An Experienced Counsellor to Help You Heal

Do you ever wish you could talk to someone who really understands you?

If you’re looking for a counsellor near you, choosing someone who has overcome personal challenges is a good idea. Through my own personal growth and subsequent qualifications, I learned how to help people deal with feelings of being overwhelmed and regain their self-control.

If you’d like to decide whether to go ahead and make an appointment or not, you could read this page first to get a better idea. For example, you could learn something about me and check out my qualifications to see if I’d be a good fit as your counsellor or ‘therapist’.

If you live in the Rotherham area, why not book a free consultation and pop around to Wath Hall or meet me online? Then, you could see how incredibly easy it is to start to find hope in counselling through talking with me.

The Healing Power of Understanding

It’s no good if you can’t stop doing something that causes you to cringe in shame.

Defensive patterns, like shifting the blame or people-pleasing, impact your relationships. As a therapist, I understand what that’s like and aim to guide you to see what’s really going on. Ultimately, that would improve your mental health.

I will help you to heal your emotional wounds and let go of protecting yourself. Then you’ll be able to be yourself and feel like you belong.

I believe everyone deserves to be heard and understood, and I’m here to offer healing compassion to those in need. I believe we’re spiritual people having trouble with material existence. However, understanding and acceptance are what make us feel safe.

Having been through the mill myself, I can offer the deep empathy that allows you to relax so you can clearly see what’s really going on. This usually comes with an uplifting feeling because sharing your story with another person is unburdening.

The Trouble With ‘What-If’ Thinking

A sign of anxiety is ‘what-if’ thinking, but most things we worry about never happen, and seeing it as a problem makes everything seem much worse.

When something’s not right that you can’t fix, you will likely worry, but it doesn’t give you any peace. Rather, it’s more like self-torture and difficult to stop. We’ve all been there, but it means proactively thinking about what future events might conspire against us. Don’t you think that’s actually quite clever?

“The purpose of worrying is to help prepare us to act against a perceived threat.”

You would be correct in thinking it spoils your quality of life. After all, how can you enjoy each present moment and truly be engaged in conversations if your mind is so busy thinking about the ‘there and then’?

I believe my role as your counsellor is to help you feel safe to be who you really are – an empowered person living in the here and now.

A Useful Tip: Why You Get Triggered

When you overreact to something your partner says, and your words come out too quickly to stop them from damaging your relationship, it’s likely you got triggered.

Although this is the last thing you want to do, from my perspective, it’s actually helpful because this behaviour is pointing to an area of your life that is begging for attention and healing.

Like most people who seek a counsellor, your personal development was probably affected by traumas one or both parents suffered from. Traumas are emotional wounds that are still raw.

When you get triggered, the same intense feelings operate, taking you right back to the first time. Moreover, the impact of avoiding dealing with them is passed down from parent to child over and over again.

I believe that intergenerational trauma is the cause of most issues people explore with a counsellor

My Intergenerational Trauma Story

My maternal grandad was affected by his experience at the battle of the Somme in World War 1, suffering from PTSD. My mum grew up in the family home, an anxious person, trying her best to be good so as not to upset her dad. However, this was at the cost of her living authentically. Finally, I came into the world, spending my formative years with an anxious and traumatised mum.

Here’s the tip: Nobody has perfect parents.

Remembering that you weren’t responsible for the way you were taught to think in childhood, maybe it would be more fair to go easy on yourself. After all, you’re looking for a counsellor to help you do something about it, aren’t you?

Your Beliefs Respected

Have you ever got defensive as you felt attacked because of something you believed? It’s only natural that you would guard something so precious, and beliefs are so personal. And it’s because of this that when challenged about them, you feel it’s a personal attack!

Well, I believe every aspect of your life experience is significant and deserves acknowledgement. 

As a Christian counsellor, I understand how important it is to have your beliefs respected. For example, I go to church on a Sunday but I don’t put that in people’s faces. Therefore, you are more than welcome to discuss anything that’s important to you during our sessions to make your journey towards better mental health easier.

