Hi, I'm really pleased to meet you
I’m Jacqui Whittingham, a counsellor based in St Albans in Hertfordshire.
Choosing a counsellor can be one of the most significant decisions you will ever make. That they are appropriately qualified and registered is important, but possibly even more so is that you feel safe and comfortable enough to talk about some of the most meaningful things in your life, and you feel understood and able to be honest and open.
Then you can relax and be assured that this commitment you are making for yourself will be effective.
If you have read this far, I am guessing you are looking for a counsellor in the St Albans area, so let me tell you a bit more about myself.
My name is Jacqui and I’m passionate about helping people start to accept and value themselves.
Everything I have done has always involved supporting or helping other people develop themselves, so training to become a counsellor was a very natural thing for me to do.
I understand that even picking up the phone to ask about counselling can feel like a scary thing to do. I remember the first time I saw my own counsellor, I was scared too, but I soon learned to really value that time that was just for me. I hope you will too.
I’ve been practising as a counsellor since 2010, and I have seen many different people with a wide range of issues and needs.
I work with people just like you. You don’t have to work things out alone, press the button below to find out how to make an appointment now.
Experience & Areas of Special Interest
As a parent of a child with special needs, this has given me a particular interest in neurological diversity and conditions such as Asperger’s Syndrome, ADHD, and other ASCs (Autistic Spectrum Conditions).
I have worked with parents, children and young people with these conditions in schools and privately. I am especially passionate about working with parents of children and young people with special needs as I know what it is like to struggle to support a child who is developing differently to what we and everyone else expects, and how little support there really is for parents in particular. I really know how difficult it can be to get your voice heard to enable your child’s needs to be recognised. I know the long hard road to whatever independence is possible, when every day is a battle just to exist. I really understand the self-questioning and doubt all this creates, particularly if those same conditions exist in the parents too.
I worked with Parentline (now Family Lives) for many years supporting parents by listening and signposting to other organisations where appropriate.
In addition to my counselling work with children in primary and secondary schools, I also worked as a counsellor for several years at a women’s centre, where issues around domestic violence, rape and sexual abuse were common. I still work voluntarily with an organisation supporting those affected by serious road traffic incidents, involving sudden violent loss, bereavement, trauma, life-changing injuries, and those who may be facing legal charges as a result of the incident. I will continue to volunteer as long as I can as I believe it is important to ensure that counselling is available to all. I do not currently work with children in my private practice.
Listen By Ralph Roughton M.D.
I read this poem on the International Day of Listening in September. It’s a powerful poem explaining what we seek when we ask someone to listen to us. These are the needs that I aim to meet when you work with me – I feel this is one of the most important things that I can offer my clients.
I am on the voluntary register, which has been accredited by the Professional Standards Authority.
The Professional Standards Authority accredit a voluntary register of counsellors and psychotherapists. In order to be accredited, organisations that hold voluntary registers must prove that they meet the demanding standards set out by the PSA.
This is done to regulate standards of counselling and psychotherapy so that when you choose your counsellor you know that they have been independently assessed and approved. To be registered, practitioners must meet high professional standards which enhances safety and ensures a high quality service.
As a member of the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP), the governing body for counselling and psychotherapy, I am bound by its Ethical Framework for Good Practice in Counselling and Psychotherapy, and subject to the Professional Conduct Procedure therein. I have regular supervision and continuous professional development training (CPD) as they recommend.