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Steven Smyth-Bonfield

BA Hons. (First Class), Advanced Diploma in Integrative Counselling, BACP Registered Member

Religon: Non-religious
Languages spoken: English

Specialisms include:

  • Attachment –Based Therapy
  • Brief Therapy
  • Client Centred Therapy
  • Existential Therapy
  • Gestalt Therapy
  • Holistic Therapy
  • Relationship issues, Violent and sexual abuse, Dyslexia and other Specific Learning Difficulties.

Hourly rate: GBP35.00

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Counselling can help you manage almost all of life’s problems, and I am committed to supporting you with whatever difficulties you are experiencing.

My name is Steven and I've been a fully qualified counsellor since 2009 and am a registered member of the BACP.

I believe there are times when all of us can benefit from the kind of gentle, committed and confidential support that can only be found in therapy. Whatever difficulties you have, and however painful your current situation or history, my work is to offer you a safe space in which to share and explore your experiences.

I focus on each client as a person; on your own struggles, hopes, fears and desires. I will support you through a process of personal reflection designed to increase your sense of self-worth and your confidence in dealing with the difficult emotions and hard situations our lives contain. I have been privileged to work with people from many different ethnic backgrounds and whatever your sexuality, your faith or your social circumstances, I will draw on all my experience as a person and my skill as a counsellor to help you achieve your aims and feel better.

I am an 'Integrative Counsellor', meaning that I offer a broad range of theoretical perspectives and practical counselling skills and am able to tailor my work as closely as possible to your needs. 

Before entering private practice I worked extensively in universities and schools. I offer both long term counselling and brief, solution focused work. 

I know that seeking counselling can be an intimidating, or even frightening thing to do, but the courage you are showing in reaching out for help is the first step in making the life changes you are looking for. I would also like to offer you the encouraging thought that this first step of choosing a counsellor and starting your first session is often the hardest part. In my experience, clients look back on their initial session as a moment of great relief and find themselves lighter and better able to cope by the time it is over. 

I'm looking forward to hearing from you.




05 Oct

Just like Plumbing

Just like Plumbing

My counselling practice is based in the small town where I live so there is always a good chance I will bump into my clients in the street. In order to reassure them, I tend to address this in our first session, saying, "I'm always happy to stop and say hello, but I'll wait for you to make the first move. Just so you can choose."

In a recent session, however, after I said this, my client looked confused and said, "choose?"

So I elaborated: "In case you're embarrassed to speak to me or to explain who I am."

"Don't be daft," he said. "I'm not embarrassed about introducing the guy who does my plumbing."

And that was that.

Some people don't want to say hi to their counsellor on the street. There is no reason why they should, but I do like the idea that contacting a counsellor is no different from calling in any other skilled person. If my lights don't work I ring an electrician. If my feelings are difficult, I call a counsellor.

My clients' emotional lives have become blocked in some way; or the ground they are on has subsided and they need shoring up. My job is to help them get back to a state where their thoughts and feeling are reliable, safe and secure again. Our minds are mysterious and our emotions can be strange, but the work I do is not magic or even rocket science.

Nonetheless, it is a really good idea to call in a tradesman or woman when things go wrong.  

16 Nov

Reflections on my first counselling session

Reflections on my first counselling session

I was at university and my life was coming apart. Bad things had happened and many of them seemed to be my fault. I was most profoundly not coping. When I finally broke down, in pain and shame, in my tutor's office, he was kind (if confused) and he wondered if I might benefit from counselling.

On the way to my first appointment I remember my nervousness and my fear. I worried that the counsellor might tell me I was going mad or, worse, that they would find my troubles trivial or pathetic.

In common with most of the counselling services I have known, the entrance was an anonymous back door in a building that mostly housed other things. I doubted I was even in the right place, but then Sue came to the door and greeted me with my name and a smile. I think I'd rehearsed how I would start and I remember my first few words, but the rest of the session dissolves into a blur of impressions.

I emerged out of that room, blinking in the light, exhausted, but feeling something I had almost forgotten. I was feeling hope.  

The counselling I received in the following months helped me to bring my life back on course; to continue my studies; and to grow beyond the pain and self doubt that had been my constant companions.
I'm sure it also informed my choice years later to become a counsellor myself.

I look forward to meeting new clients and work always in the hope that I can offer them what Sue offered me: hope in a dark, unhappy or uncertain time.

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