Hi, I’m Juliet Birkbeck, a Person-Centered counsellor and a member of the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy. I work mainly in South Manchester where I see clients at the Chorlton Counselling Rooms on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays and I also work as a volunteer counsellor for the LGBT Foundation in central Manchester.
If you are experiencing distress and are looking for help in understanding what’s going on and how to change things then I can help you. If you feel you have no one to talk to or that no one takes you seriously or has time for you, then having a counsellor who will listen and pay attention can be extremely helpful. If you feel you shouldn’t be bothering anyone with your problems when they have issues of their own, then talking to someone who is free to focus on you can make a huge difference. But a good counsellor doesn’t just listen. I’ll help you to make sense of what you bring to counselling. I’ll help you explore how you feel and what you really want out of life. And help you recognise the strengths and skills you already have.
Some things cannot be changed. I work with a lot of people who are dealing with loss and the loss is real. But people can and do move from a place where they feel overwhelmed by their feelings to a place where they are able to move forward and welcome life again.
My theoretical background is Person Centred – a form of humanistic counselling developed by Carl Rogers. Other influences on my work include the attachment work of John Bowlby, work on gender and sexuality by Judith Butler and Meg-John Barker, the relational work of Patricia DeYoung.
There are other approaches to counselling including CBT, TA and integrative counselling. You can find out about all of these on the BACP website.
I am also a newly qualified therapeutic supervisor and am able to offer supervision to other counsellors and to people working in the helping professions whose work is emotionally demanding.
When I was growing up I lived in various different countries and I got used to being on the edge of different groups – having to work out for myself what it means to belong and how to cope with living on the margins. I recognise that this isn’t always easy and that our sense of our own identity can change and develop over time. I do feel strongly that we should be able to explore and assert our own identities whether in terms of gender, sexuality or faith and I work with many people who are exploring these issues for themselves.
Before becoming a counsellor I was a senior leader in a secondary school. My areas of responsibility included Special Educational Needs, Child Protection, Asylum Seekers / Refugees and New Arrivals to the country. I helped set up the Forced Marriage Forum in Oldham and worked with the local domestic violence support group after a colleague was murdered. I have also worked as a volunteer with Refugee Action and Age Concern.