Category Archives: About me and my work

Ambulance Service Staff

As you may know, I used to work for the Scottish Ambulance Service, as an EMD (emergency call handler) for five years, and then as an EDQ (auditor of emergency calls). It’s been over a year now since I left, and I am delighted to now be able to offer low cost sessions to ambulance service staff.

If you are working for an ambulance service in the UK, and you are interested in counselling, whether for something work related or not, do get in touch to arrange an initial meeting or book in a first session.

These sessions cost £35 for 50 minutes. I’m happy to work weekly, fortnightly or less often, and understand the demands of shift work. Apart from the difference in cost, these sessions will be no different from any other sessions I offer, and you will be treated the same as any other client.

I look forward to hearing from you.

    Our First Session

    If you haven’t had counselling before, or even if you have, you might be wondering what will happen when we meet for our first session.

    Before our first session, we might have had a quick chat on the phone or over Zoom, just to check that we are a good match, or we might have exchanged emails setting up the appointment. You’ll already know something of how I work, and I might know something of what brings you to counselling.

    At our first session, there is some information I need to share with you, and some information I need to get from you. I’ll go over confidentiality, some boundaries and anything else you need to know about the counselling relationship. I’ll check with you that you are set up comfortably for our sessions and the times just before and after. Then I’ll ask you about your experience and expectations of counselling, and what you are hoping for. I’ll also want to know what support you have around you, and what you typically reach for to support yourself when times are hard. I’ll also ask if there’s anything else you think I should know.

    First sessions are different from other sessions, I might feel like I am interrogating you when I ask you all these questions. In a typical session, what we talk about will be led by you – it’s your time to explore whatever you want. And our first session is still your time, we can start talking about what has brought you to counselling if you would like to. Also, we don’t have to do this. It might feel better for you to wait until a future session to get into it. You’ll know best what is right for you.

    It’s not unusual to find unknown situations scary – when we don’t know what’s going to happen, our bodies might worry that we are in danger, and get ready to protect us. If you are interested in starting counselling with me, I hope this information has helped you have a better understanding of what you might be getting into. Remember that you can also ask questions before we meet, and at any time during our work.

    Contact me if you’d like to know more, or if you’d like to book a first session:

      Working within Covid-19

      My practice has changed with Covid-19, and since March 2020 I have only been meeting clients online. We are all sharing this pandemic, we all know what lockdown and quarantine mean, and how they feel. It’s another aspect of the human condition we now share.

      But your experience of it is different to mine, and even though we are going through it together, it will feel unique to us all.

      Working within Covid-19: changes

      So much has changed since March 2020. Many of us have found our mental health suffering, and are finding it harder to enjoy our lives as we used to. We might have had more time on our hands, and found ourselves using this time to go over our pasts or our futures. If we’ve had to spend more time on our own, voices from our pasts might have started making themselves heard in our heads. As things change, and we can travel and meet people, we might find this stressful or overwhelming.

      Living within a global pandemic means we may have been forced to confront fears of death, both our own, those close to us, and nameless thousands of others.

      Whatever the pandemic has brought to you, talking about it can help.

      Counselling is a place where you can say the unsayable and show the parts of yourself, both those you are proud of, and the parts you’d rather hide. There is something about having the space to do this that is healing, and can help you make sense of yourself and your life.

      Working within Covid-19: online

      In March 2020, like many of us, I moved my counselling practice online. I was someone who didn’t want to work online, and who thought that online sessions were second best to working face to face. I was nervous about using the technology, and didn’t like being able to see my own face on screen.

      Since then I have embraced online working. I have re-trained and become a professional member of ACTO (Association for Counselling and Therapy Online). Now, working online feels as natural as working face to face.

      More than that, I have seen how working online has benefits for the client. Seeing a counsellor online means that you can be in a place that you choose, somewhere safe and comfortable. The relationship has become more equal: we are both in our own spaces, we are both making the connection. The relationship is just as deep, as nuanced and as helpful – the relationship is in a new place, but it works just the same.


      Working online, I work in a dedicated room in Edinburgh. I use Zoom, and will send you an email invitation to join our session on the morning of the day we meet. We’ll have a plan in place for what to do if we have connection problems. You will need a safe place for counselling: somewhere you can’t be overheard and won’t be interrupted. The time before and after a session can be important processing time, and you might want to think about what’s going to work best for you here.


