Counselling is a gift, not a criticism. You are doing a great job we want to help you to keep doing it.

At TESSA we offer counselling to every parent referred to our service because we recognise that parenting a child with a trauma history can take its toll on us and our relationships. Our counselling service aims to validate your role as parent. It is a supportive space where you can be open about the challenges and the joys of family life. Look upon it as a form of self care because you are worth it!

Sometimes it’s easier to talk to a stranger than to relatives or friends. A trained counsellor or therapist can listen without judgement and help you find your own answers to problems.

The therapist will give you time to talk, cry, shout or just think. It’s an opportunity to look at life in a different way with someone who will respect you and your opinions and it is time devoted entirely to you.


Our aim is to provide a counselling service accessible to adopters throughout Northern Ireland. We have a team throughout the province with their own specialisms and areas of interest, all of whom fit the TESSA criteria for standards of good practice.

“The counselling I received through TESSA has been life changing. Thank you so much”

We have a team of counsellors throughout NI with their own specialisms and areas of interest, all of whom have completed the Adoption UK Insights and Strategies training for professionals working in adoption. This training mirrors the content of the AUK Parenting Our Children course and ensures that TESSA counsellors are aware of the key issues affecting adoption today. Some counsellors also have personal experience of adoption and/or fostering.

Only you can choose the therapist who’s right for you. Most practitioners are happy for you to phone and ask questions to help with your decision making. After speaking to a counsellor ask yourself if you feel comfortable telling this person intimate details about yourself and your family. Do you feel safe with them? Do you like their manner? Could you be completely open with them? When you have made your choice (it may be worth having a second and third choice), please get in touch so we can arrange contact.

Good luck with the process.

Below is our counsellors register.



Contact TESSA

Tel: 028 9046 9211

Text: 07484054774





Name: Sarah Barrow
Location: Antrim and Ballymena
I’m registered/accredited with: BACP Accredited
Code of ethics observed BACP
My qualifications: Diploma of Higher Education in Counselling

Advanced Diploma in Reflexive Supervision

Certificate in Equine Assisted Therapy

Special interest/experience in: Trauma, Anxiety, Depression, Bereavement/Traumatic Bereavement, Self Harm, Adolescent Development.


Additional information: I have been an accredited member of the BACP since 2011 and I am a part time lecturer in Counselling and Counselling Supervision.

I am Cruse Bereavement trained in working with both adults and children, and I was a post primary school counsellor for 2 years.

I work within private and organizational practice.

I work with individuals with a wide range of presenting issues.


My theoretical approach: An integrative approach, which is client centred to meet the needs of the individual.


I see: Individuals.






Name: Andie Bradley
Location: Ballymena
I am registered/accredited with: BACP, Registered member

NISCC, Registered member

Code of Ethics observed: BACP Ethical Framework

NISCC Standards of Conduct & Practice

My qualifications: · HND Health and Social Care

· UU FdSc in Counselling (Integrative)

·  CPCAB Diploma Psychotherapeutic Counselling

· ASIST Applied Suicide Intervention

· Level 1 Foundation & Level 2 Intermediate – Motivational Interviewing

Special interest/experience in: Adoption being close to my heart has guided me to working within the therapeutic field as a helper. My experience has encouraged particular interest in psychology & childhood trauma, attachment & loss, inner-child work, psychosomatic experiencing and mindfulness. I am passionate in working with individuals included within the adoption triad.
Additional Information My background includes offering a counselling service within GP surgery settings, and working with drug and alcohol support agencies to help teenagers/young adults around substance misuse and harm reduction, delivering outreach support and therapeutic intervention to adults struggling with addiction, relapse-prevention and abstinence.   I enjoy working with a diversity of clientele from all walks of life, and endeavour to facilitate a client’s understanding of issues so that they can implement positive change. Areas of experience include working with adoption, challenging behaviour, relationship conflict, trauma, domestic violence, confidence/self-esteem issues, anxiety, depression, abuse, grief, work-related stress, PTSD, attachment and loss.
My theoretical approach: As an integrative counsellor with a person-centred approach, I aim to offer a non-judgemental, safe and warm environment to establish and maintain a therapeutic relationship between client and counsellor. I blend aspects of humanistic, psychodynamic and CBT therapies, including mindfulness and motivational interviewing techniques. My modality aspires to meet individual client needs through one-to-one or family support.
I see: Individuals, Families, Young People, Couples
Willing to travel? Yes

Name: Linda Britton
Location: Derry/Londonderry/Strabane
I’m registered/accredited with: Registered with BACP/Accredited with National Counselling Society
Code of ethics observed BACP
My qualifications: Diploma in Psychological Trauma,

Diploma in Counselling

Diploma in Psychotherapy

NCS Accredited Counsellor/Psychotherapist, Integrative Therapy and a member of BACP


Special interest/experience in: Trauma, Suicide, self-harm, Anxiety, Depression, Abuse, Substance Misuse, Family Issues, Grief etc.


