Counselling for Trainee/Student Counsellors

Undertaking personal therapy is an essential part of the development of any future counsellor and is a key element to enabling growth and self-awareness to take place.

I passionately believe in the benefits Trainee/Student Counsellors gain from their personal therapy.  Having undertaken Counselling training myself I fully understand the complexities involved and the impact a counselling course can have on a person.

Please visit the following pages for more information on FAQ, Confidentiality & my Counselling Contract for Individuals

Your personal therapy during training is there to

  • enable growth and self-awareness to take place
  • offer you the opportunity to find any blind spots you may have
  • offer you the opportunity to explore any unresolved issues from your past
  • ensure you will be able to recognise and separate your own personal issues from those of your clients when they manifest themselves in the therapeutic relationship
  • ensure you will be able to stay more present and focused with your clients
  • offer you the opportunity to explore how your theoretical training relates to/impacts you
  • offer you a supportive space during your course

Why Choose Me?

  • I am a Registered Member MBACP (Accred)
  • Accredited Member of BACP since November 2009
  • I have been working with Trainee/Student Counsellors since 2009
  • I have worked with students from
    • Chichester University
    • Guildford College
    • Peter Symonds College
    • Roehampton (Play Therapy Course)

How I work with Trainee/Student Counsellors

I am a Humanistic Counsellor and ACT Therapist and these form the core mode of how I work.  I focus on the here and now with a firm belief that everyone is an individual in their own right with a capacity to change, grow and heal given the right circumstances and environment.  Whilst this is the focus of my work I will be interested and curious as to your background and family of origin as your present is informed by your past, especially by your attachment style and by any unresolved issues.  Our work will also look at any unconscious processes that may be taking place either within our counselling relationship or within your PPD/Experiential Group and Client work (see Boundaries) which can sometimes mirror life in the outside world.

Our therapeutic relationship is the heart of the therapy and my aim is to offer you a safe and supportive space for this relationship to grow and to allow you the environment to talk about any issues affecting you as well as enabling you to reflect on your own processes and explore anything that may emerge for you as a result of your training.


  • PPD/Experiential Group
    • Reflecting on what might be happening for you within the group process can be helpful and can bring many insights.  It is important to remember that the focus of our work from this perspective will be entirely on you and how you are impacted rather than on the other members of the group.
  • Supervision
    • There may be times when it is appropriate to talk about what is happening for you with your clients as part of your personal therapy, and your Supervisor may direct you back to me to enable a greater depth of exploration to take place.  Likewise I may at times signpost you back to your Supervisor if I feel something will be more appropriately covered in Supervision.

My Policy

  • I see no more than 1 student from any one year – ie 1 x 1st year, 1 x 2nd year etc.…
  • Confidentiality is paramount and it is good practice to not use names if you are referring to other students on your course.
  • I will not be able to read through nor assist you in the writing of your assignments.
  • I understand and appreciate that for some trainee/student counsellors it is their preference to stay with one therapist throughout the course, whilst for others they would prefer to change and experience another counsellor or a different type of modality.  I am flexible and can accommodate both options.
  • I appreciate that some trainee/students are happy to undertake additional sessions beyond the required number that need to be signed off and I can accommodate this.
  • I take very seriously the importance of personal therapy for students wishing to become counsellors.  If you are not of this mind and see coming to counselling as an exercise in ticking boxes in order to meet the course requirements, then I am not the Counsellor for you. I may not be able to sign off sessions if I believe you have not made good use of them.


Daytime appointments only, available as follows

Portsmouth – Monday between 10.00am and 5.00pm or Thursday between 10.00am and 5.00pm

Westbourne – Tuesday between 09.00am and 2.00pm or Wednesday between 08.00am and 12.00pm


Availability 2019-2020

Chichester University Counselling Students

Spaces available for all years.

Other Training Organisations – If you are a Level 4 or Diploma Counselling Student within another training organisations and would like to work with me, please contact me.

BACP Shirley Baxter Counselling
ACBS Shirley Baxter Counselling

“When writing the story of your life don’t let anyone else hold the pen”

Harley Davidson

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