Experienced, Compassionate, Ethically Minded, Neurodivergent Psychotherapist
Searching for a therapist can sometimes feel daunting.
You will obviously want to ensure that any therapist 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 am a neurodivergent psychotherapist and mental health practitioner, who has worked in the field of mental health since 1996. I live with Neurofibromatosis type 1; a neuro-genetic disorder of the Central Nervous System. I am an Accredited, Registered member of both the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP) and the National Counselling Society (NCS) and a registered member of EMDR UK, working towards Accreditation.
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 neurodevelopmental conditions and their families.
It was during my time in LD CAMHS I developed a passion for supporting Autistic children and young people; completing a Post Graduate Diploma in Autism Spectrum Conditions (2002) and MA in Special Educational Needs (2003). Around the same time, I also completed a Masters in Psychology and Advanced Diploma in Child Development.
I was fortunate to complete my DISCO (Diagnostic Interview for Social & Communication Disorders) training with Lorna Wing and Judy Gould in 2003 and have completed Early Bird, Cygnet, and 'Sign-Post' psycho-education training to parents and professionals, and sleep practitioner training with the Hansel Trust.
I am committed to ensuring Autistic, Learning Disabled, and otherwise Neurodivergent clients of any age, have equitable access to appropriate therapy.
Over the years, I have been involved in a number of innovative service developments:
In 2012 I was approached to take on a lead role in the day-to-day running of CWP CAMHS's website mymind.org.uk and other social media platforms.
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 2015 I had a pivotal role in developing a new mental well-being online support service for CWP's Starting Well in Cheshire West and Cheshire (for young people aged 11-18)
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 that can cause disfiguring tumours. This experience influenced my decision to complete my MA in Counselling and Psycho-therapeutic Practice; researching 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, from conception through to adulthood, however recent or long ago. The Alder Centre is situated within Alder Hey Children's Hospital, Liverpool. My experience within CAMHS and as a therapist means I am able to work therapeutically with bereaved children, adolescents, and adults; individuals, couples, and family groups; as well as being part of the staff counselling team.
I qualified as an EMDR Practitioner in 2015 & went on to complete EMDR with Children and Young People in 2019. I am currently working towards EMDR Accreditation.
I set up my small private practice in 2013 - offering both short-term and long-term therapy to clients across the lifespan. While I offer counselling to clients with a wide range of presentations, I specialise in counselling Autistic and Neurodivergent clients; Grief and Bereavement Counselling; Trauma, and Appearance Issues. Recently, I have worked with an increasing number of gender-expansive clients (Trans, Non-binary, Gender Fluid, Agender). It is important for clients to know that I am a Gender Sexuality and Relationship Diverse Aware therapist. Therefore I am working towards certification with WPATH, the World Professional Association for Transgender Health in Mental Health.
I am currently working to achieve my Diploma in Supervision with an Intersectional Lens and can offer supervision to both trainees and qualified therapists. Please note that I am limiting the number of supervises I am currently working with.
Counselling & Psychotherapy Trainer
I am programme lead for the MA in Counselling and Psychotherapy Practice at Liverpool John Moores University, a Person-Centred Experiential training programme. I am also 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.