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ABOUT ME

I'm Laura Duester MA MNCS (Accred). I'm a qualified and accredited counsellor and psychotherapist, providing one-to-one sessions online and in Bicester, Oxfordshire.


I provide a welcoming and non-judgemental space where you can share your thoughts, feelings, problems and worries in total confidence. Together, we'll explore how to help you feel better, increase your self-understanding, and make positive changes.


I've experienced the huge benefits of counselling many, many times - both as a patient and psychotherapist. I'm extremely passionate about mental health and love giving people the space, time and support they need to find self-acceptance and live a satisfying and meaningful life.

As well as running a private counselling practice, I've worked for a range of organisations including universities, schools, charities, helplines and dance organisations. I help a wide range of people with a variety of issues, but I have a particular interest in working with students and dancers.


Please get in touch so we can discuss the best way forward for you.

 

“Most people are afraid of suffering. But suffering is a kind of mud to help the lotus flower of happiness grow. There can be no lotus flower without the mud.”

This quote from Thich Nhat Hanh's 'No Mud, No Lotus' is why I chose a lotus flower symbol for my counselling logo. I firmly believe that our challenges enable us to grow, develop strength, and find joy and meaning in life. When you're struggling, counselling can help you wade through the mud and find your own lotus flower of happiness.

 

QUALIFICATIONS & TRAINING

POSTGRADUATE DIPLOMA IN PSYCHODYNAMIC COUNSELLING AND PSYCHOTHERAPY

CERTIFICATE IN ONLINE AND TELEPHONE COUNSELLING

LEVEL 4 AWARD IN ADVANCED COGNITIVE BEHAVIOUR THERAPY

LEVEL 6 CERTIFICATE IN PROMOTING PUBLIC HEALTH

QUALIFIED HAPPINESS FACILITATOR

LEVEL 3 BTEC CERTIFICATE IN LIFE COACHING

QUALIFIED MENTAL HEALTH FIRST AIDER

SAFEGUARDING TRAINED

ADDITIONAL TRAINING IN SOLUTION-FOCUSED THERAPY AND CREATIVE COUNSELLING

 

PROFESSIONAL ACCREDITATION

I'm a member of the National Counselling Society and am on an Accredited Register that has been accredited by the Professional Standards Authority. The Accredited Register programme was set up by the government to ensure public safety, high professional standards and excellent service. My accreditation demonstrates that I meet the rigorous standards required of a qualified, competent and ethical counsellor.

I'm also listed as a counsellor and psychotherapist with Registered Counsellor and Welldoing.

I'm also fully insured, supervised and have an up-to-date enhanced DBS check. I'm commited to the highest possible quality practice, undertake regular CPD and abide by the NCS's Code of Ethics.

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MY COUNSELLING APPROACH

I'm trained in a variety of different counselling styles and tailor my approach according to each client's individual needs.

The type of counselling that's most useful to you is likely to vary over time. Sometimes, you may just want to talk with a kind and impartial listener. At other times, you may prefer to dig deep into your problems and gain understanding, with me acting as fellow detective to help you work out what's going on. Sometimes, a more practical, solution-focused approach with goals, activies and coping strategies will be most helpful. We will always work together to find out what works best for you.

My main training is in psychodynamic counselling, which sees the ‘psyche’ – a difficult word to translate, encompassing the self, thoughts, emotions, soul and mind – as constantly active and changing. Psychodynamic theory is based on part of the mind being unconscious, with experiences during childhood shaping the way in which people behave, think and experience life. However, I also draw on humanist, existential, positive psychology, CBT, creative and other approaches to help clients overcome problems and difficulties.


Counselling aims to help you understand the link between now and the past, and bring previously unconscious ideas and feelings into conscious awareness. In this way, deep emotional insight and self-understanding is gained, so you can better manage your feelings, improve your relationships and live a more satisfying life. Counselling is also an invaluable way to find greater meaning and purpose and discover what truly makes you happy.