About

Peter Coffey, MChem (Hons), MRes, – Counsellor

I am a person-centred counsellor working in Southampton. Over the past years, I’ve worked with a number of charities including Chrysalis (Gender Identity Matters) (now Beyond Reflections), a local grassroots organisation which as part of its work sponsors me to improve people’s mental health through counselling and EBS (formerly Eastleigh Bereavement Services) to help people with their problems.

The core of what I do is helping trans, poly and neurodivergent people (and people who occupy those and other intersectional identities!) to understand their problems. I do this by working to help them accept who they really are in an unaccepting world and do my best to help them find the agency to empower themselves to find their own personal liberation through person-centred therapy.

I always say that “If you’re the sort of person who gets stuck at the odd table at a wedding, then I’m the right person for you!” My experience includes: concerns about gender identity, problems with family, problems with relationships, sudden bereavement, long-term illnesses, encountering discrimination in the workplace, suicidal ideation, domestic violence, problems with parents, problems with ex-partners, problems with children, problems with adjusting to English/British culture, loneliness, depression and anxiety.

What do I do?

I believe in empowering people so they can exercise their own agency. I want to help people use this agency to solve and accept their own problems and their own selves. I want to help you achieve your own personal liberation.

The form of counselling I practice is called person-centred counselling, sometimes known as client-centred, it belongs to a family of therapies called “humanistic” and people who use this believe that the power to change is within every individual and just needs the right environment to come out.

To do this I provide a non-judgemental space where I treat the client as the expert and the authority on themselves. By working to promote a warmth and connection between us, I create a safe space where you can authentically be yourself and talk through the things that really get to you. Having this safe space to work in gives you the opportunity to unpack things to someone who wants to listen to you and understand your point of view.

How does person-centred counselling work?

The way sessions work in practice is that I give you one of the most precious commodities in our busy lives; time. Time and an open, non-judgemental, interested person to listen to you and give you the space you need to unpack your problems and go over them with someone who is really interested in them and wants to understand your point of view.

Talking to another person who doesn’t interrupt and talk about their own lives is an experience and as you start to explore your problems with a willing helper, you may start to get new insights and new perspectives into your life. Problems that seem absolutely insurmountable and totally overwhelming on their own may be seen differently when you’re explaining them to someone else.

It’s about your solutions to your problems. I want to help you find the best way forwards for you.

Testimonials (used only with explicit permission)

Dear Peter,

May I take this opportunity to thank you from my heart for leading me through what I believe was a quite serious depression from not grieving for my wife properly when she died from MND about three years ago. On top of this, I was suffering from dysphoria so I think I must have given you quite a challenge. I can honestly say that you helped me regain my life as I had been in such a low place.

Thank you again Peter.

Kindest Regards

Samantha

  • Samantha P,

I have just finished an eight week course of counselling with Peter Coffey, facilitated by RoC, and I would like to express my thanks: 

As a direct result of Peter’s input, I have identified self-created and outmoded strategies for dealing with my deep-seated insecurities. As a highly intelligent, diligent and empathetic counsellor, Peter has helped me to understand how and why I have developed such unhelpful and self-destructive methods of identifying with the world. Consequently, with Peter’s reflective feedback, I have  developed new strategies where I treat myself and others with kindness and serenity. 

Our weekly meetings on Southampton Common have been enlightening, in terms of recognising the mechanics of my thought processes, and I now recognise the sources of many of the challenging aspects of my life: as a result, I have grown as a person. 

Peter is a highly personable counsellor and his insights and reflections, as well as his knowledge of the counselling field, have been invaluable. 

I cannot recommend Peter enough and I would like to offer my huge thanks to both him and RoC for helping me to grow and become a more reflective and intuitive human being. 

  • Catherine W

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