Additional information: I am also a level 6 qualified counselling supervisor. I am a member of the clinical consultant team within my organisation.

I have 12 years’ experience in the profession. I work with individuals and couples on a wide range of issues.


My theoretical approach: I am trained in a range of therapeutic models and tailor the therapy I provide to the needs of the client.


I see: Individuals, Couples, Children


Willing to travel? Yes
Any other information: I have experience in assessing the needs of the whole family.


Name John Campbell
Location Banbridge, BT32 4LZ
I am registered/accredited with BACP/IACP/BAOT (Occupational Therapy)
Code of Ethics observed BACP/BAOT
My Qualifications Dip.HE Counselling, Dip. CBT. Dip. Counselling Supervision, IPT, EMDR
Special interests/Experience in Autism, Anxiety/Depression, Addiction, Sexual Problems, Abuse
Additional Information I have 40 years’ experience as a mental health professional initially as an Occupational Therapist and then as a counsellor. I have obtained the Advanced Cert of Education (ACE) in Autism and an MBA in Management. I teach to degree standard in counselling through the UUJ. I also have a private practice where I also supervise counsellor and students.
My Theoretical Approach Integrative
I see I also offer Couples Therapy and Group Therapy
Any other information Willing to travel


Name: Paul Davis
Location: Belfast and Craigavon
I’m registered/accredited with: BACP/BPS
Code of ethics observed BACP/BPS
My qualifications: MSc in Psychological Trauma,
BSc (Hons) Psychology, BACP Accredited Counsellor,A/Dip Cognitive Behavioural TherapyA/Dip Integrative Therapy
EMDR Trauma Therapy
Special interest/experience in: Trauma, Anxiety, Depression, Abuse and Grief
Additional information: I have a MSc in Psychological Trauma, BSc (Hons) in Psychology, am a BACP Accredited Psychotherapist/Counsellor, University lecturer, Counselling Supervisor and experienced mediator. I have 16 years experience in the profession. I work with individuals and couples on a wide range of issues.
My theoretical approach: I am trained in a range of therapeutic models and tailor the therapy I provide to the needs of the client.
I see: Individuals, couples, families
Name: Lesley Delaney
Location Belfast
I am registered/accredited with BACP, Registered member
Code of ethics observed BACP Ethical Framework for Good Practice in Counselling
My qualifications are: FdSc (Hons) Counselling & Psychotherapy

Safeguarding Children & Young People – UU

Suicide Awareness & Prevention –Assist

I have a special interest/experience in: Adoption, Attachment   issues
Childhood Trauma, Grief & Loss, Infertility,
Foetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder, Relationship Counselling, Therapeutic Parenting
Additional information As an adoptive parent, I have a particular interest in working with all people who have been affected by the experience of adoption. In my private practice, I provide therapeutic support to help empower parents, increase their confidence, promote the development of healthy attachment relationships, understand past trauma and improve parent and child’s ability to regulate. I also work independently with a Health Trust providing training pre and post adoption on attachment, neuroscience, contact and life story work.
My theoretical approach is As an integrative Counsellor, I use aspects of Person Centred, CBT and Psychodynamic therapies to suit   each client’s individual needs
I see: Individuals, Couples, Families
Willing to travel? Yes




Name: Louise Faulkner
Location: Belfast
I’m registered/accredited with: Northern Ireland Social Care Council (NISCC)

British Association Social Workers (BASW)

Code of ethics observed NISCC and BASW
My qualifications: Currently undertaking the Dyadic Developmental Psychotherapy (DDP) Practicum to become a certified DDP therapist

