Welcome to LEAD Inclusive Counselling, my name is Selina
Allen. Thank you for visiting my website. I have had various jobs over the
years, and I feel that they have all been beneficial and have given me the
experience and knowledge that I am truly grateful for. First and foremost, I am
a mother and it is true that it is the hardest job of them all, with no manual
or instructions, but by far the most rewarding.
I have experienced many of life’s ups and downs and truly understand the importance of good mental health and counselling. At the age of 21, after a year as an ‘Au Pair’ in America, I went back to college and studied a BTEC National Diploma in Social care, further A levels and GCSEs, this would be the start of an endless learning journey and also my entrance into work in the caring field. After I completed the course, I worked in an adult centre for clients with learning disabilities for 6 years.
I loved this job, but an opportunity came up to join the Northern Ireland Ambulance Service to work as a non-emergency ambulance driver. It was in this role that I first recognised the magic of basic counselling skills. On many occasions patients talked about their conditions and innermost thoughts and feelings. To be honest, at that point I had no idea why they would discuss very important details with me (a total stranger) but as I look back now I realise that they needed me to be a ‘listening ear’ and not be emotionally attached to them in order to really listen to their story. It was only in later years that I could attach meaning and terminology to what happened with those lovely people who shared their deepest thoughts and feelings. What an honour it was that they chose me to chat to.
After many wonderful years in the Ambulance Service, I started a job in the Speech and Language Therapy Learning Disability team. It was within this job that I developed extensive knowledge, skills and experience in working with people with Learning Disabilities and in particular their communication. After some research it transpired that there didn’t appear to be a specialised counselling service that catered for people with communication difficulties. I was irritated at this inequality, so I began my four year training course to become a qualified counsellor.
Since qualifying as a Counsellor in 2014 I have continuously learned and welcomed new challenges. I have qualifications and experience in trauma, addiction, personality disorders, self-harm, suicide, sexual abuse and have a diploma in caring for people with Learning Disabilities, to name but a few! I also have additional training working therapeutically with Children. I have a wealth of experience in the counselling field from working in a local GP practice to extensive training and experience in Cruse Bereavement Care. Alongside my counselling roles, I have also worked supporting people with severe and enduring mental health issues and in a suicide de-escalation team. The combination of my wide-ranging training, my experience in various work settings and the skills I developed in the speech and language team have enabled me to provide inclusive counselling to anyone, regardless of their background, abilities, level of understanding or communication skills.
Lead Inclusive Counselling was founded 2016 and won an award for Best Start-up Business in the first year and was nominated for the ‘Breaking Down Barriers’ award in the Learning Disability & Autism awards in 2018. I am fully committed to provide inclusive counselling to all. I make no apology that I have an unquenchable thirst for knowledge in the area of counselling. I take my role seriously and always endeavour to give each and every client the best help and support I can provide.