Since qualifying I have continued to develop my practice and experience through regular weekly clients at the SWAN project (a low cost counselling service specialising in addiction) in Montpelier.
From 2006 to 2013 I worked as a support worker with the Rough Sleepers Initiative, a government funded initiative to support ex-homeless clients. This gave me extensive experience of working with very vulnerable clients with common problems such as addiction, mental health issues and personality disorders.
It was witnessing the repeated cycles and almost ubiquitous history of trauma or neglect in the lives of these clients that contributed to my wanting to train to become a counsellor. Seeing first hand the direct effect someone's history and childhood has on the difficulties they face today confirmed for me that it's not just a question of chemical imbalance, or 'faulty thinking' or socio-economic circumstances!
My own personal history and experience of facing shame related issues has also significantly influenced my counselling approach. I have great respect for your autonomy and the coping skills that may serve an essential role in protecting something inside from being overwhelmed. I believe you are the expert on yourself!
I am also a qualified hollistic masseur and have always been interested in the relationship between mind, body, spirit and soul. I do not incorporate any physical touch in my counselling practice but I encourage connection to the body, especially connection with emotion in the body as I believe emotions need to be felt in order to process them.
I am also a member of a fortnightly Men's group which is a valuable space for supporting my personal development through positive connection to 'warrior' energy (assertive, direct, clear) and jungian/gestalt based group process work - to uncover unconcious patterns.
After 4 years training I qualified in 2012 from the University of the West of England (UWE) with a post-graduate diploma in Counselling. The course was BACP (British Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy) accredited. During my training I was a voluntary counsellor with the Bristol Drugs Project and the SWAN project.
"The deeper that sorrow carves into your being the more joy you can contain. Is not the cup that holds your wine the very cup that was burned in the potter's oven?" - Kahlil Gibran
Stafford Wilson MBACP
PG Dip Counselling
University of the West of England
Tel: 07970 421016