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Gemma Altoft Counselling and Psychotherapy profile image

Gemma Altoft Counselling and Psychotherapy

I am a fully qualified Counsellor and Psychotherapist, accredited with BACP. I am based in Rochdale. I have several years experience working in the NHS as a counsellor with Adult men and women with varied experiences. I have experience working with a range of difficulties including depression, anxiety, low self esteem, abuse, sexual abuse, relational patterns, bereavement and loss, life transitions, childhood issues, identity problems. I currently work as a Counsellor for depression ( NICE approved treatment for depression) at Turning Point Talking therapies in Wakefield. I have also facilitated Mindfulness groups for the NHS and written and delivered groups at the Women’s Counselling and Therapy Service in Leeds. It can be difficult to choose the right therapist and it is my belief that a good therapeutic relationship is an important part of the therapeutic process. I aim to collaborate with you to establish a transparent relationship where we can work together. My approach to therapy is a warm accepting relational-integrative approach, drawing from humanistic, experiential and psycho-dynamic practice. I aim to establish a non-judgemental supportive relationship with you, where together, we can explore your experience, providing both empathy and at times challenge on your journey to healing or self development. Counselling and Psychotherapy can help individuals to unravel, experience and make sense of  and process deep rooted feelings, painful memories and experiences and unconscious patterns. The experiences we have throughout our lives shape the way we see and relate to ourselves, other people and the world around us. Through counselling and Psychotherapy individuals can use the therapeutic relationship to explore and gain insight into how these experiences have impacted on how they relate to themselves, their emotions, other people and the world around them.  Through exploring these experiences in therapy, clients can process painful experiences, gain awareness and create change. I will work with you from an existential-relational approach drawing from humanistic and psycho-dynamic practice, attachment theory, person centered and emotion focused therapy to help you understand and explore your unique experience of being a person existing in this world. I will work with you in an experiential way to explore how your body-mind experiences discomfort, distress, this will include noticing and being with emotional responses within the body, making sense of emotional experiences through use of metaphor and exploration and exploring conflicting emotions or parts of self. I strongly subscribe to the notion that talking about something is not enough, we need to explore embodied responses and experiences in order to heal and become whole. I can currently offer short term and longer short term  Counselling and Psychotherapy and can work with you through both the joys and difficulties in your life to help you become a more healthy, integrated individual. Problems I can help with include: Childhood Problems Abuse Betrayal Feeling worthless Guilt Unresolved feelings from difficult life events or relationships. Depression Anxiety Trauma Loss Difficult life transitions Identity Problems Dissociation Stress Relationship difficulties Self Esteem If your problem is not listed I would be happy to discuss with you whether I may be able to help you.

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What do you love most about your job?

My approach to therapy, is warm, curious and exploratory. I love facilitating exploration and self compassion in my clients and being privileged to be trusted to be invited into my clients inner worlds and to be part of their journey to healing.
I am honoured that my clients are able to bring to our relationship, those parts of themselves and inner experiences that they find difficult to tolerate within themselves.

What inspired you to start your own business?

I wish to be able to offer choice for those clients that do not wish to wait for therapy in the NHS or voluntary sector and who wish to choose their own therapist or who wish to have more flexibility in the length of time spent in therapy.

Why should our clients choose you?

Choosing the right therapist is important and it is not a one size fits all

I aim to build a warm, accepting relationship with clients and adapt my approach to suit the best needs of the client.

I am skilled in building strong therapeutic relationships and encourage my clients to be able to discuss openly their experience of being in therapy, including any feelings that may arise about the therapeutic relationship which can help us to build a Strong alliance.

I will strive to support you through your joys and difficulties, including those times when you don’t want to be in therapy or feel ambivalent about the process.

I am warm, supportive and non judgemental. If you feel this is the approach for you. I would be happy to discuss further with you and arrange an assessment so we can decide together if you would benefit from working with me.

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Counselling FAQs

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Your expert Counsellor will be able to advise you on the full range of services available and will be able to advise on what is most suitable. Use Bark to get free quotes and schedule an appointment today.

At your appointment, you will be encouraged to talk about your feelings and emotions with a trained Counsellor who will listen and support you without judging or criticising.
The therapist can help you gain a better understanding of your feelings and thought processes and find your own solutions to problems. However, they will not usually give advice or tell you what to do. The Counsellor might sum up what they understand you have been saying so that they can help you to form a plan of action.

Counselling can take place in a number of ways. These include:

  • Face to face session

  • Group session

  • Phone session

  • Email session

  • Online through live chat services or video conferencing software

You may be offered a single session of Counselling, a short course of sessions over a few weeks or months or a longer course that lasts for several months or years.

It can take a number of sessions before you start to see progress but you should gradually start to feel better with the help and support of your Counsellor.

You can be confident that any of the Bark local Counsellors listed will give you a reliable and efficient service to help you feel better.

You could look for Counsellors that are accredited by the Professional Standards Authority (PSA) which means that they have met the PSA’s required professional standards to practise.

Before you choose a Counsellor, you could read testimonials and read details of the issues they can help with on their website.

You could also look at their profile page on Bark and check out reviews from past customers too.

Counselling can help with many issues. These include the following:

  • Mental health conditions such as depression, anxiety or eating disorders.

  • Physical health conditions such as infertility.

  • Difficult life events such as a bereavement, a relationship breakdown or work-related stress.

  • Dealing with difficult emotions such as low self-esteem or anger.

  • Sexual identity issues.

  • Divorce.

  • Redundancy and work issues.

  • Phobias and fears.

Absolutely! Many Counsellors provide their services remotely via an online video call or the telephone. Not only is it more convenient, but it's also the preferable option for many people who would feel more comfortable holding the session from the comfort of their own home.

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