My name is Aaron Elmore and here I will tell you about myself. I am an integrative counsellor working in County Durham. During my training I undertook a placement at a local hospice, offering counselling support to patients and their loved ones. Whilst I undertook this placement for two years, I was there for a year beforehand as a volunteer in a number of roles. I helped the family support lead to oversee a befriending service for the recently bereaved, which was delivered by myself and other volunteers. Additionally I facilitated a group for patients with an assortment of neurological and life-limiting illnesses, and another group around peer support for bereaved persons. Through my time in the service, I came in contact with people who were experiencing a wide range of issues, with bereavement sometimes being the trigger which highlighted the other issues.
In my counselling role, I have worked with people of all ages (from young children to elderly). This has presented a variety of issues, and necessitated a flexible and person-centred approach in the therapy I delivered. Each person was an individual, and so I needed to understand their particular life situation and any needs they may present with – for instance, I have worked with multiple clients who have been diagnosed as being on the autistic spectrum – you can find more information on the National Autistic Society website.
This has both informed, and benefitted from, my other work as a support worker for adults with learning disabilities, autism, and mental health conditions. This has been exceedingly rewarding and educational, and I thoroughly enjoy my work as a support worker – which I do alongside my work as a counsellor. I got into such work as I was looking for a job in which I could make a positive impact on peoples’ lives. I have previously trained in law, but found the field to be more focused on money than on fighting for what is right; who knew having a strong moral compass would be detrimental in the legal system?
Now I work part-time as a support worker, and part-time as a counsellor. This is to ensure that I am able to be selective with the clients I take on. I will not overload myself out of financial concern, as this will negatively impact the quality of the therapy I deliver.
Soon I will be enrolling on a Masters level qualification in Counselling and Psychotherapy Practice, in order to enhance my knowledge and skills as a therapist; which will result in my work with clients being even more developed.
The Way I Work
As a counsellor, I work in an integrative manner. This means that I do not work from a singular theoretical approach. Instead, I draw from multiple modalities in order to deliver the therapy most suitable – and desirable – to the client. Overall, I approach counselling with a person-centred mindset (the client is the most important person in the session). The reason for this is that, within the session there are only two people present – myself and the client. Only the people present in therapy can be changed, we cannot force others to change to suit our ideals. Thus, whilst I am the therapist and there to support the client, the client is there to experience therapeutic change. This does not mean that the situation for the client needs to change; sometimes merely changing ones’ mindset into acceptance can amount to significant relief from psychological distress.
I am currently an individual member of the BACP, working towards accreditation – and was also a student member of the BACP throughout my training and counselling placement.
My Areas of Interest
- Long-term/Life-limiting/Terminal Conditions
- Carers of those with conditions
- Redundancy/Job Loss/Retirement
- Sudden Life Changes