counsellor myself.

I have always wanted to help people; it is a passion of mine. Whilst a list of qualifications and experience can be helpful, I truly believe that whatever you are going through, we can work through it together.

I utilise a number of different counselling theories to best suit your needs and have a pragmatic and down to earth style. This is important because I want you to feel comfortable and free to speak your mind.

In a safe and confidential setting, free of judgment, we can further understand your difficulties. Counselling isn’t about advising you or telling you what to do – instead we work together to identify and utilise your own strengths, skills, and behaviours to help you enable the change that you desire.

Over the course of my training and career I have worked with and helped clients with their sexuality, relationships, bereavement and loss, anxiety, depression, disabilities – a big reason for me becoming a counsellor is to support as many men as possible, who often find it more difficult to reach out for help. 

 

Natalie

My name is Natalie, I am a Life Coach specialising in ADHD coaching. I help people unlock their potential and thrive despite the challenges of ADHD. I combine my expertise and experience with practical techniques to create personalised coaching strategies to support each individual client.

I am a fully qualified, Cambridge University educated Life Coach, who lives with an ADHD husband and two sons who are also diagnosed ADHD (one inattentive and one combined ADHD). I fully understand the challenges and frustrations that living with ADHD can bring. I also understand the joy of being surrounded by a family that is energetic, creative, compassionate and spontaneous! 

I have over 25 years’ worth of coaching experience with a background in sports psychology and sports coaching. I have been a Team England Coach for Tenpin Bowling since 2018. I believe my background and experience give me a unique insight into the skills, and mind-set that are required to achieve the really big dreams you have for your life. 

Before becoming a full-time coach I worked as a teacher in a primary school, mainly working with children in year 6. One of my biggest frustrations of working within the education system was the amount of undiagnosed ADHD children making it the whole way through primary school without the correct help and support they needed. No one ever seemed to question why these children behaved in the manner that they did or why such bright, creative children were underperforming in school.

As you can see, I am genuinely passionate about ADHD. I understand how ADHD coaching can literally have a transformative effect on people’s lives. I’ve had the privilege to witness this transformation with many of my own clients as well as having seen my children thrive after coaching. I do not believe that ADHD is a limitation but a unique set of strengths that can be harnessed into a superpower! 

How can I help you with ADHD?

·      Personalised one-to-one coaching: I provide a safe non-judgemental space for individuals to explore their ADHD related concerns and develop strategies to help manage their ADHD. 

·      Goal setting and action steps: We will work collaboratively to identify personal and professional goals and then break those goals down into achievable action steps for you.

·      Organisation and time management skills: I offer effective, practical techniques to help with creating routines, prioritising tasks, increasing productivity and reducing stress.

·      Emotional dysregulation and RSD: This can be one of the most difficult and often devastating traits of ADHD. Coaching can help clients in identifying triggers and implementing coping mechanisms therefore reducing stress and frustration. Coaching also helps to develop skills such as self-awareness, self-advocacy and emotional resilience.

·      Family Support: I also coach parents and family members of individuals with ADHD, to help them understand how to support their loved ones and how to improve communication skills within their home environment.

·      Support whilst studying : Sadly it is a fact that a huge amount of ADHD students drop out of their educational studies due to feeling overwhelmed by the education system. I can help students with techniques to overcome procrastination and improve their ability to focus and reach deadlines.

·      Support whilst undergoing diagnosis: I do not personally diagnose clients with ADHD. However, I know from my own personal experiences how daunting and frustrating the whole process can be. It can be invaluable to have someone work through this process with you and someone who hold you accountable to seeing the process through (even when you want to throw the towel in!)

I use psychologically informed, evidence based coaching methodologies which I adapt for each client’s specific needs.

Qualifications :

  • Diploma in Coaching, Cambridge University
  • Certificate in Professional Life Coaching
  • CERT HE (OPEN) Social Psychology
  • Certificate in Child Developmental Psychology
  • Diploma in Sports Psychology
  • ETBF Coach level 1 and 2

“You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream” By C.S.Lewis