About Irene

I work with adults and young people aged 12 and upwards, covering a wide range of presenting issues. 

Alongside working with adults in my private practice (Stockport), I also work in a secondary schools offering counselling to young people. I am a member of BACP, which is a counselling professional body and work within their ethical framework. I am fully insured and have regular clinical supervision.

Before training as a counsellor, I worked for many years as a residential support worker for the young children in care. I gained a strong knowledge of the issues that young people face. I also volunteered as a counsellor in a emergency drop in centre for adults in crisis. 

I was able to deliver counselling to those most in need of it and those who would never be able to access counselling due to-personal situations. I studied in Integrative Counselling, which means I use different approaches depending on the clients needs.

The main theories I apply in my practice are ‘Cognitive Behaviour’, ‘Transactional Analysis’, and ‘Person Centred’.  I attend continuous programs to ensure I’m always adding skills to my toolbox. 

When can counselling help?

There are times when we all experience difficult feelings which threaten to overwhelm us, such as anxiety, grief, loss, depression etc and prevent us doing what we want to.

These feelings often arise from difficult experiences-past and present-but not always. Sometimes you might not know why you feel the way that you do. 

Either way, these feelings can impact on your relationships and on your life more generally. At times you might be able to cope with these feelings on your own or using your usual support systems, but at other times you might not. It is at these times that counselling can help.

What is counselling?

My aim in counselling is to help you to find the inner resources to cope better with living at those times when you are struggling on your own. My role is not to give advice because I believe that you know better than I do what is right for you.

Rather I aim to create a safe and trusting space for you to be able express and explore difficult thoughts, feelings and experiences and make sense of the impact these are having on you.

I will do my best to understand what is going on for you and to be alongside you as you think about where you are and where you want to be. I will help you to explore how experiences from the past are impacting on the present so that you might look at things differently and change unhelpful patterns of thinking and behaviour of which you may well not presently be aware.

What will happen when we meet?

At our first meeting will be on the telephone – I will explain a bit more about what counselling is and gather information about what brings you to counselling, as well as your hopes and expectations for the process. At the end of the conversation we will discuss whether we both feel that we can helpfully work together. Thereafter sessions take place weekly and last 50 minutes. These sessions can go on for as long as feels therapeutically beneficial. The choice to end is always yours at any time.

Irene Alford Counselling Services.
Tel – 0772-3733911