Counselling & Psychotherapy in Edinburgh with Gary Smith

About Me / Qualifications

Professional Qualifications
Diploma in Gestalt Psychotherapy,
Advanced Diploma in Psychodrama Psychotherapy.
Diploma in Supervision.
SQA Advanced Certificate - Foundation Course in Gestalt Therapy Theory and Skills,
Post Graduate Certificate in Community Theatre,

Membership of Professional Bodies:
UKCP registered psychotherapist
MBACP (Accred);
Member of BPA.
I abide by the code of ethics of UKCP, BACP and the BPA.

Full Professional Liability Insurance.

Personal Therapy
I have experience of my own personal therapy since beginning my training in 1999. This is important for my own personal development, and also professionally, to stay in touch with what it's like to be a client. Sharing myself and my vulnerabilities is an important aspect of staying humble and human in this challenging work. This enables me to connect empathically with clients while remaining professionally at a distance.

Summary of Education and Training:
Since 1999 I have been undergoing extensive training in the theory and practice of counselling and psychotherapy. Between 1999 and 2003 I underwent over 500 hours of experiential and theoretical training in Gestalt Psychotherapy at the Edinburgh Gestalt Institute. I then went on to train in Psychodrama Psychotherapy completing a 4 year advanced diploma with the Northern School of Psychodrama. I have also completed a training in Supervision with Relationships Scotland.
Previous training includes a post graduate certificate in Community Theatre, which was based on the Theatre of the Oppressed work of Augusto Boal, and my first training was a Dip AD in Fine Art in the early 70's.
I am also a Playback Theatre practitioner, being a member of Playback Edinburgh theatre group since it's formation.

Work Experience
I am an experienced group facilitator. I have over 30 years experience of personal development work with both individuals and groups, including working within mental health projects, a community for adults with learning disabilities, teaching in further education and as a freelance community artist (see under 'Personal Development & Mental Health Group Work Experience' in my CV that follows).
I have been working as a counsellor and psychotherapist since January 2002.

Areas of Specialism
I regularly run Creative Therapy group workshops in collaboration with an art therapist colleague, involving art therapy and action drama/psychodrama and I co-led a weekly Men’s Group at The PF Counselling Serrvice in Edinburgh.
I am available to facilitate organisational training and personal development sessions for staff groups.

Personal Approach
My personal approach is to establish a working relationship clients, that can encourage exploration of current and past issues. This may include creative methods where appropriate, enhancing awareness and enabling personal growth. I have a supportive and open approach, encouraging dialogue and personal responsibility.
Client testimonial - "Therapy was a lifechanging process for me. It changed the way I think about experiences in my life, how I approach difficult feelings about those experiences. Therapy has also been a liberating experience for me where I find that I can no longer hide behind old behaviours and thinking. It's a very nice experience when I find myself able to think and behave differently to problems, to difficult emotions or life in general. I found Gary as my therapist to be very empathic and safe to share very personal issues with. What I've learnt in therapy is something that I will carry within me for the rest of my life."

Professional Profile
Psychotherapist, counsellor, group facilitator, supervisor, artist and teacher, with considerable background experience in arts and education. Having worked in the voluntary sector as well as in mainstream education, has a broad experience of different client groups, including adults with learning disabilities, people with mental health problems, children, young people, and the elderly. Experience of short and longer term counselling, working both within voluntary agencies and through my own private practice.

Personal Profile
Positive, creative, and well rounded individual with a commitment to personal and professional development. With innate flexibility, motivation and adaptability, I have been freelance and self-employed for over 20 years. I work well in a team as well as being able to take initiative and clear leadership when necessary. I enjoy a challenge and can remain calm and focused when working under pressure.

Counselling Experience
Feb 2002 – September 2002: Falkirk Association for Mental Health
October 2002: Edinburgh Working Together Team
Nov 2002 – Nov 2006: No 21 Counselling Service, Edinburgh & Broomhouse Short-term Counselling Service. Including initial assessment interviews.
Oct 2005 – Began private practice in Edinburgh.
Oct 2006 – May 2008: Volunteer counsellor at The PF Counselling Service, Edinburgh.
May 2008 - present: Member of the team of therapists at Wellspring Centre for Counselling and Psychotherapy.
2008 - 2009 - Counsellor with Place2be at Craigroyston Primary School.