2017 Non Violence Resistance Training

2015 DDP Masterclass

2015 Dr K. Golding, Foundations for Attachments Trainer Programme

2017 Group Theraplay

2014 Theraplay Level 1 and MIM’s Assessment Model

2014 PQ Specialist Social Work Award 1-3 obtained and ongoing

2010 / 2011 DDP Levels 1 & 2

Incredible Years BASIC, ADVANCED and DINA Programmes

2007 Foundation in Family Therapy and Systemic Practice

2006 Young Minds Certificate in Child and Adolescent Mental Health

2003    Queen’s University Belfast
MSW DIP/SW Social Work

1995    Middlesex University BA Hons in Art Practice in the Community and Psychology

1992    Burnley College Foundation Studies in Art and Design

Special interest/experience in: My particular area of interest is in providing therapeutic support to children, young people and their adoptive families to enhance therapeutic parenting knowledge and responses, create safety and security within relationships and enable families and professionals to have challenging conversations with young people.
Additional information: I have been supporting families in NI for nearly 20 years and since 2012 I have been in the role of Senior Practitioner in a multi-disciplinary Therapeutic Team for Looked After and Adopted Children providing training, consultancy and direct therapeutic support to Looked After Children, children post adoption and their care giver network. I am also registered with BASW as an Independent Social Work Practitioner and Therapist.

Throughout my professional journey, as well as my own personal experiences of adoption, I have been fascinated by relationships, how we interact, how we influence each other, patterns of communication, our expectations, hopes and wishes as well as our commitments in relationships and attachments. Given their complexity, relationships can require support to think about how best to understand ourselves and others in helpful and safe ways and to develop a level of attachment security.

My theoretical approach: My practice is therefore significantly influenced by the principles, knowledge and skills of Dyadic Developmental Psychotherapy (DDP), Family Therapy, Therapeutic Parenting Models and Theraplay as these interventions assess and promote resilience, attachment, self-regulation and mindful presence in times of difficulty and distress.
I see: Parents and Children
Any other information:  Work Area – Belfast
Name: Catherine Gilligan
Location: Derry
I’m registered/accredited with: IACP, IAHIP and Registered with ICP
Code of ethics observed IACP and IAHIP codes of ethics for good practice in Counselling and Psychotherapy
My qualifications: Post Graduate Dip. In Counselling/Psychotherapy

Certificate on Solution Focused Counselling

Post Graduate Dip. In Special Education

B. Ed Degree

Special interest/experience in: Attachment issues, Adoption, Shock and Trauma, Relationship Counselling
Additional information: I have a particular interest in all parties in the adoption triangle, adopted people, birth parents and adoptive parents. I aim to build a trusting therapeutic relationship with people and provide a private, confidential and safe place to begin working through the issues they bring to therapy. I have family experience of adoption.
My theoretical approach: I use a variety of approaches, staying with people with whom I work, and using a method that offers a way of working with them and understanding the situation from their perspective
I see: Individuals, Couples, Families.
Any other information:  Work Area – Derry

Name Lynda Graham
Location Carrickfergus & Donaghadee
I am registered/accredited with: Registered with BACP & NISCC

Accredited member of National Counselling Society

Code of ethics observed BACP Ethical Framework for Good Practice in Counselling
My qualifications are MSc Counselling & Therapeutic Communication
Dip Person Centred Counselling
Certificate in Counselling
BA (Hons) Social Work
Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training
Brief Solution Focused Therapy
Child Protection Training; Vulnerable Adults Training
I have a special interest/experience in Adoption, Post Adoption depression, Relationship Counselling
Additional information I aim to build a trusting therapeutic relationship with clients and provide a private, confidential and safe place to begin working through issues and difficulties you wish to bring into counselling. I specialise in working with people in the adoption triangle. This includes: counselling adoptive parents, birth parents and young people, working with Individuals/couples applying to adopt, post-adoption support, helping with contact issues as well as assessing prospective adopters. I have a particular interest in Post Adoption Depression (PAD) and have family experience of adoption.
My theoretical approach Primarily Person Centred counselling, but I realise that a more integrated approach is often necessary so I use aspects of CBT and Solution Focused Counselling.
I see: Individuals, couples, families
Name Lynne Heber
Location Newtownabbey
I am registered/accredited with: Registered Member of BACP

Code of ethics observed


BACP and Association of Christian Counsellors.
My qualifications are Diploma in Counselling & Psychotherapy
Advanced Certificate in Counselling & Pastoral Care
(Christian Guidelines)
Certificate in Listening skills   + Tutor training
QUB Certificate in Social Welfare Studies
I have a special interest/experience in Adoption, Relationship Counselling, Depression, Bereavement, Anxiety and low self- esteem issues
Additional information Most of us at some time or another can feel overwhelmed by life’s challenges, which can leave us feeling helpless and alone. I believe that counselling can offer a safe and confidential space, which gives us the opportunity to explore our thoughts and feelings. When we are given a sense of being listened to and deeply understood we can then begin to resolve the issues that prevent us from enjoying our lives.
My theoretical approach I work primarily from a Person Centred base which is respectful and non-judgemental , and draw on a variety of therapeutic interventions as necessary.
I see: Individuals, Couples
Willing to travel? Yes


