‘Don’t be afraid to cry. It will free your mind of sorrowful thoughts’ - Hopi
Counselling is a journey to increased self-awareness. It starts with making the decision to yourself to live a happier or more meaningful life. The counselling relationship is the unique relationship between client and counsellor which is based on mutual respect and the understanding that the sessions exist to promote your mental well-being. Counselling allows you a private, safe place to talk in confidence without fear of judgement, criticism or unwanted advice.
Talking has long been known to be a way of relieving pent up emotions and reducing stress. Often talking to family and friends can be difficult. Sometimes they are part of the problem and you are uncertain how to talk to them about it or whether to. Perhaps you simply prefer not to involve them.
What happens next?
Firstly, we would meet for a consultation so that you can see if you feel comfortable in my counselling setting and explore more about if counselling is the right step for you. In the consultation you will be asked to say briefly what issues you are dealing with at present and how this is affecting you emotionally. It is an opportunity to ask me anything you would like to know about how I work and how counselling might help you. At the end you may choose to book a counselling session or you may choose to have some time to think further.
How often and how long?
The frequency of sessions can be arranged to suit your lifestyle, with most people preferring to attend weekly to start with. Sessions are 50 minutes long, allowing a few minutes at the end to reflect and to book a follow up session.
My training and experience mean that I can listen attentively, paying careful attention to the values that shape what is important to you. This enables me to support you in working towards your goals, helping you clarify difficult thoughts and feelings. By understanding yourself better you can make well-informed decisions about the future, whatever may have happened in the past.
After starting a course of counselling we will review regularly to see how you are finding it and if there is anything that is unhelpful or difficult for you within the sessions. Some clients are ready to end after 5 or 6 sessions while others have up to 30 or more for their particular journey. It is not possible to say at the beginning how many sessions you will need. You will know when you are ready to end.
My counselling room is my conservatory
Life is in perpetual motion. People change and grow and needs change. Your partner may seem different from the person you fell in love with. Perhaps you’ve changed too.
Having counselling with your partner holds the potential for growth and positive change in your relationship. It can help you understand each other in new ways and improve the way you relate. It may unlock small changes for the relationship, benefitting your lives as a couple from now on.
Relationships can become stuck in a rut. The aim of Couples counselling is to help the relationship develop and move more freely. If you or your partner have reached a sticking point counselling can help to clear the way. However there can be no guarantee of staying together. Through counselling one or both of you may realise that things have changed irrevocably for you and that the relationship cannot continue. Couple counselling can help with the emotional pain and practical difficulties of breaking up too.
My couples work is based on professional training and qualifications recognised by the Couples Counselling Network and on Person-centred couple counselling.
The death of someone we love is often a traumatic life event. Feelings of desperation, loneliness, fear, guilt, hopelessness, anger, relief and elation, can be overwhelming and confusing.
For many of us there is no clear path. Without the lengthy funeral rites of other cultures we are often uncertain how we should feel, how we should deal with our loss or the feelings that follow. It can be a time of loneliness and anxiety.
The task of mourning cannot be rushed or directed by another. There is no ‘right way’ to grieve. Grief is very personal to each of us and, while some appear unaffected, others seem to collapse emotionally under the weight of loss.
In choosing counselling, you will find someone to hear you, be with you to share your journey and help you through it.
Symptoms of depression often follow a period of anxiety and / or a personal loss. Your symptoms might include:
Feeling sad most of the time,
Finding no enjoyment in activities you used to enjoy,
Finding it hard to concentrate or think clearly,
Believing that life is hopeless,
Thoughts of suicide,
Feeling isolated from friends and family.
Most of us go through periods of mild depression and for some this leads to moderate and severe depression. There are some important things to remember: you are not alone in these feelings and there is nothing ‘wrong’ with you for having these thoughts and emotions. What you are experiencing is a natural reaction to life circumstances that is felt by many at various times. Mental and physical processes work together to cause the symptoms. It is not your fault and you do not have to deal with your symptoms alone. Depression that is ignored can worsen. Help and support is available. The important thing is to realise that you are worthy of the support that exists and to take advantage of it.
I strongly believe in the link between body and mind in cultivating depression and in its recovery. Looking after yourself in terms of rest, nutrition, regular moderate exercise and being around others is central to recovery. Seeing a counsellor can help in terms of allowing you a regular safe space to talk openly and explore feelings of sadness, regret, loss and anger. When these are suppressed, anxiety and depression often result. I can also help you create a well-being schedule to include good sleep patterns, healthy nutrition and exercise. I have had periods of moderate to severe depression in my own life which now allows for greater understanding and empathy with my clients.
Anger is a normal and valuable human emotion. Most of us will experience situations in life that provoke our anger. Anger serves as a compass, showing us that something is wrong and in some way life-threatening or value-threatening. Exploring personal beliefs about anger and understanding our ‘triggers’ can be the first step in managing our response and its harmful effects. I will support you in examining values and beliefs that you may have held for many years. We will look at how anger works for and against you and in your relationships with others. We will look at the physiological changes that happen in the human body when the fight-or-flight response is activated. In recognising triggers, perceptual and physical responses and your typical reactions, you can begin to train yourself react differently and handle situations more calmly and effectively.