Welcome to the Western Valley’s group page. We are located in Bristol/Bath and the surrounding area, and our group is linked with Leonard Piper and Badgers groups. We are not currently open to new participants in the group.
Having worked as a counsellor for twenty years in various settings, private and institutional, I am now semi-retired. I still work part-time at the Employee Assistance Program at the Royal United Hospital, Bath, where I have been for eleven years.
My initial training was at the Centre for Psychological Astrology in London. I then took a diploma in counselling at UWE Bristol. My approach to counselling was through this integrative training, later tempered by working in drug and alcohol rehabilitation for seven years. I am currently working, mostly short term, with a variety of staff members at the hospital and other local organisations.
The Jungian perspectives of my early astrological work – including archetypal patterns and a psychological reading of alchemy – have since been influenced by my understanding of Buddhist perspectives and practices. Essentially I offer a perspective on the suffering of the troubled soul, and a place of safety, close attention and support.
I struggle with prescriptive and over formalised methodologies in therapy. I was formerly a member of BACP but left feeling dissatisfied with their high bureaucracy and lack of personal contact. I have been in Western Valleys IPN group since its origin in 1997 and am highly satisfied with its approach – despite some shortcomings – and its ongoing face to face accreditation process and mutual support. My supervisor for the last eleven years has been Elspeth Schwenk.
Leo Turner December 2016 firstname.lastname@example.org
Much of my work these days is as a supervisor. Since my initial training in the early 1980s I have learnt a great deal from the different traditions of counselling and psychotherapy, but the way of thinking about our work that I like best comes from Jerome and Julia Frank in the third edition of their book ‘Persuasion and Healing’. Therapy, they write, “is a form of rhetoric that relies on the methods of hermeneutics (or meaning-making)”. An immense amount of research data backing this approach is summarised in Bruce Wampold and Zac Imel’s ‘The Great Psychotherapy Debate’ (2015).
Fundamentally what excites me about my work is not so much to do with fixing other people’s problems as exploring collaboratively ways my clients (and my supervisees’ clients) can live more satisfying lives. I fear that as a profession we may have taken a wrong turning in an “evidence-based” era of cost cutting. Audit culture increasingly predominates while critical reflection is sidelined. Fewer trainees nowadays have the opportunity to learn about good practice before having to focus on treatment and the “one size fits all” prescriptions of time‑limited therapy.
I completed a post graduate diploma in psychological counselling in 1994. Since then I have completed training in post-adoption work and I also became a qualified supervisor in 2001.
While I worked in primary care alongside GPs for many years both in Wales and in North Somerset, I now work only in my own private practice with clients and supervisees.
An accredited member of BACP, I chose to leave that body some years ago. My professional body has been the Independent Practitioners Network since 2003.
I work integratively, from a person-centred base and am very wary of solution-focused therapy. Experience tells me that people have the answers to their own difficulties. My job is to help them find meaning in their life and hence discover what choices they can make.
My contact details are:
I have been in practice for 20 years, although I didn’t want to be a psychotherapist! I attended the course for my own development. However the training at Karuna Institute in Core Process Psychotherapy was so excellent and allowed me to develop as a person quite profoundly and I realised that I did want to pass on this opportunity to resettle into a more authentic wholesome relationship with oneself and with the world.
I now work for a charity that supports survivors that have experienced rape or sexual abuse. I offer psychotherapy, supervision and run a group for women survivors of child sexual abuse. People often ask me if this is challenging and of course it is, I value the work and it requires that I go deeper and reach further and I have come to love the work and each person’sjourney and every small step towards recovery.
In my private practice I work with all genders, as well as offer supervision.
I am fluent in British Sign language, and work therapeutically with people who are Deaf or have hearing loss and family members dealing with the impact of hearing loss.
For me working therapeutically is a spiritual practice. The people who come need not know this, but my approach is one that holds awareness of the spiritual interaction as well as one of mind, body and heart.
My fascination with personal development and possibilities for change and growth has been an intrinsic part of my personality since childhood, though back then this is not the language that I would have understood. I struggled in a secondary school system that didn’t seem to recognise me and in which I had no investment except through anxiety, resentment and rebellion.
Having explored anxiety, resentment and rebellion pretty thoroughly by my late 20s I was drawn to humanistic therapeutic group work as a means of understanding myself better and relating more truthfully. This led me to recognise a possible talent for working with people therapeutically so I set about exploring this through two intensive trainings in the early 1980s in humanistic and then Gestalt traditions. I began practicing as a Gestalt therapist in 1987 and have been developing my own particular style since then in the direction of a relational and transparent Gestalt approach to counselling and psychotherapy.
I am a founder member of the Western Valleys group and value the support and challenge that the group offers me very highly. It is an essential part of my professional and personal life.
I live in Frome Somerset, and am married with an adult son.
You can read our Ethical Statement and Disputes Procedure here: Ethical Statement plus Disputes Procedure
Sharpham Cottage, Wrington Road, Congresbury, North Somerset BS49 5AL
(01934) 835 736