We invite you to get to know the ACTO Board of Directors a little better.......
My name is Sarah and I am passionate about how online therapy can enhance the counselling, psychotherapy and coaching professions; by reaching out and providing support and services to a wide range of people who may otherwise never seek therapy.
After a decade counselling in the substance misuse field I wanted a new challenge, and in 2009 moved in the higher education sector where I immediately wondered why we weren’t utilising online support! The majority of students are digital natives, expecting to be able to communicate online, so it made perfect sense to offer them online therapy.
With a decade of counselling, many years supervising and teaching on a counselling diploma; I was adamant that these experiences were not sufficient to launch into online working. It was important to me to be appropriately trained before setting up the online service at Cardiff University. Without this training and support I would have fallen over many more hurdles than I have!
As Chair of ACTO I want to share my enthusiasm, and learn from others as we move forward. ACTO has a wealth of experience and knowledge amongst its members, from students undertaking their online training, to newly qualified, and highly experienced online therapists. I encourage you all to get involved in ACTO, add to the content of the website and forum discussions in any way you wish – this is your organisation, and your website!
responsible for the website
My name is Mieke Haveman and I am from the Netherlands. I once attended teacher training college to become a teacher of both Dutch and English which I did not finish, but it did wonders for my English.
I did my counselling training in the Netherlands and my diploma is for counselling, coaching and psychosocial work from Academie Gradatim. My online training was done online in the UK with OLT. Both the general certificate and the diploma course.
Right now I have many hats on with my online work. I only work online but with varied jobs. Counsellor, Coach, Tutor and web designer. I am also a member of the OCTIA committee.
Socially I love to read and play boardgames with friends. Cultural holidays are another of my passions and spending time with my cats [Bella and Shadow] and my [part-time] dog. Nina actually belongs to friends but she thinks she has two homes. I also really enjoy spending time on the computer and figuring it out for work and leisure.
I am a self-confessed total enthusiast about online therapy. I have found it transformative, to the extent that I have become an evangelist for its potential and its use right now. I feel so proud to be a member of ACTO’s Board of Directors as I believe that having a body dedicated to the ethics, training and development of online psychotherapy and counselling is vital.
For me, one of the key questions is how we can demonstrate the value and efficacy of online therapy; online therapists and our clients know it works, but how can we show this? From this starting point, I explored how we could use one of the most effective and widely used systems of monitoring psychological well-being, CORE, or Clinical Outcomes in Routine Evaluation. These forms have been used in mental health services and research for decades for face-to-face work. How would this work for online therapy? Can we use CORE around online therapy to provide evidence-based research to demonstrate the efficacy of online therapy?
From these initial questions we developed a pilot between ACTO and CORE to trial the use of cloud-based CORE to monitor our clients in online therapy. I am the Lead for this pilot and am working with five highly experienced therapists to trial the use of CORE around online therapy. The work with our clients ends in September and then we will evaluate how it has worked… so watch this space!
Working online as a therapist has many differences to working in a face-to-face setting. The training I received at the Academy of Online Counselling and Psychotherapy provided the rigour that enabled me to develop my own online private therapy practice and to ensure that my clients have a secure and confidential bounded space to work online. It also encouraged me to explore the differences between online and face-to-face work and to begin to discover the huge potential the online world has for psychotherapeutic work.
I have worked with a variety of clients online, who bring a wide range of issues from depression and bereavement to trauma and anxiety; I have found online therapy so effective in supporting clients as well as empowering clients as we construct together their unique online therapy spaces.
My face-to-face training was in Psychodynamic Psychotherapy and I specialised in working with children and Young People, earning a Master’s degree with distinction from Birkbeck College, University of London in 2011. Playing in therapy has always been at the heart of my work, and I derive so much from works by Donald Winnicott and Wilfred Bion. I was not sure if my way of working, that is psychodynamically, would work well online as it has the here and now experience at its heart, especially when the work is asynchronous, such as in email therapy. I have been inspired by more recent work in this area by John Suler and by Haim Weinberg and have found that I can indeed work psychodynamically in online settings and in a range of formats. Interestingly, I have found that exploring the here and now and using symbolism has been surprisingly effective in email therapy, maybe because when we read a text, that is our here and now moment but at the same time the process of writing can be so deeply reflective. I have found that the online world really opens up the ability to play and explore in therapy. I have also recently earned my licence in Avatar therapy using ProReal software and wish to trial using this with young people, maybe with CORE as a monitoring system for safeguarding in schools.
