Counselling with
Barbara Riddell

Chessington & Surbiton

07906 576167

    How was Christmas for you? Good? Not so good?


    January - a long month?

    Christmas and New Year can be a lovely time of year - parties, lots of delicious food, a break from work, spending time with family and friends. However, it's not that way for everyone. Family arguments, getting into debt buying all those lovely Christmas presents, overindulging in alcohol, coupled with our expectations about what we think the festive period should be like, can leave us feeling flat come January. Divorce lawyers know that early January is the peak time for divorce proceedings to begin.  And for  those with few friends or family, it can seem like an achingly lonely time of the year; suicide rates are known to increase in December.

    So … if the festive season has left you feeling less than festive you might be wondering what to do.  Maybe your depression is deeper than you thought; perhaps your drug or alcohol intake is worrying you; maybe you've realised your relationship is in trouble. Whatever the reason, you may be thinking counselling can help. 

    How can it help you?  If the holidays have caused you to think you need to change something in your life in 2019, then I can help you.

    My aim is to make you feel safe, heard and understood.  I will listen to you in a warm and non-judgemental way.  I don't give advice - instead, I will support you to explore your worries more deeply so that you can understand yourself better.  We often don't realise that we are stuck in our ideas or  that we are repeating the same unhelpful behaviours again and again (especially in relationships).

    I know it's a big step to come to counselling. But this is a time for you - where you can talk in complete confidence.

    Issues I can help with include:

    • Anger management
    • Addictions (alcohol, drugs, online gambling). I have worked as a counsellor in a local addictions support agency. 
    • Women questioning their sexuality, wondering if they are gay or lesbian, and what that might mean for their lives.
    • I have extensive experience of supporting people with mental health issues – eg depression, bipolar disorder, borderline personality disorder and dissociative disorders.
    • Anxiety in young people.

    I am a qualified, experienced counsellor and a Registered Member of the British Association for Counselling & Psychotherapy and I abide by their Code of Ethics.  

    Contact me for a free confidential chat:

    t:   07906 576167


    I promise I will get back to you!



    I work in two locations:

    Chessington - The Surrey Centre for Natural Health, 9a Mansfield Road, Chessington, KT9 2PJ.  Free street parking.  Times: Mon-Fri between 8am and 7pm.

    Surbiton - 96 Ditton Road, Surbiton KT6 6RH.  Free parking in road opposite.  Times: Tues 8-10am and Wed 5-7pm only.

    How much?

    • £45 (8am to 6pm weekdays) 
    • £50 (after 6pm & weekends
    • Prices are the same at Chessington and Surbiton.
    • I accept payment in cash or all major debit and credit cards.
    • I am an approved practitioner with Vitality Health Insurance.


    How many sessions will I need?

    This depends on how complex the issues are that you're facing. Many people find an improvement in 6 to 12 sessions. 

    How long is a counselling session?

    Each session is 50 minutes.  You usually come on the same day and at the same time, although I always aim to fit in with your schedule. 

    What's the difference between counselling and psychotherapy?

    Generally speaking counsellors see people for a shorter time (up to 12 weeks) than psychotherapists, who may see clients for many months, sometimes years.

    Can you read my mind?

    No!  People sometimes think counsellors can read minds.  We can't!  Counsellors encourage you to talk openly about your worries, fears and concerns.  They don't offer advice, but instead will help you to gain a better understanding of yourself so that you have a happier life.

    I don't have much money, can you help?

    I know it can be hard to afford private counselling, so I do offer reduced fees for people on low incomes (eg unemployed, students, retired).  Please contact me to discuss your situation.

    Contact me:

    t:  07906 576167


    Contact me

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    The details on this form are collected and stored securely. Full details regarding my compliance with General Data Protection Regulations can be found in my Privacy Policy and Website Terms & Conditions. 

    Counselling with Barbara Riddell

    07906 576167

    I am on the BACP Directory & Counselling Directory


    About Me

    Professional training & qualifications

    • Level 5 Diploma in Therapeutic Counselling
    • Level 3 NVQ in Health & Social Care (specialising in Substance Misuse) 
    • Level 3 in Counselling Skills
    • Level 2 in Counselling Skills
    • Master's Degree in Cultural Studies
    • First Class BA (Hons) degree in Contemporary Cultural Studies

    Why I became a Counsellor

    I spent over 20 years in the fast-paced world of Public Relations and Journalism, working in London PR consultancies.  Eventually I burnt out and took a career break to study for a university degree.  I then worked in mental health, setting up and running a number of service user groups in mental health and addictions.  I have also worked as a tutor at the University of Surrey.   My own mental health issues led me to receiving many years of therapy.  It was this that sparked my interest in training to be a counsellor. 

    Privacy Policy

    Privacy Policy

    General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is a change in legislation about how I collect and store information about you. I am registered with the IOC (Information Commissioner’s Office) which means I have agreed what information about you I collect and how I use it. Their register is available to the public and you can access it here:

    • Information I collect about you: your name, age, mobile phone number, email address and sometimes your postal address and GP address, via my website, email contact from various counselling directories on which I am listed (mainly Counselling Directory), Google searches. I may have further details about you from payment cards used to pay me. 
    • How I use your information: I do not share any of these details about you with any third party, expect when I am legally obliged to do so (eg when I am ordered to by a Court of Law, or in the case of your and/or another person’s safety – see page 1). I make brief notes of our sessions together and use only your initials, with no other identifying information about you. I keep these on my password-protected PC. 
    • Legal basis for keeping your personal information: I keep your mobile phone number, email and possibly your postal address so that I can communicate with you (for making appointments, sending you the Counselling Agreement and any other documents we agree that we will share). 
    • How I store and process your personal information: I store your contact details (mobile phone number and email address) on my mobile phone and on my PC. My PC is a desktop, so stays in the same place; it is password-protected and no-one else has access to it. I store my client notes in a cloud-based system (Dropbox) which is also password-protected. No-one else has access to my mobile phone. 
    • Your right to see information I hold on you and your right to be forgotten: You can ask to see the information I hold on you (eg our session notes) at any time and you have the right to withdraw your consent to me holding this information, except when I am legally obliged to do so (as stated above); my insurance provider requires me to hold session notes for 7 years, after which they will be destroyed. 
    • Your rights in relation to personal data
    • Under the GDPR, you have the right to see and access all of the personal data I hold on you. You have the right to correct this information, ask for it to be deleted, and make a complaint about how I process your data to the Information Commissioner’s Office ( (I can only delete information I hold on you after the 7 years required by my insurer).