Penny Mathern Counselling

 

Counsellor, Group Facilitator and Trainer

Relate Trained and Senior Accredited Member of BACP

Thank you for looking at my website; I hope you find the information below both helpful and informative, however, if you have any further questions or queries please do not hesitate to contact me using the form at the end of this site.

Counselling

I have been counselling for over 20 years and I am both highly qualified and very experienced in couples counselling and individual counselling. I have been a member of the British Association for Counsellors and Psychotherapists throughout my career and later went on to achieve accreditation followed by senior accreditation.

What do I do?

I offer my clients a safe, calm and comfortable environment where they can explore whatever it is concerning them. Sometimes that may be something very specific e.g. the loss of a loved one, and sometimes it can be much more general e.g. being very tearful and stressed and not knowing why.

The most important part of the counselling is the relationship between you and me, your counsellor. By providing a confidential and non judgemental setting I give you a space for you to talk to me about whatever is troubling you. My role is not to tell you what to do, it is to listen, to enable you to explore what is distressing you, to help you understand that  and then to decide for yourself what you wish to do next. Although I do not tell you what to do, I do pass on my knowledge for example about the process of bereavement and, I will observe things about you that perhaps you were not aware of yourself.  In individual work I have had clients who had no idea they regularly referred to themselves as stupid. In relationship work I will notice how people talk to each other, for example one can act like a parent and the other act can like a child; again they may not be aware of this.

How do I help?

Initially, I offer a free consultation of 40 minutes. That gives me the chance to explain in more detail about counselling and for you to tell me what is troubling you. Most importantly it is for you to work out if you feel comfortable talking to me about yourself. You can then decide if you wish to continue the counselling, either there and then, or if it feels more comfortable you can go away and think about it. If you decide to continue we would then meet for a 50 minute session, usually every week for as long as we both feel it is appropriate.

What type of counselling do I offer?

I offer what I describe as a ‘tool box’ for clients. I have worked in a number of different settings including a GP Practice, the University of Exeter and Relate and over many years I have developed different approaches, these include: – Psychodynamic Counselling, which is looking at how your past is impacting on your present; Behavioural work i.e. learning different ways of thinking and behaving; Person Centred Counselling, which looks at issues in the present; and Relationship work, both between couples and within families. Not all clients are the same, people have their own preferences for how they like to work and also different scenarios require different approaches.

I also offer ways of communicating in addition to talking: – some people find expressing themselves verbally very difficult and there are other ways of telling your story. One method is the use of stones… does that sound bizarre? Believe me stones, the sort you get off a beach, can be so helpful to someone when talking is just too difficult. And it is ok to laugh in counselling……it can be so important for clients sometimes to bring humour into the room, as indeed do I, when appropriate.

What specific types of problems have I helped with?

My initial training and specialism was with Relate and relationship work:-that might include the discovery of an affair, sexual issues, and communication issues. As I extended my career I did more individual counselling, both brief therapy and long term work:-examples of this include, stress and anxiety, depression, sexual abuse, bereavement and loss, self esteem, self harm and suicidal thoughts.

Availability

  • Monday, both daytime and evenings, between 9.30am and 7.30pm
  • Thursday, both daytime and evenings, between 9.30am and 7.30pm
  • Friday, 9am until 1pm
  • Sunday, evenings between  5.15pm and 7.30pm

Cost

Individual counselling………£45 per hour

Couple counselling………….£55 per hour

Qualifications

  • MBACP (Snr Accred)
  • Certificate in Marital and Couple Counselling (Theory and Practice)
  • Diploma in Social Work
  • Certificate of Qualification in Social Work
  • BSc Econ and Soc Studs

Location

Guiseley.   A few minutes off the A65 and within a 10 minute walk of the railway station.

Testimonials

“I have worked with Penny for 6 years at Mount Pleasant Health Centre, Exeter where she was our Practice Counsellor. I can very highly recommend her as a practice counsellor; her work is of very high quality” Dr David Russell GP Trainer MRCP FRCGP

“Penny is a skilled listener, offering both empathy and insight in a safe and tranquil setting.” Alison, client, Leeds 16

Penny guided me through a difficult time in a family relationship that is very important to me; she is the reason that relationship is saved (and I like myself a lot better too)       Alison Kelly, client.

Group Facilitator and Trainer

Group work is an extremely effective way of bringing education and support to a number of people at the same time. It provides knowledge, mutual support as everyone can share their story, increases individual self esteem and is very cost effective.

Having done all my initial training in group work this became an early interest in my career. Initially I trained with Relate and offered courses for members of the public in Assertiveness, Divorce and Loss and Facilitating Groups.

I was then accepted as a Course Director at Exeter University where I scripted, delivered and assessed a 2 year Certificate in Counselling Course in partnership with Bristol University. In Partnership with Relate and CSCT I also delivered 2 year Certificate Courses in Counselling; both of these courses used experiential group work as the core model.

During my employment as a Counsellor at the University of Exeter and at Mount Pleasant Health Centre I introduced group work for students and patients and I am now involved in the setting up and delivery of loss and bereavement courses.

I am presently a long distance learning tutor for Skills Direct on their Level 2 Certificate in Understanding Mental Health.

Whilst Group Work can be very challenging, for example students can be very distressed by the course material so the challenge for the leader is to balance the individual and group needs, it is also very rewarding. I can provide individually tailored courses to meet the needs of individual groups e.g. managing stress in the work place, assertiveness for young mothers, understanding the impact of divorce.

If you are looking for a very experienced and qualified group facilitator please  contact me via the form below.

Contact me

Please fill out the form below and I’ll be in touch soon.