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The Trustee Group

The Trustee Group (TG) are made up of the Person Centred Association members who volunteer to help in the development of the Association.   The TG is currently  made up of 7 trustee (with a maximum of 12)

The TG  meet monthly, online, and minutes are viewable to members here.

Who are tTPCA’s trustees?

You can read more about each of us, and why we choose to volunteer as a trustee, using the links below. 

We also want to share a brief overview of who we are as a board. There is often a complaint against boards that they are white, middle-class, cisgender and heterosexual and so we are sharing something of our collective experience in the world.

As a group of trustees, we recognise that we could always be more diverse and we welcome enquiries from people interested in the person-centred approach, who would like to join us.  At the moment, we have members of different genders (and none), different sexualities, different races and ethnicities. Several of us have disabilities of one kind or another, including neurodivergences. It can often be the case that one person is ‘the diversity’ in the group and we’re pleased to say that this is not the case in this trustee group!

If  you are interested in becoming a trustee please email us at to find out more.

For those of you who are practitioners with a formal requirment for CPD and you are considering helping out by becoming a trustee, you may be pleased to know that acting as a trustee for the PCA yields 40 hours of CPD per year.  The list of activities credited by BACP is here, and for UKCP sample guidance is here, and for National Counselling and Psychotherapy Society unfortunately it is behind their login page here.

Alison Drury

I am a person centred counsellor working in an Oxford rape crisis charity to support  survivors of sexual and domestic abuse. I am also a qualified clinical supervisor offering one to one and group supervision. I enjoy working with counsellors to help them develop their practice, their understanding of themselves and to ensure safe ethical practice for their clients.

My commitment to the person centre approach and my respect for its philosophy is ever growing. It has had a profound effect on the way I live my life – or try to – as well as proving itself time and again to be transformative for people much more accustomed to fearing stigma, prejudice, rejection and pathologising responses. I look forward to being a trustee of tPCA to add another dimension to my involved with the approach.  Outside of my counselling work I work as qualitative social researcher primarily supporting charities and other non-profits. I also enjoy connecting with friends and family, theatre and the arts, singing and walking.

Jules Elliott 

I am a newly qualified person-centred counsellor employed at a local charity supporting survivors of rape and sexual abuse. I am also in the throes of building a small private practice.  

 I am particularly interested in promoting a non-pathologising approach and have recently taken on the task of administering meetings for the PCA non-pathologising group.  I have become fascinated by how the person-centred approach empowers and promotes agency for the client. I feel that this is a unique selling point of person-centred therapy that does not receive enough recognition, in fact, I think person-centred therapy does not receive enough recognition full stop.

Finally, I believe that as a community, we must work together to promote the person-centred approach. The respect for the actualising tendency and non-directive way of working gives clients a freedom, power and autonomy unlike any other therapy. I don't think the person-centred approach gets the credit it is due and I am delighted to be part of a movement that challenges that!

Louise Wilson
I am a person-centred counsellor working in private practice in Edinburgh. I completed my counselling training in 2019 and worked with a variety of agencies before venturing into self-employment. I am particularly interested in the power that the person-centred approach invests in the individual and believe that diagnosis and the medical model can divert that power back to clinicians and 'experts' and away from the person. I feel that the person-centred community is slowly shrinking and I passionately believe that we need to fight hard to stay relevant in a therapeutic landscape that is heavily dominated by interpretive and behavioural modalities that give the therapist a more leading role. 
Person-centred therapy is often viewed as 'not enough' and insufficient for those in acute psychological distress. The person-centred approach is powerful, relevant and political and much needed in a world dominated by diagnosis, instruction and measurement. I joined the PCA as a trustee in order to champion the approach and do all I can to promote just how transformative and growthful it can be. 
Oliver Thompson

Oliver Thompson (he/him) is a Person-centred counsellor from West Yorkshire. My main client base is LGBTQ+ individuals, more specifically trans and non-binary people. I was a trustee for 3 years with TransLeeds, and was one of the founding members when they first constitutionalized. I stepped back from the organisation to focus on my studies. Now qualified, I want to spread awareness about trans and non-binary people so they have better experiences with therapy. I feel becoming a trustee with tPCA will be a great first step in achieving this, as well as allowing me to grow more as a person and as a counsellor.

Sarah Aref

I graduated last year from a degree in Therapeutic Psychology at Roehampton University, and had many great teachers including Professor Mick Cooper who started out as a Person-Centred counsellor many moons ago. I’m currently working towards accreditation. 

My studies and training have allowed me to learn about a wide spectrum of theoretical concepts. I always found my orientation veered towards the person-centred approach which I’m passionate about and welcome the opportunity to support the PCA as a trustee.

Toral Patel

I am a person-centred therapist working with children and young people predominantly. I also work with Asian people from the Indian subcontinent, mainly with adults who have language challenges. 

My passion for the person-centred approach began at the trainee practitioner stage when I started my own therapy with a deeply person-centred therapist and being. The experience of change and transformation in the right environment, cemented my belief in the approach. Since then I have experienced numerous encounter groups, which are rooted in the person-centred approach. These are an experience in ongoing growth and development. The desire to support the person-centred approach has grown, hence. I am passionate about autonomy, personal power and acceptance. I strongly believe in trusting the process, which has brought me where I want to be in my private world. I am passionate about the person-centred approach which provides space to hold and contain varying views and co-exist. I want to be a part of tPCA so that I can contribute towards promoting this approach and spreading the love of it.

In my free time, I read, play with paints and pens, and write poems. I have been fortunate to be selected for many of my haiku and other forms of poems to be published in various anthologies, in print and online.

Trees Dowson

Hiya, I am Trees.  

I am a person - centred counsellor in private practice.  I am also a specialist mentor for Autism Hampshire (a recent direction for me).  My private practice is a modest affair with a handful of clients and this currently suits me due to balancing work with disability caused by pain and fatigue; my week is planned to allow for recovery and self - care time.  

I have spent a lot of time focusing my CPD in the area of neurodiversity.  My dissertation was about autism and  person - centred therapy, and many of my clients tend to be neurodivergent.  A growing understanding around autism has led to the realisation that I believe I am on the spectrum.  A sense of ‘coming home’ accompanied the moment it all fell into place.  I have not been officially “diagnosed” but as someone who leans heavily into the non - pathologizing approach to distress; this does not currently feel necessary.

I have found joining the person - centred association a lifeline during the transition from being amongst university peers to working in private practice.  The online encounter group and communities of interest have been a friendly and supportive network of people that ensured I have never felt alone.  Because of this; I wanted to volunteer as a trustee to support the organisation and its members.  So here I am! 

For fun and peace; I am in a band,  singing and songwriting.  (And playing tambourine - in the band and guitar at home).  Also; cats!