Shannon L. Alder
“You only grow by coming to the end of something and by beginning something new.”
John Irving. The World According to Garp.
“What is necessary to change a person is to change his awareness of himself.”
Nicholas Jagels (he/him)
Integrative Counsellor and Psychotherapist in Hertford, Hertfordshire, SG14
I provide a safe, gentle and non judgemental space to talk. As an integrative counsellor, I accept that as individuals we are all unique and have different needs when seeking therapy and support. I believe that it is ultimately the relationship between the client and therapist that is fundamental for a trusting, understanding and safe therapeutic alliance and this allows for the opportunity to explore your feelings, emotions, relationships, ways of thinking and patterns of behaviour.
I provide counselling and psychotherapy in:
- Self-Esteem and Confidence
- Relationship Issues
- Work and Career issues
I can provide additional counselling in:
- Sexual Orientation & Identity
- Living with or affected by HIV and HCV
- Substance misuse
- Sexual Dysfunction
- Compulsive sexual behaviour
Diploma and Advanced Diploma in Humanistic Integrative Counselling. Trained at CPPD Counselling School, London (Adv Dip BACP accredited).
Why choose therapy?
Making the decision to approach counselling or psychotherapy can be a positive step. It can help to gain a greater understanding to find the resources to make changes. It can also lead to self-discovery and self-awareness to live a more fulfilling life and to have more meaningful interpersonal relationships. You may be deciding to seek therapy because you are feeling low or in distress, or that you are confused with painful feelings that you do not understand, but you may also be coming from a place of curiosity. Whatever your reasons are, I am here to guide you through this process.
After many years working in the Film and Theatre industry I decided to retrain and studied at CPPD, one of London’s leading counselling schools and after completion of my level 7 qualification, I began to operate my private practice in 2015 and am now working in Hertford both in person and online.
Previously, I volunteered at The Terrence Higgins Trust (THT) for 5 years, helping people living with or affected by HIV. During my training, my placement for 2 years was with East London Out Project (ELOP). I also provided counselling at CPPD as part of their low cost counselling service.
As a member of the BACP, I am bound by, and adhere to, the BACP Ethical Framework for Good Practice in Counselling and Psychotherapy. I have regular clinical supervision and continue with my own personal and professional development.
I can work with a wide range of issues, and my clients come from all walks of life and backgrounds. I valued and appreciated the usefulness of my own personal experience of counselling and I am now passionate about the benefits of counselling and psychotherapy in exploring and understanding ourselves in both past and present relationships.
“Nic supported me through a difficult and vulnerable period in my life and I continued to work with him for some time afterwards. During this time my confidence and understanding of myself grew, often in surprising ways. I found Nic to be easy to talk to, supportive and relatable and was able to open up about many issues which had been bothering me for years. I’m certainly very different to the person I was at my first appointment - thank you Nic."
“Talking to you over the past couple of months has really helped me be kinder to myself, which I think has been one of my biggest constant challenges in my life. Talking to someone that understands my situation has been significantly useful and I can't thank you enough.”
“I came to Nic when I felt that I wasn’t in control of myself and was in danger of losing all that was dear to me. He worked with me to understand where the feelings of insecurity and shame came from that were driving my destructive behaviour. For the first time in my life I now know that I am in complete control of myself and needn’t worry about what I might do when taken over by the shame, guilt and insecurity I’d suffered from all my life. Nic was attentive and gentle and managed to lead me through the complex web of emotions, memories and thoughts that I hadn’t been able to make sense of, even during previous bouts of counselling. It is impossible to say how grateful I am to Nic as my life has become immeasurably better and easier now that I am free of the fear that had been causing me so much pain.”
What is Integrative Therapy?
Integrative therapy recognises that there are significant connections between all approaches to counselling and psychotherapy. It acknowledges that different clients have different needs and believes that no one single approach is sufficient. This modality is inspired by a range of creative theories which encompasses the contributions of Attachment based Psychotherapy, Person Centred, Humanistic, Gestalt, TA and Psychodynamic Psychotherapy.
The quality of the therapeutic relationship, rather than any one particular theoretical orientation, is the most important aspect of successful therapeutic work. Thinking, sensing, feeling and intuiting are all given emphasis within the framework of the relationship. This model aims to help understand the complexities of the client’s internal and external experience of the world.
"I wanted to say thank you. It is so amazing to have feelings again and to feel so very alive. Thank you, thank you.”
“Nic helped me navigate a difficult period with great kindness and compassion. In our sessions I learnt that it was possible to resolve or come to terms with many of the worries that I had, and I now feel much calmer and more resilient. Many thanks, Nic, for all your help."
“Starting with a new therapist can be quite an anxiety inducing experience but Nic put me at ease immediately. He was very gentle and reassuring in his manner, and gave me the space to explore my feelings in a safe and non-judgemental environment. I worked with him weekly for over 6 months and felt by the end of it that we had shone some light into some dark and complicated areas of my emotions. I always looked forward to the next session as it was such a positive and productive time.
Thanks Nic for all your help and wisdom, I feel blessed to have worked with you.”
What is therapy and counselling?
Therapy offers you a safe, confidential place to talk about your life and anything that may be confusing, painful or uncomfortable. It allows you to talk to someone who is professionally trained to listen attentively and to help you improve things.
How will therapy make me feel?
Therapy is a very personal process. Sometimes it is necessary to talk about these painful feelings or difficult decisions, so you may go through a period of feeling worse than when you started. However, therapy should enable you to feel better in the long-run.