Name Natalia Hodgers
Location Lisburn
I am registered/accredited with: BACP (British Association of Counsellors & Psychotherapists, Registered Member)

NHS (National Hypnotherapy Society, Registered Member)

Code of ethics observed


I abide by BACP & NHS code of ethics.
My qualifications are My counselling qualifications are:

  • BSc (Hons) Psychology & Sociology
  • CPCAB Dip (Relate) Relationship Counselling
  • FDSc Integrative Counselling
  • Dip HypCS Hypnotherapy & Counselling
  • Cert Person Centred Counselling
  • Dip Mindfulness

My training areas are:

  • Relate Trained Couple Counsellor
  • TESSA Trained Adoption Counselling
  • ASIST Suicide Intervention Training
  • Mental Health & Wellbeing Coaching
  • Cert in Alcohol & Young People’s Development
  • Cert in New Psychoactive Substances
  • Cert in Childhood Sexual Abuse

Cert in Managing Self-Harm

I have a special interest/experience in Integrative Counselling Practice, Relationship Issues, Attachment Issues, Mindfulness & Hypnotherapy Practice.
Additional information I have over 10 years’ experience in the voluntary and public sectors working with individuals, couples, and families.

I currently work as a self-employed counsellor, hypnotherapist, and mindfulness practitioner.

My theoretical approach Integrative counselling (person-centred, CBT & psychodynamic)
I see: Individuals, couples, families.
Willing to travel? Yes


Name: Keith Irwin
Location: Coleraine, Ballymena and North Coast area
I’m registered/accredited with: BACP/NCS
Code of ethics observed BACP
My qualifications: CPCAB Level 6 Certificate in Counselling Supervision
Relate Cert Relationship and Couple Counselling
Dip HE Counselling
Special interest/experience in: Relationships, Addiction, Stress, Anger, Depression and Anxiety
Additional information: I am a counsellor, trainer and supervisor with experience of delivering counselling in a number of settings including Northern Health and Social Care Trust, Relate NI, Probation Board, Crisis intervention, Employee Assistance Programs and with University Students.

I use a number of venues in the Northern Trust area and can offer appointments that are accessible and convenient including some evenings and weekends.

My theoretical approach: My client’s needs come first. I have been trained as an integrative, relationship focussed therapist which facilitates the integration of different approaches and techniques to meet the differing needs that clients bring to counselling.
I see: Individuals and couples


Name: Heather Low
Location: Greater Belfast
I’m registered/accredited with: BACP Accredited
Code of ethics observed BACP
My qualifications: MSc in Counselling and Supervision
Certificate in Counselling Skills
Transactional Analysis Certificate
Solution Focused Brief Therapy Certificate
CPCPAG Level 5 Relationship Therapy (Relate trained)
Special interest/experience in: Anxiety and Stress Management, Communication in relationships, Trauma, family systems and Attachments, Grief and Loss, Stress and Anxiety, Self-care.
Additional information: Additional Information: I have been practising as a counsellor and Supervisor for 18 years. I have worked for over 30 years in the community/voluntary sector with individuals, families and more recently couples. Working with issues such as Domestic violence, sexual abuse, emotional abuse.

I also have 15 years’ experience working in the field of pregnancy, birth trauma, post-pregnancy related issues, bereavement, post-natal depression and anxiety.

In my current post I coordinate a counseling service and provide supervision and training for counsellors. I worked for five years with parents in community-based settings, supporting them to develop ways to communicate with their children and engage in difficult conversations. Part of this work was with foster parents.

I have also worked with birth and adoptive families at different stages of the adoption process. I have a good sense of how complex things can be and why it is so important that everyone involved receives the support they need when they need it.

I have my own practice room in North Belfast with availability daytime and evenings. My room is within a shared building, and is accessible on the ground floor. Free parking is available on site.

