About me

Frances McDonnell


 I have been practicing as a psychotherapist/counsellor for 27 years, and as a supervisor for 23 years. My current interest and energy has been practicing  the Person-Centred Appraoch in my life through facilitating groups at my home with PCCS (Person-Centred Counselling Services) Workshops. The workshops have now been running for 10 yrs and are being attended by a wide variety of people. (not just counsellors)

The process  group continues to  evolve. It has an ongoing  core of participants and new members who join. Recently we decided to call it a personal development group rather than process group, to be more descriptive. I love being in groups. 

For 15 years before PCCS Workshops I directed (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 the  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 workshops 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. (maybe this Is how I see myself too!) 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

BACP British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy,
PCA Person-Centred Association
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 eight grandchildren.(no one asked if I was ready for this) I would describe myself as creative with  a love of music.  I enjoy my family,  my garden (looking at it, rather than gardening), cooking , eating ,friends and being still. I also like going to gigs , and traveling.  My aim is to be aware of and care for the environment. My challenge recently Is that I now have MS.  I am well, not in pain and living positively. I have changed my thinking about life, what I eat what I do.       


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