Counselling & Psychotherapy Training
1998 - 1999(114 hrs): Advanced Certificate - Foundation Course in Gestalt Therapy Theory and Skills. Awarded by SQA in partnership with Edinburgh’s Telford College and the Edinburgh Gestalt Institute (certificate awarded).
2000 – 2003 (420 hrs): Diploma in Gestalt Therapy with the Edinburgh Gestalt Institute.
2007 – 2011 Advanced Diploma in Psychodrama with The Northern School of Psychodrama.

Supervision, Personal Therapy & Membership of Professional Bodies
2014 Diploma in Supervision with Relationship Scotland
I attend monthly individual and group supervision for all my client work.
I am a UKCP Registered psychotherapist, an Accredited Member of the British Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP) and a member of The British Psychodrama Association (BPA). I abide by their code of ethics.
I have experience of my own personal therapy both individual and in a group.

Additional Training and Experience
2008 - current Playback Theatre training weekends and conference events.
2008 - current Psychodrama Conference events.
2008 - Place2Be training to work with children.
2008 & 2011 4 weekends of Playback Theatre training.
2002 : C-Units & HN Units Teaching in Further Education - Edinburgh’s Telford College.
2002 - Course leader of Stained Glass - Skyros Holistic Holiday Centre, Greece.
2001 - Artist in Residence at Skyros, Greece, Holistic Holiday Centre.
1995-1997 Post-Graduate Certificate in Community Theatre at Queen Margaret University College.
1971-1974: Dip. A.D. Fine Art - Canterbury College of Art, North Staffs Polytechnic, Newcastle-Upon-Tyne Polytechnic.
2007: Training in using CORE (client evaluation), PF.
2007: Working with Dreams Training, PF.
2000: Theatre for the Earth - week-long residential workshop at The Findhorn Foundation.
1999: Volunteer workshop leader for Lantern Festival, Welfare State International, Cumbria.
1997: ‘Rainbow of Desire’, Week-long theatre as therapy workshop with Augusto Boal, Bubble Theatre, London.
1997: Stockbridge Community Play, Edinburgh. Performer and volunteer helper.
1990: Dreamwork and psychodrama - Sempervivum, Event at Laurieston Hall.
1985 and 1987 Curative Education and Social Therapy conference, Bristol.
1982: Participant of gestalt therapy group, Edinburgh.
1981: Game of Life, Week-long residential event at the Findhorn Foundation,
1980: Week-long residential drama workshop at the Findhorn Foundation.
1979: Part-time course in therapeutic drama & movement at the Theatre Workshop, Edinburgh.

Work Summary
2005 - present: Freelance counsellor and psychotherapist.
1987 - present: Group facilitator, artist and community artist.
1995 – 2002 Part-time Lecturer at Edinburgh’s Telford College
1978-1987: Garvald Centre for adults with learning difficulties - Group Leader, teaching arts,crafts and drama.
1976-1977: Garvald School, Dolphinton, Residential School for children with learning difficulties - Cook/teacher.
1969-1971: East Sussex County Council, County Planning Dept. - Trainee Draughtsman.

In 1999 I set up Common Ground Arts, a community arts educational charity, to promote personal and community development and the celebration of arts and creativity as a way of improving health and well-being. We fund raise for and run several community arts projects each year working with a diverse client group. I initiated an annual arts festival, now in its 5th year, involving visual arts, drama, poetry, music and a wide range of creative workshops and events.

Computer Skills
Experienced and confident user of the computer. Skills include the use of Windows applications Word, Outlook Express, Access and Serif Page Plus Publishing software. Skills in digital filmmaking include using camcorder, apple imac laptop computer, i-movie edit suite, sound studio and dvd making.

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