About Me

My Background and Experience

Prior to training to be a counsellor I studied for a degree in modern foreign languages at university and then decided that I wanted to train as a teacher. Due to personal circumstances I did not complete my teacher training and it was during this year that I had my first experience of receiving emotional support and counselling as a client.

I will never forget how just having someone really listen to me made such a big difference to me in what I was going through, helped me to cope with the issues I had at the time and subsequently empowered me to make the bold decision to change direction with my life and career. I withdrew from the teacher training and started working at a number of voluntary placements. These included becoming a Listening Volunteer with Samaritans, helping out at a local summer playscheme for children with learning disabilities and I even did some work experience for a local newspaper.

Photo of Martin Rigby sitting in the office.

Looking back I think this range of work experience, which really helped to further develop and attune my skills around working with people, was one important step on my journey to becoming a counsellor.

However perhaps to a greater extent I have found that it has been more my personal experiences of loss and disability throughout my life that have made me who I am today and which have given me the self-awareness to be able to identify with and understand the many challenges, practical and emotional issues clients with disabilities, mental health issues and longterm health conditions continue to face in today’s society.

During my counselling training one of my first counselling placements was as a volunteer counsellor working for a local charity supporting people experiencing sight loss and disability. Counselling this client group made me even more aware of how the experience of disability is very unique to each person, may occur suddenly or gradually over a period of time, can be temporary or longlasting and often has a huge impact on family systems, independence, personal relationships, self-esteem and social life.

I also gained tremendous experience working as a person-centred counsellor in a children’s centre where I offered face-to-face counselling to adults, carers and parents with young families. In this role I worked with issues including abuse, alcohol and drug addiction, anxiety, bereavement, carer support, childhood issues, depression, disability, divorce, domestic violence, eating disorders, mental health issues, relationship issues, self-esteem, self-harm, sex and sexuality.

Over the years I have also done a lot of work with young people and I have considerable empathy and time for this client group. For two years I worked as a counsellor at a young people’s counselling service and for more than ten years I was employed as an Information and Advice Worker on a helpline offering information, advice and emotional support to children and young people aged 11 to 25 on a wide range of issues by telephone, text, email and webchat.

I recall that both of these roles gave me experience of working flexibly face-to-face, by phone and online, dealing with crisis situations and following local safeguarding and Child Protection procedures.

How I work with clients?

During counselling I always aim to work in an ethical, holistic, non-judgemental and respectful way with clients.

If you choose to come and see me to have counselling you will find my counselling approach is accessible, confidential and person-centred. I believe strongly in building a trusting therapeutic relationship with clients, creating an atmosphere where you will feel safe, treated fairly and fully valued for who you are.

My Qualifications and Training

  • Masters Degree (MSC) in Counselling & Psychotherapy
  • Graduate Diploma in Professional Counselling
  • BACP Certificate of Proficiency
  • Certificate in Working with Bereaved Clients
  • Certificate in OCD: A Cognitive Behavioural Therapy Approach
  • Certificate in Suicide and Suicidal Ideation
  • Certificate in Solution-Focused Group Work
  • Certificate in Working with Dreams
  • Certificate in Facilitating A Confidence Building Programme
  • Certificate in Working with Trauma
  • Mindfulness Cognitive based (MBCT) 8 weeks course

To read more about me, my training and qualifications please visit my profile on Counselling Directory

Counselling Directory
“I’m not here to give direct advice or judge you.”

Remember my door is always open

If you would like to find out more about what counselling is and how I can help you please don’t hesitate to contact me.

Contact Me

Availability & Locations

Preston: Mondays and Tuesdays 9am-6.30pm, Wednesdays 9am-4pm

Wigan: Thursdays 9am-6.30pm, Fridays 9am-5pm

Ashton-in-Makerfield, Hindley, Leigh and Wigan: Thursdays 9am-6.30pm, Fridays 9am-5pm