Latest News From Colin Beckwith Counselling

Autism and Autism Awareness 20 July 2022

I always wondered why my life seemed more complicated for me than for many others. I always struggled in social situations and it was always implied that I could change if I tried hard enough. This always caused me distress, because no matter how hard I tried, I was never able to change.

I guess this snippet of life experience may be familiar to some people reading this, who then may wonder about how it happens.

Over the years, I have wrestled with this type of experience and tried to cope with the impact of trying to mask my true character. Many experiences led me to feel burnt out and exhausted. The effort of fitting in to a world which saw me as needing to change took a huge toll on my well being.

I have known I was an Autistic Person for many years, but during the lockdowns in 2020 and 2021 I managed to gain new awareness about my own Autistic identity.

The recent training I have completed has crystalised my understanding, so that I feel able to offer a more affirmative approach to working with Autistic clients. Given that my work has always been undertaken within an Autistic framework, this new learning enables more understanding of Autistic experiences and the needs of Autistic people who come to me for counselling.

Covid-19 or Coronovirus 19: News 7 September 2021

Predicting the outcome of the removal of restrictions made over the last few months has been very difficult. The prevalence of the virus in the UK is still high and the number of cases is going up steadily. However, it seems that the Government is taking an approach based on an assumption that the virus is now endemic. This basically means that there is a tacit acceptance that cases will rise. From the evidence of the lifting of restrictions, the Government's policy seems to be based on a view that the restrictions can't go on forever. At some point we are going to need to open up, so to speak.

Evidence of hospital admissions and deaths seem to reflect the effectiveness of the vaccination program. Hospital admissions and deaths are still rising, but not currently in as greater number as before mass vaccination.

Given the attitude and policy of Government, it now seems appropriate to review my policy on face to face work.

Basically, we find ourselves in a situation where we are free to make our own choice about what measures we take with regard to Covid 19. I aim to offer face to face sessions starting 20 September 2021. I will still offer online working so there can be a clear choice for you that respects your own feelings about Covid 19 risk.

I will recommend that anyone attending face to face sessions check themselves for symptoms before travelling to an appointment. The standard checklist is widely available, but symptoms of infection appearing after vaccination can be markedly different. Covid 19 symptoms after vaccination can manifest themselves in a very similar way to most cases of the common cold. This is not widely publicised, but the implications for possible spreading can be serious.

I will monitor my own health and conduct lateral flow testing as appropriate.

I will wear a face covering and would ask you to also wear a face covering unless you are unable to.

I have completed a risk assessment and will continue to apply the precautions outlined in it. These include: daily cleaning, ventilation and specific measures for hand sanitising.

Stay well and best wishes for now.

Covid-19 or Coronovirus 19: News 22 July 2021

On 19 July 2021 changes were made to the Covid 19 restrictions as a result of entering step 4 of the roadmap to complete removal of restrictions in August 2021.

The situation regarding the level of infections is of great concern. Cases have been rising steadily since about early June 2021 and this is predicted to rise further.

The extent of the increase in cases is a major factor in any decision to restart face to face working for Colin Beckwith Counselling. Due to my concerns about the risks associated with face to face work, I intend to offer remote counselling only until the number of cases decrease.

As I see the situation right now, it would seem feasible to resume face to face work by late August or September 2021. However, I still think that this plan may be subject to change.

I appreciate that many people will prefer to have face to face counselling sessions. I fully intend to offer these as soon as its possible to conduct them with an appropriate level of risk mitigation.

Some Other Thoughts

The changes to working arrangements due to Covid 19 have impacted the ability to deliver counselling services in general. On a personal basis, the restrictions have meant having to change my own practices, which include the uptake of remote working.

Whilst remote working has been highly beneficial to many, my understanding is that there is still a significant need to conduct face to face working. This has been apparent throughout the whole cycle of this pandemic.

I understand that this can be incredibly frustrating for people who need to just sit in a room with a counsellor. Remote counselling can be highly liberating for many, but for others it can feel distant and impersonal. I am highly conscious that Colin Beckwith Counselling has felt inaccessible to many people who feel they need counselling. Those people who need to feel the connection with a fellow human being in a shared physical space have not been catered for. I really regret this and truly hope the situation will change soon.

My sense is that there is hope for the resumption of face to face services and I am working to make this possible when the situation allows.

Covid-19 or Coronovirus 19: News 12 April 2021

We have now reached a point where some face to face businesses can operate. This means that it may be possible for me to offer face to face counselling once again. However, I am cautious about doing this as the effects of the relaxing of measures have yet to be seen. I wish to offer a reliable service and I am mindful to check that the current decrease in infection rates continues. Therefore, I do not yet feel in a position to offer face to face counselling. I will review this decision as the ongoing infection data becomes available. I realise that some people will much prefer face to face work over remote and my decision is formed from a firm committment to offer a service which can be sustained.

I will update you regularly over the coming days once more is known about the impact of the easing of restrictions.

I am sure that in the coming weeks the situation will make face to face work more likely.

Covid-19 or Coronovirus 19: News 21 September

In the light of the latest COVID 19 information it has been necessary to review my policy on face to face working. It is with great regret that I can no longer offer face to face working due to the recent upsurge in new cases. I continue to offer counselling by remote means such as online platforms and by telephone. I really hope that this situation will be short lived and I can resume face to face counselling where safe and appropriate.

Covid-19 or Coronovirus 19: News 4 July

The latest easing of lockdown measures means that various establishments whose operations involve close contact with consumers can now legally operate. So businesses like hairdressers and barbers are starting to reopen. These businesses have some similarity with features of counselling. The face to face nature of the work being one of them and proximity being another. However, in order for these businesses to operate, the transmission risk inherent in their work will have to be mitigated.

