Welcome to
First Steps Forward

What is First Steps Forward ?

The Practice

This is a single person practice that builds upon Dave's life experience of working in the public services for 25 years as well  as the knowledge that comes from being in roles such as adult teacher, trainer, lecturer, foster carer, victim support volunteer, learning support assistant and many others, including working for a National  Autism charity.  The time spent in the pubic services means that he has a greater understanding and insight  into the specific difficulties related Public Service roles. He has supplemented these experiences  to become a Mentor, Coach and Counsellor. He  specialises in Autism and learning disabilities and is an Autism Champion.

Client Centered Focus

Being at the centre of the process enables the client to feel valued.

 It is about forming positive therapeutic relationship.  It is about guiding the client to find their own solutions while the Counsellor/Coach/Mentor acts as a critical friend challenging the client to look within themselves.  Dave is able to work with adults and with adolescents and children. 

Dave can select from the roles of Coach, Counsellor and Mentor depending on what the client needs. 

For men it is generally accepted that it is harder to talk, please chaps, don't let that get in the way, Dave is non judgemental and supportive.

The Setting


Dave has access to local venues in and around the Tandridge and Redhill area (South of the M25) in which to meet you in a confidential environment. 

He also is aware that there are groups of adults and children who find that leaving the house is, at the moment, difficult, or who have disabilities making travel harder, so he may be willing to travel within reasonable distances to initially support  those clients at home with a view to a progression to meeting out side the home if that is physically and mentally possible. .

Dave's style and approach  will be uniquely tailored to your needs and will be central to the healing and recovery process. 

The Therapy

Coaching and Mentoring



There at times when we all require an enabler to support and encourage us to overcome day to day life experiences that have become too much to deal with alone.  First Steps Forward put you at the centre of the process enabling you to feel valued and supported. It is about forming positive therapeutic working relationships.  It is about guiding you to find you own solutions while the Counsellor acts as a critical friend, acting in a non-judgemental way you will be supported and encouraged to identify and manage solutions towards self-healing. This takes place in a safe and confidential environment where you are able to feel empowered. The counsellor promises to listen without judgement and will give you the time you need. Then, when you are ready, will guide you towards self-healing.


Trauma & PTSD symptoms



Trauma & PTSD symptoms 

Many individuals can experience symptoms associated with painful and traumatic circumstances. Anxiety, fear and hopelessness are a few emotions that can linger after traumatic events. The counsellor can help you overcome these symptoms and guide you through the process of grief and healing. 

Addiction Counselling and Substance Abuse Counselling



It is often the case that we look at our lives and worry that we are addicted to certain aspects of it. This can be shopping, sex, pornography, the internet, alcohol, drugs or substances. The Counsellor will work with you, and other professionals when you are ready, to support you through these challenges, and help you take those first steps to recovery. 

The Therapy

Autism and Asperger’s


Neurotypicals, non Autistic people,  often find that the Autistic Spectrum Condition (A.S.C) is complex and difficult to understand. While adults and children who may believe that they are on the Autistic Spectrum or who have a diagnosis may struggle with understanding as well as with many skills such as social integration, social skills and relationships, sensory overloads and many more. These are often linked to self harm and depression and impact on day to day living making life a struggle. 

Work related issues such as interviewing, getting on with colleagues, as well as losing work,  making and keeping relationships are common examples of concerns for adults on the Spectrum. 

While with children and young adults, an understanding of themselves is often hard and fitting into peer groups a huge problem. Likewise with children and younger adults education experiences such as exam concessions, classroom strategies, E.H.C.P, school placements and specialist provisions are often questions that are difficult to find answers to. 

Dave is able to support people who have, or are awaiting, diagnosis for A.S.C. He is able to support their families and carers to understand the diagnosis and what it means to be on the Autistic Spectrum.  He is able to support with parenting skills for this unique group of people and help find solutions to day to day concerns as well as help manage children  and young adults on the Autistic Spectrum demonstrating challenging behaviour. 

List of Barriers or concerns



Addictions-substances, porn etc


Affairs and betrayal




Autistic Spectrum Condition/Asperger’s


Carer support 


Domestic Abuse

Emotional abuse

Family issues

Learning difficulties/ SEND

Low self-confidence/low self esteem

Passive aggressive behaviour

Physical Abuse

PTSD symptoms

Healthy relationships




Suicidal thoughts 


Qualifications and professionalism


BSc (Hons), BA (Hons) in Counselling, PGCE (PCET), Post Grad. Dip. Ed. SEN, Post Grad. Dip TALD, AMIoC, MNCS (Accred)

Costs and duration


The initial assessment and discussion may take up to 90 minutes depending on the complexities of the support required. The cost of this is £80. Thereafter, the cost is £45 per 50 minute session. There are concessions available for households with low income and receiving PIP/DLA. These will be agreed at the first session and paid at the beginning of each session. The duration will be agreed and a review date set within this initial assessment. 

In the event that the Counsellor believes that your concerns require a greater level of expertise the counsellor will refer you to more senior practitioners

The Thin Red, Blue and Green lines

I am an independent Counsellor, Coach and Mentor with previous experience in Public Services. I am not affiliated to or paid by any of the public services. My former Colleagues from Public Services are warmly welcome and rates are discounted, please ask for the rate and be prepared to show id.

Contact me

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We're Here for You

Please contact me with questions or to make an initial appointment.

On  07853 431 363 /0737 605 7678 or by email firststepsforward@btinternet.com 

First Steps Forward

Situated in Tandridge, Surrey