Laurie May Atkinson

My name is Laurie-May and I’m a non-binary counsellor and intimate partner therapist based in the UK. I work with individuals, couples and intimate partners of all genders and offer a warm and empathic space.

As an established expert within gender, sexuality and relationship diversity (GSRD) I bring a decade of experience providing therapy, training, group facilitation, and consultation.

My approach is passionately intersectional feminist and anti-oppressive and my practice is trauma informed, sex worker allied, kink aware and neuro-affirmative.

Relationship Counselling & Intimate Partner Therapy for Couples and Polycules

I offer a unique therapeutic space where gay, lesbian, queer, trans, poly, kinky and neurodiverse relationships are not merely accepted, but instead are recognised, heard, and cherished.

What can I help with?

  • Polyamory, Ethical non-monogamy (ENM) and Consensual non-monogamy (CNM) – Couples, Throuples, Polycules, Vees and Triads. Whether you’re new to it or a decades-established polycule, I know that non-monogamous relationships can be highly rewarding but also challenging at times.
  • Neurodiversity in relationships – including support around diagnosis and dealing with health providers, facilitating communication between different neurotypes, understanding Autism and ADHD. I offer a nuanced approach based on specialist training and lived experience.
  • Any other relationship issue! Perhaps you’ve encountered difficulties that are unrelated to your identities and you need a therapist who won’t make it all about your queerness or non-monogamy?

Individual Therapy

Finding a therapist and taking part in counselling can be a daunting prospect. You may be considering counselling to discuss a specific issue, event or problem, or perhaps you are negotiating a major change in your life.

I believe everyone has the innate capacity to reach their full potential, but sometimes difficult experiences and relationships can stifle our natural process of growth. Using an integrative approach which centres your understanding of your own experiences, I can help you understand and negotiate the blocks that you may face, develop your self-esteem, and give you the confidence to follow your own path.

I cannot promise that counselling will always be an easy or comfortable experience but I will always strive to provide you an empathic presence and safe, confidential space.

How I Work

My practice is exclusively online, an approach which I am passionate about and have developed over many years. I believe online therapy offers the best combination of flexibility and accessibility and it even has proven clinical benefits. I’ve undertaken specialist training with the Open University and contributed to the best-practice discourse within the therapy sector.

Working primarily using the Zoom platform, sessions typically last for one hour (90 mins for couples / intimate partners) and we meet either weekly or fortnightly. To engage with online therapy, all you need is a suitable computer or smartphone and a reliable internet connection. No need to worry about travel or parking, or trying to coordinate with partners and family, you can work from practically anywhere as long as it’s safe and private.

Fees

Individual

60-minute session

Reduced rate: £50

Standard rate: £60

Pay-it-forward rate: £70

Payment for all sessions is in pounds sterling and payable by card in advance.

Intimate Partners

90-minute session

Reduced rate: £100

Standard rate: £120

Pay-it-forward rate: £140

For two people. +20% for each additional partner up to a maximum of 4 people.

Getting Started

Research suggests that the most important element of any counselling experience is the relationship between counsellor and client – more important even than the approach or modality the counsellor is trained in.

For this reason, I offer a free initial 20-minute consultation where we can meet and I can answer any questions you may have and where we both have the opportunity to get a sense of whether we can work effectively together.

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Accessibility

Many of the folks I work with have different access needs and I strive to ensure that my practice is accessible as possible. Your access needs may or may not be physical in nature – perhaps you have struggled to engage with counselling in the past because intense eye contact or sitting still of an hour or more feels like too much.

Practicing online can eliminate many of the physical barriers to engaging in therapy but I know one-size-fits-all approaches never work for everyone, which is why I will work with you to resolve any accessibility issues you may encounter.

For example, I can provide on-screen subtitling for D/deaf or hard of hearing clients. Alternatively, if you struggle to remember appointments, my online booking system can provide automatic reminders and updates.

If you’re concerned about accessibility, please get in touch and we can discuss your specific needs.