As far as counselling is concerned, specific guidance to Counsellors from HM Government does not seem to be available. The determination of whether face to face counselling is safe would then appear to be a matter of policy for individual counsellors. Whilst on the surface, this may seem unhelpful, it means that counsellors have some freedom to approach the issue based on their own and their clients' circumstances. This means that I as Colin Beckwith Counselling can consider resuming face to face work, but only under certain conditions. These would include some sort of face covering, distancing of 1 meter plus, specific hygene measures and management of the space.

One very crucial factor about resuming face to face work is how you feel about it. Whilst I can mitigate the risks involved in face to face work, there still remains some risk. Therefore I would seek to assess the safety of face to face work on an individual basis. I would ensure that everyone who approaches me with a view to face to face counselling is as fully informed as possible. I will ensure everyone has the ability to make an informed decision regarding the impact of the risk to them personally.

I continue to offer counselling using online platforms which will continue into the foreseeable future. I also offer the possibility of face to face working with due regard to the risks and mitigations involved. Individual circumstances may have a bearing on the appropriateness of face to face working for some people. This may have a bearing on how you feel about face to face work and how we assess the best way forward together. This introduces a difficult dilemma, but I will strive to make the service I offer as inclusive as possible. As the prevalence of the virus in the environment reduces, I am sure that further easement of restrictions will be forthcoming. This will hopefully result in a more straight forward way of deciding the best way to access counselling.

Stay well and best wishes


Covid-19 or Coronovirus 19: News 9 June 2020

There has been some debate in the Counselling Profession about the infection risks involved with face to face counselling. The knowledge at present would seem to suggest that sharing confined spaces would be the most significant risk factor in the transmission of Covid 19 virus. It would seem that for the foreseeable future the prospect of resuming the normal face to face work would be remote. The prospects are more hopeful for a speedier return if some precautions are introduced. The most significant of these would be for us both to wear face coverings. There are lots of reasons why having to wear a face covering in counselling may be very undesirable. Also, it may be that this precaution enables you to access face to face counselling when you can not access online platforms. It may be that you would prefer face to face counselling if at all possible and it will be possible at some point to offer this, albeit with precautions. I remain absolutely committed to offering face to face counselling as soon as possible. I am also committed to making my services available to the widest possible number of people, so I also offer online sessions from now on. We can discuss your needs and preferences upon your enquiry and work out the best possible options for you.

I am fully committed to maintaining a safe counselling practice available to as many people as possible. I continually keep up to date with the latest developments concerning Covid 19 and research details of the underlying factors. As you will be aware, things can move on quickly, so the views here may need to change. Hopefully this will be a result of a reduction in Covid 19 cases and the potential relaxation of measures.

So all this means that I will keep you up to date on my policies regarding Covid 19 and make my services available to the widest possible uptake.

To do this, I now offer online counselling via Zoom, WattsApp and Facetime. I can also discuss any other platforms that you may prefer to use as an alternative to the ones I state.

Stay well and best wishes



Covid-19 or Coronovirus 19: News 23 March 2020

As a result of the latest Government containment rules for Covid-19 I am ceasing face to face work temporarily. This will apply from now on and will continue until the current measures are lifted. I will offer all clients the chance to work electronically via the telephone or video platforms. I can offer video sessions via Zoom, Facetime or WhatsApp. I can discuss other platforms if you have another preference.

I  still welcome enquiries from anyone who is interested in having counselling via remote means. Remote counselling can be experienced differently from face to face work and it may not be for everybody. However, I see it as a valuable way of getting support, especially when we are experiencing some difficult situations. I will always discuss the implications of remote counselling with you, to allow you a fully informed choice.

I place great value on the importance of counselling whatever situation exists in the UK. Right now, it would appear that the situation is going to demand more of our resources than we have each needed to commit for a very long time. I understand that there will be a need to offer emotional support through these times throughout the UK. I will do everything I can to continue to offer a service as close as possible to that I offered before Covid-19 and within the current Government constraints.

I will update this page regularly as the situation develops.

Thanks and best wishes


Covid-19 or Coronovirus 19: News 14 March 2020

I will continue to offer my services unless specifically directed to suspend them upon advice from the relevant authorities.

I would however ask everybody to assess their health before attending any sessions they may have planned to undertake. I will keep everyone I am working with informed of the situation as it develops.

As regards my own health and any possible need to self isolate, I will inform everyone concerned if and when this need arises. I may need to cancel planned sessions at short notice. I also understand that my clients may need to cancel their sessions at short notice. No charge will be made for the cancellation of pre-booked sessions as a result of self isolation for Covid-19.

How the receipt of a positive test for Covid-19 may affect confidentiality

Due to the requirements of national public health protection, anyone who has tested positive for Covid-19 will be required, in the public interest, to disclose the names of people that they have recently been in contact with.

This would necessarily change the boundaries of confidentiality for new and existing clients of Colin Beckwith Counselling. The specific issue is that if I become infected I would be obliged to disclose, to the NHS, the names of any people I have seen recently. However, I do not need to disclose the context in which I have been in contact with the persons I name. It will be likely that anyone who's name I have to share will be contacted by the NHS. Importantly, the NHS will not be made aware of how you have come to be in contact. This means that they will not need to know that you are having counselling with me.

For the latest advice from the Government on Covid-19 please follow this link

Please see this news page for any updates to my policy regarding Covid-19

Thank you

Launch of Counselling Service

From Monday 15 July 2019 Colin Beckwith Counselling will be accepting enquiries from prospective clients. If you wish to contact me, please follow the link to my contact page here.

I very much look forward to hearing from you.