Counselling, Psychotherapy & Meditation

A Holistic, Person-Centred, Decolonised Approach to Wellbeing

About

Hi, I’m Alan.

I want to help you to understand, heal and grow; to take care of and trust yourself; to express your true potential more freely and live a meaningful, fulfilling life that you enjoy.

I strive to offer you a powerful and potent experience of deepest respect, empathy, and trust, allowing you to feel deeply heard, understood and met with heartfelt warmth and compassion, empowering you to make the changes that you wish to make.

Do you want to feel better?

  • Understand yourself better? How you feel, what you need and perhaps why you find yourself caught in familiar patterns of behaving or relating to others?
  • Do you long to overcome obstacles, habits and even addictions so that you can live, appreciate and enjoy your life more fully?
  • To more fully know, accept and value yourself, being in touch with how you feel, trusting yourself and owning who you are unapologetically (both in your strengths, qualities and in your human limitations and imperfections)?
  • To explore and find peace with your identity – who you are and how you fit in the world.
  • Feel more at ease and with a greater sense of freedom, meaning and purpose in your life?
  • …to make and sustain more satisfying and authentic connections and relationships with other people in your life? (your partner, your children, your friends or family?)

For more about the Counselling process and my ‘Understand, heal, grow’ approach, read more here

I am a real, genuine and down-to-earth human being with my own lived experience of life’s struggles. I understand how difficult it may feel to consider exploring your feelings and experiences with a stranger and can assure you that if you choose to work with me, I will walk your path with you with the greatest care, heartfelt compassion, understanding and importantly, at your own pace.

I would love to hear from you if you are ready to take the first steps towards positive change.

I’ve been there too

Life can feel hard sometimes, and it can be a struggle to cope. The pressures on us can feel overwhelming and leave us feeling stuck. I know what that feels like.

I’m a real person, like you who has struggled with dark periods in my own life. At points in my own life, I’ve struggled with depression, anxiety and addictions, as well as with self-consciousness, my weight, relationship with food and my body. I’ve struggled with my identity as a mixed-race man, always feeling ‘different’, longing to belong and also with questioning if I may be neurodivergent – undiagnosed ADHD or on the Aspergers / ASD spectrum.

I’ve struggled with a lack of self-worth and with existential questions – wondering, ‘what is the point?‘ I’ve been through divorce and at points in my life lost everything I had been building and had to start again. I don’t know where I would be without the help of therapy and the journey of personal growth that it has facilitated.

It gives me a great sense of satisfaction and gratitude to be able to help you to facilitate your own journey of healing and growth, to walk alongside you as a compassionate companion and guide on your journeyThat’s why I became a therapist.

My purpose is to support you in creating a life that feels fulfilling and authentic; to help you awaken to your potential so you can experience a life in which you feel good, connected and alive.

https://alancrawfordcounselling.co.uk/

Call or Text me now: 07305746740

Why work with me?

I strive to offer you a powerful and potent experience of deepest respect, empathy and trust, to empower you to make the changes that you wish to make.

  • My clients, friends and former colleagues tell me that I have a naturally calm, grounded, gentle, compassionate and ‘in the moment‘ presence that helps them to feel safe, valued, cared for, heard and understood, that I embody the person centred way of being (acceptance, empathy and genuineness). I have been told that I have a way of getting to the heart of things, to what really matters… and that I am courageous and honest in my realness, honesty and transparency with my clients.

I have a non-judgementalunderstanding and down-to-earth approach which is born of my own lived-experience of what it is like to go through dark and difficult times, as well as 15 years of professional experience working with individuals and groups in the criminal justice, addiction and mental health fields before moving into private practice.

I have also taught Counselling as a Tutor / Lecturer at the City of Liverpool College for the last two years, something which I feel enriches my practice as a counsellor.

  • With me, counselling is a natural conversation with a caring, understanding and encouraging person who can help you to process your feelings, get a fresh perspective on your situation and make the changes you wish to make in your life.

There are no props or flipcharts, no worksheets or diagrams and I don’t tell you how to think or what to do. We simply sit opposite each other in comfortable chairs and talk about whatever is going on for you in a natural, engaged and honest way. Nor am I a passive, ‘nodding dog’ therapist – I work in a way that is active and engaged, questioning, challenging you and offering you feedback.

Flexible approach

I am also flexible, creative and open-minded in the way I work, thinking outside of the box.

Whilst the traditional therapy room remains the best choice for many, you might want to work with me outside whilst enjoying the natural environment in ‘Walk & Talk’ therapy (though ‘Walk & Talk’ can also mean less walking and more sitting in a quiet, private space in nature to talk).

Or we have the option of working together via Teams / Zoom / Whatsapp Video or even via Email.

Home Visits may also be available on request in certain circumstances if you live nearby and my schedule allows it.

I even offer Unlimited Messaging Therapy where you can pay a weekly subscription to have regular contact via message – write whenever you want and I will respond regularly. This is of course an entirely different experience to traditional therapy, but can be a worthwhile source of support for some people.

I offer one-day and multi-day intensives and retreats for individuals, couples and groups looking for more depth and non-traditional approaches to their process. I collaborate with clients to craft experiences to mobilize depth in ways meaningful to them. Intensives often involve time in nature, breathwork, meditation, sharing circles, or personalized ceremony.

Contact me to discuss which of these various options is the best fit for you and your circumstances.

https://alancrawfordcounselling.co.uk/

Call or Text me now: 07305746740

Professional Experience

The broad range of my professional experience, alongside my academic qualifications, have equipped me with a solid foundation of professionalism and effective, ethical and evidence-based practice.

