Jo Sharkey

Counsellor & Supervisor

I am an accredited, integrative therapeutic counsellor, finding that working in this way gives an opportunity for the client to connect in alternative ways that may be suitable for them as an individual.

I have extensive experience, working with a variety of clients, of all ages.

I offer counselling support to individuals, couples, children, young people and families, assessing each person’s situation, offering a calm, non-judgemental and confidential environment.

Integrative Counselling is an approach that brings together different strands of specific therapies, acknowledging that at times, there is no single approach that can support each client in all situations.

When working on changing patterns or cycles of behaviour I may use a Cognitive Behaviour Therapy approach [CBT].

CBT focuses on how you think about the things going on in your life – your thoughts, images, beliefs and attitudes (your cognitive processes) – and how these impacts on the way you behave and deal with emotional problems. It then looks at how you can change any negative patterns of thinking or behaviour that may be causing you difficulties. In turn, this can change the way you feel.

In my work with children I am aware of building a safe, trusting environment, as at times they may be lacking in confidence, experiencing anxiety or are having difficulties in relationships. I have worked in supporting children and young people through bereavement, with death, endings, loss, divorce and separation.

I have supported children and young people in various settings – nurseries, schools, and colleges and in their own homes, working with other presenting issues for example, self-esteem, self-harm and relationships. During my sessions I may use various techniques to build the relationships with a child, and this can include play and creativity, allowing them to express themselves in other ways, when words are hard to find.

My sessions will always go at the client’s pace, and recognise that this may be a new experience for some, with the uniqueness of having a space to be ‘heard’ and listened to. I have a flexible, calm approach, respecting how difficult it may have been to have made contact for support.

Through exploring what may be taking place in a client’s life at that time, awareness and changes begin to take place, which can empowering for a client.

I started my career path as a nursery nurse on a maternity unit, supporting mothers with the care of their babies and in later years, having gained my qualified as a counsellor, managed the counselling service at Poole Maternity Unit. In this role I also supported S.P.R.I.N.G [Supporting Parents and Relatives In Neonatal Grief].

I have worked as a pupil and family support worked in a primary school, a sessional worker with children in care and owned/managed a residential care home for 25 years. It was at this time that I recognised the support I was giving to residents, their families and staff and decided to gain a formal qualification, to assist communication and to be able to offer a therapeutic space

Over recent years, I have worked at a hospice, supporting patients and their families, through pre-bereavement, at end of life, and post bereavement, working with many types of grief.

Topics and Areas covered

Anger management
Anorexia nervosa
Attachment disorder
Binge-eating disorder
Bulimia nervosa
Carer’s support
Child related issues
Domestic violence
Eating disorders
Emotional abuse
Learning difficulties
Life limiting illnesses Low self-esteem

Obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) Panic disorder
Physical abuse
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
Postnatal depression
Relationship issues
Seasonal affective disorder (SAD)
Separation and divorce
Sexual abuse
Suicidal thoughts
Termination of pregnancy
Work-related stress


Certificate in Counselling Skills
Certificate in Therapeutic Counselling
Advanced Diploma in Therapeutic Counselling
Post Qualifying Diploma in Counselling Children and Young People
Certificate in Supervision