My theoretical approach: I work with clients in an integrative way while I hold Rogerian principals my    work is underpinned by systems and attachment theories.   I also use the Transactional Analysis model of communication.
I see:

Willing to Travel:

Individuals and Couples



Name Barbara Marshall
Location North Coast Area, Limavady, Ballymena
Registered/Accredited with Registered Member of BACP
Accredited Member of NCS
Code of Ethics observed BACP Ethical Framework for Good Practice in Counselling
My Qualifications Foundation Degree in Counselling

BACP Certificate of Proficiency

Certificate in Anger Management

Certificate in Children and Young People’s counselling

Diploma in Clinical Hypnotherapy

BSC(HONS) Psychology

Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development certificate

Post Graduate Certificate in Further and Higher Education

Special Interests/Experience in Relationships, Addiction, Anger, Adoption, Fostering, Abuse, Self-harm, Grief and Loss.
Theoretical Approach I am trained in a range of therapeutic models and tailor the therapy to suit the needs of the client.
I See Individuals and couples
Additional Information
Every one experiences difficulties at some time in their life. Perhaps you are finding it difficult to cope with overwhelming feelings or are struggling with a life situation which has become intolerable. I can help you to overcome challenging and difficult issues including anxiety, low self-esteem, relationship worries and anger management.

I am fully qualified and a registered member of the BACP (British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy) and the NCS (National Counselling Society).

I practice within the code of ethics of confidentiality. I am also fully trained in Clinical Hypnotherapy and find this has very positive results with concerns such as anxiety, addictions and changing negative thinking patterns. I am fully trained in Anger Management.

As I have lectured for over 20  years in Health and Social Care and Early Years, I deliver workshops and information sessions on many areas such as mindfulness, parenting and attachments, Autistic Spectrum and ADHD,  Anxiety and stress reduction, depression and also anger management.

Having worked as a respite foster carer for the past ten years, I have had many wonderful experiences of the children in my care, however, I also have an understanding of the many worries and concerns that fostering and adoption may bring.

Name Sally McAleer
Location Ballygawley
I am registered/accredited with: Accredited member of National Counselling Society
City & Guilds Adult and Further Education
Code of ethics observed


Diploma in Therapeutic Counselling
BA (Hons) Degree
C & G Adult & Further Education
My qualifications are Diploma in Therapeutic Counselling Level 4
I have a special interest/experience in Anxiety, Addiction, Adoption, Bereavement, Grief, Stress Management, Self-Esteem, Wellbeing, Self-care
Additional information Following a career in teaching, I trained as a counsellor. I have a lot of experience working with organisations providing counselling support and also in private practice. I have undertaken professional courses including those focusing on wellbeing and self-care which I incorporate in practice to provide a holistic approach. I also have life coaching experience and professional membership with BACP and BPS.
My theoretical approach A client-centred integrative approach
I see: Individuals, couples, families
Willing to travel? Yes



Name Gerry Mc Cluskey
Location Belfast
I am registered/accredited with: BACP (registered); BICA (accredited); NICSS (registered)
Code of ethics observed BACP, BICA and NISCC
My qualifications are BSSc (Hons), CQSW, MSW, Certificate, Diploma and Advanced Diploma in Person Centred Counselling; Relate Certificate in Relationship Counselling.

Dyadic Developmental Psychotherapy (DDP) Level 1 (Dan Hughes model)

I have a special interest/experience in Adoption, Fostering, Loss and Grieving, Fertility Issues, Relationship Counselling, Attachment and Trauma.
Additional information My aim is to create a safe, comfortable environment and relationship in which the things that are troubling you can be explored fully. Through my social work experience in both Family and Child Care and Family Placement (Adoption and Fostering), and my counselling experience as a Fertility Counsellor, I have worked with people from all parts and stages of the adoption process.
My theoretical approach Person-Centred Approach
I see: Individuals, couples
Name Christina Mc Dermott
Location Newry
I am registered/accredited with: BACP (accred)
Code of ethics observed BACP
My qualifications are BSC Hons Prof Development in Nursing

MSC Health Promotion

PG Dip Specialist Practive Nursing & CBT

I have a special interest/experience in General counselling, CBT, EMDR, Trauma, Depression,

Sleep difficulties

Additional information I am a dedicated and motivated professional with academic and clinical experience specifically related to mental health and health promotion. I possess a knowledge of health promotion theory & practice and 26 years varied experience in health promotion & psychiatric nursing. I work as a clinical nurse specialist, provide clinical supervision for psychiatric nurses and I have lectured in health promotion.
My theoretical approach Cognitive behavioural therapy, EMDR, brief intervention model
I see: Individuals, couples, families
Name: Bernadette Mc Donagh
Location Maghera and Derry/Londonderry
I am registered/accredited with BACP Senior Accredited
BACP Registered
IAHIP Accredited
ICEEFT   Certified
Code of ethics observed BACP and IAHIP
My qualifications are: B. Sc.Post Graduate Diploma in Counselling and Psychotherapy
Diploma in Supervision
European Certificate of Psychotherapy
Certified Emotionally Focused Couples Therapist
I have a special interest/experience in: Child Attachment and Separation; Adoption; Adult Attachment Issues and Couples’ Connection; Sexual Abuse; Depression; Anxiety; The use of Mindfulness in Psychotherapy
Additional information Aware of the traumatic effects of separation, I am passionate about the human need for connection. I work with adopted adults in dealing with the issues of abandonment, separation, shame, identity and in developing the ability to form secure adult attachments.

