About Us

How can we help you?

Counselling and psychotherapy can help you with specific issues that may be troubling you. It can also be a longer journey of self discovery leading to lasting change.

The Old Surgery is a group practice of counsellors and psychotherapists in Leighton Buzzard (some also in Milton Keynes) providing short term and longer term counselling and psychotherapy for individuals, families and couples, as well as professional supervision.

We have counsellors who specialise in working with children and young people, several who see couples and somel who work with families. Our counsellors have specialisms in addictions, relationship problems, eating disorders, trauma, long term illness and carers’ issues.

All of our counsellors and psychotherapists are members of BACP or UKCP  and work to the highest professional standards. We offer a safe, confidential and flexible service at a range of different rates to suit your needs.

Wes Berrisford-Kapon

Counsellor

Advanced Diploma in Humanistic and Integrative Counselling.

Wes holds a BACP accredited Advanced Diploma in Humanistic and Integrative Counselling from CPPD London, which is one of the UK’s leading humanistic counselling schools.

Wes Berrisford-Kapon

Wes says:  ‘Sometimes, we can have a real sense of disquiet within ourselves and feel anxious, insecure, frustrated, angry and inadequate. Or we can just be overwhelmed by feelings that we don’t understand. Talking to a counsellor can really help us to understand ourselves more fully.

I offer my clients a genuine, compassionate and safe space where they will be listened to with warmth and empathy as they explore their experiences.

I have a real interest in the way that early life experiences affect us in later life, in particular, attachment, trauma and abuse. If you’re struggling with ‘your stuff’, I will support you throughout your journey while we explore and work through, perhaps difficult feelings and emotions that you may be experiencing’.

Wes is available for online and face to face sessions and his rate is £40, with one lower cost space at £30.

Debbie Petersen

BACP Registered Counsellor

Level 4 Diploma in Therapeutic Counselling, Bedford College

Debbie is a qualified counsellor with a Level 4 Diploma in Therapeutic Counselling from Bedford College. She works with individuals.

Debbie says, “I am a member of the BACP and I use a Person Centred approach. I offer a safe and confidential space in which to talk freely about what is important to you’.

Debbie has appointments on weekday evenings and her rate is £45.

Sonia George

BACP Registered Counsellor

Advanced Diploma in Integrative Psychotherapeutic Counselling (Level 5), Registered Member BACP

Sonia is an experienced counsellor who has worked with BLMK Mind as well as the Old Surgery since 2016.

Sonia says:

‘I pursued studies into Counselling as a result of my experience in a helping capacity both in my local church and my role as a manager in the banking industry to widen my understanding, enhance my skills and develop as a Counsellor.

I believe that counselling provides an opportunity for people facing difficult challenges in their lives to talk through their feelings and be empowered to find their own solutions in a safe and comfortable space.

Sonia holds an Advanced Diploma, Level 5

I trained in an integrative way with the person-centred approach as my core theoretical model where I will listen to people empathetically in a non-judgemental manner to assist them to look at their problems”

What Sonia’s clients say:

‘Being able to talk openly and honestly and being allowed to reflect on my thoughts and actions.’ [Male, aged 55 years]

‘Being listened to. Breathing exercises and mindfulness techniques.’ [Female, aged 22 years]

‘Having someone to talk to and help understand why I was feeling so stressed’ [Male, aged 35 years]

‘Being able to just talk and not upset anyone’ [Female, aged 57 years]

Sonia’s normal rate is £45 per session. She has daytime and evening appointments throughout the week and on Saturdays.

Louise Dawson

BACP Accredited Counsellor

Integrative Counsellor, Louise Dawson holds the Foundation Degree in Counselling with the Open University, alongside her Diploma in Psychotherapeutic Counselling.

Louise says “I will offer you a space to talk through whatever may be troubling you in a supportive, confidential and non-judgemental environment. I will aim to help you find a clearer perspective on your situation and consider whether you want to make changes in your life or work on accepting something. Through counselling you can have the opportunity to find a way forward that is right for you.

Louise offers daytime sessions to individuals in Leighton Buzzard at £50.00. She also has a practice in Milton Keynes.

Sue Day

BACP Registered Counsellor

Dip, Integrative Therapeutic Counselling, Aylesbury College

Counsellor Sue Day holds a diploma in integrative therapeutic counselling, and is going forward to take a Level 5 diploma in psychodynamic therapy at Langley Training. She has an interest in addiction, and also works in a drug and alcohol agency.

Sue says:

‘I work in a client centred way, helping my clients explore what they bring to the session, and am able to work creatively, if the client wishes.

I provide a non judgemental space where my clients can express their thoughts and feelings and be heard and understood’.

Sue has worked with, and is particularly interested in, anxiety, low self esteem, self harm, bereavement and loss, and addiction.

