Phil Mitchell

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Dip. Couns, MBACP (Accred)

Based in Central Leeds and Pudsey Tel: 07780 946568 Email: 

Counsellor, Psychotherapist, Supervisor, Trainer and Male Sexual Abuse Specialist

How I Work


I work with people to help them address issues that are preventing them from living their life in the way they want and to explore ways of appropriately, realistically and effectively addressing these issues.


People come to counselling for many different reasons and part of my role is to help them make the best use of our time together by identifying what they’d like to achieve from counselling. I do not tell people what to do or make them talk about things they don’t want to but I do help people to address and express their feelings, explore their thoughts and understand their behaviour and reactions in a safe, therapeutic and non-judgemental environment.


I am an eclectic counsellor/psychotherapist which means I will use different elements of therapeutic approaches, namely Person Centred Counselling, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) and Solution-Focused Brief Therapy. I will tailor my approach specifically for you.



Person Centred Counselling


The Person Centred approach believes that as human beings we will move towards doing what is best for us when we are provided with the right environment in which the therapeutic core conditions of empathy, acceptance and genuineness can be experienced. Person Centred counselling and psychotherapy has a strong focus on a positive relationship being established between client and counsellor. As someone who has received and provided Person Centred counselling I can see from a personal and professional level the benefits this way of working can bring. If you'd like to know more about the Person Centred approach please visit The British Association for the Person Centred Approach.



Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT)


CBT focuses on exploring a person’s thought process and perception of their situation. This approach believes that how we think about our situation and the beliefs that we attach to it affect our behaviour and in turn create the emotions we struggle to deal with. CBT highlights that by thinking differently about our situation, we will then behave and feel differently. If you'd like to know more about CBT please visit The British Association for Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapies.



Solution-Focused Brief Therapy (SFBT)


Solution-Focused Brief Therapy aims make effective use of time by focusing more on solutions rather than problems. The approach aims to create positive change by identifying a person’s preferred and realistic future and by building on what a person is already doing, or has already done to manager their situation. If you'd like to know more about the Solution-Focused Brief  Therapy approach please visit The Solution-Focused Brief Therapy Association

My Counselling Experience

  • I am a qualified counsellor and psychotherapist

  • I am accredited with The British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy meaning my practice has been deemed sufficiently ethical

  • Since 2004 I have provided one-to-one counselling and psychotherapy to children, young people and adults of all genders

  • I am experienced in working with anxiety, stress, trauma, bereavement, anger, low self-esteem, sexuality and more

  • I have significant experience in working with those who have experienced recent and/or historic rape and/or sexual abuse/violence/exploitation

  • I specialise in working with boys and men affected by recent and/or historic sexual abuse/violence including males from the world of sport

  • I have over six years' experience of counselling those affected by bereavement via Cruse Bereavement Care

  • I have over three years' experience of counselling those struggling with their sexuality via Terrence Higgins Trust and Freshwinds Birmingham

  • I have over two years' experience in working with children via Relate’s Time for You service and a number of secondary schools

  • Since 2007 I have worked in private practice and ran a counselling service in the Midlands

  • I have provided counselling for ITV and a number of Employee Assistance Programmes (EAPs)

Where and When


Counselling sessions take place at Blayds Yard in central Leeds or at my counselling room located in Stanningley, Leeds.


Blayds Yard is located close to the Cosmopolitan Hotel on Lower Briggate and is a five minute walk from Leeds train station.


For directions please click on the 'Contact & Follow' page.


The counselling room in Stanningley is located on Stanningley Road, close to the fire station. The 72 bus stops directly outside and Bramley train station is a 15 minute walk away.


Appointments are available Monday to Friday between 8.30am - 8.00pm and some Saturday appointments are occasionally available. I offer individual face to face counselling to adults, young people and children.



Each counselling session costs £50. All session must be paid for in cash at the start or end of the session. Further sessions will be scheduled once payment has been made.

My Specialist Experience

  • I specialise in working with males affected by recent and/or historic rape and sexual abuse/exploitation

  • I have significant experience in working with boys and men affected by recent and/or historic sexual abuse

  • I have provided counselling/support to boys and men affected by rape and sexual abuse since 2004

  • I have over nine years' experience of managing a male only sexual abuse/exploitation service

  • I have developed and implemented various national initiatives and campaigns aimed at tackling the sexual exploitation of boys

  • I have developed nationally recognised male CSE resources such as ‘Alright Charlie’, ‘Ryan’s Story’, ‘Brandon’s Story’ and more

  • Whsilt at The BLAST Project I was instrumental in in the Jack CSE serious case review where it was highlighted I provided good/consistent support

  • I have appeared on TV and in local and national media highlighting the issues faced by boys and men who are raped, abused and sexually exploited

  • I have contributed to various research, reports and publications on the issue of male rape and sexual abuse/exploitation including 'Children and Young People Now' and 'Inside Man' by Dan Bell and Glen Poole

