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SMT Counselling

Promoting positive change a little every day

I am an experienced Counselling Psychotherapist, working with adults, young people and children, who are ready to explore the possibilities for a happier and healthier life.

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About Me

Sharon McAree Thomas MSc, MBACP, CPCAB

I am a licensed BACP psychotherapist  with 25 years of experience working in restorative roles with adults, children and young people in a variety of settings from youth and community centres to schools and counselling agencies.  My pluralistic therapy beliefs are that people can be helped in different ways, at different times in their lives and by different processes and activities. Through a collaborative counselling relationship, you will set goals and intentions for what you wish to achieve, whilst identifying areas that are causing you difficulty. My pluralistic approach provides an ethical framework to draw from different therapeutic approaches helping us choose together what we feel is best for you.

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You are the expert of your life

Be the change you want to see

Counselling will help you identify and move past the obstacles that may have been keeping you back in your life and to identify your personal values, strengths, and goals. It will empower you to see your life through a different lens, to gain new perspectives and achieve the outcomes you’re striving for in your life. No-one can predict the future but we can take control of how we respond to certain situations. With my counselling sessions, you’ll learn about acceptance and how to deal with whatever life may throw at you.

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Counselling for Adults

Realise and achieve your goals

Life can be overwhelming, making it feel hard to manage at times. The pandemic has added increased pressure upon many and you may find yourself spinning too many plates and dropping them regularly. This can result in anxiety, depression, stress, burn out, negative thinking patterns, and much more, affecting parts of your life and your ability to handle your situation. Through exploring your life experience and history alongside your thoughts, feelings and behaviours, it is possible to overcome your issues and start to live your best life.  Our sessions will focus on you and what difficulties have been holding you back or getting in the way. A chance to take a step back and look at these from another perspective can be life-changing and empowering. 

My style is person centred but my approach draws on a variety of techniques from Solution-focused therapy, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, Dialectical Behaviour Therapy, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, and much more.  Through counselling we can broach your issues through talking and exploration, using more structured exercises and homework, teaching psychoeducation and coping strategies, depending on what is needed or useful at the time.

I have experience working with clients with a history of trauma, depression, stress and anxiety, neuroAtypical differences and gender identity issues. So whatever you bring, it will be welcomed in the space we will share together.

Book your adult consultation session.

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Counselling for Children and Young People

Despite your age, you often know what you need

With 25 years experience working with children and young people in previous roles as Youth Development worker,  Health & Wellbeing worker and Homeless Outreach worker much of my time and energy was spent supporting younger clients with their mental health, coping strategies and ability to self-sooth rather than self-medicate.  Supporting them to stay present, feel and deal with their pain and sadness rather than running away from difficult memories was vital for the work and their progress.

Counselling sessions with you, as a child/young person, will focus on;

  • Building your self-esteem

  • Helping you to improve your communication skills

  • Stimulating healthy, normal development

  • Building an appropriate emotional repertoire

  • Improving your emotional vocabulary, and

  • Providing psychoeducation where I feel may be useful.

Child and Youth counselling is similar to adult in terms of the purpose, goals, and problems it can address, but it differs with the focus of explaining these topics in a youth friendly way.  Techniques and exercises offer ways that are appropriate, to your age, to understand yourself in the world.  You may prefer to talk,  play games, do activities or complete exercises and we can decide together what we feel suits and will be most helpful for you. My role as a School counsellor in both Primary and High school settings has further enhanced my therapeutic experience and knowledge and ability to put these skills into practice daily. 

Please note that I work with children aged 5yrs and upwards.

Book child/young person consultation

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Free Consultation Session

Begin your journey to self-discovery

I offer a 20 minute initial session, in-person or online to explain how I work and what you may expect from counselling, and of course to answer any questions you may have. This will give you the opportunity to share what has brought you or your child to counselling, explore what you would like to achieve from it as well as getting a sense of if we feel we could work well together.

Book your free consultation session.


Additional Info

  • I offer in-person sessions which can be short or longer term dependent on need.

  • I offer online remote counselling sessions via a secure platform.

  • I am an LGBTQIA+ inclusive service.​​

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Qualifications and Memberships

  • Training: MSc Pluralistic Counselling / University of Abertay 2021

  • Training: Level 4 Counselling Children and Young People / Place2be UK / 2021

  • Cosca Certificate in Counselling Skills / Edinburgh College / 2018

  • BA (Hons) Community Education / University of Edinburgh / 2001

  • BACP Membership: British Association for Counselling & Psychotherapy / Registered Member: MBACP No 391156

  • CPCAB Membership: Counselling Children and Young People

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Cost per Session: £55 

Lower rate of £50 for self-financing students, low income or by agreement.

Pay By: Bank Transfer, Cash, Square

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Contact Details

My practice is based at the Life Academy Wellbeing Centre, a secret little gem based in Morningside at 3B Greenhill Park, Edinburgh, EH10 4DW.

