Dawn Astle-McDonald

Dawn Astle-McDonald

Registered Member MBACP

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Therapist - Southampton

Southampton SO16
Sessions from £60.00


  • Flexible hours available
  • Wheelchair accessible office
  • Concessionary rates


I offer face to face sessions on Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays from 8.30am to 8pm.  I can also occasionally offer daytime sessions on Fridays.

Although I don't offer solely online counselling, I do offer a hybrid option that commences in person and then adapts to your schedule by offering online when it suits you.  I use Microsoft Teams for my online work.

About me and my therapy practice

My integrative counselling style is proactive and directive although I temper these approaches to suit your needs.  I primarily focus on supporting clients who have experienced a variety of trauma that includes childhood abuse, domestic abuse, moral injury, bereavement, loss and more.

Collaboration and creativity are central to my work and this leads to counselling sessions that can include physical movement, use of metaphor, using objects to represent aspects of clients, sand tray work and dream work.  Use of these methods is tailored to you and may not be used at all if you are unsure about trying them.  However, if you feel open to trying them, we work together to decide how and when to use them.  

Gestalt theory influences the core of my work so I work to help you notice and understand your physical sensations and the emotions you associate with them.  I also help you connect how your thoughts and behaviours accompany those sensations and emotions.  

My integrative work is also influenced by the neurobiology of trauma, childhood development, inner child work and sensorimotor therapy.

I mainly offer open-ended therapy but if you require a time limited/specific number of sessions, I can also focus our work accordingly.  For time limited therapy, I suggest a minimum of 6 sessions but often recommend more to facilitate greater integration of new skills and awareness.  It very much depends on the complexities involved and your preferences/needs.

Practice description

My counselling room is set within a beautiful Georgian House that is located within secluded gardens.  There is plenty of free parking and the house is only a few minutes away from the M27 and main bus routes so it is easily accessible.

My room is on the first floor but I can use more accessible spaces within the building if mobility is a consideration for you.  There is a wheelchair friendly toilet on the premises too if needed.

I provide sufficient time between client appointments so that client privacy is maintained as much as possible.

Prior to your first paid appointment, I offer a 30min free consultation that can be done either by telephone or Microsoft Teams/Zoom as you prefer.  During this I will explain how the confidentiality works and how my BACP membership supports you.  However, the most important part of this call is us making sure that we both feel we could work together.  I will offer to explain how I work and I will ask you some questions about your general situation.  However, this is also an opportunity for you to ask any burning questions you might have too.  If you wish to proceed and book an appointment, we can do this at the end of the consultation.  If you wish to speak with other counsellors or take time to think it all through, I will wait to hear from you thereafter.

My first session

The first session can be nerve wracking whether you've had counselling before or not.  I will meet you at the front door of the main building a couple of minutes before your appointment time.  We make sure that you know where the toilets are, how you can gain access earlier if needed and where you can wait until it is time to start your session.

Once we are in my counselling room, we will go through my contract and privacy notice, answer any questions you have and then sign them.  If you have been able to read the documents in advance and you have no further questions, this is done fairly quickly. 

I then show you around the room so you know how we might use the space and what objects/options are available to help our work.

Thereafter, we can use the rest of the time to further explore what you would like to gain from counselling and how that links to your life experiences.  I encourage working in the 'here and now' but we may begin to refer back to past experiences too.

What I can help with

Abuse, ADD / ADHD, Anger management, Anxiety, Autism spectrum, Bereavement, Cancer, Depression, Health related issues, Identity issues, LGBTQ+ counselling, Loss, Neurodiversity, Post-traumatic stress, Relationships, Self esteem, Service veterans, Sexual identity, Sexuality, Stress, Trauma, Women's issues

Types of therapy

Creative therapy, Gestalt, Humanistic, Integrative, Person centred, Phenomenological, Relational

Clients I work with

Adults, Older adults, Trainees

How I deliver therapy

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

Languages spoken