Synergy Counselling

Who are we?

James Hawes MBACP Accred (PG.Dip.Coun.)

James has been working as a therapist for sixteen years (since 2004) and then established Synergy Counselling . He works with a broad range of clients as outlined on the front page. James takes clients from employee assistant programmes and health insurance companies. He works in partnership with several organizations including BUPA, Right Management, Sporting Chance, Catharsis, Emmanuel House and [email protected] Apart from working in his private practice he also works in Nottingham High School with teenagers for two days a week. James also facilitates men's groups and anger management groups. Additionally James runs several popular workshops for teachers, counsellors and youth workers. In addition to his Counselling and Psychotherapy work he is a trained mediator.

"Previously to training as a Counsellor I trained and qualified as a carpenter, worked as a senior youth worker, a mediator and have been involved in working with people in a variety of settings for several years. During my thirties I 'burnt out' and felt lost, emotionally exhausted and in constant physical pain. I began a difficult process of unlearning, seeking to understand myself and embrace my true self. Four years after this part of my journey began, I started training as a therapist and now count it a privilege to hear other's stories and watch them develop and grow through a difficult stage in their life. I am passionate about creating a space for people to 'be who they are' and to move from merely surviving life to living fully and authentically.

I am committed to my own continuing development and have regular supervision and I'm insured for professional liability. I am an accredited member of the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP) and am bound by its Ethical Framework for good practice in Counselling and Psychotherapy and subject to the professional conduct procedure therein.
Access the BACP website HERE

About Synergy . bacp REG

About Synergy . Fiona

Fiona Barnes BA (Hons), MA

As a person-centred psychotherapist I offer one-to-one counselling sessions to adults (age 16+). Based in Nottingham, I am able to provide telephone and video-call sessions in order to support you during the restrictions enforced by Covid-19.

Throughout completing the MA in Person-Centred Experiential Psychotherapy at The University of Nottingham, I have gained invaluable experience with a broad range of clients whilst working with the Human Flourishing Project (HFP). I have worked with clients experiencing depression, anxiety, bereavement, bullying, workplace trauma, low self-esteem, relationship difficulties, terminal illness, post-traumatic stress disorder, post-natal depression and personality disorders.

I discovered the value of counselling through my own experiences:
Before I trained as a counsellor, I worked in Human Resources. Whilst I lacked enthusiasm for office work, I enjoyed and felt passionate about connecting with and helping other people. When I experienced a sudden and traumatic bereavement, my life stopped in its tracks. In the depths of my grief I sought professional counselling. This helped to enable my recovery and the positive growth I felt encouraged me to train as a counsellor.

I believe each person is unique, and is the expert in their own unique experiences. In my therapeutic work I aim to create a safe, compassionate and empathic environment so that you feel valued and accepted. I will gently and sensitively help you to explore and understand difficult feelings and experiences, so that you can feel more in touch with yourself and able to move forward positively. All sessions are confidential, and we will work together at a pace that feels right for you.

I adhere to the BACP ethical framework for my practice, and I hold a DBS certificate and have professional indemnity insurance. If you would like to speak to me about working together, please do get in touch.

About Synergy . Adam

Adam Yusufali

I am a qualified counsellor whom is registered with the BACP. I offer a safe space where you can explore whatever difficulties or challenges that you may be experiencing. I work in an intuitive, empathetic and compassionate way, without holding any judgements or expectations upon your experience.

I have worked in multiple roles centred around helping people over the last 16 years. I have experience working with vulnerable young people and adults within the charity sector, residential care, schools, the local authority, CAMHS and counselling young and adult carers. I have been counselling individuals and some families since 2013.

Sometimes life can get overwhelming or we may experience something that impacts negatively on our general way of being. I want you to know that it is really OK not to be OK and that it is OK to ask for help. If you find yourself struggling with your own sense of self or others then contact me and let’s talk about it.

About Synergy . Richard

Richard (David) Goodall

I have the pleasure to work both as a Humanistic Counsellor and a Professional Gardener. The combination of these two passions bring both connection to humans and to Mother Nature.

During my training as a counsellor, I have worked with clients at Support After Adoption (NCC), Derby Rape Crisis, Treetops Hospice (end of life support and bereavement), Merrill Academy (school counsellor)

I offer Counselling and Supervision.

