A Bit About me
My name is Leonna Collins. I’m 43 years old and live in West Lothian.
I studied social sciences and psychology at university and always wanted to be able to help people, ideally as a psychotherapist. I graduated at the age of 22 and realised that my life experience was fairly limited. I was unsure how I could help others when I still had so much to learn myself.
I knew this was a career path I wanted to take at some point in my life, but I just didn’t know when. I worked primarily in the customer service industry for many years. Like most of us, I encountered some difficult and life-changing experiences and counselling proved very helpful for me. As a result I finally decided to do some additional training to become a therapist.
During my training I worked with clients referred from local GP practices and also clients of West Lothian Drug & Alcohol Service. I have been working as a counsellor at West Lothian Drug & Alcohol Service since 2010 and continue to do so. My role there is to provide counselling and support to anyone whose life has been impacted by substance use, whether their own or someone else’s. I very quickly discovered that substance use is usually a symptom of complex underlying issues, so I am used to helping people deal with many diverse life challenges.
I’m particularly interested in trauma, post-traumatic stress disorder and depression.
I am a BACP Registered Counsellor (British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy). All my work is in compliance with the BACP’s ethical framework and I am subject to its complaints procedure. (See www.bacp.co.uk for more information.) I am also fully insured.
I am committed to good practice and as such undertake regular one to one supervision and attend professional development events. I also engage in regular training to keep my skills and knowledge up to date.
Training, qualifications & experience:
- Post Graduate Diploma in Counselling 2011
- Introduction to Counselling 2010
- B.A (Hons) Social Sciences & Psychology 1995
- Introduction to Cognitive Behavioural Therapy
- Emotion Focused Therapy (also known as tapping) levels 1 & 2
- Trauma & Substance Misuse
- Understanding the Impact of Domestic abuse
- Motivational Interviewing
- Substance Misuse and Cognitive Impairment
People attend counselling for many different reasons. Perhaps you are experiencing some problems which you don’t want to share with friends or family – maybe you are worried they won’t understand or will judge you. Ultimately, counselling should be a place where you feel safe and free to look at any aspects of your life which are causing you distress. My aim is to provide a confidential, non-judgmental space where you can talk freely about is important to you.
My core training is in Person-centred counselling, although I do integrate other forms of therapy based on my clients needs. Person-centred counselling is a non-directive form of therapy. The premise is that you are the expert in your own life and that you can find the solutions yourself under the right conditions – i.e. when you don’t feel confused or upset by something. Counselling is not about giving advice, but more about allowing you to explore your thoughts & feelings in a safe, confidential & non-judgemental relationship. This affords you the opportunity to find what is best for you.
As a therapist I seek to gain an understanding of your life from your perspective & offer observations to help you reflect on & perhaps explore alternative ways of thinking and being. Ultimately, you are in control of what we discuss and I won’t make judgements about what you think, feel, say or do. I may challenge or encourage you to explore more helpful alternatives if some of these thoughts, feelings & beliefs are proving unhelpful to you. My role is to work collaboratively with you in order to ensure you make the most out of counselling.
Sessions are normally 1 hour long. Most people have weekly sessions, but of course this will depend on your individual requirements and circumstances.
Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions about counselling.
BACP – The British Association for Counsellors and Psychotherapists
Breathing Space – Confidential helpline for those experiencing low mood.
NICE – The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence
Person-Centred Therapy Scotland (PCT Scotland) – Directory of Person-Centred therapists throughout Scotland. They organise training events and conferences.
Pink Therapy – LGBT therapist directory and training events
SAMH – The Scottish Association for Mental Health
Samaritans – Confidential 24 hour helpline.
SFAD – Scottish Families Affected by Alcohol and Drugs
West Lothian Drug & Alcohol Service