Portrait of Ian MountfordIan Mountford

What is counselling?

"Counselling and psychotherapy are mainly, though not exclusively, listening-and-talking based methods of addressing psychological and psychosomatic problems and change, including deep and prolonged human suffering, situational dilemmas, crises and developmental needs, and aspirations towards the realization of human potential."

Feltham, C. & Horton, I. (eds) (2000) Handbook of Counselling and Psychotherapy. Sage, London. (page 2)


Am I an effective counsellor?

Between October 2008 and March 2010, 90% of the clients I saw showed improvement in their CORE score over the course of eight sessions. CORE (Clinical Outcomes for Routine Evaluation) is a questionnaire commonly used by counselling services to assess whether provided counselling is effective.

Please see my testimonials page for comments from some of my previous clients.


Does Counselling Work?

Mick Cooper makes a detailed, critical review of the evidence, and feels justified in concluding that:

  • "There is unequivocal evidence that, on average, psychological therapies have a positive effect on people's mental health and wellbeing."
  • "Almost eight out of ten individuals who participate in counselling or psychotherapy improve to a greater extent than the average person who does not participate in therapy."
  • "Improvements in mental health tend to be maintained one or two years after therapy has ended."
  • "Talking treatments are generally as effective as pharmacological treatments for psychological distress, and seem to have lower relapse and drop-out rates".
  • "Counselling and psychotherapy are relatively cost-effective forms of mental health treatment".

Mick Cooper, 2008 - Essential Research Findings in Counselling and Psychotherapy (Sage, London)


Bruce Wampold, a former statistician who went on to train as a counselling psychologist, reported that:

  • Psychotherapy is indeed effective.
  • The type of treatment is not a factor.
  • The theoretical bases of the techniques used, and the strictness of adherence to those techniques are both not factor.
  • The therapist's strength of belief in the efficacy of the technique is a factor.
  • The personality of the therapist is a significant factor.
  • The alliance between the patient(s) and the therapist (meaning affectionate and trusting feelings toward the therapist, motivation and collaboration of the client, and empathic response of the therapist) is a key factor.

Bruce Wampold, 2001 - The Great Psychotherapy Debate (Mahway, NJ: Erlbaum.)



What are my qualifications?

  • Certificate in Counselling Skills, 2000.

  • Diploma of Higher Education in Counselling, 2005.

  • Cruse Bereavement Counselling Skills, 2006.

  • BA (Hons) Professional Development in Counselling, 2010.

I achieved accreditation by the BACP April 2010.


How much do I charge?

I charge £40 per hour.


Where will the sessions take place?

I see clients at: Share, 73 Wilkinson Street, Sheffield, S10 2GJ.


How many sessions will I need?

"Outcome research indicates that the general trajectory of change in successful therapy is highly predictable, with most change occurring earlier rather than later in the treatment process. It has been found that between 60 and 65 per cent of people experienced significant symptomatic relief within one to seven visits."

(Duncan, Miller and Sparks, 2004, The Heroic Client. San Francisco, Jossey-Bass. P83).


Furthermore, it has also been found "that an absence of early improvement in the client's subjective sense of well-being significantly decreased the chances of achieving symptomatic relief and healthier functioning by the end of treatment", and that "therapeutic relationships in which no improvement occurred by the third visit did not on average result in improvement over the entire course of treatment."

(The Heroic Client, P84-85).


Six sessions is a reasonable rule of thumb. However, satisfactory outcomes are sometimes achieved in fewer sessions.

However, if you feel strongly that a longer course of sessions would be beneficial, I am happy to oblige, and have also worked successfully this way


What is the theoretical basis for the way I work?

The most influential component of my theoretical framework is Rogers' theory that change will necessarily occur if the core conditions of empathy, unconditional positive regard and congruence are conveyed to the client, as this will facilitate the operation of their inherent tendency towards growth and wholeness.

Please see my resources page for more in-depth information on this topic.