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How can we help you?

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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 some 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 .

Debbie Darby

BACP Registered Counsellor Level 5


· DIP, Therapeutic Counselling at West Herts College.

· Level 5 Diploma in Psychotherapeutic Therapy.

· Certificate in Couples Counselling

I work with adults and couples. Giving each client, or a couple’s relationship the primary focus and attention throughout our sessions together. As an Integrative Counsellor, I offer a variety of approaches, working with theory and concepts including Person Centred, Psychotherapy and CBT techniques. I also offer a Solution Focused Approach, for those who are looking for short term brief therapy

For couples looking to work on their relationship, I offer a safe space for both to explore their feelings. This could be a range of issues, such as improving communication, breakdown in trust, infidelity issues or just looking to reconnect.

If suitable, I offer a Solution Focused Approach. This is short term goal directed brief therapy. Setting goals and working towards achieving them. The focus is on the future rather than the past, encouraging positive change for a healthy and happier future.

I work with a variety of presenting issues, managing difficult life events such as bereavement and loss, relationship problems, coping with difficult emotions, depression and anxiety, work related stress and the Menopause.

My Counselling experience extends to working for MIND, within a Hospice environment and as an Immediate support Counsellor for an Employment Assistance Programme Provider.

My availability is Monday to Friday daytime, Thursday and Friday evenings and Saturday morning.

Offering short term and open-ended therapy.


Individual -£45 for 50-minute duration

Couples- £65 for 1 hour duration. Allowing 1.5 hours for the first session.

Low cost – Limited availability – If suitable for Solution Focused Brief Therapy 6 weeks at £25 per session for 50-minute duration.


Paul is a qualified spiritual counsellor and a Reiki practitioner

Paul says ;

Hi, I’m Paul, I’ve been a Spiritual counselor since I graduated In 2021 and a reiki practitioner for over ten years now. I adore the healing work that I do and encompass many elements of traditional counselling with spiritual techniques as and when required. Reiki is an earth healing energy, and can be used to clear emotional and mental blockages. Learning and progressing is one of my passions as is CrossFit and cats.

Paul offers some evening and weekend appointments his fee is £45

Carrie Barden Marshall

BACP Registered CounsellorDip. Therapeutic Counselling (Level 4) Aylesbury College.

Qualified for three years and also has over 14 years experience supporting young people with their emotional wellbeing and mental health.Presently working as a Counsellor within an Upper School.

My counselling experience includes working with adults at a sexual assault charity and at a Hospice.I am a trained in a integrative way but with a strong Person Centred approach where I will offer you a confidential, non judgemental space to enable you to work through any difficult thoughts, feelings and experiences. Our therapeutic relationship is fundamental to the effectiveness of the counselling process. I will offer you a warm, safe empathetic environment where your thoughts and feelings will be valued and heard.I have a wide range of experience working with clients who are experiencing issues in areas such as anxiety, low mood, depression, self harm, OCD, low self esteem, grief and loss.

Carries fee is £50( for a 50 minute session) available pm on week days .

Sue Day

BACP Registered Counsellor

 Sue holds an Advanced Level 5 diploma in psychodynamic counselling and Level 6 diploma in clinical supervision

Counsellor Sue Day is an integrative counsellor who has worked at the Old Surgery Counselling Centre since 2018. She works with a wide range of client issues including anxiety, self confidence and self esteem, and relationship difficulties. Sue welcomes neurodiverse clients and has a specialism to work with most types of addiction.

Sue says:

‘I work in a client centred, relational way, helping my clients explore what they bring to the session, and to work with them to find their way forward with whatever difficulties they might be experiencing. I am able to work creatively with clients, if this feels helpful. I provide a non judgemental space where my clients can express their thoughts and feelings and be heard, understood and accepted’.

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

Sue offers weekday (Mon-Weds) daytime/evening sessions to individuals from £50 per hour and couples from £60 per hour.

