By reading this you are no doubt already aware that, for whatever reason/s, life can feel challenging and overwhelm us. It can be helpful to speak with someone else about these feelings. Often people find that speaking with a professional counsellor who is separate from their network of family and friends can bring great relief.
British Association for Counselling & Psychotherapy
How can I help you?
Counselling is not advice or a 'fix it' service,; rather a process where I can help you to explore and understand your difficulties, and then help you to understand and develop your own resources to cope with them. I can help you understand yourself better - perhaps unravelling why you behave the way you do or understanding your thought patterns which can ultimately help you develop a clearer understanding of your problems and indeed yourself. The more self aware you are, the easier it gradually becomes to navigate your way through any difficulties you are facing. Through our therapeutic relationship you can hope to develop greater levels of self-awareness allowing you to acknowledge your strengths so that you can make confident personal choices as you move forward.
I can help you with a wide variety of issues but also help you to accept the difficult things in life that cannot be changed which sometimes can produce negative effects on us such as depression, anger and panic attacks. Through understanding and acceptance you can hope to manage such difficult feelings and behaviours.
I can help by way of psycho education e.g. explaining the fight or flight response, the effects of Adrenalin, how trauma effects the brain. I can also provide tried and trusted practical coping strategies and techniques to help you cope better with day to day life.
Arranging counselling for the first time
Beginning counselling may feel scary but I aim to ensure sure you are fully informed about what you are getting into, so that you can make an informed decision for what you need right now. No pressure; no forcing you to do anything you don’t want to do and I will always treat you with respect and treat your concerns with sensitivity.
Firstly, ask yourself the following important questions:
If you answer “NO“, then I may not be the right Counsellor for you and you may wish to consider alternative therapists. If you answer “YES” then simply contact me either by phone or email, providing a brief overview of what you would like support with and your availability. I will then contact you to arrange an initial appointment if I have matching availability or you can of course ask to be put on a waiting list.
What to expect when you first meet me
There will be no tests to take or forms to complete – just conversation.
As you are speaking, I may ask you questions as we go along to check my understanding and to find out a little more. Sometimes I may tell you what I thought I heard from you, and I’ll offer another perspective you may not have considered. It’s my job to help you feel understood, to feel listened to, and to make sure that you feel as relaxed as you can manage, to talk about yourself freely. Of course you may still feel anxious, but that’s very normal.
Sometimes, something I say might trigger a thought that you’d not been prepared to speak about – and you’re welcome to talk about those thoughts too, but only if you wish. You are also welcome to talk about your reservations about me or my approach to counselling – and I encourage you to query anything I say that doesn’t make sense to you or may have made you feel uncomfortable – I will not be offended. At the end it would not be unusual for you to feel quite tired, but also to feel a sense of less burden. This would be the beginning of building a good relationship together (a therapeutic alliance) in which we might begin to tackle your difficulties together.
You may find counselling challenging or emotional on occasion. I have an ethical responsibility, however, to ensure that my counselling practice enables you to have a safe space to explore your feelings and emotions and to express your innermost fears, concerns and issues.
Counselling is not a 'magic wand' and there are no guarantees of immediate success. Neither is counselling about me telling you what to do. With commitment from both client and Counsellor, however, I believe that the opportunity exists for you to become more self-aware and to achieve a greater feeling of balance/calmness.
How many sessions will I need?
This is not something we can predict exactly at the outset. Essentially, we will work for as long as is necessary for you to resolve the issues you came with. We will review our work regularly to check that you are receiving the therapy that is right for you. Of course, you are free to end at any stage. In short, I will work with you for as long or as short as is necessary for your individual needs.