I think my clients are a lot like you. Whether witness to or victim of, they too were left traumatised by events such as domestic abuse, violent attacks, childhood abuse, major accidents....... being either recent or historic; reported or not.
Like you they were plagued with feelings such as anxiety, depression, shame, guilt and powerlessness. Life was hard; they didn’t want to get out of bed and face the day. Day to day functioning felt overwhelming. They hoped as time passed things would improve and for some, where criminal proceedings were involved, they thought once the perpetrator was behind bars then everything would go ‘back to normal’ only to find this was not the case.
Like you, they wanted to lead a ‘normal’ life. They wanted to be active, to have fun, go to work, to socialise, have close relationships, travel etc. They wanted to feel confident and content however, their trauma had changed all that and by the time they came to me they believed life would now be just surviving and existing rather than actively living. Crippling panic attacks, recurring nightmares & flashbacks, hyper vigilance which left them constantly looking over their shoulder or sitting with their backs to the wall scanning the nearest exit were commonplace. They had tried everything to make things better. Strategies included staying at home with the windows and doors locked, self medicating with drink and drugs, self harming, avoiding people and places and going to the GP for medication. For many, suicide felt like the only option. They knew what they were doing only offered short term relief and ultimately wasn’t helping but they didn’t know what else to do.
My personal experience was one of 'shock' trauma came with the very sudden death of my beloved father. Life was good until he was found dead in bed having suffered a massive heart attack during the night. In an instant the world I knew stopped. Everything and everyone around me was still the same yet everything had changed – it felt surreal.
After the funeral initially things seemed okay. I’d returned to work, I was socialising, I was functioning day to day however as time passed the more it became apparent that I’d been fooling not only others but myself; I was not okay. I began to experience flashbacks to that fateful day. My appetite vanished leaving me drastically underweight which in turn led to a lack of energy and focus, not to mention catching every bug that was going around. Relationships with family and friends became strained, sleep was sporadic and depression took hold. How could I cope without my Dad, my ‘go to’ person for support and advice? I was taking ante depressants and out partying all the time by way of distraction. I knew it wasn’t healthy but I didn’t know what else to do. I was on an emotional roller coaster; one minute feeling like ‘I’ve got this’ and the next feeling overwhelmed and helpless.
I was fortunate and had good people around me offering words of support but still, I realised they were not the right people to help at this particular time so I started researching local Counsellors. One spoke of trauma being’ just a part of our story, not a roadmap of the future’ and that a ‘new normal’ was possible. That was it! I realised I’d assumed and hoped everything would be the same again but how could it be? My Dad was dead. The penny dropped, I needed to work through my trauma and go forwards, rather than trying to go back. Over the following weeks I learned that what I was experiencing was not uncommon after a sudden traumatic incident. The flashbacks didn’t mean I was going mad and could be managed with a few simple techniques. I learned more beneficial coping strategies and slowly but surely I began to feel better differently, I could see that things could be better.
Over the next few years life was really good; I’d never have believed it possible but it was. I knew I wanted to be able to help others the way I had been helped so I embarked on a journey of 4 years studying and practicing before qualifying as a Counsellor. As a result of my personal experience I was drawn towards working with trauma and undertook further training with an organisation specialising in supporting victims of crime and this; has been my passion ever since.
I am proud to say I have successfully worked with many clients helping them through their trauma; educating, supporting and empowering them as they travel the road to recovery and a brighter future.
In addition to my private practice, I work for a local charity supporting clients affected by ANY crime, whether it be recent or historic, reported or not and whether the client is the victim, witness or family member/friend.
I have also worked with clients within a busy general medical practice, worked in a local hospice, worked for North Kent MIND and have supported children at 'Place2Be' in a primary school setting,
Qualifications and Training
My training was within the Kent and Medway NHS Social Care Partnership Trust. The course is fully accredited by the British Association of Counsellors and Psychotherapists (BACP), the largest professional organisation representing Counselling and Psychotherapy in the UK (www.bacp.co.uk)
My online counselling training was provided by an executive member of The Association for Counselling and Therapy Online (ACTO). ACTO promotes, maintains, improves and advances online counselling and psychotherapy as a recognised method of therapeutic delivery within the mental health professions. (https://acto-org.uk/)
" I was very fortunate to have counselling sessions for trauma with Carrie in the calming environment of her home. She put me at ease at once and I found her to be kind, caring and down to earth. I always felt that she listened to and understood my point of view and was able to take leadership and ask questions that helped me understand myself and my reaction to situations. It was important to me to make sense of my past trauma, how it impacts my current life, and with her help, it all clicked into place. Working with Carrie was so beneficial to me as she gave me techniques to help break my negative thought patterns. I have decided to continue with monthly counselling sessions to keep the momentum going with my positive thought processes. I have realised through sessions with Carrie how important self-care is for myself and in turn, how this impacts my family and those close to me." - Oct 2020
