About Fiona Spencer, Counselling Psychology Practice.
Independent Counselling Psychologist in Dorking, Surrey providing psychotherapy and supervision.
My journey of training as a Counselling Psychologist spanned some 15 years in mid-life, and has involved the inter-weaving of training in counselling, psychology, counselling psychology and integrative psychotherapy, after a previous career in medical research.
It began through my becoming a counsellor for a cancer charity (Backup, now amalgamated with Macmillan). This had a profound effect on me as I witnessed the immense change, acceptance and healing that could occur through skilled listening within a therapeutic relationship even in the face of intense loss.
This led to a thirst for knowledge of the psychology of counselling, and the subsequent training I undertook which was interwoven with working in medical settings and the voluntary sector for cancer charities, including the Brigitte Trust, a local Dorking-based charity that provides emotional support and practical support for those with life-threatening illness who wish to remain at home.
I went on to work for over ten years in an NHS Psychology service within a Mental Health Trust, and broadened my knowledge and experience of working with the most common mental health problems, anxiety and depression, along with more severe personality disorders, eating disorders, and complex trauma.
Alongside this I have run a small private practice and continue to work in a GP Surgery providing a service of time-limited counselling. My research project for my MSc was on the effects of time limits on counselling for people facing a life-threatening illness.
Common threads are my interest in the human mind and body in health and disease, a commitment to relief of suffering, and working within healthcare settings, and a quest for theoretical knowledge and evidence to underpin my practice.
- BA Biochemistry
- MSc Psychological Counselling – Roehampton 1995
- Diploma in Psychology (Conversion for Graduates) – Open University 1998
- Postgraduate Certificate in Counselling Supervision – Cascade/UEL 1999
- Diploma in Integrative Psychotherapy – Metanoia 2004
- Qualification in Counselling Psychology – British Psychological Society 2007
- Hcpc Counselling Psychologist
- BPS Chartered Psychologist
- Bacp Senior Accredited Counsellor
All of these bodies set standards of ethical practice to which I work, based on principles of integrity, respect; trust, autonomy, avoidance of harm and promotion of client’s well-being. From these are derived a set of guidelines for good practice, including provision of confidentiality, monitoring own fitness to practice, and being accountable.
These bodies also monitor the requirements for ongoing supervision, professional indemnity insurance and continuing professional development (CPD).
Continuing Professional Development
I continue to be fascinated by psychology and psychological research, and enjoy pursuing my learning through reflecting on client work, reading, workshops, conferences and provision of supervision to others. Particular current interest are: mindfulness-based practice, acceptance and commitment therapy, schema-focused therapy, and the neurobiology of attachment relationships and emotional regulation.