Annie Porteous-Butler

Hello. My name is Annie Porteous-Butler and I am a counsellor with a private practice in Colchester, Essex.

My counselling degree is from Essex University. I am very experienced in working online as 50% of my training practice hours were completed during lockdown.

I work both in person and online with both short-term and long-term clients. My clients have come with a range of issues including: anxiety, depression, chronic health conditions, and complex mental health diagnoses.

Annie Porteous-Butler

I believe in unconditional love

We are all unique and beautiful people and are entitled to receive unconditional love from all our relationships. Sadly this often isn’t what happens. Social and parental conditioning affect how we see ourselves and the decisions we make. It’s when we haven’t been living our own truth that we find difficulties later in life.

As a teenager I struggled with depression after experiencing bereavement of a close family member which destroyed my self-belief. I tried to fit in with a group of people who didn’t care about me. My subsequent self-hatred leading me to relationship breakdowns and some poor life choices.

One day I realised “Annie, if you want life to improve something has to change within yourself.” I began to explore who I am, what I really believe, and how to live as authentically as I can.

When I started my journey towards becoming a counsellor it was with a course about self-harm and I was convinced that I wanted to work with young people. However, things changed in a very short space of time…

Counselling quote: Life, at its best, is a flowing, changing process in which nothing is fixed.

In 2014 a traumatic event left me with PTSD. This eventually triggered a disabling chronic health condition that manifested during my counselling training. This put the completion of my degree in jeopardy. My grades suffered and I had to fight for an accessible space in which to meet my clients. Achieving my goal took a great deal of tenacity, constructive use of my anger, and an incredible amount of self-belief… Self-belief I didn’t even know I had!

A way of being Annie…

I didn’t have to change who I was in the end. It was about finding a way to be me. I am no longer the person other people want me to be. Instead, I am being the real me.

Over time I have learnt to accept my illness. It doesn’t mean like it, and I am still angry about it. However, learning to live a worthwhile life despite it, means that I am now the happiest I have ever been.

My own lived experience puts me is a special position. I know I can help others who suffer from a long-term illness, chronic pain or other disabling conditions.

Counselling Quote: Success in therapy is not doing something for the client, but rather in being someone for the client

Annie Porteous-Butler has a first-class honours degree in counselling. She holds an Enhanced DBS check, is a member of the BACP, and abides by the BACP Ethical Framework.  This means that she endeavours to provide best practice for all her clients. She works with teenagers (11 to 18) and adults (18+).

Please also read an article Annie had published on the Counselling Directory website about disability and whether it affects counselling.

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