About me

Frances McDonnell


 I have been practicing as a counsellor/psychotherapist for 25 years, and as a supervisor for 17 years. My current interest and enegry has been in  facilitating groups at my home with PCCS Workshops. The workshops have now been running for 7 yrs and are being attended by a wide range of people from various backgrounds, which I love. The therapy group is going strong, with a core of participants and new members joining from time to time when others move on.

For 15 years before this I directed Person-Centred Counselling Services (PCCS) Training in Manchester, a professional training in counselling accredited by the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy. In addition to teaching theory and skills on both the Diploma and Certificate courses and being part of the learning community, I facilitated the Supervision Course, Group Process Course, and various workshops including Loss, Intimacy, and Working with Couples. For eleven years I created and provided a PCCS Professional Development Programme for practitioners.
Over this period of time I have learnt much about myself, not only from being a director of PCCS, but also being with clients, supervisees, and students in their learning experiences.
With a background in Psychology and an interest in organisational processes, my previous work experience includes voluntary sector counselling, television counselling and teaching counselling in Further and Higher education.

I realize the importance of my genuineness when entering into a relationship with learners and aware of the importance of not playing the role of the expert but of bringing a genuine and vulnerable part of me into relationships. My aim is to create a climate of collaborative power where both personal and professional development can be enhanced through openness, and cooperation.

Workshop Rationale
My aim is to offer Person-Centred workshops, to trust the process of the group, and to facilitate it’s creative potential.   To be in this kind of group may be challenging. I trust you, and like a client in therapy aim to facilitate your process in the group. I will not tell you what to do or what to learn, but offer a space to explore the subject, and the freedom to draw your own learning from it.


My philosophy
I have knowledge and experience of putting the Person-Centred Approach (PCA) into action with individuals, couples and groups, learning a lot about myself in the process. One thing I am sure of is that the PCA is not dull, it is vibrant and challenging and often misrepresented. This approach is at the heart of all I do. I understand that the conditions for therapeutic change are both necessary and sufficient. I do not favour integrating techniques and ideas from other approaches. My philosophical roots are humanist with a core belief in the self-healing actualising tendency in all human beings. In all my therapeutic endeavours my intent is to provide the conditions in which this actualising tendency can flourish.

Member of
BPS British Psychological Society,
BACP British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy,
BAPCA British Association for the Person-Centred Approach,
WAPCEPC The World association for Person-Centred and Experiential Psychotherapy and Counselling


My formative years and Methodist upbringing gave me a stoicism, to carry on with unbending values and rules, to care for others first, but not to let others close, especially when hurt or upset. As a female I wasn’t expected to have an education, but to marry young and raise a family, it being my role to support them at all times. All these values have been a hard taskmaster and my learning has been difficult. I am married with three grown up children and seven grandchildren. I would describe myself as creative and musical with an interest in discovering new people,  music and food.   I enjoy my family, reading,  entertaining, my garden (looking at it, rather than gardening), cooking , friends and being still. My aim is to be aware of and care for the environment.

 My Qualifications
BSC (Hons) Psychology, MBPsS, MBACP (Accred 1996), Cert.Supervision (1996), Person-Centred groups –Facilitating their creative potential, UKRCP Registered Independent Counsellor/Psychotherapist