I also work with couples. The presence of a traumatised adopted child in need of therapeutic parenting can have profound effects on the relationship of the couple. Emotionally Focused Couples Therapy enables the couple to get beyond the negative cycle of disconnection and to discover a loving connected secure attachment with each other. With my husband, we also facilitate the ‘Hold Me Tight’,  two-day workshop for couples.

I also facilitate Mindfulness Workshops and use Mindfulness as part of the Therapeutic Process where appropriate.

My theoretical approach is Humanistic and Integrative
I see: Individual adults and couples
Willing to travel Yes for workshops.


Name: Elaine McIntyre
Location Lurgan & Craigavon area, Banbridge, Dromore/Hillsborough
I am registered/accredited with Registered member with BACP
Code of ethics observed BACP Ethical framework for Good Practice in Counselling
My qualifications are: Diploma in Counselling and Psychotherapy
PQ Diploma in Counselling Children & Young People
Designated Person Trained in Child Protection
Adults at Risk of Harm Training
Certificate in Complex Trauma & Childhood Abuse
BACP Certificate of Proficiency
I have a special interest/experience in: Adoption, post adoption, children & young people, relationships
Additional information Deciding to get help can sometimes feel like a big step however, it can be an important first step on the journey of change. Counselling is like an investment in yourself and offers a way to gain perspective on behaviour, emotions and relationships. It also provides a means of expressing your feelings in a non judgemental setting and helps identify patterns of thinking. I firmly believe in every adult, adolescent or child I work with and value them as
individuals, offering counselling which reflects this. I provide a confidential, caring and safe ‘space’ to explore whatever issue has led to you seek counselling. I am experienced in
working with a range of issues including relationship issues, loss and bereavement, selfharm, bullying, self-esteem, trauma and abuse, post traumatic stress disorder and anxiety and depression.
Sometimes even finding the right words to express the issues can be difficult and when appropriate I can also offer alternative therapies such as Sand Tray therapy and other
creative therapy tools which can be used with adults as well as children and adolescents


Name: Seamus O’Kane
Location Maghera and Derry/Londonderry
I am registered/accredited with IAHIP   (The Irish Association for Humanistic and Integrative Psychotherapy – which is a member of ICP – The Irish Council for Psychotherapy)
Accredited as supervisor by IAHIP
European Association for Psychotherapy (EAP)
Received the European Certificate of Psychotherapy (ECP) in 2007.
Code of ethics observed IAHIP
My qualifications are: UU   Postgraduate certificate in guidance and counselling
UU Postgraduate diploma in guidance and counselling
UU   MSc (with distinction) in guidance and counselling.
Diploma in Counselling & Psychotherapy,
Dublin Counselling & Therapy Centre
Diploma in Clinical Supervision, Dublin Counselling & Therapy Centre
European Certificate of Psychotherapy (ECP)
Certified as an EFT couples therapist by the ICEEFT (International centre for Excellence in Emotional Focused Therapy)
I have a special interest/experience in: My special interest is in relational work.  I work with individuals in a relational way and enjoy supporting couples in their relationship with each other and within their families.
Additional information With my wife Bernadette we facilitate a two- day workshop for couples called the Hold Me Tight programme based on the work of Dr Sue Johnston.
My theoretical approach is Humanistic and Integrative
I see: Individuals adults , Couples
Willing to travel? Willing to travel to host the Hold Me Tight workshops.



