Qualifications and experience

David Wakely, M.A. UKCP reg.
Counselling and psychotherapy

Qualifications and experience
12th July 2024 
Counselling and psychotherapy
My approach
Qualifications and experience
Contact and fees

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I undertook my first counselling training in 1997 at the New School of Psychotherapy and Counselling in London. I also studied psychoanalytic and existential psychology at Birkbeck College. In 2002, I started a Masters degree in existential psychotherapy and counselling, validated by the University of Sheffield, which I finished in 2005. I have been registered with the United Kingdom Council for Psychotherapy (UKCP) since 2006.

In 2003, I commenced working as a counsellor for EACH (Ethnic Alcohol Counselling) in Hounslow and in 2004 for the Terrence Higgins Trust in London, enabling me to gain a broad base of experience in working with mental and sexual health issues and with problems connected to relationships and to sexual, cultural and self identity.

After graduating, I was keen to explore further the nature of interpersonal dynamics. Consequently, I attended a summer school in couple counselling at the Tavistock Centre for Couple Relationships in 2007 and a workshop in same-sex couple counselling at Pink Therapy in 2009.

In addition, I have attended training workshops in the use of CBT (cognitive behavioural therapy) techniques for depression, anxiety disorders (including social anxiety, health anxiety, panic and generalised anxiety disorder) and anger. I make limited use of traditional CBT techniques where these are likely to be helpful and more extensive use of mindfulness (awareness) strategies practised in some of the so-called "third wave" CBT approaches. I have attended an eight-week mindfulness-based cognitive therapy course (as a participant) and an introductory training course in ACT (acceptance and commitment therapy).

I have recently become interested in the application of narrative thinking to the practice of psychotherapy and counselling, and which I find highly compatible with my original training in existential therapy; and I have completed a level one training in narrative therapy, run by the Institute of Narrative Therapy.

From the start of my career in therapy, I have worked extensively with issues of identity and sexuality. I have worked with people of all sexualities, particularly with those who identify as gay, lesbian, bisexual, heterosexual and, to a lesser extent, transgender and questioning. Accordingly, I continue to attend workshops and conferences related to this area and, over the past few years, have undertaken several of the training modules offered by Pink Therapy in working with alternative sexualities.

In the last couple of years, I have completed an eight-month training in working with sexual addiction and compulsivity run by ATSAC in London; and I have undertaken additional training to help me to work with people who may be at risk of sex offending. As of September 2015, I am undertaking a seven-month certificate in psychosexual studies, run by the Tavistock Centre for Couple Relationships, which will enhance my understanding of sexual dynamics in relationships and of sexual difficulties and dysfunctions.

I moved to Bristol at the beginning of 2008 where I currently run a full-time private therapy and counselling practice.