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Coronavirus crisis prompts firm’s growth as Catherine Souter brings her counselling service – Aberdeen Bespoke Counselling (ABC) – to the Highlands

By Calum MacLeod

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Catherine Souter.
Catherine Souter.

Catherine Souter is bringing her counselling service to the Highlands thanks to an unexpected consequence of the coronavirus crisis.

When Covid-19 restrictions were introduced, Ms Souter, the principal of Aberdeen Bespoke Counselling (ABC), was unable to continue the usual face-to-face meetings in her consulting rooms.

Determined not to abandon her clients she offered to continue the service online or by telephone.

“I contacted all my clients by email explaining the position and followed up with a chat on the phone,” she said. “Some jumped at the chance, others were a little unsure.

“However, all of those who were unsure agreed to a trial meeting on WhatsApp or Zoom, whatever they were comfortable with, and that was enough to dispel any lingering reservations.”

To her surprise nearly all ABC’s clients have indicated they are happy to continue online even after restrictions have been lifted.

Prospective clients have also embraced the online or telephone offering.

This has allowed her to expand her service further across Scotland and especially to the Highlands.

“I spent every childhood summer in Badenoch and travelled widely throughout the area with my family. I love the Highlands, the scenery and the people, and so I decided to expand the service specifically with a focus in this area,” Ms Souter said.

“I am fully qualified and offer a flexible approach designed to meet the individual needs of those struggling with loneliness, depression, anxiety or stress just to name a few.

“I want to reach out to those who may not feel able to take the first step to getting help because of difficulty with travel or concerns about confidentiality.

“I am certain that an initial chat on the phone or trial online will immediately help overcome such concerns.”

• More information about Ms Souter’s counselling service can be found here.

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