Hi, I’m Alan.
I want to help you to understand, take care of and trust yourself; to express your 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.
My clients, friends and colleagues tell me that I have a naturally calm, gentle, compassionate and ‘in the moment‘ presence that helps them to feel safe, valued, cared for, heard and understood. I have been told that I have a way of getting to the heart of things – this helps my clients to find out what is really most important.
I have a non-judgemental, understanding and down-to-earth approach which I believe is born of my own lived-experience of mental health issues and recovery, as well as over 10 years professional experience working with individuals and groups in the criminal justice, addiction and mental health fields before moving into private practice.
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. We simply sit opposite each other in comfortable chairs with a hot drink and talk about whatever is going on for you. I believe deeply in the capacity of open, compassionate and contemplative conversation to heal and transform.
I’m flexible 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. Or we have the option of working together via Skype or Email. Home Visits may also be available on request in certain circumstances.
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.
About a decade ago I began my own journey of personal healing that continues to unfold today. I have had the good fortune of working with some great therapists and teachers who have helped me to move through difficult periods of my life – to get to know myself better, let go of harmful, self-destructive behaviours and find a sense of balance, satisfaction and meaning in my life.
I will walk alongside you
It gives me a great sense of satisfaction and gratitude to be able to help you to do the same thing, to walk alongside you as a compassionate companion and guide on your journey. That’s why I became a Counsellor and Psychotherapist. 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.
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 10 years’ experience of supporting those with complex, multiple needs, including those affected by mental health issues, addiction and criminality.
- I am a qualified counsellor (Counselling & Psychotherapy Central Awarding Body ‘Diploma in Therapeutic Counselling’) with over 10 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 enrich my therapeutic work through a committed daily meditation practice in the Zen tradition. I have a daily mindfulness/ meditation practice, attending regular retreats and meditation groups to deepen and inspire my practice. My Zen training 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
- I am a Registered Member (certificate 340993) of the British Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy, the largest body that represents Counselling and Psychotherapy in the UK. This means that my qualifications are professionally recognised and that I work within a strict code of ethics and framework of professional standards.
- My Registered Member status further 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 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. However, I have a special interest and some expertise in the following areas:
- Person-centred and experiential therapies, and existentially informed therapy
- Addiction recovery (particularly from a Person-Centred perspective)
- Existential & spiritual issues (such as the search for meaning, purpose and identity, exploring how best to live and die)
- Mindfulness-based, meditative and Buddhist-inspired psychotherapy (including counselling for Buddhist practitioners)
- Group Therapy / Process Groups / Personal Development Groups
When I am not working, I enjoy walking in a local park with my young son, attending local farmers markets and farm shops or catching up with friends at independent coffee shops and traditional pubs, indulging my enjoyment of good food, good coffee and good conversation. I have a daily meditation practice and am a member of the Stonewater Zen Sangha, attending the centre in Liverpool at least once a week. 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, and visit nearly every year. I play guitar in a couple of bands and enjoy live music and listening to one of my many Spotify playlists or a podcast whilst driving or doing things around the house. I always have a book on the go, often related to Zen or Counselling / Psychotherapy / Psychology and Philosophy (I need to read more novels!). I enjoy keeping physically active through walking and challenging myself through barbell strength training at the gym.