Alison Hollingshead PgDip, BSc(Hons), MBACP
Life experience, however difficult, makes us who we are today. Counselling can strengthen self-belief and self-acceptance, so that we can process our past and make way for a better future.Alison
Here is a little about me, as I feel it is important that you find a therapist or supervisor that you can relate to.
From the age of fifteen I knew I wanted to become a counsellor. I had some difficult childhood experiences which led me to have a real desire to help others process and overcome their own difficult life experiences. I have truly benefited from counselling and the process has allowed me to accept who I am. I feel able to navigate and cope with whatever life throws at me. I am not immune, but know what I need to do to look after myself. Only through our vulnerabilities can we experience our humanity.
I enjoy the outdoors, walking, climbing, running, bike riding, camping and pottering in the garden. Being outside is one of my main coping tools. I also love reading, writing, cooking, pottery, art, meeting my close friends and spending time with family.
Honesty, transparency, humour, connection and communication are the virtues which I value in myself and others.
I’m a Person-Centered Counsellor, Psychotherapist and Supervisor. This means I nurture a warm, accepting and open space for you to explore your thoughts, feelings and experiences. I am warm, friendly and compassionate and I want to help you to reach a better place within your life.
I specialise in empowering people to improve self-belief, build resilience, and develop fulfilling relationships through therapeutic sessions, courses, and psycho-educational products.
I work therapeutically with children, young people, and adults. I am founder and host to three online communities: The Self-Belief Project, Rising Counsellors, and Free Spirits Recovery, as well as running a successful private counselling practice.
The Self-Belief Project is a supportive community for parents, carers, teachers, and therapists, providing resources to help improve self-belief, resilience and relationships in children and young people.
Rising Counsellors is another supportive community to empower counsellors and psychotherapists to set up, build and grow their own successful private practice in a way that is fulfilling to them personally, professionally, and financially.
Free Spirits Recovery is a community, coaching and wellbeing service that supports people who identify with having ‘grey area’ drinking problems, to drink less and live more.
With a degree in psychology, a postgraduate diploma in psychotherapy, and over 15 years’ experience and training in the mental health field, I pride myself on being an ethical and effective client-centred therapist and coach. I have transformed people’s lives for the better through the use of therapeutic interventions, drawing from my qualifications, training and extensive experience.
Before I qualified as a Counsellor, I worked as a Registered Manager to a residential home for young people aged 15-25, and managed a team in a psychological wellbeing service within the NHS.
I have worked with many charities as a Counsellor including a Rape and Sexual Abuse Service, Younger Mind and I also set up The Inspire Project, a BBC Children in Need funded therapeutic service for girls aged 14-18.
- Certificate in Online and Telephone Counselling (BACP approved)- 2020
- Certificate in Supervision – 2018
- Post Graduate Diploma (Level 7) in Counselling and Psychotherapy – University of Salford – 2013
- BSc(Hons) Psychology – Manchester Metropolitan University – 2005
Training and Professional Development
- Tackling Addictions
- Building Resilient Families
- Counselling Gender, Sex and Sexuality
- Counselling with Children and Young People
- Counselling Trauma and Sexual Abuse
- Working with Diversity
- Safeguarding Children and Vulnerable Adults
- Congruence in Person Centered Counselling
- Stigma and Equality
- Counselling with Suicidal Clients
- Working with Bereavement
- LGBTQ+ Awareness
- First Aid (children and adults)
- Risk Assessments
- Treating Intrusive Thoughts and the Inner Critical Voice
- Mental Health First Aid
I have have thousands of hours’ worth of experience which include:
- Low Self-Esteem
- Low Confidence
- Abuse and Bullying
- Work Place Issues
- Relationship Problems
- Communication difficulties
- Loss and Bereavement
- Difficulties Conceiving, Miscarriage and Loss
- Parenting issues
I have worked as a counsellor since 2012. I have worked in mental health settings for 20 years with children, young people and adults. I have worked in the following settings:
- Private Practice
- NHS and IAPT settings
- Care Homes
- Children and Young Peoples services
- Rape and Sexual Abuse Counselling
Membership and Code of Ethics
I am a registered member of the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy. I work in accordance with the BACP Ethical Framework. I attend regular supervision and have an enhanced DBS. I am fully insured.