Sometimes life can be very testing. It can threaten both our sense of self and our emotional well-being. This can lead to a variety of feelings, including isolation, confusion, distress, anger and pain. At these times, it can be helpful to use the quiet, reflective and confidential space offered by the counselling setting to help us process our life circumstances and find new ways forward.
What happens in counselling?
I aim to provide a setting where you can tell your story in a way that enables you to feel heard, understood and thought about. This requires a certain level of listening and stillness in me, the counsellor. Initially, this may feel a little unusual and uncomfortable, since most of us have never experienced being truly listened to by those around us.
As you become more comfortable with this type of listening, you should find that you are able to reveal more of yourself and that new thoughts, feelings, ideas and insights begin to emerge about yourself and the world around you. Over time, this should enable you to feel more at ease with yourself and more in control of your own life.
I believe that how we relate to each other in the room is a reflection of your relationships outside the counselling room. Therefore, I am always keen that we jointly explore how our relationship is progressing within the sessions.
What about counselling for young people (16-25)?
Yes, I offer counselling to young people. Having worked in Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) for some years, I am competent to work with them. I will adapt my approach according to their needs. This may involve using creative therapies, including parents in some of the work and thinking about how the system around them may be impacting upon them (e.g. family life and school/college). I do not work with primary school aged children, as they generally benefit more from play therapy.
Listening to the music behind your words…….
But do I really need counselling?
If you are looking at this website, then it is probably a sign that something in your life does not feel quite right and that you would benefit from counselling. If you contact me by phone, then we can discuss it a little more and you can decide whether or not to take it any further.
I feel apprehensive about coming for counselling.
Taking the decision to enter in to counselling can be nerve wracking. We might feel ashamed or embarrassed of our difficulties. We may fear feeling vulnerable or exposed. These are all normal worries. I recognise that overcoming these anxieties and contacting a counsellor takes great courage. As a result, I do my best to foster a safe and trusting relationship from the very beginning. Over time, your worries about coming for counselling should subside and you should begin to settle in to the process.
What if I don’t feel I can work with you, the counsellor?
I believe that the quality of our relationship is fundamental to the success of counselling. It is important that you feel a sense of connectedness when you are with me. If, when you speak to me or meet me, you feel that you cannot work with me, you are free to seek out a different counsellor.
My preferred approach is psychodynamic which has its roots in psychoanalysis, one of the oldest and most established forms of therapy available. Psychodynamic counselling is less intense than psychoanalysis, with sessions being offered less frequently and on a more short-term basis. It focuses on current difficulties and on what emerges in the ‘here and now’ of the therapeutic relationship in order to facilitate positive change in your life.
That said, I have worked for many years in mental health services and during this time I have received training and acquired skills in other areas of practice, including cognitive behaviorual strategies, systemic techniques, family work and creative therapies. Where appropriate I integrate aspects of these approaches in to my work.
Essentially, psychodynamic counselling aims to help us understand how our early relationships with significant others influence our present-day interactions, emotions, behaviours and thought patterns. It works on the premise that becoming more aware of these influences enables us to change how we behave within relationships, so making us more content with ourselves and our lives.