Name Sara Tibbs
Location Holywood & Belfast
I am registered/accredited with: BACP
Code of ethics observed


BACP   Ethical framework for Good Practice in Counselling
My qualifications are Diploma in Counselling
PhD English (Creative Writing)
MA Sociology
I have a special interest/experience in Adoption & Fostering; Family Support; Challenging Behaviour; Attachment & trauma; LGBT issues and Reflective/creative writing
Additional information I am an adoptive parent. I worked in the area of parent support for 10 years, focussing particularly on challenging behaviour, communication and the parent/child relationship. I have experience of counselling with parents whose children were involved in substance abuse. I have also worked in the field of HIV and Aids.
My theoretical approach My counselling qualification is in the person-centred approach. I have also undertaken training on attachment, developmental trauma, foetal alcohol syndrome, building resilience, parent – to-child violence, secondary trauma, suicide prevention and safeguarding.   In recent years my approach has been influenced by research and therapeutic practice on the effects of neglect, abuse and other trauma on adopted children and their families. I bring to my counselling practice a professional and personal understanding of the challenges and difficulties of adoption, as well as its rewards.
I see: Individuals, couples


 Julie Virtue
Location:       Portrush
I am registered/accredited with: HCPC


Code of Ethics observed: HCPC


My qualifications are: Currently completing CPCAB Level 5 diploma in Cognitive Behavioural Therapeutic Skills and Theory

Currently completing MSc Autism Spectrum Disorders

Fundamentals of Equine Assisted Growth and Learning

MSc Art Psychotherapy

UU Diploma in Counselling

Level 3 OCN Community and Drugs Awareness training

BA Hons Art and Design

Special interest/experience: Art Psychotherapy
I work with: Children and adults
Additional Information:
I have been working as a counsellor and art psychotherapist for the past seven years. I am particularly interested in working with difficult to engage client groups using creative approaches.  I use the art materials to provide a safe and supportive environment for clients to safely express difficult emotions and work through problems.

Therapy Experience:
Sessional Art Psychotherapist and counsellor with Wave trauma centre
– providing counselling and art therapy sessions to individuals affected by the Northern Ireland Troubles.

Art psychotherapist and counsellor with Contact NI – manning the crisis helpline and providing one to one short term counselling and art therapy sessions to adults and children affected by suicide or self-harm. I also work on the ART project, which is a longer term service, supporting children affected by aggression related trauma.

Trainee art psychotherapist HMP Magilligan – as a trainee art therapist I provided an art therapy service on a one to one and group basis.

Trainee Threshold – As part of my training I provided group and one to one sessions to adults with long term enduring mental health issues as part of a therapeutic community.

Support worker SHAC – Supporting vulnerable tenants of a housing association to maintain their tenancy.

Part-time outreach worker and youth council coordinator – working in the community with young people to encourage engagement in youth programs and prevent antisocial behaviour.

Currently available to cover Portrush, Portstewart, Coleraine and Ballymoney

Name Selina Turkington
Location Holywood Exchange, East Belfast
I am registered/accredited with: BACP (Registered Accredited Member)

Reg. Member of the Northern Ireland Social Care Council (NISCC)

Code of ethics observed I abide by BACP code of ethics. I also abide by NISCC code of ethics as a Social Worker.
My qualifications are My counselling qualifications are…

Diploma in Integrative Counselling (Person-centred & Psychodynamic); Diploma in CBT Skills & Theory; PG Diploma in Practitioner Skills for Eating Disorders.

My Social Work qualifications are…
BA (Hons) Social Work; Post-qualification Award in Social Work; Advanced Award in Social Work (Competencies 1, 3 & 5); An Introduction to Research Methods & Quality Assurance in the Health & Social Sciences

Post-adoption Face-to-Face Contact with Birth Parents: Prospective Adopters’ Views

Turkington, S & Taylor, BJ
Child Care in Practice Vol 15 Number 1 January 2009

I have a special interest/experience in Integrative Counselling Practice, Attachment issues,
Childhood trauma/abuse, Relationship difficulties, Mindfulness Practice
Additional information I have over 20 years’ experience working in the statutory, independent and voluntary sectors as a social worker specialising in fostering and adoption and more recently as a counsellor in private practice.

I currently work as a self-employed counsellor, part-time lecturer in counselling and I am a self-employed social worker speciaIising in adoption.