Sue offers weekday daytime sessions to individuals from £45 per hour and couples from £60 per hour..

Jackie Howell 

BACP Registered Counsellor, Advanced

Dip. Therapeutic Counselling (Level 4) Aylesbury College, Dip. Therapeutic Life Coaching, Dip. Counselling Supervision (Level 6) Langley Training, Registered Member BACP

Jackie Howell is an experienced, BACP Registered Counsellor and also holds a Diploma as a Fusion Therapeutic Life Coach. She joined the Old Surgery in 2017 and is also a trained Supervisor.

Jackie says:

I have experience in working with children and young people in alternative education supporting and taking care of their social and emotional needs for over 10 years as tutor, key worker and work skills coordinator. I now work in Further Education supporting young adults with any social or emotional needs. This has given me a love and passion for working with people from a variety of backgrounds supporting them through many challenges that life may bring.

“My counselling experience has been with MIND working with adults with complex emotional health needs, and also counselling adults working through and overcoming addiction with drugs and alcohol in a rehab centre.

I work as an Integrative practitioner with a person-centred foundation with the aim to bring about effective change and enhance wellbeing to each client in my care. Together we can walk the path through life’s difficult and challenging moments.

My aim is to work with you to find resources within, to enable you to be your best self. I achieve this in an environment where you can feel safe to share your thoughts and feelings in a confidential non-judgmental therapeutic relationship. I work with children, teenagers and adults working with self- esteem challenges, anxiety, self-harm, depression, relationships issues and social anxiety. Using art and creative strategies to find the best way to build confidence and hope of change using the resources within that will empower individuals to reach their potential.

Jackie’s normal rates are £45 per session for individuals and £50 for couples.

Dawn Woosley

BACP Registered Counsellor, Advanced

Dip. Psychotherapeutic Counselling (Level 5) Bedford College, Registered Member BACP

Registered Counsellor Dawn Woosley is a very experienced counsellor who holds a Diploma in Psychotherapeutic Counselling (Level 5), and is a Registered member of BACP. Dawn also works as a School Counsellor, and has been in practice at the Old Surgery since 2013. Dawn says:

“I have a passion to help people make changes in a therapeutic way. Do you ever feel stuck with problems and difficulties in your life? Sometimes, it can seem so much easier to just accept things. You don’t have to – you have choices.  Since 2012 I have been working with individuals and couples to help people make positive choices for change. I am a Registered Counsellor with a Diploma in Psychotherapeutic Counselling (Edexcel Level 5), and a registered member of BACP. I am an Associate Registered Counsellor at the Old Surgery in Leighton Buzzard, where I have been practising  since 2013.

I have experience in working with the impact of domestic and sexual violence, bereavement, anxiety, PTSD (including use of the Rewind technique), self-esteem, issues around pregnancy including infertility, termination, stillbirth and miscarriage, and issues affecting students.

I work with children and young people as a School Counsellor and have also worked for Brook. I also have facilitation skills and facilitate Behaviour Change workshops for CSUK (NLP)”.

What Dawn’s clients say:

“We cannot thank you enough Dawn. And we are both positive about the future thanks to you” (Maria and Neil, not real names)

“We feel you have helped us so much and that we now communicate so much better and will continue to improve on that. We would like to thank you very much for all your time and patience” (Sean and Emma)

“You have truly helped us save our marriage and resolve our problems and we are so grateful for your guidance” (Stuart and Lisa)

Dawn’s normal rates are £45 per session for individuals and £60 for couples.

Kate Hardy

BACP Accredited Senior Counsellor, Contractural Trainee in Transactional Analysis Psychotherapy

BA (hons) Theology & Counselling (first class), Univ. Middlesex; MA Health Services, Univ. Leeds; PG Dip Clinical Supervision (Sherwood Psychotherapy Training Institute);  Foundation Certificate in TA (Berne Institute); Fellow of the Higher Education Academy; Accredited Member BACP; Member UKCP; Member UKATA

Kate is an experienced counsellor, supervisor and tutor, with more than 6000 hours in practice, as well as 10 years experience teaching on the Open University CPCAB Foundation Degree in Counselling. The Old Surgery Counselling Centre has grown out of Kate’s practice over the last decade.

Kate says

“My approach is gentle, positive, supportive and respectful. I work with every individual as a whole person, including feelings, thoughts and behaviour as well as their inner “heart”.

I hope that at the Old Surgery, you will find the right help for you.

I started on this journey more than fifteen years ago and have never regretted it. It continues to be a privilege to accompany and help people finding their own paths through the difficulties of life.

Before training as a counsellor in 2003, I had worked in the NHS and charities such as the Red Cross, Crisis and Macmillan Cancer Care. I already knew that talking with a skilled professional has been shown to make a huge difference when people face difficulties in life.

