Within the world of professional counselling there are many terms and acronyms for this that or another form of therapy. As a professional counsellor I have been required to undertake numerous couses CPD’s see below and modules to fulfil various official governing bodies criteria for counselling. I work according to the framework and guidelines of the NCS and BACP, which underpins and informs my work. Additional terms that apply to my practice and training experience are integrative therapeutic counselling, interpersonal counselling, CBT (Cognitive behavioural training), Gestalt therapy, mindfulness and so on. In simple terms all of these names boil down to methodologies, or 'tools in a tool box’ which are commonly used as an approach in helping people with life's struggles and challenges. Additional training- contining professional development; CPD’s include working with grief and loss, eating disorders (including anorexia and bulemia) and understanding abusive relationships, approaching fear and anxiety including Negative thoughts and behaviours, (NATS), and use of Art in Therapy, and exploring dreams.  

In addition to the requisite qualifications and modules a professional counsellor, like all of us, I possess the ‘university of life’ elements. I have had the privilege of working in the health care sector for many years, and a company director, mother and wife since 1987.

As a BA Hon. graduate in the arts I specialised in the aesthetic and therapeutic exploration of identity, family, memory, the body, and loss. I incorporate objects (agreed with clients choice) and use visualisations in the work if appropiate to the clients process. To compliment my studies in the visual arts I have enjoyed many decades of workshops exploring movement, dance and music.

In recent years I have been researching and had close contact with people dealing with dementia, disability and loss and have worked in collaboration with artists in residence and the RD&E in creating the Devon Garden designed for those walking through dementia and mental illness.

Sharon Cresswell


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