I work mainly with couples to understand what’s gone wrong in their relationship and then to take steps to put it right. One of the biggest predictors of a successful couple relationship is the ability to have difficult conversations. It is very hard to problem-solve and to cope with states of high emotion at the same time.
Counselling enables you to understand the roots of the distress you are experiencing and then to make changes so you can resolve your difficulties and move forward in a more helpful way.
One of the aims of the counselling is that you finish with a newly acquired 'toolkit' of tips and techniques which builds positive communication and gives you the skills to enhance every aspect of your relationship.
Although my work is primarily as a couples counsellor, I also support individuals whose partners may be unwilling to attend couples counselling. I also work with people who may not currently be in a relationship, but who want to better understand themselves and how they relate to others.
My couples counselling practice is in Inverleith, close to Edinburgh city centre. See below, under Contact, for details of where I am and how to get in touch.
“We would strongly recommend Val’s counselling to other couples. We also found it helped us to better understand our families and ourselves as individuals.”
"It was clear from the beginning that Val has great expertise in working with couples. We were often impressed with her deep knowledge in the field, and her ability to pull out facts and helpful information that suited our situation perfectly.”
“Val’s experience and perceptiveness brought a fresh understanding to us both and we were able to develop a far better understanding of each other … The most helpful learning was to re-kindle the forgotten ability to listen to each other and really absorb the other’s viewpoint.”
“We would have no hesitation in recommending Val’s counselling. Both the explanations and strategies we were offered helped to move our relationship to a much better and stronger place.”
“Val equipped us with the tools to learn to communicate with each other in a way we had never done before. This will be the saving grace for our relationship in decades to come.”
“When the future of a relationship is in jeopardy, anything or anyone that gives you the opportunity to put things back on the right track and find happiness together again is priceless. The time and money we invested with Val is the best investment we ever made - it literally saved us.”
“We would highly recommend Val as a fantastic relationship counsellor. Taking the step to get counselling as a couple is daunting, but she was extremely empathetic and put us at ease during what was otherwise a stressful and upsetting time.”
"We felt we were being counselled by someone we trusted and respected, and who had the right qualifications to help us"
"We now communicate better … we have better (and more) sex and our relationship is more open and supportive."
"I would say that all couples could benefit from counselling. We regarded it as an investment in our relationship. It was the best money we have ever spent."
"We would highly recommend Val’s counselling. The experience has been invaluable for our relationship."
I qualified as a couples counsellor with Relate, and since then I have spent more than a decade working with clients to rebuild their relationships and create rewarding partnerships.
People come to me for a variety of reasons: there may have been an affair; they may have experienced bereavement; work or children may be putting real strain on their relationship or sometimes things have just got stale. Couples counselling helps you to explore the roots of your difficulties and then to take positive steps towards resolving them and moving forward.
Books on health and relationships
I’m the author of four books on sex and relationships which have been published in the UK, Europe and the USA. I’ve also written as a relationship counsellor for a wide variety of publications, ranging from The Times to the Daily Mail and Good Housekeeping.
I am a member of the National Counselling Society and the Accredited Voluntary Register approved by the Professional Standards Register.
I’m the author of four books which have been published in the UK, Europe and the USA.
'Clear, well researched and detailed enough to equip you with a box full of tantric tools' (Vanessa Feltz, Good Housekeeping)
'This is an excellent book and I would recommend it to any woman with breast cancer.' (Christine Fogg, Breast Cancer Care)
'One of the most supportive and female-friendly books on sex and relationships we've seen' (Health & Fitness)
Coaching, Training and Workshops
I offer confidential, one-to-one coaching sessions to clients who want to deal with difficult issues in their professional life, improve their performance, strengthen existing skills or develop a better balance between their working and personal life. I also offer joint coaching for colleagues who work closely together, ensuring a shared approach to problem-solving and improving communication. I am a certified Master Practitioner in Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) and hold a Senior Practitioner qualification from the European Mentoring and Coaching Council's accredited Coaches' Programme at The School of Coaching.
Training and Workshops
I offer personal and professional development training to corporate and public sector organisations with my colleague, Jacqui Marson. She is an experienced broadcaster, public speaker, author and counselling psychologist. In addition to bespoke team building programmes, we run two workshops. The Silent Language of Leaders is about understanding body language in the workplace. Creating Personal Impact and Confidence is focussed on building your effectiveness and ability to have difficult conversations at work.
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T: 0131 557 9848
M: 07970 458 399
My practice is in Inverleith, 10-15 minutes' walk from central Edinburgh, and only a short journey from: Leith, Canonmills, Stockbridge, Comely Bank, Craigleith, Orchard Brae, Ravelston, Calton, Canongate, Merchiston, Morningside, The Grange, Newington, Beaverbank, Warriston and Murrayfield.
There is ample, metered, parking close by and bus stops for 8, 23 and 27 directly outside.