      For all sessions, I charge £60 for a 50 minute session. I accept payment by bank transfer. If you work for an Ambulance Service, I offer low cost sessions, at £35 for 50 minutes – for more information, have a look here.

      The best way to contact me is by email. I’ll do my best to answer your enquiry as soon as I can – normally within a couple of days. Let me know how you would like me to contact you.


      or use this form:

        About sessions with me

        Ideally, we’ll meet at the same time and place every week, and sessions will normally last 50 minutes. In our first session we’ll talk a little bit about what your expectations are, and about the issues that bring you to counselling. In this first session, we’ll agree on our boundaries, including, most importantly, the confidentiality of our work. We might also think about how long we might plan to work together. This first session is a way for us to find out if we’ll be able to work together.

        Once we have agreed to work together, we’ll work on what you want to bring, and I will do my best to build a trusting relationship between us where you can bring anything and everything – even your most frightening and uncomfortable things. I think counselling works two ways: firstly when we talk about the thoughts and feelings that have been troubling us, hearing them out loud can make them clearer, and can give us new insights and understandings. 

        Secondly, I believe there is something magical and healing about the counselling relationship. It is a place where you are fully heard and fully accepted. Experiencing this gives us a freedom from judgment, expectations and agendas – a freedom to be our best selves. 

        We’ll be working together online. While you may well have spent more time online in the last year than ever before, you might be wondering what it will be like doing counselling online.  We won’t be in the same physical space, but everything else will be the same. I hope you’ll make yourself comfortable in a place where you won’t be overheard or interrupted. Choose somewhere you don’t associate with work or your ‘normal’ life, and plan some time before and after so you have that transition time you’d have if you were travelling to my office. Don’t forget that you can share your worries or experience of working online with me, you won’t be doing it alone. 

        Contact me if working together is something you’d like to explore:


        or use this form:


          About my work

          I am a qualified counsellor and psychotherapist, and I am a BACP (British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy ) Accredited Counsellor/Psychotherapist. This means that I am bound by a code of ethics in my work, and that my clients have access to phone and email guidance from staff at BACP where concerns can be raised and questions answered. Being Accredited means that my practice has met the BACP’s higher standard as a competent, ethical and independent practitioner.

          I am a person-centred counsellor, and this means that I believe my client is the expert in their own journey. I am not here to give advice or instructions. Instead, our relationship will give you the space and place to explore difficult parts of your life, uncomfortable feelings and current problems. I will be there with you, and together we can go to any dark places you feel you need to.

          Because I am working with a person, rather than a diagnosis or a label, I can work with you, whatever you bring. I have worked with clients with depression, anxiety, a history of childhood sexual abuse, a history of growing up in care, a history of childhood abuse, marriage and relationship difficulties including domestic abuse, and trauma. I’m happy to work with clients who bring particular issues they’d like to explore, and with clients who aren’t sure what they want to work on, but who have a feeling that counselling will help improve their life.

          If you’d like to know more about the theoretical background to my work, try here.

          If you’d like to know more about what to expect from our work together, try here.

          I am an Accredited member of BACP (British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy, and a professional member of ACTO (Association for Counselling and Therapy Online,




          About me

          I’m Jessica (she/her), and I bring to my work as a counsellor a rich life experience. Before training as a counsellor, I worked for the Scottish Ambulance Service for eight years, including five years in the control room answering 999 calls. In this role, I certainly heard people at their most vulnerable. It also means I have first hand experience of working in a high pressure environment, and the broader impact on our lives workplace stress can have. I also have an understanding of some medical and traumatic emergencies, both how they impact us now, and how they impact us over time.

          For twenty years before that, I worked as a teacher of English as a foreign language – teaching mainly adults in Asia and Europe. Living and working in different countries had a profound impact on me; it gave me a broad experience of different cultures, and showed me what it’s like to be different, and how it feels to be different from the norm.

          Having said all that, I know that we all experience things differently. Both you and I could be in the same situation, and it would affect us both in completely different ways. In my work as a counsellor, I bring my experiences into the room because they have made me who I am now, but I do not bring any assumptions about how your experiences have affected you.