About us


We have a large network of local, regional and national therapists who undertake therapeutic work on our behalf both remotely and in person (from various locations).
The therapists that work with us are from a  variety of different approaches and backgrounds and we are very proud of the standard of therapy and counselling that we offer individuals and organisations. 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 

Sam is also a senior lecturer in Counselling & Psychotherapy at Newman University Birmingham and a UKCP registered Psychotherapist  & clinical supervisor in Leamington Spa and online. For Sam’s webiste please click here.

Centre Manager: Elaine 

Elaine comes from a background of working with young people and more recently the NHS as a GP Practice Manager and works with us on a part-time basis 4 days a week .. she enjoys travelling, particularly her cruises!

Book Keeper:  Gary

Gary keeps our financial books in order, remaining calm in the face of a sometimes fraught office… it 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 – 3pm

Birmingham Counselling & Psychotherapy Centre started its life in 1992 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 when it was still an unfamiliar, fringe activity. He believed that counselling training would benefit considerably from being offered in a purpose-built building, 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 Pottery Road. 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, then 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. Sam has weathered many challenging times over the past 5 years, including a global pandemic and a change in the way we all approach work and access to support.  We gave up our premises at Pottery Road in 2022 and we now operate remotely offering therapy, EAP services, and consultancy which can be accessed online or from multiple national locations.  We have also made the decision to change our name to Counselling Direct which better describes our service.

Access therapy from the comfort of your own home, where you have personal, physical or geographical reasons for not coming to the Centre.

Are you a business that is looking for support in supporting your employees? We offer employee counselling and clinical supervision. Contact us for an informal discussion.