I am qualified to degree level and have professional qualifications as both a Probation Officer (BA Hons, DipPS) and a Counsellor (Dip.Coun). Working in both the statutory and voluntary sector, I have over 15 years’ experience of supporting those with complex, multiple needs, including those affected by mental health issues, addiction and criminality.

  • I am a qualified therapeutic counsellor (Counselling & Psychotherapy Central Awarding Body ‘Diploma in Therapeutic Counselling’) with over 15 years’ experience of supporting people to make and sustain positive changes in their lives.
  • I am insured and receive regular clinical supervision with an experienced Supervisor to ensure the quality and ethical standards of my practice.
  • I was for many years a Registered Member of the British Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy, the largest body that represents Counselling and Psychotherapy in the UK and have more recently joined the National Counselling Society. This means that my qualifications are professionally recognised and that I work within a strict code of ethics and framework of professional standards.
  • My Accredited Registrant status means that I have met the standards for registration in terms of training, supervision, continuing professional development and a contractual commitment to the Ethical Framework.
  • I am a Counselling Tutor / Lecturer at the City of Liverpool College, teaching Person-Centred and Experiential Therapy. I find that teaching inspires, refreshes and reinvigorates my counselling work with clients. I am also passionate about training the counsellors of tomorrow in a human, relational approach to therapy (to counter the threat posed by the brief, symptom-oriented, superficial, and insubstantial approaches to therapy that are dominant).
  • I am a member of the BAATN, The Black, African and Asian Therapy Network (www.baatn.org.uk), home of the largest community of therapists of Black, African, South Asian and Caribbean Hertiage in the UK.
  • I am a trained Men’s Work Facilitator and a member of both the Sacred Sons and the UNcivilized Nation.
  • I am a community activist in the L8 and Liverpool Black Community – I am on the board of Trustees of the Caribbean Community Centre and am an active member of Liverpool Black Men’s Group.

I enrich my therapeutic work through a committed daily meditation practice drawing on my experience of Zen training, and exploration of traditional celtic and African spiritual practice. My Zen training and spiritual practice contributes to my own personal development and influences my way of being as well as my ability to offer a quality of compassionate presence whilst engaged in therapy.

This also makes me a good fit for any client who might have an existing meditation practice or might be intrigued about exploring meditation or spirituality as part of their therapy.

Special Interests

I have considerable experience working with a wide range of emotional needs and issues and enjoy working with a diverse range of clients, both male and female, at all stages of life and from all racial, religious, cultural and ethnic backgrounds.

However, I have a special interest and significant experience in the following areas:

  • Anxiety and Depression
  • Existential & spiritual issues (such as the search for meaning, purpose, exploring how best to live and die, exploring spirituality)
  • Identity issues  – particularly mixed race / dual heritage individuals and associated issues relating to identity, belonging, cultural and spiritual disconnection, ancestral connection and family tree / genealogy.
  • Addiction recovery (drugs / alcohol, food / eating, gambling, sex, porn, co-dependency, technology)
  • Mindfulness and Meditation
  • Men’s Work and Masculinity (including fatherhood)
  • Group Therapy / Process Groups / Encounter Groups

Other areas of counselling I deal with

  • Walk & Talk‘ and Outdoor Therapy (Eco-therapy / nature therapy)
  • Group Therapy, Process Groups and Encounter Groups
  • Existential and Spiritual issues
  • Identity (especially Mixed Race / Dual Heritage and associated issues relating to belonging, cultural disconnection,
  • Ancestral connection and family tree / Genealogy.
  • Men’s Work, masculinityfatherhood,
  • Parenthood –  new parents, those struggling with parenting, separated and single parenting, co-parenting and Gentle Parenting / Attachment Parenting
  • Exploring other dietary issues and choices and relationship with food, including overeating, obesity and body image
  • Raceracism, racial microaggressions, colourism and racial discrimination
  • Buddhist inspired psychotherapy / Counselling for Buddhist practitioners
  • Therapeutic Ritual and Ceremony
  • Plant Medicine Integration, Psychedelic-assisted Therapy and micro-dosing (please note, I do not provide psychedelic substances to clients but am open to working alongside clients on this journey)
  • Person Centred approaches to addiction recovery (including non-disease model alternatives to the 12 Step approach though I also welcome clients involved in 12 Step programmes and have a good understanding of these programmes / fellowships due to my experience in the addition recovery field)
  • Mindfulness and secular meditation Groups
  • Holistic Therapies, Relaxation methods and techniques including Reiki and guided meditation.

Interests

When I am not working, I enjoy being involved in the local Liverpool 8 community as a Trustee of the Caribbean Centre and active member of the Livepool Black Men’s Group. I’m a musician and play guitar in a couple of bands and enjoy gigging, watching live music and listening to one of my many Spotify playlists or a podcast.

I enjoy walking in the woods or Princes / Sefton park with my young son, partner or a friend, attending local markets and hanging out at local independent cafes, bars and restaurants whether on Lodge Lane, Lark Lane, Smithdown or Bold Street, indulging my enjoyment of good food, good coffee and good conversation.

I have a daily meditation practice and am interested in Buddhism, traditional African spirituality and traditional celtic spirituality.

I enjoy spending time in the natural environment, especially being near to mountains / hills, forests and the sea. I am especially fond of the Highlands and Islands of Scotland. Barbados in the Caribbean also has a very special place in my heart and I love staying connected with my family out there, keeping our culture alive through cooking and celebrating our Bajan heritage.

I always have a book on the go, often related to Zen, African Spirituality, Counselling / Psychotherapy / Psychology,  Philosophy or Black History (I need to read more novels!). I particularly enjoy the work of Irvin Yalom, one of my therapeutic heroes.

I enjoy keeping physically active through walking and challenging myself through barbell strength training at the gym (and to combat my love of large portions of Caribbean and Soul food!).