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Who are we?

Karen O'Neill, Director, PIP Solutions Training Ltd

Karen O'Neill

Karen lives in Colchester, Essex, which is the oldest recorded town in Britain.  She has a private practice where she offers a broad spectrum of therapeutic interventions to support the mental health and emotional well-being of children, adults, and families.  In addition, parent consultation, therapeutic parenting, clinical supervision and training counsellors. 


Karen has over twenty years of experience in the field of counselling and psychotherapy, before this she was a general nurse.  She has worked in a variety of settings including health, education, social care and has expertise in the fields of attachment and trauma.  In recent years Karen has worked with local authorities, adoption and fostering agencies to provide psychotherapeutic support under the Adoption Support Fund. 

She has an interest in creative writing and has contributed to Messy Play in the Early Years: Supporting Learning through Material Engagements (Gascoyne, 2018) and has written a chapter in Seeking Shelter, Seeking Safety. Clay Therapy with Families and Groups (Souter-Anderson, 2019). 

Tara McDonald, Director, PIP Solutions Training Ltd

Tara McDonald

Having lived and worked in Thailand for 10 years, Tara relocated to Cheltenham, a town in the heart of the Cotswolds, in 2018. She has a private independent practice, where she offers a variety of therapeutic counselling approaches, tailored to support the individual therapeutic needs of children, adults and families.

Originally, Tara worked as an Adult Crisis Counsellor in London, before developing her skills to work with Children and Young People. She spent many years as a Whole School Counsellor supporting both Boarding and Day pupils, before moving into the role of Child and Family Therapist at a Child & Adolescent Mental Health Clinic.

For many years, Tara ran a Not-For-Profit organisation in Asia, delivering Attachment-Focused Training to Social Workers focusing on developmental needs of infants with the aim of preventing parents from a low socio-economic demographic from relinquishing their children to care. Her passion is in supporting Parents and Carers who might be experiencing difficulties or hurt in their journey as a parent. 

Our Story

We met and connected at a Family Therapy training over a decade ago and always felt very aligned personally and professionally. We have had a similar journey as psychotherapists and counselling practitioners, both originally qualifying to work with adults before moving into child, adolescent and family work. Our qualifications, knowledge base and skills are varied to work therapeutically with different age range clients which is underpinned with reflective practice. Our understanding of theory to work safely if informed by our work as adult Psychotherapists, Child Therapists, accredited Play Therapists, certified Filial Play Coaches, Certified Theraplay® Practitioners and have completed our Level 2 Dyadic Developmental Psychotherapy Training.


Alongside our individual private practices, we are accomplished trainers with collective experience of delivering specialist continuing professional development training courses nationally and internationally for Corporate Sector Companies, Local Authorities, Charities, Schools, Masters' Degrees, Post-Graduate Diploma courses, Parenting programmes and Conferences.


In 2019, we joined forces and founded PIP Solutions Training Ltd. Our vision was to Positively Inspire Practice, by creating an organisation that offers continuing professional development that has inspirational, motivational and supportive course material, learning experiences including skills practice and the provides specialist training in working with children and young people. We commit to only offering training that meets with rigorous accreditation standards and to collaborate with International experts in the field of Children's Mental Health. 

Contact us today to discuss your  CYP counselling training requirements 

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