  • I am an experienced trainer and public speaker addressing male rape and sexual abuse/exploitation

  • Since 2009 I have delivered training to thousands of professionals across the country addressing the rape and sexual abuse/exploitation of boys and men and the difficulties they face in asking for help

  • Between 2013 and 2015 I managed the national male CSE development project ‘Excellence for Boys’ which saw male referrals to 20 CSE services increase from 91 to 249

  • In 2014 my work in the field of male sexual abuse was acknowledged when I was also nominated for an' Unsung Hero Award' and was a finalist in the category, 'Longest Journey Under Challenging Conditions'

  • My article on male sexual abuse was also published in October 2017's edition of 'Therapy Today'

  • I featured in the 2017 publication 'Child Sexual Exploitation After Rotherham' by Adele Gladman & Angie Heal

  • In December 2017 I featured in the BBC documentary 'Male Rape: Breaking the Silence'


As a survivor of abuse I know personally and professionally how males often find it particularly difficult in asking for help and seeking counselling. This is due to old fashioned gender stereotypes and perceived ideas about what it means to male. During childhood and adolescence boys are often given messages about how they should and shouldn't behave e.g. 'man up,' 'don't cry,' 'grow a pair,' 'be a big man.' These messages often shape a boy's idea of their masculinity, what it means to be male and how they need to behave as man. This can result in boys becoming men who think they need to respond to problems by expressing violence and/or supressing emotions.


As males are generally seen as the stronger and less vulnerable sex this gives many boys and men an added difficulty to overcome, particularly when they have experienced sexual violence/abuse. When boys and men do not have the space to talk about their issues and appropriately express their emotions it can result in outbursts of uncontrollable rage, severe anxiety, chronic depression and in some cases the manifestation of a physical ailment. Males who have experienced sexual violence/abuse sometimes believe their masculinity has been attacked and that asking for help and seeking support is another threat to their masculinity. It is important to remember that when men talk about their problems and express their feelings this is not a sign of weakness, it is a sign of strength.


Counselling at a Glance

  • Provided counselling and psychotherapy since 2004

  • Based in Leeds city centre and the Bramley/Stanningley area

  • Fully qualified, registered and accredited

  • Experienced in working with stress, anxiety, anger and much more

  • Significant experience in working with sexual abuse/violence

  • Specialist in working with boys and men affected by sexual abuse

  • Therapeutic support for emotional difficulties

  • Techniques to deal with stress and anxiety

  • Understanding why you respond/behave the way you do

  • £50 per one hour session



Clients have given permission for their comments to be used on this site.


"A man of my age doesn't open up very easily to strangers, but after the first session I felt like such a weight had been lifted from my shoulders." Ted


"I was so nervous but Phil really helped me to relax. He listened to me in a way that I have never been listened to before." John


"Seeing Phil gave me a better understanding of my situation and helped me see I was totally stressed, and angry at the whole wide world. Now I have learned to relax and look at life differently." Donna


"I think everyone should have counselling. It's changed my life in ways I never thought it could." Lee


“Phil is warm, genuine and easy to talk to, and my sessions with him helped me both to cope with a stressful transition, and to make positive changes in my life. I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend Phil (in fact, I’ve already done so).” Rosie


"Phil appeared to be skilled in the two areas I was having problems with (coming to terms with my sexuality and substance misuse; these being linked). By the time I saw him, my problems had escalated to involve my employer and the police. Phil helped me through the worst time of my life. He was professional, kind, non-judgemental and I enjoyed our sessions. He helped me understand myself better and helped me face the future with confidence. If any of my problems are what faces you, I doubt you could make a better choice." Colin


"Before starting my sessions with Phil I had attempted suicide, couldn’t get over the past and it was always effecting my life, friendships and relationship. I had reached the end of my road and not seeing any future. Once I started my sessions I straight away was able to deal more with day to day activities and was close to stop going because I felt a little better but I kept going because I was still on my journey to what I was going to become and I am so glad I did, each sessions I learnt something new about myself and that I wasn’t as broken as I originally thought. By the end of my all my sessions my mood had lifted, I was happy and the wall at the end the road was torn down and now my life has a long road full of opportunities. The amazing thing is I haven’t changed any major things in my life but how I now think and deal with them. I can not thank Phil enough for not only giving me my life back but a reason to live." Ben

Issues Addressed




When we feel anxious it usually means we are worried about the future, believing something bad will, or is very likely to happen. This can have a negative impact on our relationships, get in the way of work and prevent us from living a healthy life. It can also result in an increased heart rate, headaches, stomach upsets and sometimes panic attacks. I work with clients to help them understand their anxious thoughts, develop coping strategies to reduce physical symptoms, provide a safe space in which they can express their emotions and explore ways to reduce or eliminate the anxiety. Part of counselling may also include helping clients to have a better understanding of why they respond the way they do, including looking at how the brain and body work under anxiety. As someone who has provided counselling via private practice and a number of employee assistance programmes (EAPs) to various individuals addressing anxiety I am knowledgeable, skilled and experienced in working with these issues.