Specialisms

Gender Diversity, Transgender & Transitioning Support

Perhaps you’re questioning your gender for the first time or maybe you have transitioned many years ago. Whatever your situation and what point you are at in your process, I understand how challenging it can be both on a personal level and in terms of negotiating the world at large. I bring years of experience, both as a expert gender therapist and as a non-binary person myself, along with community organising and active involvement in trans-affirmative health research. This combined with my person-centred approach means I can offer you a safe, affirming space in which to explore all and any issues that you are facing.

Lesbian, Gay, Bisexuality & Asexual spectrum

I personally understand how difficult it can be to find a therapist who sees the unique challenges we face as individuals and as community. All too often, clients are forced to educate their therapists about the everyday issues they face in life. Whether you’re exploring your sexuality for the first time or simply looking for a therapist who won’t make it all about sexuality, I can offer you a warm, affirming, but also well-informed space in which to work.

Diverse Relationships, Kink / BDSM & Non-monogamy

​Relationship diversity is perhaps one of the least understood aspects of the lives of our lives. Many assumptions are made about our relationships and sex lives: along with the assumption of heterosexuality there is often the casual notion that everyone is monogamous and kink/BDSM relationships are frequently marginalised.  Recognising that my own queer identity doesn’t automatically make me an expert on all identities, I’ve completed specialist training with Pink Therapy, the UK’s foremost provider of therapy training for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) clients, including kink awareness, sex work, polyamory / consensual non-monogamy and asexuality.

Survivors of sexual assault & abuse

Experiencing sexual violence can be a profoundly traumatic experience and may impact a survivor many years after the incident(s) occurred. Social taboos and shame can may make these experiences impossible to discuss with family and friends, causing great distress and isolation.

Having provided counselling in a rape crisis setting I have significant experience of working with trauma and I offer a safe, confidential and empathic presence for my clients.

Neurodivergence, Autism & ADHD

​As someone who has lived with ADHD all my life I am acutely aware of how difficult it can be for autistic and ADHD folks to access therapy. Furthermore, I’m well aware of how common neurodivergent traits are within some of the communities with which I work as well as the challenges that some common counselling practices can pose. I offer genuine understanding of the needs of all my neurodivergent clients and I’m well informed about how to adapt my practice to the needs of each individual I work with.

Intersex / Variations in Sex Characteristics (VSC) / DSD

You may have been aware of your VSC/DSD/Intersex status since childhood or perhaps you received a diagnosis only in adulthood. Whatever your situation, I understand how disruptive diagnosis can be to the understanding of self and our identity in relation to the world. I can help you to work through the process of making sense of your body and identity. Many intersex folks have experienced significant trauma, be that through childhood or adulthood, medical and/or social in nature, which I can help you to process and move forward with your life.

About Me

My career as a therapist began in 2015, in the NHS while completing my research MSc (Counselling Psychology) at Keele University and I subsequently undertook trauma therapy training with Savana (formerly Rape Crisis Staffordshire). Over the last 9 years I have increasingly specialised in working with gender, sexuality and relationship diversity (GSRD) and have completed specialist training with Pink Therapy, Quintimacy, Sam Hope Counselling & Training, Open University and Contemporary Institute of Clinical Sexology (CICS) to support my practice.

As a non-binary, neurodivergent queer I am passionate about the communities to which I belong and am adjacent to, both in and outside the therapy space.

My pronouns are they/them/themself.

Qualifications

  • Fundamentals in Gender, Sexuality and Relationship Diversity (GSRD) Therapy – Pink Therapy UK (2017)
  • MSc Counselling Psychology – Keele University (2018)
  • Certificate in Intimate Partner Therapy – Contemporary Institute of Clinical Sexology (2024)
  • National Counselling and Psychotherapy Society (NCPS) accredited
  • Fully insured and ICO registered

Other work

  • Notts Trans Hub – Co-Chair & Group facilitator, (2020-21)
  • Open University – Independent research consultant to ICTA (Improving Care for Trans Adults) research project (2019-2023)
  • Samaritans Listening Volunteer & Branch Trustee (2013-2018)
Laurie May Atkinson