The building is accessible and convenient for car or public transport. We offer a quiet and discreet entrance for privacy. 

Free, private parking is available on request.  Spaces are limited so please book in advance. 

More detailed instructions as to how to access can be sent at time of booking.

Sharon McAree Thomas MSc, MBACP, CPCAB


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How does counselling work?

This is usually the first question asked and the hardest to answer as each client’s experience is their own. However, counselling will look at the ways you perceive yourself and you how your thoughts and feelings are  influenced by your life to date. The pluralistic approach facilitates personal growth by allowing you to recognise, explore and utilise your strengths, how you view yourself in relation to others, and enabling you to have a better understanding of yourself without judgement or criticism through a variety of different methods.

Will I feel better straight away?

Often clients feel relieved after one session, in just accepting their difficulties and accessing help. Progress is individual and lots of “work” (new thoughts and understandings) happens outside each counselling session. I often forewarn new clients that due to the nature of the process, it isn’t unusual for things to get worse before they start to get better.

Can I book a consultation Session?

Yes. You can book a free 20 minute consultation session for us to meet in person or online, to talk about what you are hoping to get out of counselling.  This session should also give us both an idea if we feel we can work together.

Is it confidential?

Yes, absolutely. The identity/concerns of clients will never be disclosed outside of the counselling/supervisory relationship. (With the exception of the boundaries to confidentiality as explained in the contract to be completed at the first session).

How long will we work together?

Each client’s needs are unique, sessions aren’t prescriptive and there are no time limitations. Assuming we agree to work together, we will meet for as many sessions as seem helpful to you which may be two or three, or may continue for a longer period. In the latter case, we will review the work periodically, to ensure it remains effective for you, and that you are getting what you need from counselling.

How long is a session?

Each session will be 50 minutes.

When can I come?

I currently have appointments available on Wednesdays.

What happens if I miss or have to cancel a session?

Missed sessions happen from time to time. Sometimes you cannot attend due to appointment clashes or sometimes a situation occurs that makes attending impossible. If you simply do not show up or cancel less than 48 hours in advance, you will be required to pay the full fee for the missed session. If you need to cancel, simply contact me to let me know.  If we have an ongoing weekly agreement for counselling, your next session will be available for you the following week as usual.

What happens if I am late for a Sessions?

If you are going to be late for a session, please try and come anyway.  When you arrive we’ll make use of what time is available, though cannot extend the session time due to the next person’s appointment.

It would be helpful if you leave me a voice or email message if you’re going to be late but are on your way (I check both services before sessions – and during a session time if an expected-client does not appear without prior notice).

Can I book a session for my child?

Yes. After you have filled out the referral form, I will contact you to book in an initial one-off consultation session for your child. Ahead of this session I will arrange a time to speak with you on the phone to discuss your child’s needs and any concerns that you may have. The initial consultation session will be just your child and myself as it is important from day one that the child knows the sessions are for them and it is ‘their’ space.

My child is attending therapy. How much will I be told about what is said in sessions?

It is understandable that you will be anxious about your child or adolescent attending counselling but this will be their space to share their difficulties.  I will only contact you if they disclose something that makes me worried that they are at risk of harming themselves or others.

Is it safe to meet in person?

Life Academy have a rigorous health and safety protocol regarding Covid resulting in thorough deep cleans, air purifying systems, hand sanitising systems, chair and sofa hygiene protocols as well as the wearing of masks in communal areas and therapy rooms if decided by counsellor and clients. If however you still feel anxious in a face to face environment, then online sessions can be arranged.


For more info or to book a session

Or call on 07708806095

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Privacy Policy

I must collect and hold information of a personal nature about you, and I am committed to ensuring this is done in a way that protects your privacy. If you have any concerns or questions about this policy or anything contained within it, please get in touch.
As a private counsellor, in accordance with GDPR and the Data Protection Act, all information that I hold must be collected and used fairly, stored safely and not disclosed unlawfully. 

  • Information must be obtained for specific lawful purposes. 

  • Information must be adequate, relevant, and not excessive. 

  • Information must be accurate and up to date. 

  • Information should not be held for longer than is necessary and should be processed according to individual’s rights under law and be protected in appropriate ways. 

The information you share during therapy and on this website is confidential. Information will not be shared with anyone connected to you, and I will not inform anyone that you are seeing me except from the referring organisation (if applicable). The information I document can be shared with you at any time. You may request to see all data I have. Information may be shared with other organisations if I decide that not sharing that information may place you, or anyone else at risk of harm. For example, if you advise that you are a risk to yourself or others, you disclose a child or adult safeguarding concern, or a serious crime. Additionally, if requested by a court of law.

Information received via my website contact form will be collected, stored securely, and used to contact you in response to your enquiry. The website may collect your IP address, email address, computer, and connection information. The website may use software tools to measure and collect session information, including page response times and length of visits.  

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