Gay Lane


Gay Lane is a BACP registered counsellor and holds a level 4 diploma in Person Centred counselling. Working alongside clients who are experiencing a broad range of issues including anxiety, low self-esteem, depression, grief and domestic abuse.
Person centred counselling offers clients a safe, confidential space to explore their thoughts, feelings and experiences. Helping them to gain a deeper understanding of themselves.

Gay works with Children 10 years and up and adults

Gay is available Tuesday and Wednesday days. Her fee is £45.

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 £50 per session for individuals and £65 for couples.

Emma Alabaster

Registered BACP senior counsellor/ supervisor

 I am a qualified and neurodiverse Counsellor with a BA Honours degree in Counselling. I qualified in 2010 and am a registered member of the BACP (British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy). As of 2023, I am also a qualified Clinical Supervisor.

I began my first counselling course in 2004 and since qualifying as a Counsellor have worked with many thousands of clients who include young people, adult individuals, couples and groups.
My way of working is creative and relational and I use my own ‘felt sense’ of the client and their world in order to inform my clinical thinking.

As a Counsellor, I have worked with several organisations – including schools and charities – one of which was Victim Support where I worked mainly with clients who had been affected by sexual violence, hate crime and domestic abuse. Until recently, I was Clinical Lead at Private Practice Organisation in North of Milton Keynes for a period of four years.

In my own private practice, I have seen clients with many different presenting issues – including anxiety, depression and trauma – and have worked with hundreds of neurodiverse clients. I also have personal lived experience of neurodiversity myself, with also both my adult children being Autistic, ADHD, Dyslexic and Dyspraxia. 

Many Thanks,
Emma (she/her)
BA (Hons) Cert. Sup. Reg. MBACP 

Emma is available for day time appointments her fee is £50

Paula Maze

 NCPS Accredited Counsellor, AdvancedCounsellor and Hypnotherapist
Advanced Level 5 Diploma in Psychotherapeutic Counselling.

Ad Dip Psy Skills

AIM  Awards Level 3 Hypnotherapy and counselling

SkillsHypnotherapy and counselling Skills Cert

Hyp CSCertificate Suicide intervention

Certificate in Pregnancy and Infant loss


I draw on many different therapeutic theories. I am an integral Counsellor using a Psychodynamic and Person Centred approach,  this allows me to give my clients a bespoke session tailored to their individual needs.
I have experience working with Adults and young people. The therapeutic process can help a client navigate through painful experiences and facilitates a strong self understanding that will strengthen a clients future.I provide a safe, confidential and non judgemental space for my clients.  This allows us to build good rapport and begin our journey to work on my clients presenting issues. The therapeutic relationship is the heart of the process. I am a warm and empathetic counsellor and feel I can quickly build good rapport with my clients to make them feel at ease.I believe our mental health is as important as our physical health. I feel a supported  journey to positive change can be invaluable.

Road Victims Trust 

   Bereavement and trauma counsellor 

 VolunteerSchool Counsellor

 Private Counselling  

Availability   Monday – Saturday

 Counselling  £50 Hypnotherapy  £60 Couples  £75

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 and couples.

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.  I also work with couples who want to improve their relationships. Within couples, there is no magic formula for making a partnership work but we do know that being able to talk about how you feel in a safe and managed space is beneficial. If you make the extremely difficult decision to part as a couple, enabling couples to part well, if that is the best outcome, is just as important”.

Debbie has appointments on weekday evenings and her rate is £50 (for 50 minute sessions) and £60 for couples (for 1 hour).

Wes Berrisford-Kapon

BACP Registered Counsellor

Advanced Diploma in Humanistic and Integrative Counselling, Registered Member BACP.

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, his rate is £45.

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 Has also worked as a School Counsellor, and has been in practice at the Old Surgery since 2012. 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 the practice manager 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 worked 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 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)

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

“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 £50 per session for individuals and £65 for couples an hour £80 an hour and a half.

Sonia George

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 works with individuals and couples.

