I began training as a counsellor in 2009 and qualified in summer 2013, but I’ve been volunteering in the area of mental health for well over a decade. I started out visiting local youth clubs with a home made display on eating disorders when I was 17, and despite going on to study a variety of different subjects including occupational therapy and physics (not at the same time!) at university, I eventually came back to mental health. From 2010 onwards I have volunteered with, and more recently worked for, NIWE Eating Distress Service, variously as a trustee, campaigner and counsellor. I also do some training and awareness events for them in local schools, colleges, and other educational and health organisations.
Alongside eating disorders I really enjoy working with young people, and my second placement during my counselling training was at a local high school. I worked a lot with students struggling with self harm, bullying and abuse, anxiety and depression. I also have experience of working with self harm and issues around abuse outside of my counselling training.
I am a registered member of the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (under my full name, Kathleen Marie Linden). This means that I meet the standards the BACP say are necessary for a counsellor to be an ethical and effective practitioner. The code of ethics I work to which is set out by the BACP can be found here.
A note about my qualifications: it is common for counsellors to qualify after a two year diploma or foundation degree. I took this route, finishing my foundation degree with the University of Sunderland in 2013. I then continued with another University of Sunderland course designed to ‘top-up’ my qualification to a full Bachelor of Arts – hence, qualifying to work as a counsellor in 2013 but not completing my degree until a year later. I gained my BA with First Class Honours in summer 2014. I’ve since completed an MSc in Psychology and have just finished a Masters of Research in Psychology.
When I’m not counselling I can be found messing about with my telescope, taking photographs of the bridges over the Tyne, or trying not to melt my eyebrows with my fire poi.
2013 – present: Counsellor in private practice.
2010 – present: NIWE Eating Distress Service, trustee, counsellor & public speaker.
2012 – 2013: Heaton Manor School, volunteer counsellor
2011 – 2011: Barnardos, Pyramid Club Leader (supporting children identified as vulnerable).
2016 – 2017 MRes Psychology (result TBC) – Northumbria University
2015 – 2016 MSc Psychology, Distinction – Northumbria University
2011 – 2014: BA (Hons) Counselling, First Class – University of Sunderland.
2010 – 2011: Level 3 Certificate in Counselling Skills and Theory – NCFE.
2010 – 2010: Level 2 Certificate in Counselling Skills – CPCAB.
2005 – 2006: University Certificate in Rehabilitation Studies – Bournemouth University.