“My wife says she can’t believe how much I’ve changed, and she’s no longer nervous around me. I wish I had come to see you sooner!”

DLT

You’re in Good Hands

You might have heard of the BACP, as they’re the best-known business association for the helping professions in the UK. As a registered member, I adhere to their Ethical Framework, designed to set professional standards so your healing is effective.

British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy membership
Psychology Today verified seal

You want to give yourself the best chance to turn things around, right? The above organisations have verified my qualifications, so you can rest assured you’re in good hands.

Professional Qualifications

Therapeutic Counselling (CPCAB)

Gestalt Therapy (COE)

Online Therapy (OCST)

I love using Gestalt or Person-Centred Therapy to match your conversation style and relational patterns. Your unique influences shape who you are, and I aim to help you challenge assumptions and engage with vitality.

Training

You can benefit from the most recent research in therapeutic healing, too, because I regularly attend continual professional development courses to ensure my training is current with the latest developments.

  • Working with Dreams and Imagery, 2014
  • CEOP ThinkYouKnow, 2016
  • Relational Depth & Emotional Connection in Online Therapy, 2016, BACP
  • Solution Focussed Approaches, 2016, Solution Focus Sheffield
  • Introduction to Gestalt, 2018, Gestalt Sheffield
  • Grief Works: Stories of Death and Surviving, 2018, BACP
  • Relational Trauma, 2019, PODS
  • Shame – Trauma, 2019, BACP
  • Trauma Memories, 2021, Carolyn Spring
  • Compassionate Inquiry Master Class, 2022 – Gabor Maté 
  • Neurodiversity: The Storm Within, 2023, BACP
  • Autism 2023, BACP
  • Somatic Experiencing, 2023 – Peter Levine
  • Trauma and the Body, 2024 – Carolyn Spring
  • Internal Family Systems, 2024 – Pesi

Take advantage of my personal experience, knowledge and skills for your own healing.

I see healing as a spiritual way of expressing the process of discovering and becoming your true self, as aligned with Dr Gabor Maté’s approach – that psychotherapy is a spiritual endeavour.

In fact, when you look at it, experiences like suffering, healing, understanding, compassion, acceptance and love can be labelled as spiritual concepts. They’re also the evidence-based ground of all talking therapies.

Professional Experience

In 2001, I volunteered as a call-taker on the phones at a mental health helpline in Barnsley. It closed down due to a lack of funding after a few years, but I got a taste of listening to others’ concerns and how dissatisfied many local people were with dismissive attitudes from GPs when they didn’t show respect. I won’t be making that mistake, I can tell you!

In 2006, I began a job in learning disabilities. I know it’s helpful to see your problems as separate from yourself for you to be able to be naturally you again. I know that when you are yourself, you’re the best you can be and so I can help with that.

From 2015 to 2018, I was a counsellor in NHS occupational health. This experience taught me a lot about workplace stress and how, talking with me, you might get control of your stress levels and then start the healing process.

For three years from 2015, I was at Pathways Family Support in Barnsley. I worked with survivors of domestic abuse, not a nice subject, I know, but I learned much about working with low self-esteem, which is such a common underlying issue for many people with either depression or anxiety.

I’ve been in private practice in Wath upon Dearne, Rotherham, since 2018. Everybody who works with me tells me they like the environment in my room at Wath Hall. I continue to grow in understanding as a mature therapist, hoping you will work with me and improve your quality of life and relationships.

Don’t Just Take My Word For It

“I have known Mike Underwood since his training days. He is an experienced, skilled, approachable, empathetic, and compassionate counsellor whom I highly recommend.”

Mr. D. Thompson, Bsc (Hons), DN, DNS, (RMN, RGN, EMDR practitioner, retired).

So, let me end here and say I wish you well. Oh, and please try a free consultation to see what it’s like talking to a skilled listener in a relaxing environment like my room at Wath Hall.

A Christian counsellor says "have a good life".
Where do you want to go?

Photo of me by my mate Tim.

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