About Shirley

About Shirley

About Shirley Baxter

Thank you for visiting my website.  I have been a counsellor in private practice since January 2009 since then I have seen my practice  grow and expand from offering appointments on 2 days to now offering flexible daytime and evening appointments on 4 days. Appointments are currently available in Hampshire (Portsmouth) and West Sussex  (Westbourne).

My private counselling work involves general one-to-one counselling for adults; I also undertake short-term EAP (Employee Assistance Programme) counselling for a variety of organisations.  Alongside my counselling work I co-produce and co-facilitate workshops with a colleague, these workshops are primarily aimed at Carers or for Counsellors, Psychotherapists or Other Health Professionals working with Carers.  I am also a telephone helpline counsellor for a major EAP provider, this involves undertaking client assessments for onward referral for counselling, signposting and practical and emotional support.

Prior to setting up my private counselling practice I worked as a student and staff counsellor for a University Counselling Service. I also worked for a counselling service within the field of drug and alcohol addiction and spent over 3 years working for a Carers Support Service providing counselling to adult carers.

Before taking up counselling as a full time profession I spent over 18 years in the electronics industry as a Project Manager and I bring to my practice the wealth of experience I gained working within a large multi-disciplined commercial organisation.

My Counselling model

My background and approach is based on the Humanistic counselling model and this forms the foundation for my work. As a humanistic counsellor I believe that every person is a unique individual with the ability to change, grow and heal when given the right circumstances.

Sometimes it will be appropriate to integrate other approaches with my core model.  This could range from structured approaches such as Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), through to creative expression using art, poetry or imagery. What is important in our work together is to find a way that works best for you and best for the issues that you are bringing to the counselling and this includes working at a pace that feels comfortable for you.

I also offer Acceptance & Committment Therapy (ACT) for clients wishing to work in this model.

How I work as a counsellor

I believe the relationship between client and counsellor lies at the heart of the therapeutic work. My aim is to offer you a relationship free from the experiences of the past, which at the same time allows you to explore your past experiences and relationships within the safety of this new setting. By working in an open and respectful way I aim to create the right setting to help you change, grow and heal, and regain control over your life.

Ethical Standards

I am an Accredited Member of the British Association for Counselling & Psychotherapy (BACP), and work to their code of ethics.  For more information about the BACP Ethical Framework please follow the BACP Ethical Framework page.


In the unlikely event that you need to make a complaint please refer to the BACP Professional Conduct Procedure

Continued Professional Development (CPD)

My own continuing professional and personal development is important to me. CPD ensures I keep up with all the latest developments in the field of therapy as well as continuing to grow as a person. My CPD journey can include additional training or workshops, networking with other professionals, supervision and my own personal therapy.

Over the years I have undertaken 2 substantial piece of training including a Certificate (5 day) and Diploma (5 day residential) in Trauma Therapy at  The Wealden Institute and a Certificate and Diploma in Couple Counselling (15 weekends Jan 2013 – July 2015) at  Chichester Counselling

  • Chichester College – Certificate in Counselling Skills
  • University of Chichester – Diploma Humanistic Counselling
  • University of Chichester – Degree BA (Hons)Humanistic Counselling
  • Chichester Counselling Service – Certificate in Couple Counselling
  • Chichester Counselling Service – Diploma in Couple Counselling
  • Diploma in (NLP) Neuro Linguistic Programming (INLPTA)
  • Working with Addiction – Sussex Alcohol & Substance use Service (SASS)
  • Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training (ASIST)
  • Foundations of CBT (CBT with Heart) (Hemmings Field Associates)
  • Introductory Certificate in Trauma Therapy (Wealden College)
  • Diploma in Trauma Therapy (Wealden College) – Course attended
  • Teaching Clients Mindfulness Skills – Various Workshops
  • Acceptance & Committment Therapy (ACT) – Various Workshops
  • BACP – British Association for Counselling & Psychotherapy – BACP Accredited Counsellor – MBACP (Accred), www.bacp.co.uk.
  • BACP – Register of Counsellors & Psycotherapists, www.bacpregister.org.uk.
  • ACBS – Association of Contextual & Behavioral Science www.contextualscience.org
  • Emsworth Business Association, www.emsworth.org.uk
  • AVIVA – Registered with Aviva to provide counselling for eligible policy holders.