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Ashdale Counselling

Caroline Abbey 

PGDip Counselling and Psychotherapy

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Are you are looking for a counsellor because you’re not feeling your usual self , don’t know why,  and are struggling to cope with your everyday life?  Do you feel the need to find the underlying cause of your issues or need some help managing your behaviour? Then I’m sure I can help.

My name is Caroline Abbey. I an experienced, qualified, insured and BACP registered counsellor/psychotherapist. I have been working  for more than 14 years in  a number of different settings , including private practice , NHS Primary Care, women's domestic violence support , and counselling young people and students.

 I am a down to earth northern lass which hopefully means that my clients find it easy to trust me and talk honestly even at the beginning or our work together (see below) .

I am a very compassionate and non-judgemental counsellor and committed to helping my clients feel more valued and accepted , but I am equally challenging when needed.

I offer affordable counselling in the heart of Manchester as well as  Westhoughton (near Bolton),  and/or on-line,  and can tailor different types of  therapy to match your individual needs. 

Typically the changes you want to make could be achieved in 6-8 weeks at a time and day that suits you. Why not email me or leave a message on this site and we can arrange a free telephone or on-line consultation to see if we can work together?

What my clients say about me

"Having struggled with depression and anxiety for several decades, I decided it was time for some proper therapy. Caroline was amazing from the outset, down to earth and so easy to talk with and open up to. She has helped me to understand so many long-standing issues and given me the confidence to believe in myself and my ability to handle them. There have been tears, laughter, realisations, connections and more over these past 6 months. Caroline uses and suggests many different techniques and gives you the ability to help yourself. Every session brought value and helped me in my journey. She got me to reflect, think, and untangle things in my mind so I could become stronger, more positive, and much more capable of dealing with things. I feel like a new person and I'm so thankful and happy I found her. " Feb 24

"Caroline has helped me to understand myself and why I feel how I do. She’s helped me to process and understand my experiences and how they have affected me, and taught me how to care for myself to reduce my anxiety and panic attacks. There’s been a real change to my life having spent this time with Caroline, I’ll be forever grateful." March 23


"I sought help with some painful family issues and personal trauma. From the moment we spoke on the phone, I felt at ease & quickly organised a session. Throughout the last few months, Caroline has helped me to feel validated & to understand myself better - no easy feat. I now feel more confident in myself and more able to think about, experience and process things mindfully and with compassion. My relationships and my communication have benefited greatly, as a result! Caroline is gentle, authentic, understanding, patient, with a depth of theoretical and real world knowledge. I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend her to anyone seeking help :) " September 2022

"I started going to sessions with Caroline when I admitted to myself that the best way for me to unravel my debilitating anxiety would be to talk therapy. From the off, I felt at ease and very early on in our sessions I felt comfortable to discuss my emotions and history.

Over our time spent together, the compassion Caroline has guided me to has not only untangled issues I was experiencing but also organically emerged within me and how I view myself.

I have gone from being consumed by anxious thoughts to having breathing space from these issues to having a relatively clear mind that is now preoccupied with interests and passions.

Those closest to me see a dramatic change in me and, more importantly, I feel much healed. I am all the better for this experience and in a far better state to take care of myself or even to seek counsel in the face of adversity.

Caroline is an intuitive, sensitive therapist who always acted from  a genuine desire to allow me to be as free as a person can be. She guided me towards compassion when I need it, she challenged me when I needed to be challenged, and changed course whenever the thoughts we explored didn’t resonate with me.

Caroline is a credit to therapy and I have regained a freedom in my life that I have not experienced in years" July 2022

"Caroline was welcoming and comforting from the first moment of our initial phone call. As an American, her lovely northern accent and soft tone made me feel happy and cared for. 

I felt very able to be open with Caroline from our first session. I had spent years working to discuss a part of my life that I kept hidden for so long. Caroline did not push me to share, rather over time she was able to support me to speak more honestly. She challenged my constant 'I don't know' answers with warmth. She made me feel strong and helped me to overcome so much shame. 

She was personable which means a lot to me, and I felt genuine trust with her. Caroline helped me through one of the most difficult times in my life and the amount of progress I made still astounds me. Our sessions were difficult for me, often I would be brought to tears by memories and emotions, but I never felt alone and knew I was in the best place with her care. She helped me to feel not just okay, but good about myself for the first time in a long time. I am very grateful I found Caroline."

May 2022

"Thanks for everything you have done for me, you literally have been a life saver and helped me see I'm not a bad father or partner just someone who had had a rough and sad life but I'm worthy of some happiness x"  Dec 2021

"When I first came to see Caroline it was because I felt like I didn’t know how to cope anymore with my own thoughts and feelings. I felt totally overwhelmed by my own emotions and was struggling to feel any joy.