I am naturally curious about my clients as to who they are and what they want from life.I am happy to connect face to face, on zoom, with walking therapy and also gardening. I believe that you already know what you want and so by walking that journey along with you, you will be able to be the person you want to be, released from your past beliefs about who you are.

About Synergy . Andrew 2

Andrew Cranham

I offer short or long term, face-to-face or remote counselling and am located in the Sherwood area of Nottingham, close to the city centre. I have immediate availability during the day time so you can see me quickly. I offer a completely confidential, non-judgemental, dignified service. I use a relational approach to get to know you and understand how we can work best together, creating tailored solutions to the problems faced and working at a pace set by you.

I am experienced in helping people overcoming addiction problems and have a particular interest in problem gambling. I have supported people who have been affected by childhood experiences resulting in shame, trauma, depression and anxiety.

I also have an interest in group work and in addition to private practise I work at Nottingham University on the Forensic Psychology Doctoral Programme facilitating personal development groups for trainees.

My personal life experiences led me to retrain and because relationships are important to me I decided to make them centre stage through counsellor training.

I have been practising for seven years having worked in a number of different settings with a wide range of different people. I am accredited with United Kingdom Council for Psychotherapists (UKCP), am fully supervised and insured. I adhere to the ethical practises of both the UKCP and The Sherwood Institute in Nottingham.


Normal sessions last for 50 minutes. If requested the extension of session times can be negotiated for future sessions.

Individuals £45 - £70 (Monday- Friday between 9-5pm) and £50 - £80 for evening appointments

Couples and families £55-£80 (Monday- Friday between 9-5pm) and £60-£90 for evening appointments

Groups £25

Group sessions will usually last between 90-120 minutes. Groups are set up periodically, please contact us for the start times for the next group.

If you are unable to attend a booked appointment time then we usually expect 48 hours notice, otherwise we expect full payment.

For those with financial restrictions Synergy is able to offer a negotiated reduced fee for a limited number of clients

About Synergy . Library Image: Doorway of Hope

Does Counselling work?

“How can talking to someone help sort my problems out?”
“Isn’t it the same as talking to your mates?”
“How can someone just listening to me help me, you need to give me some advice?”

For some counselling doesn’t work but for most it has a remarkable impact on their lives. When the client is open and vulnerable and ready to work on their 'stuff' then clients experience incredible inner movements in their lives and can leave the counselling session feeling energised, challenged and changed. Many clients will say, I don’t understand it, but something inside has shifted, something clicked into place last week.

Research consistently upholds the following:

1. Therapy works - numerous studies have proven that people accessing therapy, increase their level of functioning 80 % greater then those who don’t have therapy.
2. You as the client are the most important factor in therapeutic change - if you want to change and are prepared to do the hard emotional work then a successful outcome increases by 40%
3. The relationship is a crucial aspect of successful therapy - therapeutic relationships will include rapport, support and trust to enhance inner strengths, potential and change. If this is lacking – then the therapist may not be right for you.

What you can expect from the counsellor and what to look for in a good therapist

1. Contact An ability to help you feel safe, building rapport and trust.
2. Acceptance Not judging you, but accepting who you are and offering empathy.
3. Listening Creating an environment where you feel heard and acknowledged.
4. Not quick to give advice Not telling you what to do or seeking to 'parent' you.
5. Mutuality Treating you with respect and honouring your needs and expectations

About Synergy . Library Image: Reaching Hands (Sml)

Is it value for money?

For many, therapy can sound like an expensive luxury. Money spent on emotional care can be rare and most hope that they can go without it. However, many of us think nothing about spending money to keep our cars on the road. For example many of us spend -

1. Approximately £40-50 a week to keep a car on the road, (Much more if you have a loan)
2. At least £70 a month if you go on holiday once a year
3. £10-40 a month for a gym membership
4. At least £30-£100 per month on leisure and drinking activities
5. £50-£150 on food a week

Emotional fitness impacts overall wellbeing and include the benefits of feeling better about self, increased confidence, better relationships and greater all round health. Research indicates that counselling is good value for money

Research by Warwick and Manchester Universities indicate that counselling is 32 times more cost effective at making you happier than by obtaining more money. An £800 course in therapy would take a £25000 pay rise to achieve the equivalent increase in improving wellbeing and mental health.

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