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, at different times,
Bob (Smith), Deb (Williams), Judith, Anne-Marie, Am, Pam, Gary & Asif.
Bob combines being director of the Centre with his private practice as a gestalt psychotherapist and supervisor of over 20yrs. For three years he sat on the national executive council for the UK Association for Gestalt Practitioners, developed their national online discussion group and their Birmingham conference. Having completed his Masters in Gestalt Psychotherapy, to add to a Masters in Human Relations and Counselling he completed a research project on the uses and abuses of online therapy which he presented in Stockholm. He’s also directed & produced an award winning soap opera for radio and enjoys singing, swimming and tai chi.
Deb is co-director of the Centre and, as well as a counselling background, has had a parallel existence in education, working as a teacher, editor of educational publications, lecturer in further education and then for twenty years as an educational advisor in schools. She has delivered training to diverse groups from social workers and teachers to staff in voluntary sector organisations. Her special interest is in emotional and mental health needs of children and young people and the people who work with them. Not as sporty as Bob, but much better at Scrabble!
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 on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. What she doesn’t bring in with her are her djembe drums, which she plays regularly as well as putting on performances.
Judith takes to the helm on Mondays and Thursdays. 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 provides back-up admin support on Tuesday, Thursday and Friday. She 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 joins us in the office on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays and, coming from a background in community-based work, she 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.
Asif is our accountant and the voice of wisdom. He pops in to counsel us every so often! As an independent accountant he also looks after the accounts for several of the counsellors here – if you would be interested in contacting him please do so through the office.
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.
Birmingham Counselling & Psychotherapy Centre started it’s life 20 years ago as Birmingham Counselling Centre, developing a reputation for counselling training.
Bob Smith and Deb Williams started the Centre after Bob’s experiences of running counselling training in a college of FE & HE led him to believe that counselling training would benefit from being offered in a purpose-built building, with appropriate boundaries, where it could model what the training was preaching.
The Centre began in a large old house in Edgbaston (hence the ‘Birmingham’) offering training and counselling services. Fortunate enough to grow, we needed to move – so in 1997 it transferred to it’s present base in Pottery Road – first at 131 and then in 2002 adding on the building at 127. We specifically wanted to move to a base within a local community as part of our aim to bring counselling into the mainstream. Our tutors were mostly experienced psychotherapists and often our 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 has always been to offer counselling support to as many as possible regardless of ability to pay and so has always provided some low cost counselling. We have also championed the idea of having therapists of different orientations working side by side to share and learn from each other.
During its journey, the Centre became well known nationally for its high quality counselling training. Although that programme has now ended, we continue to maintain our national profile with our work for large organisations across the UK. We also offer a wide range of support to local and regional organisations, commercial, voluntary or statutory.