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.

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 £50 per session and £60 for couples. She has daytime and evening appointments throughout the week and on Saturdays.


About me, I am a  UKCP registered psychotherapist,  Integrative Counsellor and CBT Therapist with over 22 years of counseling experience, specializing in individual counseling with adults.  What I offer.  Face to face  Existential Psychotherapy  Cognitive Behavioural Therapy – Integrative Counselling. Feminist counselling. -Geriatric counselling.  
Geriatric counselling helps older adults who are dealing with life transitions of aging such as illness, death of a spouse of a family member, isolation, and anxiety.   Feminist counselling attempts to address emotional distress as a result of psychological oppression. I
Training, qualifications & experience BA (Hons) Psych Dip. Psych Post Graduate Diploma Psychotherapy and Counselling (Regents College London); Adv.Dip. Existential Psychotherapy (Regents College London); PgD Cognitive Behavioural Therapy. Member SEA ( Society for Existential Analysis). Diploma pet bereavement Diploma spiritual counselling. 

Janet has day time appointments available at £55

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

Alexandre F. Gieseke

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 normal rate is £70 for individuals, £70 for couples and for family therapy.(Some concessions available) He has a wide range of appointments and availabilities in Milton Keynes.

Thembie Mapingire

BACP Registered, Senior Counsellor

Thembie is a counsellor with over 15 years’ experience, as well as a former teacher with over 20 years teaching experience. Her approach is integrative. She works with individuals, couples, and families, and holds an MA from the University of Nottingham in working with children and young people .

Thembie is also a clinical supervisor. 

Thembie says: ” I love working with couples and young people. My special interest in relationships, parenting, stress management, bereavement and loss, self-harm, assertiveness and trauma”

She is available on Tuesday and Thursday evenings 6-8pm, Fridays 9 am – 3pm & Sundays am/ pm .

Fees: £55 individuals, £70 couples and £75 for family counselling.

Agata Turney

BACP Accredited, Senior Counsellor

A trained and Qualified Europe Accredited EMDR therapist and an Accredited Member of the BACP.

Agata has a level 5 Diploma in Psychotherapeutic Counselling and qualified in Person Centred Counselling in 2015.

Agata says,” My main approach is Person Centred, however since qualifying in 2015 I have attended additional training on CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy) and I’m able to utilise this in my practice as well as Solution Focused Brief Therapy and Life Coaching.

About me

I specialise in Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) using EMDR Therapy. I have experience working with first responders including paramedics and Prison officers and individuals presenting with mental health issues including anxiety, depression, panic attack, low self-esteem, anger, relationship issues, and more.

Before qualifying as a Counsellor, I worked as an interpreter, Italian /English for Milton Keynes Community Language Service for 17 years and I very much enjoyed my role as it required me to break the language barrier between individuals. This experience inspired me to work in a helping capacity and pursue my Counselling journey.

My Counselling experience has been with MIND BLMK in Milton Keynes where I volunteered for three years, working with individuals with complex emotional needs, as well as volunteering at MIND I also volunteered for Cares Mk working with adult carers, and in the homeless sector, Mayday trust, working with individuals also presenting with complex emotional needs.

I am truly passionate in what I do and have found no better way to do work that is meaningful and transformative.

I offer individuals a confidential space in a supportive, non-judgmental, and safe environment. My aim is that you can explore and achieve greater understanding and control of your life, enabling help you to see a change of perspective.

What Agatas clients say:

Agata was brilliant it is difficult to put your trust in someone with things you carry at a personal level. But she was very easy to talk to and let you guard down with. Please pass on my deep thanks and appreciation for all she has done in such a little time.

“Agata was amazing, helped me in a short time”

Agata offers daytime sessions to individuals on Thursday and some weekday evenings, her sessions are £50 for individual Counselling and £70 for EMDR. 60 minutes

Counselling Psychotherapy Coaching Supervision Leighton Buzzard 07557 675696