UKCP Children and Adolescent Psychotherapist Qualification

As a psychotherapist my registering and accrediting body is the UKCP and in January 2012 they launched a new specialist register for psychotherapists that work with children and adolescents.

Whilst many practitioners, such as myself have qualifications and many years of experience to work with these client groups, it is the first time that there will be specialist register. For those people in this category, who are experienced there has been a ‘grandparenting scheme’ which takes place over a two year period.

The opportunity to register and be accredited as a children and adolescent psychotherapist ends in January 2014.

I have began the process of gaining my qualification. Initially you apply, then you need to write a (very) detailed account of your child and adolescent practice, with specifics regarding outside agencies and particular issues. My application regarding my practice was in excess of 13k words, so not an insignificant piece of writing.


The second part of the application before the title is  granted is two case studies. If you are applying to work with both age groups then there needs to be a case study for each client group. Again, this is a significant piece of work. The application is judged by a committee of members of the UKCP and if they need clarification, an applicant could be either asked to discuss their application in front of the committee or write more.


For those people who do not have the experience and wish to be on the register then they need to do the full children and adolescent’s course ( generally 3 or 4 years) at a university or a psychotherapy institute which is running a course.


Of course, I do hope that prior to the 2014 deadline I will be able to blog that my application and registration is approved.



Edinburgh Child and Young People’s Conference

I had the pleasure in attending The Children and Young People’s Conference in Edinburgh on the 26th January 2013.

It was a heart warming experience when I arrived.

Prior to that I had a horrendous journey – it included me having to dig my car out…as I live on the Pennines, when we get snow it is often deep and treacherous.

I had, in anticipation left my car on the nearest main road, as this is a public bus route, then gritters and the people that drive the vehicles,  do their utmost to keep the roads clear. As the snow fell and was driven through, my car at the side of the road gathered approximately 12”- 14″ of snow around it.

So, I dug the car out – defrosted it (although I needed to stop again 500 metres up the road as it froze again) The route across t’tops was diverted. The road there was often single track, always breathtakingly beautiful and hazardous without ice and snow.

Onwards to Preston Train station. The journey was ok…no problems. I knew, as I had checked on line before I left, that the train was delayed 35 minutes. This caused me no concern, I had planned to arrive more than 2 hours before my presentation was due.

As I walked from the parking area to the train station the weather was cold and wet. Underfoot there was the fall of yesterday’s snow, wet and slushy, mushy as the day warmed the snowy pavements.

My first stop at the station was to collect my ticket from the automated till, juggling my handbag, cotton eco-friendly bag and umbrella and after the second attempt I had my tickets in hand. On looking at the departures board my train was now expected to be an hour late. I decided which coffee shop would gain my business, as I looked forward to warming my hands on a cardboard cup of skinny latte. After making a decision and purchasing a coffee, I sat on a lonely seat, wiping the previous traveller’s crumbs  and trail of their baguette off the table.  I once more studied the departures board. The very delayed 7.30am train (it was now 2 hours and 10 minutes later) to Edinburgh was due to leave in 7 minutes.

I dashed to the ticket office to see if my ticket was valid for the earlier train, which in it’s tardiness had not left – yet. I waited (impatiently) for other travellers to speak to the man behind the counter – how odd those holes are that allows the air from the passenger side to behind the counter – where all information is held, I thought.


Yes, by good fortune, rather than an informed choice my pre purchased tickets could be used for that very delayed train. 2 minutes to go.

What platform? In my rush I had not noted the platform number – was it 3 or possibly 6? I dashed as quickly I could, as my poorly back and hand luggage, still balancing my coffee, would allow. There was no one to ask. In the attempt to get trains in and out when they were impossibly delayed had meant that trains were often on different platforms. I went up stairs to get to platform 6 …I went back to platform 3 I wanted to cry in frustration. Frustration with my own body that could not move quicker due to my back injury and my not knowing which track.

I realised that the train had gone, left, departed. I felt sad and alone in that moment.

I went outside to give myself a separation from the bustle of travellers.  I sat down in the shelter and texted a colleague who had travelled from Manchester, an hour earlier than my train was (originally) due to depart. My phone rang.  She too, had experienced problems. The snow had deviously hidden a raised kerb and she had a puncture as she drove to her station. Her husband donned his white, shining armour and rescued her from the situation, taking her to Manchester in another car. Now, snug and warm on her train she was whizzing up to Edinburgh, with another colleague.

