About us

Therapists
Altogether there are about 35 counsellors and psychotherapists working at the Pottery Road Centre from a variety of different approaches and backgrounds. You can read more about some of them on our Therapists page. We are very proud of the standard of therapy and counselling that takes place at the Centre. See our pages on the Range of Fees for more details of prices, and also How do I make an Appointment.

Staff at the Office, 

Directors; Sam Gallo and Lorraine Bagshaw

Sam is also the clinical director at Cedar counselling, a clinical supervisor and manages his private practices in both Birmingham and Leamington Spa. For Sam’s webiste please click here.

Lorraine has a private practice in Leamington Spa, and also works at a school in Banbury. For Lorraine’s website please click here.

Office Team; Judith, Anne-Marie, Am, Pam, & Gary

Anne-Marie has hovered around the counselling world for several  years, including completing a training course at the Centre in the past. Combining that with her considerable admin experience is proving an ideal mix for the office. What she doesn’t bring in with her are her djembe drums, which she plays regularly as well as putting on performances.

Judith is already an experienced counsellor in different agencies she is now building up her private practice. Heading a Schools’ Library Service for many years also means she’s rather organised- but she has so far managed to restrain herself from sorting Deb’s desk (although she cracked when confronted by the pile of CD’S so they’re all in the ‘right’ order now!)

Am started off in behavioural psychology and then took time out to have a family. She is now juggling us, children, exam invigilating and outdoor sports so we’re hoping we’ll all be getting fitter the longer she is with us!

 

Pam comes from a background in community-based work,  and brings great insight into the daily struggles people face.  A bit of a culture vulture, she’s rapidly established herself as our go-to arts advisor – and she’s usually completed 2 or 3 suduko puzzles and at least one crossword before she even arrives in the office…

 

Gary has kept all our financial books in order for the last four years, remaining calm in the face of a sometimes fraught office…must be all those escapes to the beautiful North Wales he indulges in – that and the strong tea.


 

Office hours
Core office hours are:
Monday – Friday 10am – 4pm

But you can always try either side of these times as we’re often in the office. Otherwise we’re very good at collecting and responding to answer phone messages.

History
Birmingham Counselling & Psychotherapy Centre started its life in 1992 as Birmingham Counselling Centre, developing a reputation for experiential counselling training.

Bob Smith and Deb Williams started the Centre after Bob’s experiences of running counselling training in a college of FE & HE when it was still an unfamiliar, fringe activity. He believed that counselling training would benefit considerably from being offered in a purpose-built building, on an experiential basis with appropriate boundaries, where it could model what the training was preaching. Deb had been in teaching and was still working part time as an educational adviser to schools in Birmingham.

The Centre began in a large old house in Edgbaston (hence the ‘Birmingham’) offering training and counselling services. The training quickly became very popular so in 1997 BCC transferred to it’s present base at Pottery Road – first at 131 and then in 2002 adding on the building at 127. They specifically wanted to move to a base within a local community as part of their aim to bring counselling into the mainstream. Our tutors were mostly experienced psychotherapists and often our trained & qualified counsellors were going on to train as psychotherapists while working at the Centre so along the way it felt appropriate to add ‘Psychotherapy’ to our name.

Although independently run, the Centre’s philosophy was always to offer counselling support to as many as possible regardless of ability to pay and always provided some low cost counselling. Therapy could always be available within seven days of enquiry. They also championed the idea of having therapists of different orientations working side by side to share and learn from each other.

As the Centre developed it became well known nationally for its high quality counselling training.  Although that programme was drawn to a close the centre continued to maintain a national profile with work for large organisations across the UK. This was built on the wide range of support provided to local and regional organisations, commercial, voluntary or statutory.

In April 2018 after a wonderful, challenging & creative journey over 27 years Bob & Deb passed the mantle over to Sam Gallo and Lorraine Bagshaw who became the new owners and directors. They are both UKCP accredited psychotherapists with their own private practices. Sam is also the director of counselling charity Cedar Counselling, which has now become Birmingham Counselling and Psychotherapy Centre’s new neighbours at 129 Pottery Road, making something of a thereuputic village.