Shirley Marais Counselling Service BedfordTherapeutic Counsellor
Individuals, Couples, On-Line Counselling

Services Provided. We fall

Getting started in counselling can feel like a step into the unknown, and therefore takes courage. You might have questions about counselling, or the way I work, and we can begin discussing these by email, phone or text.


There are various types of counselling offered here in the UK. My expertise is in ‘Person Centred’, which is one of the most common and popular approaches to counselling. It puts you, the client, at the centre of the work we do together by focussing our sessions on your concerns, feelings and values. Rather than giving you advice or telling you how you ought to feel, I would support you in exploring how things are for you, and in working out what might make life better.


I work with individuals and also couples, whether married or not. Plus other relationships such as a parent and child, or work colleagues.
Relationship issues can be successfully addressed in one-to-one counselling, by attending sessions with or without your partner, husband, wife or colleague.

This can allow the time and space required to work through your concerns, free from distraction.
Couples counselling offers something different. I offer a counselling relationship that can support you as you try to see your problems clearly.
It provides the opportunity to explore your feelings and say the things you need to say to each other, in a 'neutral' environment.
I will respect each of you as an independent person with your own unique experiences, thoughts, feelings and values.


HOW CAN I HELP YOU? I can promise that once you make that first step I will provide a space where you will feel safe, supported, understood and not judged. I can help you to:

-Understand cultural differences
-Feel less anxious
-Improve your depression and low mood
-Be free from guilt and shame
-Achieve a new normal in relation to health issues
-Work through grief and loss
-Feel less stressed
-Relationship Counselling
-Develop better relationships
-Overcoming addiction
-Moving forward after addiction
-Feel less angry.

I also work creatively with clients using art work, sand play and many more creative ways. This type of therapy allows clients who are unable to find the words to express themselves in more creative ways.


With so many counsellors trained to different levels and offering different kinds of therapy, it can be difficult to know what's best: Who is the right counsellor? And what is the right kind of counselling? Here are some suggestions that might help with your search:

Ask people you know for a recommendation - perhaps they have some experience of counselling they could share with you.

Take a look at different practitioners' websites, and also check out professional directories like The Counselling Directory, BACP's Therapist Directory, and Psychology Today.

Only consider counsellors who are a member of a professional body such as the BACP (British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy) or the NCS (National Counselling Society). This can help to ensure both good practice and accountability.

Keep in mind that research indicates it is the THERAPEUTIC RELATIONSHIP between client and counsellor that has the biggest impact on change, rather than the TYPE of counselling offered. To this end, talk to different counsellors, and tune in to whether or not you feel safe and supported in their company.


GPs deal with a whole range of health problems, including mental health concerns, so they can be a valuable source of advice and support.


Whatever you're going through, call Samaritans free any time, from any phone on 116 123. You don't have to be suicidal to call them.

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