Hi there. I’m Tim and I’m a counsellor based in Reading (RG1, RG2, RG7) and Berkshire, who offers a safe and relaxed space for you to explore any issues that might be troubling you. I have always been a good listener who is non-judgmental. Before I trained as a therapist, I worked in theatre, film and television and this background has helped me develop creative ways to think about life's challenges and the narratives we create about our experiences. At the heart of my work is a deep joy in connecting with people and helping them foster a better understanding of themselves. I also work in the knowledge that many of us live and work in a society and culture that places pressures on us to behave in ways that are often not beneficial to our wellbeing.
While training, I worked in two volunteer placements offering counselling support to women and men who had suffered sexual and domestic trauma, helping them explore complex and difficult feelings, PTSD and other issues.
I continue to work with clients at a charity service, exploring a range of issues such as anxiety, depression, coming out, passing, being Trans/non-binary, addiction, living with HIV and intimate relationships. I also teach on certificate counselling courses, helping prepare those who wish to enter the profession.
I also work with teenagers and worked in arts education for a decade before training as a therapist, delivering workshops in schools across the country.
Through my own experiences with a counsellor, I learned how patterns of behaviour influence all of us and that counselling can create more varied ways of thinking, feeling and relating. Click About counselling and Information and fees to find out more about how I can support you.
I don't currently offer couples counselling but will hope to open that service in 2024.
Counselling and Psychotherapy
So, what is counselling and psychotherapy?
There are lots of different approaches, but all of them are talking therapies in which you sit down with a counsellor one-on-one to talk. Perhaps you feel anxious or low but don't know why. Perhaps you feel like you are stuck in your life? Or you feel broken by a relationship? Or that you don’t have control over your life? Perhaps you are frustrated at work? Or with your parents or caregivers? Perhaps you feel like you have no confidence and don’t know how you can change your situation? Perhaps you are coming to terms with your sexuality or gender?
In all these cases and more, counselling can offer a reflective space to explore your thoughts and feelings and help you focus on what you need. I work in an integrative way, which means I draw on different skills and tools to meet your specific needs. This may involve looking at past relationships, whether those are with parents/caregivers, intimate partners or friends to understand patterns of behaviour. We might also look at your experiences of things that have happened in your life. But I also offer exploration focused on the here-and-now. Perhaps you’ve got a big decision to make about work or relationships or feel you need to make some changes in your life. I believe strongly in offering you a safe, empathetic and non-judgmental space to reflect, understand your feelings and grapple with the issues which impact your life now. I work with a wide range of adult clients on many different issues and I would work with you to help you find more autonomy and more varied ways to respond to life's challenges.
Information and fees
Initial Consultation – I offer a free fifteen-minute phone conversation so we can explore what you might want from counselling. I will explain how I work and ask you a few questions. If we are both happy and feel we could work together, then you book a full session. These sessions can be in-person in Reading in my therapy room or online.
Counselling works best when it is regular, so I suggest we meet each week, although I can offer some flexibility in terms of times/days depending on holidays.
The sessions last 50-minutes and are confidential. Sessions cost £60 but I offer discounts for students and low-paid at limited times during the week as I want to make counselling available to a wide range of people.
I am a member of the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP) and practice in line with their ethical guidelines for counselling and psychotherapy. You can read those guidelines by visiting www.bacp.co.uk
My Therapy Room in Reading
Men can find it difficult to take that first step to access therapy. There is still societal and cultural pressure that men should not explore their feelings. Often there is a belief that they have to cope, and other than being angry or frustrated, they need to appear 'strong'. But often anger and frustration mask a range of other emotions, and talking with someone can help make sense of the complexity of what might be going on.
Therapy can provide a safe space to talk and, over time, it can help you make changes to your life. As men, there might be particular issues you're dealing with, such as work-related stress, not feeling good enough, feelings of anger and rage (either towards yourself or others), control issues, intimacy issues, anxiety/depression or a lack of purpose. With my focused and empathetic approach, I can offer a space where you can really discover what you need and make positive choices moving forward.
Working with Adolescents
Alongside my private practice, I work as a school counsellor and train teachers in active listening skills with CPTA, working with educators in the UK and elsewhere in the world.
Before I became a therapist, I had spent more than a decade working in all kinds of schools, delivering education and arts work on issues that included: online safety, negotiating friendships, anxiety, perfectionism and gender equality. I have experience using drama, writing and practical workshops to help young people explore complex issues.
I am able to work with teenagers using an integrative approach and I am currently undertaking CPD in working with young people and trauma. Using elements of psychoeducation, CBT and longer term exploration of patterns, I can help young people navigate issues they are facing in their everyday lives. I am approachable and empathetic in my approach.
A large portion of my client base identifies as LGBTQIA+ and I work with GSRD awareness. Before working as a therapist, I facilitated research, funded by Oxford University and the Arts Council into LGBTQIA+ rural experiences. I have over a decade of experience of working in education and the arts on issues pertinent to the community. I also spent nearly two years working at an LGBTQIA+ charity service on a counselling placement. I know from experience how daunting it can be to find a counsellor/psychotherapist who is not only accepting and safe to work with, but someone who has a degree of expertise and a deep understanding of the cultural and societal issues that have an impact on queer people’s lives.
You can find more about my LGBTQIA+ research at www.queerruralx.com - where I explore non-urban experiences of queerness.
I am also aware that while we're a community, we also face different issues, and if I can't provide you with the specific skills you need, I have compiled a list of resources at the end of the website which might be useful in finding someone right for you.
Teaching Counselling Skills and Consultancy Work
In addition to working in private practice, I have developed an LGBTQIA+ counselling skills course with Mind Your Health Ltd, which is certified by CPCAB exam board. I strongly encourage qualified counsellors, psychotherapists, teachers and anyone working with large groups of people to learn more about inclusive practice and difference and diversity. I also teach on the standard counselling certificate courses for those preparing to train in therapy. For more details on courses or to hire my services as a consultant, do send me an email: email@example.com I have also led a UK-wide research project looking at LGBTQIA+ rural experiences – making a documentary film and play charting what it is like to live and work in rural parts of the UK as a queer person. You can read more about the project, which was funded by University of Oxford and The Arts Council at www.queerrualx.com I will also be publishing a book – Queer in the Country based on the research from the project. Much of my writing is focused on shining a light on social and sexuality issues that are not given enough attention.
Please phone or email me before booking in the first session to arrange a free consultation.
Allsop Counselling & Psychotherapy is based in
Reading, UK. Address is given after booking and initial phone consultation
Resources and Links
LGBTQIA+ Specific Resources
Working with Young People
My Selected Publications
Pink Therapy by Dominic Davies and Charles Neil
Trauma and Recovery by Judith Herman
All about love by bell hooks
Undressing by James O'Neil
The Gift of Therapy by Irvin Yalom
The Body Keeps the Score by Bessel van der Kolk