I trained as a counsellor at Masters level at the University of Brighton; I qualified with a Postgraduate Diploma in Person Centred Counselling in 2007. My work remains fully rooted in the person centred approach, as I continually see how effective this approach can be with people. I am a member of the Person Centred Association (bapca.org.uk).
I started my private practice in September 2007, working with individuals, adults and children and young people, and have worked continuously since then, building up and developing my experience of working with a wide range of issues, and with a wide range of clients, of all ages (from age 5 to 86) and backgrounds. Before I started my private practice I counselled in a preventative mental health centre, where clients were referred by their GPs.
I am a registered member of the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP). As required by the BACP, I am in regular supervision and follow an ongoing programme of continued professional development to update my knowledge and skills. I am covered by professional liability insurance.
Colleen Gibson's professsional
I have a long-standing interest and specialism in working with bereavement. I initially volunteered with Cruse Bereavement Care supporting bereaved adults in 2005 – this was one of my training placements, when I was accruing the clinical hours I needed in order to qualify as a counsellor. I then continued with them – in total for seven years. I completed Cruse training to work with bereaved children and young people, and spent two years working with bereaved young people. I completed supervision training with Cruse, and for two years supervised groups of Cruse Bereavement Volunteers.
My interest and specialism in bereavement continues. I am a supervisor with St.Wilfrid’s Hospice, and supervise three groups of bereavement volunteers – qualified and trainee counsellors who support the bereaved family members of patients who have died at the hospice. I have also counselled bereaved parents and family members through the charity You Raise Me UP, which offers support and counselling to families who have lost children between the ages of 16 and 25.
I enjoy supervision – facilitating counsellors as they explore their client work, ensuring they are working ethically and professionally, and helping them in their own personal and professional development. I also work as a supervisor in my private practice, currently supervising both trainee and qualified counsellors.
I spent four years teaching counselling theory and skills to adults on interpersonal and counselling skills courses at Sussex Downs College. Completion of these courses is often a requirement for those going on to counselling training courses. This work combined my interests in counselling and teaching/training - I am a qualified teacher, with a PGCE, and have worked in various primary schools in East Sussex, as a classroom teacher teaching 7 – 11 yr olds, and also in a senior management role as the Upper School Co-ordinator of a Junior school. I spent three years working as an Advisory Teacher for East Sussex County Council, providing training for teachers across the county.
I also spent a year working as a Specialist Mentor for HE students on degree courses who were experiencing mental health issues, supporting them to be able to continue with their courses.
My background in teaching is helpful in that I know and understand the educational environment, so am aware of school procedures and protocols around areas such as safeguarding. I find this helpful when working with my own clients and in my supervision work; I supervise school counsellors privately and provide supervision services for Fegans – a charity who provide counselling support in schools. I also supervise counsellors working with bereaved children and young people through the recently started children and young people’s project, The Seahorse Project, at St.Wilfrid’s Hospice.
I am a Registered Member of the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy, which means that I’m trained and qualified to a required standard, and abide by their code of ethics and framework for good practice (www.bacp.co.uk/ethical_framework)
PG Dip in Person-Centred Counselling, University of Brighton, 2007
Cruse accredited counsellor
Working with Children and Young People, Cruse training
MA in Education, University of Sussex
PGCE in Primary Education, West Sussex Institute of Higher Education
BA (Hons) in English and America Literature, University of Kent
Cruse Supervision training, Ascentis
‘I just want to say thank you for your kind and professional services over these past few months, Thank you so much for helping me ‘become’ on this development journey.’
'Many, many thanks for all you have done for me. Without you I feel all my thoughts would still be locked up inside me. Thank you for your understanding and wisdom.’