I also love teaching and am very excited that I will be working as a tutor at the Academy for Online Counselling and Psychotherapy. I have a background in academic teaching having worked as an economics lecturer at City University and UCL, London. I have a Masters and a PhD in Economics and my research specialism was in the difficulties of measurement of economies in transition. I also worked as a consultant editor for the Economist Intelligence Unit in the East European department. I guess I have now come around full circle, back to issues of measurement, but this time our clients’ well-being as they transition to improved healthier places.
“I’m Adrian Rhodes, the International Director of ACTO.
My professional origins are as a clergyman in the Church of England
and I’m an Honorary Canon at Manchester Cathedral
I trained initially as a counsellor in the mid 70’s
- then as a group and individual Psychoanalytic Psychotherapist Registered with UKCP in the 80’s.
I worked in the NHS, heading up ‘Day-Democratic Therapeutic Communities”
and being involved in the training of junior psychiatrists.
I now work in private practice.
I was Honorary Secretary, then Vice Chair of UKCP from 2002-2009.
As part of that, I represented UKCP at the European Association for Psychotherapy
- the professional body of national and modality professional bodies.
I was elected as President of the EAP from 2001-13 - and Vice President two years either side of that.
Although I stepped down from the EAP in 2015, it seems they can’t do without me!
I’m being drafted back to lead a modality body within the EAP.
I am passionate about the development of online therapy
- both generally and as a new, distinct expression of psychoanalytic psychotherapy.
And I’m excited by the chance to work across borders or all kinds.
In my free time, I'm a beekeeper, looking after about a dozen hives - at home, on the roof of Manchester Cathedral and elsewhere; and I teach beekeeping too!"
Hello – I’m Jan. I am qualified in both online counselling (2010) and online supervision (2012); I work integratively and believe that it is the strength of the relationship that enables a successful outcome.
Specific interests and experience:
- Counselling children and young people – online and face to face
- The mental Health needs of children and young people
- Bereavement support – both pre-and post-bereavement
- The emotional needs of siblings of children with disabilities and or special needs
- Chronic trauma in children and young people
- Supervising online counsellors working with children and young people (online)
My first introduction to the emotional needs of young people began whilst I was nursing as a paediatric palliative care nurse at a Children’s Hospice. This began my journey into counselling
Presently, I am a CPCAB approved tutor at OLT http://www.onlinetrainingforcounsellors.com/ , tutoring on the Certificate for Online Counselling and the Diploma in Online Therapeutic Supervision and I also work for a local children’s charity “Swings & Smiles”
Along with this I work in private practice “Ripples” - https://ripplesonline.blogspot.co.uk/ - providing online counselling for young people over the age of 17 and online supervision for two online counselling organisations for young people.
During those moments that I am not “stuck” to my computer, I indulge myself in life outdoors – time spent in the local countryside – in most weathers but preferably when it’s dry! I find that this is the one time that I can truly relax and box away any stresses.
My name is Annette Valentine and I'm from Denmark. I currently live between Australia and England. I did my Master in Counseling and Psychotherapy in India when I was living there and I learned loads about cultural diversity during my time there. I believe in life long learning and love learning new areas of expertise. I'm also a creative soul and love how social media can increase awareness and education of mental health and the impact it is having on more and more people. My main experience is with young students and adults who are having mental health diagnosis that is having an impact on their education and career.
As I'm a multi-passionate person, I work as an online Counsellor, coach, and Social Media Manager. I work on Dr. Julian platform next to my private practice. Working online as a Counsellor is a blessing as I really enjoy working online and I can help my clients from all over the world.
I'm the new Media Director for ACTO and that is something I'm really proud of. It is so important to have a body of ethics and development of online counseling and psychotherapy to ensure the safety of clients who are receiving online counseling and psychotherapy.
As you probably have guessed already, I enjoy traveling and living in different countries next to reading books and practice kundalini yoga.
Research & Development Director with ACTO
My name Is Pip, and I started life out as a French teacher, and then trained at Roehampton as a psychotherapist. That was in the 80s, and I really didn’t like the isolation of private practice. So for a long time I didn’t practice but was Head of The Mental Health Conference Unit at St George’s Hospital Medical School and since then have run my own company training mental health professionals. I was for a long time the Commissioning Editor for the UKCP Book Series and whilst doing that job I decided to write and edit Psychotherapy 2.0: Where Psychotherapy and Technology Meet, which was published in the UKCP series in 2014. I trained as an online counsellor with OLT doing their Diploma in Online Counselling as well as their Diploma in Online Therapeutic Supervision, and I found I loved working online. I am now training director for PWT ACADEMY for Online Counselling and Psychotherapy and have been the Standards and Ethics Officer with ACTO since 2015. Since November 2017 I have switched to Research and Development Director.