Select Page

Dorinda Thirlby, Psychotherapist

I am an experienced and qualified Integrative Psychotherapist and work with clients towards resolving a wide range of emotional, relationship and family issues.

I have a long track record in helping people to improve their lives.  I have worked as a nurse/ counsellor in the NHS for the past 30 years and have additional expertise in working with people who are stressed in relation to health and ill health concerns.

Working online during Covid-19

Covid 19 has changed how we live our lives, impacting our normal interaction with family and friends and how we work including counselling / therapy. the emotional impact of a sudden and unexpected disruption.

The government’s website has lots of clear information on it and has meant that it’s still safest for you and me that we move to do continue therapy/ counselling on line or remotely.

How to do it

Chose a place to speak for the 50 mins where you feel comfortable and is private for you so you can say what you want to say without being overheard. I’ll sit in the same room we usually meet in.

How to connect

If you have wifi there are a number of options:

1. Many therapists use zoom (an app on your smart phone or download on your computer)

2. I have an apple phone /computer so I can easily connect though FaceTime via my email

3. By ‘whats app’ video /audio via my mobile number 07958959097 (this is less secure)

4. If you haven’t got wifi or simply prefer the phone then do use my landline -and simply phone 01625529470 at the time of the session.

In the mean time until we speak look  after yourself

Coping Strategies

Keeping yourself well during this time is important. Here are just a few tips which may help you.

  • Limit watching the news to just once a day.
  • Be careful not to spend too much time on social media.
  • Please stay connected with your friends / family via video, chat or text.
  • Try to relax and rest – you don’t have to do chores!
  • Enjoy outside space outside  for a walk or do some gardening.
  • Spend time reading a favourite book, listening to your favourite music, find a tv series you’ve always meant to watch.
  • Motivate yourself with an online course-it doesn’t have to be work related.

Training, Qualifications, Registration

Integrative Psychotherapy MSc (Metanoia Institute/Middlesex University)

Registered Level 1 Nurse.  Sexual Health Adviser/ Counsellor employed in the NHS.  Experience in the fields of sexual health, gender and sexuality, sexual assault, abuse and addiction.

UKCP Registered Psychotherapist.  As a qualified psychotherapist I am accredited with the United Kingdom Council for Psychotherapy (UKCP)

Helping to improve lives
call me on 07958959097



Why do people commonly come
to see me ?

Mood and Depression
  • Not coping
  • Feeling depressed
  • Feeling like they’re struggling
  • Low mood
  • Feeling isolated
  • Having a general lack of get up and go
  • Feeling overwhelmed
  • Feeling anxious
  • Work stress
Life Events
  • Life events such as illness
  • Adjusting or moving towards separation or divorce
  • Frustration with things or people in life
  • Grief and loss
Emotional Difficulties
  • Drinking, eating or taking too many recreational drugs
  • Frustration with things or people in life
  • Feeling like they don’t fit in , feeling ‘different’
  • Feeling stuck or a loss of direction

Counselling/ Psychotherapy Training & Experience

I first came to counselling when I undertook training to become telephone counsellor for an HIV /AIDs helpline. I worked for 5 years on the helpline becoming a trainer myself. This and my experience of clients in my role as a sexual health advisor led me to undertake a Certificate in Counselling and counselling skills at Birkbeck college, University of London (cert photo ) that I completed in June 1999.

In 2000 I embarked on the long but fascinating Integrative Psychotherapy training journey at Metanoia Institute to gain an MSc Integrative psychotherapy in 2006 at Middlesex University.

During this training as well as my nurse counsellor work I undertook other placements one in an NHS occupational health service. I also had a great training and supervision experience for 5 years in a voluntary counselling service in South West London here I got the experience of working with several clients a week for individual psychotherapy for forty sessions in a really supportive environment with a fantastic supervisor and additional training courses.

I qualified as a UKCP Registered psychotherapist in 2006 and have worked in my own private practice for the past 12 years. I work in the NHS for one day  a week in my nurse counsellor role and on 4 days a week I run my own private practice undertaking individual therapy, couples work training and supervision.

Frequently Asked Questions

Below is a list of the most frequently asked questions but if you have another question please contact me email me on or phone on 07958959097

Why come to therapy?

We all struggle with the challenges life throws at us at some point in our lives. Sometimes those challenges become overwhelming, and that is when it can be helpful to talk to someone who is not directly involved in your life, as a close friend or relative would be. Therapists are trained to see the ‘bigger picture’ of a person’s psychology and they may offer suggestions which invite you to think about yourself in new and different ways. Therapy provides a safe and confidential environment to discuss your concerns with a trained practitioner who can help you reach understand yourself better, and find solutions to the things that are troubling you.

If you’re considering therapy, the first thing to do is to book an initial consultation session and see whether therapy would be helpful for you.

Am I the best person for you? The first consultation

I offer an initial 30-minute consultation free of charge. This gives us an opportunity to meet, talk and explore the benefits of working together and to verify whether therapy would be of assistance to you. You will get a sense of how counselling/ therapy works in this session and it will give us both an opportunity to decide if I am the right person to work with you. Part of this comes down to personal style and ‘chemistry’. It is only by coming and meeting me that you will know whether you want to come back and discuss more.

