About south west counselling


south west counselling was established in 2012 by Rachael Cretney.   

Rachael’s professional background includes more than 20 years’ experience as a counsellor and many years’ experience of managing counselling services in  higher education and the voluntary sector: she was the Manager of the Student Counselling Service at Plymouth University for 9 years.  She is an Accredited Member of the BACP.


Rachael's initial training was in person-centred counselling at the University of Lincolnshire and Humberside. She also trained in solution-focused therapy as part of her MSc at the University of Bristol and in 2013, she became a fully qualified EMDR therapist (recognised by EMDR Europe), enabling her to work briefly and effectively with trauma.

Diploma in Counselling, University of Lincolnshire & Humberside, 1997; 
MSc in Counselling, University of Bristol, 2010
Qualified EMDR therapist , emdrworks, 2013

Additional Information

Rachael is also an experienced counselling supervisor and effective trainer. Prior to training as a counsellor, Rachael worked as a teacher of mathematics in secondary and further education.  

Professional Activity

Rachael believes passionately that all clients should receive the highest standard of counselling. This commitment to high standards within the counselling profession has led to her active involvement in development work at institutional, regional and national levels:

In February 2011, she was selected to join the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP) Professional Ethics and Quality Standards Committee and remained a member until the committee came to an end.  

Previously, she has been on the Executive Committee of the Association for University and College Counselling (AUCC), a division of BACP, and was a founder member of the regional Youth Counselling Development Group, organising a conference for practitioners across Devon and Cornwall.  

Whilst Counselling Coordinator at Youth Enquiry Service, Plymouth (now The Zone) Rachael was on the Board of Trustees for Youth Access (www.youthaccess.org.uk), a national membership organisation for Youth Information, Advice and Counselling Services across the UK.