Michelle Keifer

Michelle Keifer

Registered Member MBACP

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Therapist - MANCHESTER

Sessions from £70.00


  • Flexible hours available
  • Wheelchair accessible office


I practice between the hours of 12 pm and 5.30 pm, but I can be flexible to meet your needs. I don't typically work weekends unless it is an emergency. 

About me and my therapy practice

I am a female autistic counsellor; I work from a neurodivergent-accepting approach to Autism, ADHD/ADD, as well as many other differences. I look at the positives and what is experienced and felt as negative.

I started working as a qualified counsellor in 2010; I then completed my PGDip in Counselling at the University of Manchester in 2015.

I am an integrative and humanistic counsellor, using a person-centred approach with goal setting in a psychoeducational direction.

I completed a PGCert in the Diagnosis of Autism and Asperger’s with Dr Luke Beardon at Sheffield Hallam University in 2022.

Overall, I have over 15 years of experience working as a counsellor.

My focus has been working with neurodivergent clients; being autistic, I have great insight into many difficulties that impact people's lives. I educate my clients to understand better what a complex world can often be to navigate.

I have experience working with clients who experience learning disabilities and physical disabilities; as a wheelchair user myself. I have good insights into some of life's challenges that can profoundly affect people's lives. In the past, I have worked with disability and access.

I also deliver training to other counsellors about working with autistic people and some of the differences that might affect how counselling is conducted.

I have mentored students on placements with a local counselling charity focusing on autism and learning disabilities.

I work by helping my clients understand themselves better and deal with the trauma of living in a neurotypical world. Learning about your differences can empower you to make better decisions and plans. I help families to understand the situation better.

Self-acceptance and self-care are at the heart of how I work. In many cases, the end goal is self-advocacy because we live in a world that rarely understands us, which can cause significant problems. Making Reasonable adjustments where possible.  

Practice description

What I aim to achieve with my clients is helping people understand how being autistic/ND in this world affects them and how they can better navigate the world in which they live.

I work with people over 16 years of age.

I work face-to-face from my home in south Manchester via Zoom or telephone.

I can use various methods, such as art materials and objects, to help clients connect to their feelings and emotions.

Autistic people often experience Alexithymia which causes delays in emotional processing. Recognising this can help identify anxieties and help with self-care, working towards better self-understanding, regulation and acceptance. The result is to take pressure off many different situations and better manage feeling overwhelmed, anxious, or depressed.

Occasionally, I use my specialist knowledge and experience to help clients navigate the complex benefits system. I provide individual reports explaining how being neurodivergent can be disabling. Please note that I am not a qualified Welfare Rights Officer.

I have found that it is more often the case that neurodivergent clients need longer-term therapy because there is a lot to unpack and a lot to learn.

I have a therapy dog in training (Quinn) for people who find animals relaxing— (details on request). I can send pictures and a full description before the first meeting.

I am also competent in working with neurotypical people. I have many years of experience working with the public on various issues. I can work to the client's needs, such as solution focussed or more time-limited therapy.

My first session

During the first session, which will be at a 50% fee reduction, we can take some time to get to know each other and your needs. I also offer a sensory assessment, which can help make you more comfortable in the counselling relationship and environment.

If you are at my home, I will help you feel relaxed within the areas of my home where I practice.

I will review my working agreement and ask you to sign a copy.

During this assessment, I will give you an idea of how many sessions will be needed to help you get to where you want to be. Generally, 30 sessions are necessary to address common issues, such as workplace bullying, relationship issues, problems in higher education settings, life skills and management. However, it often takes longer because trauma is more complex for neurodivergent people. More solution-focused work can be done in 4-6 weeks where appropriate.

I will explain how I work and offer feedback from my other clients on what has helped them. We often lack a peer group when we are neurodiverse, so being able to draw on my work with different clients that may have been in a similar situation is very helpful. I also use examples from my own life or my family's lives. The outcome is normalising what can often feel like lonely and isolating experiences.

We will discuss what the next few sessions might look like and what resources I will use and share.

I work with what comes up, and if I feel out of my depth, I will take appropriate actions and make possible referrals. Specialising in everything that can come up in therapy is impossible, so it is essential to manage expectations and have plans to help clients feel supported and safe.

I will ask you how you feel about working with me or if you want to keep looking for a counsellor. You can take the time you need to decide this. I will then support you to consider other options. 

What I can help with

Abuse, ADD / ADHD, Anger management, Anxiety, Autism spectrum, Bereavement, Chronic fatigue syndrome / ME, Cultural issues, Depression, Disability, Health related issues, Identity issues, Loss, Menopause, Neurodiversity, Personal development, Phobias, Post-traumatic stress, Redundancy, Relationships, Self esteem, Self-harm, Sex-related issues, Sexual identity, Sexuality, Stress, Trauma, Vegan allied, Women's issues, Work related issues

Types of therapy

Animal assisted therapy, Brief therapy, Creative therapy, Eclectic, Emotionally focused therapy, Humanistic, Integrative, Interpersonal, Person centred, Phenomenological, Relational, Solution focused brief therapy

Clients I work with

Adults, Families, Groups, Older adults, Organisations, Trainees, Young people

How I deliver therapy

Long term sessions, Long-term face-to-face work, Online therapy, Outdoor therapy, Short term sessions, Short-term face-to-face work, Telephone therapy, Time-limited

Languages spoken