This assessment is completely without obligation – if it doesn’t feel right to you there is no need for us to meet again. You do not need to tell me why you are considering therapy when you call to make an appointment for the free assessment – just book a time that is convenient for you.

Am I accredited/ registered?

I’m accredited with the UKCP as a Registered Psychotherapist

I was awarded an MSc in Integrative Psychotherapy from the Metanoia Institute in 2006. This degree combined theoretical and practical work, including many hours of supervised work with clients. In addition, all graduates are required to undergo a programme of therapy themselves so I am familiar with the therapy experience from both sides of the relationship.

How often do I need to come? And for how long?

If we decide to work together then there is usually agreement for a further 3- 6 sessions, after which we review progress and agree the next steps.

I find that a 50 minute session once a week works best for most people. Of course, there will be some weeks when you will not be able to come but, ideally, we should meet on a regular, pre-agreed schedule to provide a sense of structure and continuity.

Many people just take a short course of 6 sessions. This is enough time to develop insight and to generate some strategies for managing your problems. If you feel that there is a deeper issue which is affecting your life then you may require a longer series of sessions. Some people come to therapy for several months, some for several years. I offer both short and long term therapy. Each person is different and we can discuss what may be most suitable for you during the initial assessment.

My therapy room

Sessions are held in a designated and separate therapy room /office in my home in Wilmslow.  There is parking on the street outside. I don’t have a waiting room so please come on time.

How much does therapy cost?

Each session lasts 50 minutes and costs £50.

How does therapy work?

There are many ways to answer this question: Therapy provides a space where you can talk to someone about things that are bothering you. By talking to someone who is genuinely interested but not personally involved you gradually learn more about yourself. For example, through therapy you may reach a better understanding of a current life event, or you may realise how events in your past are influencing your feelings and behavior now. This deeper self-understanding often gives us more choices in life.

Is everything confidential?

This is a very good question. All UKCP accredited psychotherapists work to a code of ethics.

On the initial session I will give you a copy of a contract to complete and I will discuss these issues with you. A psychotherapist commits to respect, protect and preserve the confidentiality of their clients. Therapy is confidential, what people say about their private concerns remains confidential to the room with the following exception: If someone comes to therapy and poses a serious risk to themselves or others, I am ethically obliged to act on this.

What if I have concerns or complaint about you as a therapist?

Hopefully you won’t have any concerns about me as a therapist but if you do, UKCP offers a rigorous process for dealing with complaints. UKCP aims to ensure that all registered therapists are ‘fit to practice’. Fitness to practice means:

·     having the skills, knowledge and character to work safely and effectively with clients

·     behaving in a way that safeguards public safety and maintains confidence in the psychotherapy profession

If you ever have any concerns about my performance or behavior as a therapist. If you feel able to do so, please do talk to me first about your concerns to see if I can put things right.   Or you can make a complaint directly to UKCP who will investigate on your behalf:

Motivational Interviewing or “Something I’d like to change but I’m finding it difficult to do.” 

It’s rare to meet someone who doesn’t think they should have a healthier lifestyle, be it cutting down on drinking, going on a diet, smoking less or exercising more. It’s a very human trait to do things we shouldn’t. Motivational interviewing allows us to look at what prevents us from doing what we should be doing, and uses people’s internal motivation to bring about change.

What is Motivational Interviewing (MI)?

Motivational interviewing emerged in the 1980s within the setting of alcohol addiction treatment, where it was noted that encouraging patients to think and talk about their own reasons to change minimised their resistance and strengthened their motivation and commitment to change.

MI accepts that ambivalence about change is part of the normal human experience, and often a necessary step in the process of change. MI allows the clinician to work with patients’ ambivalence rather than viewing it as a problem. It also aims to encourage the patient’s autonomy in decision-making. The clinician acts as a guide, clarifying the patient’s strengths and aspirations, listening to their concerns, boosting their confidence in their own ability to change, and eventually collaborating with them on a plan for change.

It helps people look at why they are ambivalent about making a change they know they should make. The technique specifically allows patients to explore the pros and cons of changing, allowing them to reach the decision to change themselves rather than being told to change. After all, if we just needed to be told to change we would have done it by now!

By embracing a ‘spirit of MI’ people are freed to explore whether they want to change, and they ultimately become the expert in telling you why they might change.

My experience with Motivational Interviewing
My introduction to MI came in 2007 when I worked with the Society of Sexual Health Advisers (SSHA) NICE sub committee to help them develop a training package for sexual health workers in Primary Care/Sexual Medicine and HIV clinics. We ran study days using MI techniques to better equip sexual health/ HIV practitioners in their work with patients to reduce sexual health/HIV risk.

Since then I have been regularly running training days for healthcare workers and voluntary sector employees, and developing my own experience of MI within the NHS, and through private practice work.


I like working with people who are resistant to doing what they know they ‘should’ be doing. In particular, I have had a lot of success using MI techniques with people who feel stuck as they are concerned about how much they drink, smoke, or use recreational drugs, as well as those who gamble or are unable to control their eating. These techniques often help people voice their struggle which may enable them to make the change they seek to make.

Get In Touch


Wilmslow, Cheshire


I’m usually available  Monday , Tuesdays, Thursdays morning afternoon and evening.