I now provide Transactional Analysis (TA) psychotherapy, integrated with CBT and Attachment approaches, rooted in advanced clinical training at the internationally recognised Berne Institute. TA is a way of understanding yourself better, moving on from the past and making the changes you need to make in your life and relationships. I work with individuals and couples.

What Kate’s clients say:

“Looking back, I spent my life going from one bad relationship to the next and now, finally, I have broken the pattern – for good! So thank you for all your help and guidance in getting to where I needed – and deserved – to be.”  Jayne, 35

“Counselling helped me to accept myself and be proud of who I am” Simon, 29

“Since the sessions I have started a new project and am feeling excited about the new year for the first time in many years. Watch this space!” Christopher, 51

I saw Kate for a number of sessions to talk through issues causing me to suffer from a high level of anxiety. Her professional, experienced and caring expertise were a massive help in dealing with the things that affected me and allowed me to move on.” Joseph, 35

Alexandre F. Gieseke

Senior Family & Couples Therapist, Clinical Supervisor, BACP Registered Counsellor, BPS GBC Psychologist

Degree in Counselling/ Psychotherapy, Pontifícia Universidade Católica de Minas Gerais – Brazil. Masters degree Humanistic Psychotherapy, Instituto Humanista de Psicoterapia (Humanistic Institute of Psychotherapy), Minas Gerais, Brazil. British Psychological Society Approved Certificate in Clinical Supervision, MSc Counselling and Psychotherapy, Strathclyde University, (current study).

Alexandre is a highly experienced Psychotherapist and Family Therapist. He is also an experienced Clinical Supervisor, Therapeutic Manager, and a trainer and consultant to children and families organisations such as Family First Fostering, Sandwell District Council, and Bedford Carers Lounge.

Alexandre offers Family Therapy and Couples Counselling as well as work with children, young people and adults. He has a weekly clinic on Tuesday evenings at the Old Surgery in Leighton Buzzard, and also works from his own premises in Milton Keynes.

Alexandre says,

I have over 23 years (13,300 hours) clinical experience working with children, young people and adults and families. My specialisms include working with learning/behavioural difficulties, physical/emotional/sexual abuse, or previous history of substance misuse. ASD and ADHD traits, LAC (Looked After Children).

I have worked in many different settings, such as: schools, residential care homes, foster homes, foster agencies, secure units, NHS hospitals, Local Authorities (Councils), and privately in clinics throughout my career – paid and as a volunteer’.

Although Alexandre’s core orientation is Humanistic, he is also experienced in CBT and DBT from his work in a number of secure settings where these approaches are normally used.

Alexandre has Tuesday evening appointments in Leighton Buzzard, his normal rate is £55 for individuals, £60 for couples and for family therapy. He also has a wider range of appointments and availabilities in Milton Keynes.

Jean Harding

BACP Accredited, Senior Counsellor

Dip. Counselling Gestalt Centre, Registered Member BACP (Accred.)

Senior Counsellor Jean Harding is highly experienced and has been working as a counsellor since 2003. Jean  joined the Old Surgery in 2015. Jean is a BACP Registered and Accredited counsellor and holds a Gestalt Centre diploma in counselling and a Metanoia certificate in couples counselling.

Jean says: ” I am interested in helping people to develop increased self-awareness, to let go of old patterns of behaviour, to deal with unfinished business and to move forward with their lives.

I chose to train in Gestalt because of its breadth, richness and creativity. I enjoy the holistic nature of the Gestalt approach which focuses on body and spirit as well as mind and emotion.

I have also completed further training in Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT) and find that some clients enjoy this more structured approach which explores the connections between thoughts feelings and behaviours.

My background is in health information, as a manager of both a local health helpline and then a national helpline for the RNIB. This gave me experience in helping people facing a wide range of health issues and this continues to be a special interest for me. My other specialist areas include: anxiety and panic attacks; bereavement and loss; relationship difficulties and work related issues such as bullying, stress, or redundancy.  I aim to offer a balance of support and constructive challenge, and to provide you with a safe space where you can slow down and take time to reflect.

What Jean’s clients say:

“The service was excellent, very helpful, and has helped me on my way to a happier start to my new life” [B – female, age 53]

“A huge thank you for all your help, support and challenging questions over the past weeks. I couldn’t have reached where I am today without it.” [K – female – age 29]

Thank you for helping me to see that things can change…you have empowered me to move forward with my life [F – female – age 40]

At the moment, Jean is accepting individual clients on the phone. From a month after restrictions are fully lifted, appointments will be available Monday-Thursday, from 9am to 6.30pm. Jean’s normal rates are £50 per session for individuals.

Counselling Psychotherapy Coaching Supervision Leighton Buzzard 07557 675696