Everyone can find themselves feeling stuck, at a point of crisis or losing confidence about the way ahead. Life might feel overwhelming at times, and it can be difficult to find a way through. Times like this can knock your confidence and you might feel you are losing your sense of ‘self’; this can lead us to turn to anxiety, low mood, coping strategies, or outbursts of emotion that we don’t feel in control of. This can feel stressful and worrying. Counselling can be incredibly helpful to understand ourselves, our thoughts, our emotions and situation. We will work together to look at what you are feeling, to understand the past and the impact it might be having, and finally help you connect with your true self, all at a pace that is right for you.

I offer a safe space and non-judgement which enables you to talk freely. Developing self-compassion, acceptance, as well as the confidence to move forward positively are just some of the benefits of counselling.

My Approach

Finding the right counsellor

As in all relationships, it is important to find the right person for you; the therapeutic relationship is no exception. This is the reason I offer a 15-minute phone consultation free of charge before meeting with you. This allows us an opportunity to talk about the reason you are seeking counselling and to answer any questions that you might have about how I work and the process of counselling. There is no obligation to take up my services if I am not the right person for you.

What will our first session be like?

In our first session, I will spend some time getting to know you, your concerns and any goals you might have for therapy. We will talk through an agreement for our work together and you can raise any questions or concerns you might have. It is helpful for me to understand your expectations and ensure I am the right person for you. This session will help you discover whether this feels right for you and then we can work together effectively on your journey in the following weeks.

In future sessions, usually after six, we will review our work so far and whether you feel it is meeting your needs. We can do this at an earlier stage if you are not sure that counselling is right for you. You can ask questions at any time throughout the process, this therapeutic relationship is here to serve you.

How long do sessions last?

Sessions last for 1 hour, however this can be extended with prior warning and negotiation. Occasionally my clients might need a little extra time, but this has to be pre planned in the diary.
What is Person-Centred Therapy?

Person-Centred Counsellors believe that each person has the capacity for self-healing and personal growth. At the heart of person-centred counselling is the belief in client (your) autonomy as we believe that humans have an innate tendency toward personal growth. Counsellors will not give advice but skilfully help clients understand themselves and their experiences and how that has shaped their sense of value. By helping clients to feel accepted and able to understand themselves more deeply, clients can reconnect with their self-worth and their values. This work allows them to then move forward in a way that is in line with their ‘true self’. Clients can explore their strengths and feel connected to their identity.

Clients should experience three core conditions within the therapeutic relationship:

  • Congruence – Counsellors should be completely genuine
  • Empathy – Feeling heard, seen and your experiences understood
  • Unconditional positive regard – A counsellor must be non-judgemental

This safe and comforting environment enables clients to explore past experiences, understand how that has affected them and learn to trust themselves, their feelings and develop healthier relationships.

Person-Centred counselling is appropriate for people of all ages, it allows the client to control the pace and content of the sessions and is particularly helpful for those who want to explore themselves more deeply.

This form of counselling is particularly effective for people experiencing anxiety, stress, depression, grief and many other mental health concerns.

What is Transactional Analysis?

Transactional Analysis is a theory based on understanding behaviour, both ours and that of people we are in relationship with. All conversations are ‘transactions’, if I say hello to you, I am really expecting some form of reply and that would be seen as a transaction. Not all transactions go as we think they might and that can leave us feeling confused or upset. TA helps us understand what is ‘going on beneath the surface’ of our interactions with other people, both for us and them. This brings us very useful insights into our relationships and behavioural styles of the people we love, work and spend time with.

Eric Berne, who developed TA, believed that there are 3 distinct parts of our make-up that responds to situations and people around us differently. He called these Ego states, the Parent, the Adult and the Child. Have you ever heard the voice of your parent/teacher/other key figure you grew up with in your head? It can sound nurturing and caring… or quite critical and controlling. That’s our Parent Ego state talking. Next, we have the Adult which is clear thinking, analytical, calm and rational. It is capable of compromise and being able to balance our own feelings and those of others in a objective and practical manner. Finally, we all have a Child Ego state which doesn’t mean childish but can be us at our most spontaneous and fun (natural child) or argumentative, whiny, or people pleasing states (adapted child).

We are all these three states, and none is better than the other, too much time spent in any of these states isn’t helpful. Getting to know what our drives us, how we communicate and also some of the games we play in relationships are all part of understanding ourselves, our relationships and some of the challenges we face. Transactional Analysis can be a very effective journey of self-exploration, understanding others and communicating effectively. It is a complex theory and tricky to explain in just one post but hopefully this is a flavour of what might be covered when working with TA.

What is Gestalt Therapy?

Gestalt therapy focuses on the ‘here-and-now’ increasing our awareness, freedom and self-direction. It is not focused on past experiences but rather is interested in the cycle of experience that we repeat often with the same outcomes.

As a plant is influenced by its environment, so we are influenced by the people and situations around us. If you have had a plant that looks a little droopy and sad, and you have moved it to a different windowsill and ensured it has the right water and sunlight you will see it perk up and thrive. We all work to achieve personal growth and balance, with therapy where we experience empathy and unconditional acceptance we are able to trust and accept how we feel and make decisions about our situations that will help move us forward.

There is no direct translation for the German word ‘Gestalt’ but it generally speaks to the works ‘form’ or ‘whole’. We are one whole made of many parts, mind, body, emotions and soul, and Gestalt therapy allows us to use self-awareness of these different parts of ourselves, and the way they experience our worlds to further understand our behaviour, thoughts and emotions.

The benefits of Gestalt therapy are, but not limited to:

  • Increased Self-awareness
  • Improved self-confidence
  • Developing acceptance of past events
  • Owning mistakes and behaviours without placing blame
  • Resilience in stressful situations

A Gestalt therapist through non-judgement helps us become more self-aware of negative through patterns and behaviours enabling us to challenge and change those habits and patterns. Such insight can help alleviate current challenges and difficulties and can feel very empowering where previously we might have felt unable to make such change.

What is Humanistic Integrative Counselling?
Humanistic therapy is a holistic approach based on the belief of free will, autonomy, our potential for growth and development, and self-awareness and discovery. Through understanding our thoughts, feelings, habits and reactions to our experiences we can get in touch with our self-concept and find meaning and direction. The integrative approach means that your counsellor selects from different models and methods to suit each client. Research has shown that therapy is more effective when tailored to the individual. In addition, the integrative approach speaks to the fact that we are all unique personalities, made up of our behaviours, cognitive and physiological systems with vastly different life experiences. No one theory can treat every client in all situations.