Beryl Wolfenden is a York Counsellor

How I work

I work from a person-centred perspective. This means that I take as my starting point the experience and understanding that you have about your own situation and what it means for you. I can then use the knowledge that I have from a range of theories and models to work with you to help you to understand yourself better. You may then be able to make changes. These changes may be about how you think, feel or behave in a situation, or they may be to change the situation itself.

For some people this may be about their early experience, looking at how patterns and beliefs originating in childhood may still be operating at some level today. For other people it may be better to focus more closely on the feelings, thoughts and behaviours that are operating in the present, using CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy) as a model. In all cases I believe it is the relationship that develops between myself and the client that is of prime importance in effecting change.

A lot of my work has been with people in crisis: when something devastating happens it can be hard to cope, and you may not be able to see a way forward. You may feel very vulnerable or out of control, sometimes with thoughts of suicide or self-harm. You may behave in ways that seem out of character or be unable to function in ways that you otherwise would. If you can access counselling quickly, it can help you to contain your feelings and restore your ability to cope. You may find that it deepens your understanding and strengthens your resilience.

I have a background in Teaching and in Social Work (Mental Health). I have a Diploma in Counselling and have been an accredited member of BACP since 1996. I have a Certificate in Supervision (1996) and am trained in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (2002). I have been working as a counsellor for twenty years.

I follow the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy Code of Ethics.

I offer a confidential service. This means that I do not discuss anything that arises from the counselling with others. However there are limits to this: I will need to discuss the work (without identifying the client) with my supervisor, to ensure that I am offering the best service within an ethical framework. I also reserve the right to break confidentiality if I have serious concerns about someone’s safety, whether that is the client or another person. In this instance I would make every attempt to speak to the client concerned and to discuss the best way of taking matters forward.