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Brendan Barnes

Brendan qualified as a counsellor in 2021 at the Minster Centre in London, which represented a return to questions about the mind he had earlier explored when studying Psychology at Durham University in the 1970's. In between those two dates, Brendan worked in the private sector, qualifying as an accountant while working in the shipping and book publishing businesses. In 1989, he completed an MBA at Ashridge Management College and made a professional transition from finance to public affairs. Since 1990, he has worked in the pharmaceutical industry, initially in London and for the last 20 years, in Brussels. During this time he developed a broad range of experience of working across organisational and national cultures and with people holding different values. In 2016, following a personal reflection on what had meaning in his work, he commenced training as an Integrative Counsellor and has been working with clients since 2019.

An integrative training requires students to explore the contribution that different schools of psychotherapeutic theory can make to working with clients and create a personal integration of these approaches. Brendan's work is based on building the conditions for a strong therapeutic alliance in which clients feel safe and heard. He sees his clients as trying to make sense of their world. Personal history, including its social and cultural context, plays an important part in the work. Brendan aims to support the client's understanding of their values, beliefs, choices and assumptions. He is non-judgmental and provides a safe holding space for clients, while allowing them to define the direction and pace of the work. He also encourages examination of the felt sense inviting clients to verbalise underlying thoughts and feelings to explore them critically. The duration of therapy is open-ended but with regular check-ins to ensure that the work remains relevant to the client's needs.

Brendan is registered with the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy and works within the BACP Ethical Framework.

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