Sheila King

Sheila King

Lecturer in Counselling and Psychotherapy

  • Mary Seacole MS3.17
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I have worked at Salford University as part time lecturer in Counselling and Psychotherapy since 2007. I have also been employed in clinical practice as a mental health counsellor, (BACP accredited) at Department Clinical and Health Psychology, Manchester Mental Health and Social Care Trust since 2001.

I have 30 years experience as mental health practitioner, group facilitator, teacher and trainer in London, Bristol and Manchester. I worked initially as a mental health social worker, including undertaking ASW duties. I have worked as a mental health counsellor in the NHS and lecturer in Further and Higher education for many years and have been involved in the development and delivery of a number of therapeutic and psycho-education groups.

Current role and responsibilities

I teach across undergraduate and master’s level programmes in Counselling and Psychotherapy. I am the Module leader for the Expressive Therapies module on BSc Counselling Studies and Module leader for the Person-centred Practice and Mental Health module on the MSc Counselling: Professional Practice programme.

Working concurrently in therapeutic practice at Manchester Mental Health Social Care Trust alongside my teaching work provides a very valuable cross-fertilisation which enhances both my teaching work and clinical practice.


My main areas of interest in teaching include mental health, particularly mental health inequality and social inclusion; group work; arts for health and arts therapies; Psychodynamic Interpersonal Therapy. I am a Personal Development Group facilitator on the MSc Counselling. I also supervise final year undergraduate Community Placements and Dissertations.

Research Interests

I have an interest in groupwork as a practitioner and from a research perspective. The focus of my MA research was the experiences of counsellors in using groupwork, as research suggests group therapy can be as effective as individual therapy and can be used by therapists of divergent theoretical orientations and professional backgrounds.

Current developments in the delivery of psychological therapies, e.g. the Increasing Access to Psychological Therapies programme and expectations of evidence based practice within the NHS suggest that in future counsellors may be expected to offer a more diverse range of therapeutic interventions, which may include psycho-educational groups or group therapy.

The aim of my research was to investigate the extent of counsellors’ experience of using groupwork and to identify what, if any, training they have in this area.

I also have an interest in Arts for Health and the interface between Arts for Health activities and arts therapies. I recently collaborated with the Everyman Gallery in Chorlton to deliver a public lecture exploring these themes: King, S. (May, 2012) Arts for Health: how are the arts being used to benefit physical and mental health? Public lecture. Everyman Gallery, Chorlton.

Qualifications and Memberships

  • 1977 BA Hons. Degree Fine Art.
  • 1984 Professional Social Work Qualification: C.Q.S.W./Post Graduate Diploma Applied   Social Studies
  • 1989   Approved Social Worker Training
  • 1994 City & Guilds 730: Further & Adult Education Teacher Training Certificate/ D32/33 NVQ Assessors Award     
  • 1994   Analytic Group Psychotherapy Foundation course.
  • 1998   Post-graduate Diploma in Counselling. (BACP Accredited)
  • 1998 – Present: Member of British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy
  • 2004 Psychodynamic Interpersonal Therapy training
  • 2004 BACP Occupational Registered Counsellor: UK Register of Counsellors (Faculty of Healthcare)
  • 2005 BACP Counsellor Accreditation
  • 2005 Clinical Supervision training: Manchester Mental Health and Social Care Trust
  • 2008 MA Dissertation: Counsellors and Groupwork


King S. (2004) The Oasis Group: report on a project to set up a short term therapy group for people with depression within primary care psychological therapy services. Department of Clinical and Health Psychology, Manchester Mental Health and Social Care Trust: unpublished.

King, S. (2009) Extending our repertoire: Counsellors and Groupwork. Poster presented at British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy Research Conference, Cardiff

King, S. (2011) Counsellors and groupwork: the lost domain? Healthcare Counselling and Psychotherapy Journal. 11:2: pp 28-30