It is not usually helpful to have a session with someone who is under the influence of alcohol or drugs, and can be dangerous psychologically and physically. The standard cancellation policy would apply.
I strongly urge anyone who is in a crisis situation to seek out expert help from local and national services including (UK only)
It is essential that you feel comfortable working with me, and I work hard to develop a safe, non-judgemental place for you to talk. Often this is a place where you will say things that you have never told anybody else. I have had counselling myself and understand how valuable and necessary this is. I am bound by the ethical framework of the British Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy. This includes a provision for breaking confidentiality in extreme cases if I have concern for your own safety/welfare (e.g. suicide) and/or that of others. I will make every effort to discuss this with you before taking any action. I am legally obliged to contact the police if I believe you are involved with drug trafficking, terrorism, or modern slavery. Further information is available at BACP Ethical Framework for the Counselling Professions Please discuss any concerns about this with me.
Some aspects of Recovery Coaching might seem like counselling or psychotherapy (often called 'talking' therapies). However, the focus is about the future, what it is they are seeking to change and helping the person identify and implement the changes. It is far more practical, and often involves me sharing more of my personal recovery.
You will notice that I refrain from using the term 'addict' or 'addiction' on my main webpage. Terms like these are interpreted differently by different people and can hold a lot of negative stereotypes. It is more helpful to focus on what is going on for an individual. Unhealthy relationships with substances and behaviours cover a wide spectrum of things. My focus is very much on how it is from the person's own perspective. Recovery Coaches like me use their lived experience and a range of skills and techniques to help people identify and implement the changes they seek as defined by them. So to answer the question, you do not have to be 'an addict' to make an appointment with me.
Yes and something I take extremely seriously. That is why any online counselling and recovery coaching will be run through a secure online portal with 'Psychology Today' (or through Better Help for those contacting me through that service). This is similar to Zoom and has the added benefit of being run by a highly recognised counselling and psychotherapy organisation.
I will send you the link after paying for your first appointment. If you are having recovery coaching, then we can also contact each other by phone, text messaging, Whatsapp and similar approaches we have agreed to use.
Absolutely - in fact people often do not know what specifically it is that they need to explore but know that something is not quite right for them. Counselling and other talking therapies are recommended by the NHS and the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence for a wide range of issues and concerns. Note that I only work with people over the age of 18.
I encourage any one considering counselling or recovery coaching, to call for an initial discussion. This helps answer any questions that you might have and whether I am available to best meet your needs. I insist on this for any face-to-face appointments given that these are held in my home office.
You will need to sign a Working Agreement and this is usually done during or after the first appointment. This sets out a few working principles that we both agree to follow and reflects how many counsellors provide their services in line with their profession. A copy of this will be sent to you to sign and an opportunity to answer any queries or questions that you might have with regards to this.
Appointments are usually day and evening Monday to Fridays. Weekend appointments are possible in particular circumstances.
I recommend everyone to have a brief, free call with me so that we can determine whether recovery coaching or counselling will best meet your current needs. Then you can arrange a full appointment.
If we have agreed to Recovery Coaching, then you are encouraged to check-in with me once or twice a week, between appointments. If we have agreed to Counselling, then NO. However, you can arrange an urgent additional counselling session but this will be charged in advance, at the standard fee.
Each one-hour appointment is charged at £55.00. I offer some concessionary rates on a case-by-case basis. Please contact for further information.
Payment needs to be received five days in advance to secure the appointment. Cancellations are charged unless at least 48hours notice is given.
Counselling and coaching sessions are online or face-to face. Online sessions use a secure platform specifically designed for counsellors and psychotherapists, provided by Psychology Today (it is very similar to Zoom or Google meets).
Face-to-face appointments are usually held in my home office, in Sale, south Manchester (M33) - free roadside parking, and about 12-15 mins walk from the metro-link stop in Sale (Manchester-Altrincham line) and bus services serving Sale.
No. I am not clinically qualified to provide advice or recommendations on this or any medical matters. I encourage everyone to speak to a doctor about what is going on and arrange a health check-up. This is especially important for someone who is alcohol-dependent and needs medical advice to taper off rather than stop suddenly. I encourage people to continue to take their prescribed medication.
You will be asked to provide your name, address and contact telephone number, and that of your GP. This is so that I can fulfil the ethical and legal responsibilities as I have outlined above. You can waive the right to provide this information but it means that I cannot intervene in case of an emergency and it may mean that we could not work together. Please discuss any concerns you might have about this. I am registered and fully compliant with the General Data Protection Registrar and keep your personal contact details separate to any session notes I might make. All of this is stored on a password protected computer and only I have access to this information.
This is not routinely done. It is really important to develop a trusting, open relationship with the person I am working with, to help understand and support positive change for the behaviours causing problems. I can prepare letters/statements on your behalf and this will be charged at a full session-fee per item.
I do not run group recovery coaching sessions and I do not work together with other members of the family. I do know people who do if this is something you are seeking.
I do give workshops about my work, and about topics often grouped as 'addictions'. Please contact me if you would like to find out/discuss.
Yes, I do. I have even set up new meetings and national events, particularly for the LGBTQI community. However, that does not mean that I do not embrace other approaches to recovery. I support people to help identify what it is that they want to do, to achieve their goals and I never ever insist upon anything. The sessions are not about my recovery but about helping the person I am with. Hence why I call my service 'Ways to Sobriety', to recognise the different ways that help a particular person.
Yes. I am a Registered Member of the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP). My Register Membership Number is 000644308
The BACP is the UK accrediting body that holds certain standards and code of ethics for counsellors and psychotherapists to adhere to. If therapists are members of the BACP, it means they have completed a substantial level of training and experience approved by the Association.
I have professional indemnity insurance for national and international work.
Yes - even though the UK does not require any training for people to call themselves a recovery coach, I self-funded my own training with the Recovery Coach Academy developed by the Connecticut Community for Addiction Recovery (CCAR).