Northern Guild returns ‘home’ with new Tees diploma course

Andrew McNamars of the Northern Guild for Psychotheray with his team at their Thornaby HQ. 15/4/16 Pic Doug Moody Photography

Andrew McNamars of the Northern Guild for Psychotheray with his team at their Thornaby HQ. 15/4/16  Pic Doug Moody Photography

Northern Guild, the North-East’s leading counselling and psychotherapy training organisation, is set to return “home” to Teesside where it held its first courses.

Northern Guild has been at the forefront of innovations in the provision of training and counselling services for more than 30 years.

Although launched in Thornaby in 1983, the organisation significantly expanded when it opened in Jesmond on Tyneside in 1998. Whilst Northern Guild’s training side boomed in Newcastle, a significant counselling, therapy and supervision centre remained in Teesside.

Now, following a successful pilot, the long-established training institute is relaunching its Teesside scheme from its original training centre on Acklam Road, Thornaby, with applications for its diploma course now being taken.

There is a very significant and increasing demand for professionally accredited training in all areas of counselling and psychotherapy but the biggest interest is in child counselling and psychotherapy courses.

Jennie McNamara, who runs Northern Guild with fellow directors Christine Lister-Ford and Andrew McNamara, said: “I’m really happy to be bringing our training courses back to Teesside where it all started.

“This is the heart of the Northern Guild. It’s coming back home to the place of our original vision, which was to have really effective counselling and psychotherapy services available in the NHS.

“A general increase in openness over the past 30 years has helped transform our industry and our organisation. Individuals now feel encouraged to come forward and talk about the problems in their lives; this makes them feel better about themselves and helps them to start the healing process in a safe and comfortable environment.

“I’m proud to say that, thanks to the many accredited professionals we’ve trained over these past 30 years, tens of thousands of people have been able access counselling and psychotherapy. Northern Guild has helped transform GP services across the North-East and beyond by encouraging them to set up and run counselling services for their patients.”

Northern Guild, who are also introducing an independent counselling service for children and young people from their Thornaby base, now employ a team of 14, whilst working with over 30 local therapists and trainers.

Having for many years run the only training courses accredited by the professional bodies, BACP and UKCP, Northern Guild has been responsible for helping well over 1,000 counsellors and psychotherapists achieve their professional qualifications over the last three decades.

Jennie, who is soon to step down after 17 years as chair of the UK Council for Psychotherapy’s College for the Child and Adolescent Psychotherapies, said: “Such was the success of our pilot programme that it became clear to us that there is far greater demand than we had previously believed for us to run a Teesside-based course.

“There’s already very significant interest in the Teesside course so we are expecting great demand for the limited places available for the courses, which begin in October.”

In recognition of their outstanding achievements and services to the profession, Northern Guild directors Jennie and Christine are part of a small, elite group who are Honorary Fellows of the UK Council for Psychotherapy. Jennie was also president of the European Association of Counselling until stepping down last year.

• For more details about studying for an accredited Diploma in Psychotherapeutic Counselling or Psychotherapy with Northern Guild, call 01642 309302 or email


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