James Alexander Naylor

Experienced and fully qualified counsellor 

My Experience

Almost a third of my life has been spent gaining experience and knowledge into the unique workings of human psychology and motivation; what makes us work or not work?! And, how to offer care and support for those who desire it.

I have been fortunate enough to discover, work and explore many areas of interest within the field of health and social care, including; autism and learning disabilities/difficulties, general physical health conditions and illness as well as end of life stage care in NHS community hospital inpatient and community-based home intervention care. Building upon this experience, I have developed my skills and awareness and knowledge within severe and enduring, chronic and acute mental health inpatient care, as well as primary care treatment working with common mental health conditions, drug and alcohol misuse, and self-harm and injury and suicide, as well as areas of social deprivation as in homelessness, domestic violence and abuse, sex working and sexual exploitation. Inevitably my areas of work have enabled my working practise to identify and manage risk safely among services, keeping strict confidential records and methods for reporting, engaging in the safeguarding of children, vulnerable adults and all individuals whom I come into contact with.

My roles within this field has enabled me to support children, adolescents and adults requiring various levels of support, guidance or treatment, within a multitude of settings; community or residential care, general inpatient and psychiatric inpatient wards, police custody and court cells, drug and alcohol clinics and specialist mental health units; eating disorder units and mother and baby units.

Within my work I communicate closely with many professionals, of various clinical teams, such as nursing, psychiatry and psychology, community crisis and forensic psychiatric teams, approved mental health professionals and deprivation of liberty safeguards teams, local child and adult safeguarding teams, academia, psychotherapy and counselling teams, police and prison service, drug and alcohol teams and other private/voluntary or charities/Community Interest Companies, I come into contact with.

Training and Qualifications

I completed my counselling training in Cornwall, qualifying with a level 4 diploma in Counselling Practice. The core module or approach for theory and practice in my training is CBT and an optional module working with trauma. This, awarded by AIM awards and the course accredited with The National Counselling Society (NCS), meeting Professional Standards Authority (PSA) regulations https://www.professionalstandards.org.uk/what-we-do/improving-regulation/our-standards

I have continued my learning, currently undergoing a post qualifying training in working therapeutically with children and young people, who have a trauma/s, experienced or experiencing emotional abuse and/or neglect. This training is not only important to the clinical practice of treating and supporting children and adolescents. The belief that every child matters and has the right to a childhood full of opportunity and most importantly love and safety, is the core component to healthy development into adulthood, thus tracing the origins of our adult self, to those earliest emotional experiences and relationships is key in supporting individuals of all ages..

Aside my counselling qualifications, I have a Higher National Certificate in Applied Psychology, awarded by Plymouth University.

I have used my health and social care, psychology and counselling qualifications, training and experience of study to develop my working practise, for instance, managing a high caseload of service users with addictions, undertaking assessments, measuring outcomes from treatment and support, as well as analytical and research skills to expand my repertoire of theory and improve my practise and technique. Although my learning is always ongoing, developing and interesting.

  • Level 4 Diploma in Counselling Practice
  • Level 4 Certificate in Approaches to working with Trauma
  • Level 4 Certificate in Cognitive Behavioural Theory
  • Higher National Certificate (HNC) in Applied Psychology
  • Level 3 Certificate in Counselling Studies – Person Centred Counselling.
  • Level 3 National Vocational Qualification in Health and Social Care
  • Level 2 National Vocational Qualification in Health and Social Care
  • Aset Diploma in Criminology.

Continuous Professional Development and Theoretical Interests

I have a wide interest in counselling and psychotherapy. Some of my trainings have led to my explorations of particular theoretical modalities, such as Psychoanalysis – from Freud to Klein, Winnicott to Lacan, Laplanche, Miller, Foucault and Kristeva, to name a few. Also, I have an avid interest in Analytical Psychology, the originating work of C.G. Jung. I am in a long-term Jungian analysis which is an enormous contributor to my professional practise and development, as well as my personal.

I am also interested in more recently developed forms of therapy or therapies aimed to improve access for those suffering with particular mental illness, disorder or problems, for instance; Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), Cognitive Analytical Therapy (CAT) and Dialectical Behavioural Therapy (DBT) – used to treat anxiety and depression, bipolar affective disorder, schizophrenia or psychoses and personality or eating disorder/s.

Most recently though my attention has been drawn toward emotional regulation and dysregulation, evidenced from a neurobiological and attachment theory approach, and what neuroscience can teach or show us about affect, the importance of early emotional learning and brain growth/development, and areas or hemispheres of the brain localised for particular emotional responses. This is particularly important to understanding behaviour in children and adults whom have experienced emotional trauma, physical abuse and/or neglect; whereby areas of the brain (neurons/transmitters) not used or responding due to say lack of touch, sense of feeling and love, and safety or security by the primary caregiver makes them redundant at early infancy a stage of greatest plasticity, essentially depriving the capacity for developing a full personality.

Interestingly, there are links between early therapeutic work of psychoanalytic theory and more contemporary psychotherapy modalities and sciences.

Some interesting and contemporary clinicians I have had the pleasure to explore only thus far are Morton Chethik, Sue Kegerreis, Bruce Fink, Graham Music, Anne Alvarez, Ariel Nathanson, Donald Campbell, Janine Sternberg and Allan Schore, Gabor Matè and Alex Howard, to name a few.

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James Alexander Naylor Counselling


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