Her words calmed me and I realised that my own train, the train I had booked would be leaving in another 45 minutes. When my call was ended the young man who sat at the other end of the shelter, picked up an earring from the floor in front of me. ‘Is this yours?’ He asked.

On feeling my earlobes I recognised I had no earrings in…both had come out-during which struggle I had no idea. In the snow, as I left where I lived? In the car, as I stretched across to get bags and umbrella? I resigned my self to the possibility that the other twin could have departed anywhere in this station. Since I had arrived 90 minutes ago, I had covered quite a bit of it. It could be anywhere.

Accepting this, I was  sad again, the earrings although not expensive, I had bought as a memento in Greece last year. I dropped the lone earring into my handbag. I bought another coffee. I sat on the seating on the platform. This Edinburgh train, (now 75 minutes later than anticipated) was not going to leave without me.

Within twenty minutes I was sitting, had arranged my goods and bags around me, and was  on the high speed train to Edinburgh.

My journey from then on was non eventful I am pleased to say. The train arrived, albeit delayed again by a further 10 minutes, as there was another train that had beaten us to the platform. I got a taxi. I arrived at the venue.

I found the organisers and they said due to the inclement weather the conference was running ten minutes late. I had a coffee, found my colleagues, spoke to others. I was on in twenty minutes.

I enjoyed my short stay. I found the venue inviting, the organisers prepared and welcoming. The audience seemed to be attentive.

I travelled home. It was only as I journeyed home (only ten minutes delay) on my return journey, that I recognised I had never, ever,  during the out going travels considered not going. It was  not totally uneventful journey home – my car refused to move through the snow when I was just 3 metres from my home. I abandoned it. Locked it up and let myself in to my home. It was 11.15pm.

I had struggled with snow, seeping over my knee high boots to dig my car out. I even tried (unsuccessfully) to gain access to an earlier, delayed train. I had lost my holiday earrings. I had been delayed and I only had 20 minutes to compose myself and talk to the audience in the Edinburgh training and Conference Venue whilst  being live streamed on the internet. Not once did I think, even dream, not to attend.

I am now considering the ‘what’ – what drove me (not my Volvo) to be so focussed, so determined to attend, to fulfil my ‘obligation’, keep my word, however I choose to label ‘it’….to not consider turning around and saying ‘this is too hard for me’.

I recognise this is just one example of my tenacity. I know that I prefer to keep my ‘promises’.

How do I function – am I concentrating so hard on the expected outcome, all choices fade from my awareness?

It is an interesting consideration. I shall consider it some more.

I found my other earring – it was in my car. The twins were reunited.



Contact Form and sincere apologies

STOP PRESS Interview Sunday 9th December 2012 7pm

Hello everyone

I hope you are well – I am well and I am concerned as I have found out today that a link was ‘broken’ (….all of this was out of my awareness) on my contact form (on the final page of my web site).

This has meant that I have not received any information recently from my contact  form page.

If you have sent any queries or comments and you wish me to respond now, please resend them

Many apologies for any inconvenience caused and of course if you have believed that I have have ignored any comments – I never realised you sent them!


Warm and Seasonal Wishes





Working with Anxiety Conference

Hello All

Today I had the pleasure (and the pain of travelling) to Edinburgh to take part in Onlinevent’s conference, ‘Working with Anxiety’. It was a pleasure, as Edinburgh is a wonderful city, steeped in history contrasting with it’s air of vibrancy and life in the 21st century. The pain was driving for an hour to a train station and then a two and half hours train journey at the beginning of the day, then the return, towards the end of the conference. My sincere apologies not to stay to the end, this was due only to the train times. I assure the final presenters and audience when I receive the dvd of the day I will be watching their workshops.

It may come as no surprise to any reader who knows me, that it was from my viewpoint as a Gestalt practitioner, that I based my presentation on, ‘Working with Anxiety from a Gestalt Perspective’. It was a new and inventive experience for me as it was live streamed onto the internet, as well as the delegates in the room. There was a live ‘chat room’ happening and it was unfortunate that I never had the opportunity to respond to any questions/or read the chat. As the link was cut between different presenters, the chat was ‘lost’ for any prior facilitators, so I was unable to ‘look back on it’ when I returned to the audience.

