When we experience problems in our lives we can start to feel worse as the difficult thoughts and feelings persist and begin to interfere with our everyday life. This is made harder when we don't know what to do about it. Sometimes we can turn to family and friends for support. But we may be concerned about burdening them with our problems – especially if they are part of the situation! In this case they may not be the best ones to help. Sharing what is happening in our lives with someone who is qualified and experienced in listening effectively means that we have someone who will come alongside and work with us to gain clarity on things. Talking openly in a safe and relaxed environment is a good way to unburden ourselves and to get to grips with our private thoughts and feelings about ourselves and our lives. It can help to simply hear ourselves describe the issues, and in talking about it further we can gain new perspective and the confidence to look at and address the problems.
Issues that you may wish to bring to counselling may include: Abuse, Anxiety, Bereavement, Child related issues, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome/ME Therapy, Cultural issues, Depression, General counselling, Identity problems, Loss, Mental health issues, Obsessions, OCD, Personal Development, Pregnancy related issues, Relationships, Self Esteem, Self Harm, Sex related issues, Sexual identity, Sexuality, Spirituality, Stress, Trauma, Work related issues. But this list is by no means exhaustive!
I aim to create a caring, collaborative environment which allows you the opportunity to develop your understanding of yourself and embrace change. My approach incorporates the following key aspects:
The counselling relationship is a vehicle for change. Creating a caring, collaborative relationship in a relaxed environment, along with a respect for you, and the problems you bring is vital as I encourage you to be ‘responsible’ for your own counselling journey. You are the expert on your own life. it is not my place to direct your meaning or tell you what to do. One of my main goals is to foster and nurture your sense of personal power and through this shared understanding help you embrace change.
I incorporate other creative and expressive ways of working, alternative to talking. This includes using: timelines, artwork, visualisations and encouraging you to develop and explore any mental images you share.
I may explore how your past impacts you or focus on unconscious thought processes which manifest themselves in your behaviour patterns and seek to deepen your understanding of the connections between how you feel and the way you behave. How you feel about your past present and future can all be explored through counselling.
My role consists of ‘widening and broadening’ your ‘visual field’ so that the ‘whole spectrum of potential meaning becomes conscious and visible’ to you (Frankl). Counselling offers you the valuable opportunity to gain perspective on your life, free from outside interferences or disturbances. I have a strong belief in our ability and potential to cope and survive as human beings even through the most difficult times.
‘How many therapists does it take to change a light bulb? One, but the light bulb has really got to want to change.’ I love that old joke!
In your first session with me I will give you the chance to share your story in your own words as well as ask you some questions, in order to decide whether working together is the right decision. We will explore your understanding and expectations of the counselling process and try to imagine what changes you would like to see and how you imagine them happening.
Our relationship would be confidential, and the content of the sessions would remain confidential. I adhere to the BACP Ethical Framework for Good Practice where a few legal exceptions for this are outlined, and where possible I would discuss the situation with you first before any break of confidentiality.
My fee is £40 per 1 hour session, payable directly after each session by cash, cheque or bank transfer. I do offer some concessions for students or those who are currently unemployed. Sessions usually take place on a weekly basis, but other patterns can be accommodated. I review my fees annually, and will inform you in advance of any changes.
I require 24 hours notice for the cancellation of a session, otherwise the cost of the session will be charged.