Experienced Compassionate Ethically Minded
Searching for a counsellor can sometimes feel daunting.
You will obviously want to ensure that any counsellor is the 'right fit' for you.
You might have questions about me. What is Lesley like? Will I get on with her? What experience does Lesley have?
I am hoping this section will answer some of your questions.
I have worked in the field of mental health since 1996 as a mental health practitioner and counsellor/ psychotherapist.
Child and Adolescent Mental Health
I spent the first 18 years of my career in a Learning Disability CAMHS (Child and Adolescent Mental Health) Team; working with children and young people with severe learning disabilities and or developmental conditions and their families.
It was during my time in LD CAMHS I developed a passion for supporting clients on the Autism Spectrum; completing a Post Graduate Diploma in Autism Spectrum Conditions (2002) and MA in SEN (2003). Around the same time, I also completed a Masters in Psychology and Advanced Diploma in Child Development.
I completed DISCO (Diagnostic Interview for Social & Communication Disorders) training with Lorna Wing and Judy Gould, and am able to deliver Early Bird, Cygnet and 'Sign-Post' psycho-education training to parents and professionals, and sleep practitioner training with the Hansel Trust.
I continue to have a passion to ensure clients on the Autism Spectrum, and those with learning disabilities have equitable access to appropriate therapy.
Over the years, I have been involved in a number of innovative service developments:
In 2015 I was approached to help develop a new mental well-being online support service for CWP's Starting Well in Cheshire West and Cheshire.
I had a key role in developing Wirral CAMHS Sleep Clinic, a service commissioned by Wirral CCG. My experience as a sleep practitioner led me to recognise the key relationship between sleep and positive mental well-being.
In 2012 I was approached to take on a lead role in the day to day running of CWP CAMHS' website mymind.org.uk and other social media platforms.
I completed a Post Graduate Diploma in Counselling and Psychotherapy in 2012 while continuing to work in LD CAMHS. This undoubtedly enhanced the way I was able to support families in my care.
I am the fourth generation of my family to live with Neurofibromatosis, a genetic condition which can cause disfiguring tumours. This experience influenced my decision to complete my MA in Counselling and Psycho-therapeutic Practice; studying the experiences of therapists with a visible facial difference.
The Alder Centre
In 2014, I joined the counselling team at The Alder Centre; a specialist bereavement service, offering support and counselling to anyone affected by the death of a child of any age; however recent or long ago.
My experience as both a CAMHS therapist and Counsellor enables me to work with children, adolescents and adults; individuals, couples and family groups. I also provide staff counselling as part of my role.
I recognised that many of the clients I worked with presented with trauma and therefore I completed my initial EMDR Practitioner training in 2015 and specialist Child and Adolescent EMDR training in 2019.
I set up my small private practice in 2013 - I offer both short term and long term therapy to clients across the life-span. While I offer counselling to clients with a wide range of presentations, I specialise in counselling clients on the Autism Spectrum; Grief and Bereavement Counselling; Trauma and Appearance Issues.
I am currently programme lead for the MA in Counselling and Psychotherapy Practice at Liverpool John Moores University. I am currently studying towards a Professional Doctorate in Counselling and Psychotherapy Studies at the University of Chester, where my focus is the role of Bereavement Care and Meaning Making in Bereaved Parents.