My theoretical approach Integrative counselling (person-centred and psychodynamic)
I see: Individuals, couples
Name: Tania Watson
Location: Dromara/ Dromore Co Down
I’m registered/accredited with: The National Counselling Society
Code of ethics observed NCS Ethical Framework for Good Practice in Counselling
My qualifications: Diploma in Trauma & Addictions Counselling Level 4 MNCS (Registered Accredited Member )
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy Certificate
Level 6 Equine Assisted Learning Facilitator
Child Protection Training
Special interest/experience in: Fostering & Adoption (Parents & Children)
Adults & Young People
Attachment & Trauma
Additional information: My main areas of work include:
•  Attachment focused work with parents and children using Theraplay and Filial Coaching
•  Enabling self and co regulation through Sensory Attachment Integration approach.
•  Therapeutic parenting support to families
Direct therapeutic work with children
My theoretical approach: Person-Centred, Integrative
I see: Children and Adults
Any other information:
I am registered as a Counsellor & Equine Therapist with the National Counselling Society (NCS) and have full professional membership with NCS. Equine Therapy is an innovative approach to counselling for social emotional & behavioural difficulties in individuals who find room based counselling all too much.   EFP/EFL supports clients of all ages in addressing therapeutic goals, with horses as co-facilitators and teachers, in this process.   Horses are non-judgemental and honest; these are invaluable qualities to have for people who have been through traumatic experiences.
Equine Therapy offers an alternative way of communicating verbally & non-verbally, better understanding & building on relationships, develop self awareness and gain a better understanding how our behaviour impacts on others around us.   Equine therapy also allows clients to express feelings & emotions in a non judgemental & safe environment while enjoying the outdoors.
I have extensive experience working in the Fostering and Adoption sector, working with children and families. I also work as part of a team with other professionals from the Northern Health & Social Care Trust. I have 40 years horse experience, I have enjoyed riding horses out bush in Africa and the outback of Australia.What is the difference between EFP & EFL
EFP uses equine-facilitated activities to explore the way a client sees and relates to themselves and others, their patterns of behaviour and survival as well as their gifts and strengths, and may include the exploration of past experiences and traumas.
EFL uses equine-facilitated activities as a tool for self development and education, with a focus on the present moment. Skills include non-verbal communication, assertiveness, creative thinking, problem-solving, leadership, teamwork, relationship skills, confidence and resilience.


Anne Watters
Location:       Craigavon, Banbridge, Portadown, Lurgan, Newry
I am registered/accredited with: British Association of Counselling & Psychotherapy
Code of Ethics observed: BACP Ethical Framework for Good Practice in Counselling
My qualifications are: Foundation Degree in Counselling
Cognitive Behaviour Therapy Certificate
Mental Health First Aid Certificate
Child Protection Training
Certified Laughter Yoga Leader
Special interest/experience: Family and relationship difficulties
Anxiety, stress and depression
Low self-confidence and self esteem
Bereavement, grief and loss
Work related issues
Impact of chronic health conditions
I work with:  Individuals
Additional Information:
I have worked with GP practices in the Dromore and Banbridge area for four years. I am also currently working with Zest for Life Counselling Services, specialising in chronic health issues, providing counselling for GP referrals and private clients. I also have my own private practice.

I provide workshops on stress management to help people identify any triggers that may cause stress, become more aware of physical and emotional signs and symptoms, and develop greater self- awareness. I use a number of tools and coping strategies, including mindfulness, to help re-balance the sympathetic nervous system by working on the relaxation response. This proves very effective in stress management and in stress-related health conditions such as Irritable Bowel Syndrome and chronic fatigue. My counselling service is adaptable to meet each client’s need to manage symptoms and promote healing. I am keen to provide counselling to adoptive parents due to my own experience growing up in a home that provided both long-term and short-term foster care. I know how stressful this can be both for the parents and child being fostered/adopted and the impact it has on other siblings in the family. Support and guidance vital in helping families cope with both emotional and behavioural issues that may arise.

My Theoretical Approach:
I am an integrative counsellor offering a professional, confidential counselling service. As an integrative therapist I use a combined approach, tailoring therapy to meet the client’s need. Therapy is an opportunity for each client to have the time and safe space to explore distressing or challenging issues. The aim is to promote healing and facilitate wholeness, ensuring that a person can function to their full potential.

Willing to Travel: Within my area
Name: Faye Wilson
Location: Cookstown
I’m registered/accredited with: BACP
Code of ethics observed BACP
My qualifications: ·       BSc Psychology

·       Foundation Degree in Counselling

·       Certificate in Complex Trauma and Childhood Abuse


Special interest/experience in: Trauma, Anxiety, Depression, Relationship issues, Bereavement, Loss, Eating Disorders, Mindfulness and Self Care.


Additional information: I offer face to face counselling in a safe and private setting. My approach of counselling is always based on your needs. I have experience working with a wide range of issues including trauma, relationship issues, anxiety, depression, bereavement, abuse, self-esteem to name a few.

I have also worked in two GP Surgeries over the past six years where I have gained wide ranging experience with a variety of different issues.

I am very passionate about my work and enjoy being able to support people through difficult stages of their lives in a non-judgmental and empathic way.

My theoretical approach: Integrative Approach including CBT, Psychodynamic and Person Centred
I see: Individuals
Willing to travel? Yes