"I had been struggling with Anxiety for many years and had tried counselling previously and, while It helped, I had failed to really connect with my previous counsellor. After a relapse a year later, I found Carrie online and reached out, nervous about starting counselling again and the anxiety that attending the sessions themselves has induced previously. From very early on I felt completely at ease with Carrie. It was like she knew what I was thinking even before I said it. Making it clear that our first meeting was a no obligation discussion and guiding me through the way she worked and what I could expect. She created a really open, pressure free and judgement free environment which helped me immensely to open up. Once I did it was so much easier to find my way to recovery. The tools that I learnt with Carrie have been life changing and I feel she really tailored her approach to my needs knowing that I had done some aspects of CBT before which made it feel much more personal and gave me some control over my treatment. I would jump to recommend Carrie to anyone suffering with Anxiety and am forever grateful for the change in perspective she has brought to my life." - Aug 2020"
"When I sought help from Carrie at Clearview I had concerns about anxiety/confidence but I decided to work with Carrie because she was friendly and caring and seemed a better fit than others I'd spoken to. I'm so pleased I did because now I feel better about myself and can start my life. My life is now back on track and are manageable when I break things down." - Jan 2020
"Carrie really helped me work through an extremely difficult period in my life through understanding my problems and also finding the root of the problems. The tools and exercises she gave me have been so helpful and I will use them for the rest of my life. She is so caring and a great listener and has completely changed my mindset to a positive one. I am so thankful and would recommend anyone to seek help through Carrie." - Dec 2019
"Carrie made me feel very welcome and comfortable. I was able to openly share my thoughts and feelings without judgement." - Aug 2019
"I am grateful for having such a service by my counsellor, I feel like I have a clearer perspective of life. She has allowed me to understand myself and encouraged me to be the best I can be. Thank you so much!" - May 2019
"Carrie has been very helpful in listening to my concerns and encouraging me to seek little ways to improve the balance of my life, which has had a very positive effect on my overall well being" - May 2019
"I would like to thank you for all your support in the months up to Christmas … the advice and help has been invaluable" - Feb 2019
"Coming to see Carrie was one of the best life decisions I have made. I fell like it completely opened my eyes on how to approach everything I thought I already knew. I am more comfortable and confident in making my own decisions and counselling has definitely provided me with everything I need to continue with my life" - Sept 2018
"Carrie is a brilliant counsellor who takes her time in getting to know you and getting to know the root of any issues you may be facing. She listens to every work you say, offers constructive feedback and advice and more importantly to me, takes the lead when she can see that you're struggling. Thank you for everything!" - Aug 2018
"Carrie helped me through a very dark period of my life following a series of issues which all occurred in a short space of about six months. Her understanding of my issues and her calm reassuring nature gave me a great deal of confidence which was greatly needed at the time. Working with Carrie over the last six months has not only helped me get back to my old self but in a number of ways made me a much better person than I was before. Carrie is a very special and extremely skilled person who I cannot recommend highly enough. Always be indebted to you, thank you Carrie." - June 2018
"I would definitely recommend Carrie to anyone who needs a gentle, caring, friendly person to listen." - June 2018
"Carrie helped me deal with some difficult and painful issues in my life in a sensitive and helpfully challenging way. She has helped me immensely to move on with my life and become a much happier, more positive person" - Apr 2018 (Online counselling)
"It was interesting and informative to understand how early childhood affected me as an individual. Grateful to have got the help/guidance to be able to understand the link and go forward in life with a clear focus and goal" - Mar 2018
"Carrie listened to my concerns and was able to identify factors which had never occurred to me before. She showed me a different way of thinking - challenging how I originally thought - to show things are in my control. Very pleased with my sessions" - Feb 2018
"Carrie helped me to address the issues I had and to get to the root of my problem. I have been in a much better place than I have been for years and it's down to the professionalism of this lady. Thank you, Carrie." - Nov 2017
"Carrie is exceptionally tactful (and respectful) when trying to overcome my boundaries and safe zones of discussion, which she and I eventually met and overcame to establish the roots of my anxieties. She allowed me time to become trusting of her. I am ever thankful to her. I actually miss the time and space she allows me to have in her company, gaining clarity on situations and thoughts, which I have." - Nov 2017
"Carrie was fantastic, really easy to talk to and a great help. We need more people like Carrie" - Oct 2017
''I found Carrie to be very calm and positive. She had always thought about every previous session and prepared thoroughly for the next. She introduced thought provoking exercises, research, drawings, diagrams - all to be discussed in a helpful way. I found her to be a thoroughly professional and approachable person'' - May 2017
"Carrie is the most wonderful lady. She helped me overcome a very traumatic time in my life. I never felt judged, and her home was opened up to me so I felt comfortable. Some sessions I just cried and felt nothing but comfort and understanding from Carrie. Her work method is amazing I don't know how she does it. Throughout my sessions with Carrie, we tried several methods as to how to deal with my situation. Each time I felt supported and she filled me with such encouragement. I felt I could tell her anything and she really gave me a place where I felt safe and not judged. I hadn't felt this way in a while. I've made a steady recovery and wouldn't have been able to do it without Carries' help. Highly recommend to anyone. I can't thank her enough" - Jan 2017
"I found that coming to the sessions was very helpful. Also I rarely think about the reason why I started to come. I see things in a different way now. I know that you are a very good listener, which all helps and a nice person." - Jan 2017