Before my first session I was very nervous and unsure what to expect or what I should say but after one session with Caroline I felt at ease in her company and continued to open up and explore past / present events and feelings. She helped me to connect the dots to my thoughts, behaviour and events which have shaped me by talking and addressing things which have been there for a long time unsaid. We have discovered ways I can build better relationships with the people closest to me and of course, myself.

Having finished my counselling and feeling so much lighter, clearer and happy. I think to myself now, I wish I had sought help sooner, but part of me is glad I didn’t because that means that I might not have had Caroline as my counsellor and her understanding, compassion and support has made a world of difference to me. Caroline provides a space where you feel safe to be honest with yourself, ask yourself the right questions and helps to put everything into perspective as well as providing key practices, like mindfulness to help you continue to feel present when you need it. I know myself so much better, I am kinder to myself, and we have created room in my mind to process things as they happen. I am looking forward to building more confidence, feeling sure in myself and my decisions and to continue keeping myself feeling safe, grounded and loved. 

Thank you so much Caroline!" December 2020

"My experience with Caroline was a unique one, as our relationship was carried out online for the duration in the midst of lockdown - but it didn't matter, I still felt connected to Caroline.

Caroline gave me a safe space to be open and honest about my feelings and who I am as a person, helping me to become significantly more compassionate towards myself. I also had some significant unearthing of beliefs and issues I hadn't previously explored which were really enlightening and helped me make sense of my world  and more mindful of my triggers. I've noticed a real change in my relationships with those closest to me and my relationship with myself.

I also really appreciated the times Caroline challenged me - I needed that!

To anyone considering contacting Caroline, I would highly recommend reaching out. You'll meet an empathetic, warm and human counsellor who you can feel safe with. " September 2020

"Caroline 'discharged ' me unofficially from her caseload as a counsellor a couple of weeks ago and we were both close to tears. The woman that said goodbye to Caroline on the virtual skype call was not the same as the woman that came to ask for help 6 months ago. I originally asked Caroline to help me during a period of depression which left me unable to work. Over the sessions her kindness and respectful sensitivity gave me the space i needed to express emotions that had been hidden since childhood. Her vast knowledge regarding compassionate therapy and Mindfulness has enabled me to take first steps towards loving myself , and in turn, being able to cope with my world . A concept I am developing which is truly life changing. I would wholeheartedly recommend Caroline as a therapist. She is excellent. Her therapy is not fluffy and cuddly! She will not make the steps for you, but instead she will provide the bridge, and help you become empowered to change your own life and make long lasting change. Caroline...thank you"  June 2020

"When I first went to see Caroline, I didn’t know who I was. The life I was living and the front I showed to the world felt entirely disconnected from the reality of the person hiding away inside of me. Years of illness, issues from childhood, and grief from losing a friend had led to some very unhealthy coping mechanisms which Caroline helped me to recognise and unpick. With great care, Caroline showed me tools and strategies to rebuild my self worth and move towards living a more authentic and present life. The journey was tough, but Caroline was always a pleasure to work with. A true northern soul and incredibly supportive - a positive experience all round."  September 2019

"I came to Caroline in probably my lowest time in my life.  I have been struggling all my life with Childhood Trauma but then something happened earlier this year that triggered something with in me.  I was having night terrors and flashbacks, doctors informed me it was PTSD.  I wanted to learn mindfulness and seek a therapist before going down the pharmaceutical route.   I decided to go with Caroline,  this was the best decision I have made.  Caroline was great and very understanding and showed me mindfulness techniques that's stopped my dreams and flashbacks with in 6 months.  She genuinely seemed like she cared and helped me find peace for the first time since I can remember.  She even offered to be on the other end of the phone if needed on her honeymoon!!! Amazing therapist who is doing this for the right reasons. Would highly recommend." September 2018

"I approached Caroline when I was feeling overwhelmed with life. I had started trying to practice mindfulness but felt like this was yet another thing I was failing at. Caroline listened with empathy to my struggles, suggested some more manageable mindfulness techniques , and helped me to have more self-compassion and recognize the progress I was making. I now feel more optimistic for the future and accepting of the past" April 2018


"I'm very grateful for all your help. I'm sure I wouldn't be where I am now without having discussed all we did. It really made me understand what my issues were and how they made me feel. You were extremely understanding and I loved your analogies"  April 2017

"Thanks you so provided strong support to help me move from being stuck in an emotional place for 6 years. I feel like an unblocked drain!. I can honestly say I was afraid of confronting all of that mess and you helped me overcome those fears. You provided a compassionate yet appropriately challenging counselling service and my broken relationships have not only started to mend but flourish." September 2016

Location : Portland St Manchester M1 

 Westhougthon BL5

Currently working Face to Face and remotely by video and telephone. 

On-Line and Face to Face Westhoughton : £50 per session

Manchester £70 per session  

Ashdale Counselling

0779 397 3807

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