It was only two presenters later that some one in the audience managed to ‘cut and paste’ the chat as it happened, so I was unable to see any comments directed to me. If anyone has any questions/comments pertaining to my short workshop I’d be happy to answer them here on this blog.

I am tired now, following the journey home and the exciting, different, novel experience to be part of a conference that could be so widely viewed in real time.

It is quite likely that this way of working will be a regular occurrence in the future, giving the wider audience an opportunity to be sitting at home, possibly with their feet up, sipping coffee and occasionally nibbling on a  biscuit (or is that just me?) whilst a whole raft of presenters are beamed directly into their homes. The live chat room discussing the content of the presentation and being able to ask questions is a fantastic concept.

I found the people who hosted the event, headed by John and Sandra Wilson, welcoming and very supportive. My sincere and warm thanks to you all. The other speakers were all experienced in their own modalities and each gave a personal and extremely professional view of how they work with anxiety. I salute their knowledge and excellent presentations. I was proud to be part of such a powerful and insightful group, who were willing to share not only their theoretical knowledge, in turn each of them gave part of themselves, keenly.

Over the next few weeks I shall be taking part in an interview (no set date yet, I shall post it on my site when it is) with John Wilson. In January I am (with delightful anticipation, no true anxiety) travelling again to Edinburgh to take part in ‘The children and young people conference’, with onlinevents once more.

A short clip of today’s workshop and the presentation in full will be uploaded onto my YouTube channel as soon as I receive the footage and of course, onto this website.

Warm wishes to all








Christmas – is – a – coming

So here we are 21 days from Christmas..what does that mean for you?

A round of stressful shopping trips, anxiety whilst wrapping, unable to spend the time on writing something meaningful into the significant pile of Christmas Cards?

Are you organised, cool, calm and collected for the Christmas festivities?

Are you rushed, manical and dreading the event?

Are you somewhere between the two?

I am wondering who has set you up for your Christmas regime?

Are you still trying to match your own mother’s splendid fayre, when all Christmas’s were perfect?

Are you trying to complete the unsatisfactory Christmas when your parents argued before the turkey was cooked and it lasted until Sixth Night?

Are you keeping up with the yummy mummies at the school gate?

It is worth taking a moment to recognise what your drivers are, even more so, if they now work for you? What worked for your own parents may not work for you and your family.

What you maybe trying to repair is your parent’s issues and do not belong in your home.

Parents are under extreme pressure each Christmas to meet their children’s wants.

Apparently, this Christmas the return to the traditional toys from the 1980’s are due for an update and are wanted by many children…Although I do understand that Nintendo are bringing out a new games console.

I wish you all a wonderful and peaceful 2013


Cost of therapy

I was considering how clients react to the cost of therapy.

My fee for a fifty minute session is £45.00 – £55.00, I generally see clients weekly. I recognise that this can often only be affordable for most client’s if they themselves work.

Therefore,  I often work unsocial-able hours, including evenings and Saturdays. There is no premium for this,  I realise that this is customary in my profession to work outside of 9am-5pm.

Some clients recognise that this cost per session, is before my out goings of room rent, professional fees, costs of supervision and ongoing continuing professional development, travel expenses and of course, tax. Others assume that this fee goes fully into my pocket.  (Oh I wish!)

I am lucky to receive a table of suggested fees from my training body, where I studied for my MSc. There are differences in the suggested fees according to the differences in training, length of practice and experience.

This ensures that there is some parity across the profession and it also takes the ‘guesswork’ out of what the going rate is.

Some client’s begrudge paying, and will complain about the cost, of course this is all grist for the mill and part of the therapy.

I do try, as I believe other practitioners will, to try and make the payment plans as manageable as mutually possible for clients.

I appreciate when clients are honest regarding their finances, I would not want client’s to get into debt, due to their therapy costs.

This is one reason why I support the Manchester Institute’s Low Cost Therapy Clinic. They charge a nominal fee, to allow clients who can not afford the cost of a qualified psychotherapist a way to receive therapy. They are means tested, as they have to earn below a certain amount to qualify for the scheme.

The therapists in the programme are in the third year of their advanced training for psychotherapy, they are carefully supervised and supported by MIP and provide a valuable service to the community.

I am wondering what others think of the fees for psychotherapy? When you have completed the work you may recognise how your way of being has changed, there could be no contest regarding the financial cost for that peace of mind. When you are spending that money on a weekly basis it may seem costly? Too costly?

I would be interested in others thoughts