About me 

I have been a therapist since 2007 and feel very lucky to work in this field. I came to this work through my own therapy journey which I have found to be challenging and rewarding in equal measure. The recommendations I make are things I have done or continue to do myself and I am passionate about learning and keeping up to date with other therapists too – I read articles and books, listen to podcasts and interact through training with other practitioners to gain inspiration, new perspectives and insight into different approaches.

 My experience

I completed my counselling training in 2007, working with young people aged from eleven to twenty-five years. On qualifying as an Integrative counsellor in 2008 and a Cognitive Behaviour Therapist (CBT) in 2009 I was offered employment and continued counselling young people for twelve years, this included working as a school counsellor for three years. At the same time I volunteered as a counsellor with the Rape and Sexual Abuse Centre (RASAC) in North Wales for two years. 

I have undertaken extensive trauma training on how the body holds onto trauma to offer clients a degree of psycho education on how and why, the body and brain connect and respond, in relation to traumatic events. This can have a devastating long term impact emotionally and physically on individuals, their attachments, self beliefs and relationships with others, often causing PTSD.

Over the years I have worked with clients across all age ranges, from seven years up to, and beyond, retirement. This alongside my social worker posts in the Community Adult Mental Health Team and working in the Child Protection and Family Team has given me a wealth of experience and a working knowledge in relation to clients who have experienced mental/emotional health, drugs, alcohol, self-harm, suicidal ideation, low self-esteem, low mood, bereavement, loss and grief, domestic/physical violence, emotional harm, family dynamics, relationship problems, depression, anxiety, trauma, post-traumatic stress disorder, identity sexuality, rape and childhood sexual abuse and homelessness.

In 2014 I completed an Accredited Advanced Diploma in Counselling Supervision, with the University of Gloucester. I continue to supervise both qualified and trainee counsellors embarking on their counselling training journeys, from an assortment of placements organisations and private practices.

My role has included clinical supervision for group work with  organisations in Wrexham, and the post of clinical supervisor for three years with Rape and Sexual Abuse Centre (RASAC). I have facilitated training programmes for organisations such as Macmillan and the Cancer Trust, along with in-house training to the Moneypenny and RASAC organisations. I have also provided training in CBT and CPD on an assortment of topics from legislation through to trauma.

In 2015, on leaving my role as a social worker, I was ready for a new challenge so I created Linda Gwatkin Counselling Services to offer counselling, supervision, personal therapy, BUPA, AVIVA, AXA, VITALITY,  EAP (employer assisted programmes) online, telephone, video and face to face counselling from my private practice.

At the same time, I was invited to establish and run a school counselling service within a high school in the Cheshire area, offering counselling to students and staff members. This service is in its fifth year and continues to flourish and grow. I have been able to take on a voluntary counsellor and offer workshops and presentations to all year groups on training days. My group-work relating to the management of anxiety and exam stress has been so successful that the training has now been offered to parents as a psycho educative programme.

In 2016 I was awarded Personal Accreditation from the governing body BACP (British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy), having successfully completed the rigorous process to achieve the standards required. The BACP state that “Accreditation is not for the newly qualified practitioner. It is a quality standard for the mature, experienced practitioner who wishes to demonstrate their knowledge, experience and understanding of what they do and why”.

In 2017 I qualified as a Couple and Relationship Therapist and enjoy working with couples on their relationship and sexual issues from my private practice.

In 2019 I was successful with a tender bid and secured a two-year local authority contract supervising primary and high school counsellors within the county.

In 2020 I embarked on a new school project, providing my services in a private and international school. 

If you would like to read more about my training and experience as a therapist, please refer to the qualifications and training page of my website.

 As an Accredited Counsellor with BACP I work within the BACP ‘Ethical Framework for Counsellors’ and the BACP Guidelines for Online Counselling and Psychotherapy. I have the fullest commitment to offering a service which is welcoming to all backgrounds in a supportive and non-discriminatory manner. I ensure that I attend regular CPD to enable me to keep updated with current research and improve my knowledge base and skills. 

I offer face to face sessions which are held in Bangor-on-Dee, LL13 0JA at a private location with ample parking. Alternatively, you may prefer online telephone or video counselling.

I provide counselling via secure video conferencing to your home, office or even your car, as long as it is parked safely. The only things you need are a private space, a good internet connection (good enough to stream YouTube or Netflix) and a computer, laptop, tablet or smartphone. I encourage the use of headphones or earphones to increase the feeling of privacy and improve sound quality. 

Online therapy has gained popularity over the past few years and can be beneficial in many ways:

  •  You can have therapy anywhere that is comfortable and convenient for you
  • You have a greater choice of therapists than if you were restricted by location
  • Having fewer visual distractions often encourages focus and concentration
  • You may find that you are more comfortable online or that it is easier to talk
  • You can choose a therapist outside of your local or professional community
  • I am able to provide continuous support even when one of us is travelling
  • I can be more flexible with scheduling than I can for my practice in person

Research consistently shows that online therapy is as effective as in person therapy. I regularly use video conferencing for clinical supervision and to meet with my own therapist. I enjoy the flexibility of location and scheduling, the comfort of my own private environment and being able to make a cup of tea after a session and reflect at my own pace instead of navigating public transport or traffic.

My experience includes working within an assortment of environments:-
  • I have a private practice.
  • Registered BUPA, AVIVA, AXA, VITALITY therapist.
  • PTSD, Trauma and OCD conditions
  • Experience working with workplace stress, anxiety, panic attacks GAD disorders. 
  • Low mood low self esteem and lacking motivation, depression.
  • School Counselling.
  • Experience with Rape and Sexual Abuse (RASAc) Team North Wales, working with persons who have been victims of sexual abuse and rape.
  • Experience within Adult Community Mental Health Team. 
  • Experience with Children Adolescent Mental Health Team (CAMHS).
  • Drug/Alcohol experience.
  •  Child protection and abuse experience.
  • Working with all age groups.
  • Working in a Women’s Refuge.
  • Initial Assessments and CORE and Risk Assessments, signposting to appropriate organisations.
  • I undertake EAP work.