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We all experience anger, which is a healthy emotion to feel. When someone has done something we believe they should not have done, or if we think we have been treated unfairly anger can be a common response and can sometimes be linked to the physical symptoms of anxiety e.g. increased heart rate, tightening of muscles.  Anger becomes a problem when it is expressed in an unsafe and/or inappropriate way. This can subsequently have a negative effect on our work, relationships and home life. I work with clients to help them understand and manage their anger, explore the reasons and triggers behind this and identify safe and appropriate ways in which anger can be expressed.  As someone who has provided counselling via private practice and a number of employee assistance programmes (EAPs) I am knowledgeable, skilled and experienced in working with these issues.





Those who identify as Lesbian, Gay or Bisexual (LGB) can experience issues specifically associated with their sexuality such as homophobic bullying, feeling isolated, finding it difficult to come out, family/friend rejection and struggles related to culture and religion. I also work with those who are questioning or feeling uncertain about their sexuality and need some support to make sense of things. I work with clients by providing them with a safe LGB friendly space to help them explore their thoughts and feelings without judging them. I not only offer clients the opportunity to express and explore their thoughts and feelings, I also help them to identify on what would improve the quality of their life and explore how this can be achieved.  As someone who has provided counselling via private practice, Terrence Higgins Trust, Freshwinds Birmingham, and Yorkshire MESMAC to various individuals addressing various issues related to sexuality I am knowledgeable, skilled and experienced in working with these issues.


Low Self-Esteem


We all experience low moods at some point in our lives and whilst sometimes the feelings naturally pass, they sometimes linger for longer than we’d like and before we know it we are struggling to get out of bed, not eating and finding it hard to see the point to anything. We disengage from activities, become withdrawn and reduce the amount of time we spend with friends and family. Some people feeling sad and express tears whilst others report feeling numb and some consider suicide. I work with clients to help them explore their thoughts and feelings without judging them. Some clients find it useful to explore the source of the low self-esteem whilst others prefer to focus on practical interventions that can help manage their low mood. As someone who has provided counselling via private practice, Cruse Bereavement Care and a number of employee assistance programmes (EAPs) to various individuals addressing low-self I am knowledgeable, skilled and experienced in working with these issues.




Whilst anxiety is generally concerned with the future, trauma is generally concerned with the past. When we experience traumatic events such as rape, abuse or being involved in an event which threatened our lives or our physically integrity, we can find it difficult to be in the moment and live our lives like we did before. Intense fear and feelings of helplessness are common in those who have experienced trauma who can also experience unexpected intrusive thoughts that can be extreme and painful. When remembering the traumatic event we may re-experience the same painful and terrifying feelings that we experienced when the event originally occurred; this is called re-traumatisation. I work with clients to help them understand why they responded to the trauma in the way they did and to address how the consequences of the trauma and how they are affected the client now. I also provide the client with a safe space to express their emotions help them to be in the now rather than the past. Some clients find it useful to gain an understanding of how the brain and body responds to trauma. As someone who has provided counselling via private practice and a number of employee assistance programmes (EAPs) to various individuals addressing trauma I am knowledgeable, skilled and experienced in working with these issues.




Experiencing abuse, whether it be recent sexual abuse, rape or violence, or historic childhood abuse can have a significant impact on our lives. It can cause anxiety, sleepless nights, low self-esteem and a number of issues. Some of us bottle up our emotions believing that this is the best thing to do, others turn to drugs and alcohol as a way to deal with the consequences of the abuse and block out the intrusive thoughts, and others attempt to take their own life. Blame, guilt, anger, shame, confusion and despair can be experienced, and counselling can help clients to appropriately express these emotions and find ways of coming to terms with the abuse. I work with clients to help them understand why they didn’t respond to the abuse in a way in which they thought they would have done and to explore ways of addressing the effects of the abuse that are more effective than drugs, alcohol, suicide or bottling up emotions. As someone who has provided counselling and support to children and adults addressing various forms of recent and historic abuse I am knowledgeable, skilled and significantly experienced and specialise in working with these issues.




Most of us experience stress at some point in our lives. Sometimes we are able to deal with it without too many problems, other times we can experience the benefits counselling has to offer. Stress is related to feeling pressured, either by others, ourselves and can have a significant effect on our personal and professional lives. I work with clients to help them understand their pressures and explore ways of managing emotions and implementing helpful practical strategies. Stress can be very similar to anxiety, so I work with clients to help them understand their stressful thoughts and express their emotions in an appropriate way. As someone who has provided counselling via private practice and a number of employee assistance programmes (EAPs) to various individuals addressing stress I am knowledgeable, skilled and experienced in working with these issues.

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