How many sessions will I need?
Usually it will take a number of counselling sessions before therapy starts to make a difference. However, on rare occasions, a single session may be enough.
Does it work for everybody?
Therapy doesn’t work for everybody. It is not a universal cure-all. Because you may be talking about very personal and often painful things, it can sometimes be difficult to keep going. Despite this, it is often worth the effort as you can be helped to work through problems.
Does therapy and counselling remain confidential?
All information is confidential between therapist and client and all members of the BACP adhere to the Ethical Framework for Good Practice. However, if it is believed that you may harm yourself or others, or that a child is at risk, outside agencies may be informed but wherever possible, this would not be done without fully discussing with you first. If you disclose information about certain criminal or terrorist offences, then there is a professional and legal obligation to tell outside agencies without informing you first.
Is this counselling and psychotherapy service GDPR compliant?
I am registered with the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) and comply to the new GDPR guidelines. I am the Data Controller for the information I will collect from you. I keep your contact details securely and only use this information to communicate with you and to keep a record of our counselling and psychotherapy services in accordance with the new regulations, the BACP guidelines and my insurance provider.
You can ask what information I hold about you at any time by contacting me directly. If you are not happy with how I am handling your information you have the right to complain to the Information Commissioner’s Office.
How can I pay?
You can pay by cash, credit card or debit card.
"When my TV camerawork income dried up due to Covid, I came to Nic through feelings of failure to my family and lack of direction.
I’ve never had counselling before, I did feel intimidated making first contact and yes I was worried it wasn’t very “masculine” to seek help. Within minutes of talking to Nic, that anxiety disappeared. There was no judgement, no embarrassment, just a breath of fresh air where I felt a lot of weight was lifted from my shoulders. Nic “got me” within minutes, was easy to talk to and his words of wisdom just made sense. Within a short time, I felt a huge benefit and a clearer head, more focussed and less guilty. I have no hesitation in recommending him. Thanks Nic."
“I hope you are able to help others in the way you have helped me. I feel that you really understood what was going on for me and this gave me clarity to look at possibilities. I always felt safe and that I could trust you implicitly with my darkest secrets and feelings”
“It has been an incredible journey and experience and I feel I have crossed quite a few bridges in resolving the issues I had. I think the things we have talked about have helped me come to terms with things and I am ready to move on”
Hertford Practice, Hertfordshire SG14
Individuals £60 per 50 minute session
Online Practice; Zoom/WhatsApp/FaceTime/Skype
Individuals £60 per 50 minute session
Transport and Directions
Hertford Practice, Hertfordshire, SG14
A short walk from Hertford North Railway Station. Free parking is available.
Appointments cancelled at less than 48 hrs notice are charged for. If you arrive late for a session we will end at the scheduled time due to other clients appointments.
“Nic helped me to gain clarity and understanding and that what I was experiencing was not my fault and that I no longer needed to blame myself or feel guilt and shame. I am grateful that in the therapy, Nic always encouraged my own agency and self-autonomy. I have been able to move on in the short time we worked together.”
"The past few months of counselling has been very helpful and I have definitely learned a lot and became much more confident in myself. Thank you very much."
"Nic has helped me recognise the situation I was in, I had no idea of what I was trying to deal with. He was patient, non judgmental and knowledgeable.
I'm no spring chicken and came to counselling later in life, thank goodness I did. Because of Nic and his work with me I also recognised who I am. Its taken a while but it is so worth it. I can not recommend him highly enough".
Talking on social media
British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy. www.bacp.co.uk
CPPD - CPPD Counselling College is one of the UK’s leading humanistic integrative training schools. www.cppd.co.uk
MIND - The leading mental health charity in England and Wales. www.mind.org.uk
Maytree - is a charity supporting people in suicidal crisis. www.maytree.org.uk
London Friend (Antidote) - is the UK’s only LGBT run and targeted drug and alcohol support service. www.londonfriend.org.uk
Talktofrank - worried about drugs. www.talktofrank.com
Terrence Higgins Trust - is the leading HIV and sexual health charity in the UK. www.tht.org.uk
Gamblers Anonymous - is a fellowship of men and women who share their experience, strength and hope for each other. www.gamblersanonymous.org.uk
56 Dean Street - is a friendly, convenient and free NHS sexual health clinic in the heart of London. www.chelwest.nhs.uk/services/hiv-sexual-health/clinics/56-dean-street
“Thank you for listening to me for the past year. I trusted you and am grateful that I had you every week to turn to.”
"With a patient, multi-faceted approach, Nic has supported me to understand and better manage some entrenched and longstanding root causes of my anxiety. It was hugely eye-opening for me and allowed me to be at peace with experiences in my past which had clearly halted my personal development. I then re-engaged Nic for a second block of sessions following a relationship breakdown. He was an enormous and invaluable trusted source of support during this difficult time. If needed in the future I would have no hesitation in contacting him for further sessions of therapy; likewise I would not think twice about recommending him to others."
"Nic intervened in a very crucial part of my life, during which things had seemed to have lost the value they once had, and the overwhelming pain had made hope and joy wither. Nic’s intervention was a blessing. He guided me through a journey of understanding and acceptance – a journey that unravelled the darkest demons of my past and taught me how to live with them. The journey is probably still incomplete, but the invaluable tools that Nic gave me make the rest of it much less frightful than it would have been.
I feel that, without Nic, I probably would not have made it through some of the toughest months of my life."