What is counselling?

As human beings we are very complex and intricate, and over our lives we are challenged by lots of different events and influences. It is no wonder that we can end up developing all sorts of different emotional difficulties and mental health issues.

Counselling can help you to cope with:

  • a mental health condition, such as anxiety, depression or an eating disorder
  • an upsetting physical health condition, such as infertility or chronic pain
  • a difficult life event, such as a bereavement, a relationship breakdown or work-related stress
  • difficult emotions, such as low self-esteem or anger
  • other issues, such as sexual identity

My counselling room is a safe and confidential space where you can feel free to express yourself and to explore your emotional difficulties. As your counsellor, I will listen to you and help you to find ways to deal with your emotional issues. I don’t judge, I have a warm and caring attitude and I will ensure that you always feel heard and understood.

Rather than giving advice, I will encourage you to open up and to explore and process your thoughts and feelings. By getting to the root causes of your issues,you can start to see things from a different perspective and find new ways forward. We may look at developing new coping strategies.

Types of Therapy

I am trained and experienced in a range of different types of therapy. I believe that different types of therapy suit different issues and individuals. I don’t think that one size fits all when it comes to therapy. As part of the initial consultation I will discuss with you the type of therapy that I feel would best benefit you.

You may come to me already knowing the type of therapy that you require. You may have heard about or researched a particular type of therapy that you feel may fit with you and the issues you are experiencing. Your GP or other health professional may have already suggested a particular type of therapy.

Types of therapy I am trained and experienced in:

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) can be used to treat people with a wide range of mental health problems. CBT is based on the idea that how we think (cognition), how we feel (emotion) and how we act (behavior) all interact together.

CBT is based on the concept that your thoughts, feelings, physical sensations and actions are interconnected, and that negative thoughts and feelings can trap you in a vicious cycle. CBT aims to help you deal with overwhelming problems in a more positive way by breaking them down into smaller parts.

I will work with you to break down your problems into their separate parts, such as your thoughts, physical feelings and actions.

Together, we will analyse these areas to work out if they’re unrealistic or unhelpful, and to determine the effect they have on each other and on you.

I will then be able to help you work out how to change unhelpful thoughts and behaviours.

After working out what you can change, I will ask you to practise these changes in your daily life and we’ll discuss how you got on during the next session.

The eventual aim of therapy is to teach you to apply the skills you have learnt during treatment to your daily life.

This should help you manage your problems and stop them having a negative impact on your life, even after your course of treatment finishes.

Creative Work is a way of exploring thoughts and feelings in very visual and sensory way. Through the use of imagery, art and creative techniques you can reach a deeper level of understanding of what is causing your distress.

It is particularly useful for people who are used to working in a creative and artistic way, although people often surprise themselves by how creative and imaginative they can be! And I feel I need to point out that you certainly don’t need to have any particular talent at all to do artistic work, the therapeutic power of doodling and scribbling and just being free-form and playful is immense.

I have collections of interesting stones, buttons and image cards which you can use to explain and explore how you are feeling. People often find it easier to tell their stories in this way, and can bring out some very unexpected results, in terms of personal meaning and reflection.

I also have art materials on hand if you would like to tell your story in an artistic way. You may have some art work, craft work or writing that you would like to bring into the session to talk about or to aid your expression of how you feel.

If you would like to try some creative work during your counselling sessions, let me know. Even if you are not sure or are curious about it, it may be something that you would like to try out in one of your sessions.

Inner Child Therapy helps those who were hurt and traumatized as children by the adults and situations surrounding them. Adults who they should have been able to trust to protect and love them unconditionally may have abused them either through neglect, physically, sexually or emotionally. These traumas fundamentally affect the child’s developing sense of identity and self worth.

As children, we rely 100% on the adults around us to protect us and look after us. This should be unconditional and children should never have any conditions placed on the love they receive. Often adults who were abused as children will falsely come to believe that they were to blame in some way for the traumas they endured. Abusive adults will often cruelly reinforce this belief in their victims.

As adults, we all have an inner child part of us. For adults who were lucky to have grown up in a in a healthy, safe and nurturing environment this naturally develops into the part of us that is regularly playful, spontaneous, mischievous and fun.

Abused children develop into adults who have a damaged inner child. They will often have low self-esteem and will hold negative beliefs about themselves and the world around them. The inner child has been suffocated and stifled and not been allowed to grow. The damaged inner child feels insecure and unsafe. This may lead to depression, anxiety and low self-esteem. The adult may develop unhealthy coping strategies such as addiction, self harm and self destructive behaviours in an attempt to deal with their distress.

Through inner child therapy, your inner child can be reparented and feel safe and loved and nurtured again. As your inner child comes to feel safe again and to be able to separate from the traumas that damaged it, you will start to feel more complete and be able to take back control over your life.

Inner child therapy is not about revisiting the traumas or re-experiencing them. It is about replacing the inner feeling of unconditional and loving acceptance that should have automatically been there for you from childhood.

Mindfulness is a very effective coping strategy for dealing with difficult emotional conditions such as anxiety and depression. As part of looking at new and healthier coping strategies, I will help you to bring mindfulness into your daily life. Paying more attention to the present moment – to your own thoughts and feelings, and to the world around you – can improve your mental well-being.

Becoming more aware of the present moment can help us enjoy the world around us more and understand ourselves better. When we become more aware of the present moment, we begin to experience afresh things that we have been taking for granted.

Mindfulness practices can really help with identifying the signs of stress and anxiety early and to deal with them better. Through developing and practising mindfulness techniques you can begin to regain control over your feelings and to cope much better.

Person Centred Counselling is my core therapy type and whatever type of therapy or therapeutic interventions I am working with, a person centred therapeutic relationship is always at the core of my work. Through my genuine, warm and non-judgmental attitude I aim to provide you with an environment where you can feel safe to develop and grow.

Person centred counselling theory is based around the idea that in order for a person to reach their full potential, they must have a healthy, nurturing environment and the right conditions around them. When the developing individual absorbs others’ negative ideas and influences into their self concept, they become seperated from their natural tendency to grow and develop.

Through the distortion and denial of aspects of their true nature, they ultimately come to suffer emotionally. Mental health issues such as depression, anxiety and low self-esteem, or often more complex mental health conditions can develop as a result.

Through my empathy, I will attempt to enter your inner world in order to understand how you are feeling as closely as anyone possibly can come to understand another’s experiences. I respect that I haven’t experienced what you share with me, but I can sit alongside you in your pain and distress and get as close as I possibly can to a sense of what you are feeling.

This sense of being understood and heard in warm and genuine way can be extremely powerful. It can open up a deeper level of exploring and processing of your thoughts and feelings. Ultimately, person-centred counselling can help you to connect with your true self, that person who you may feel has been lost along the way.

Whatever it is that you are feeling, through person centred counselling I can facilitate your journey back to your true self. When your self concept matches your true self, that person you were born to be, there is harmony and well-being.

Psychodynamic Counselling has its roots in Sigmund Freud’s style of psychoanalysis. Over the years, other theorists have added to and updated this approach to therapy.

Freud’s belief was that when we suffer emotionally we often reject our difficult feelings, because they are so hard to accept and deal with. We use various defense mechanisms to attempt to make ourselves feel better. These defense mechanisms can come to dominate the way we relate to others and the way we view the world around us. Over time, this can cause damage to our emotional well-being.

The aim of psychodynamic counselling is to explore and identify any subconscious processes that may be holding you back and causing your distress. This will often involve exploring significant events in your childhood and identifying how these events affected you then and how they directly affect the way you are feeling today. Through exploring and processing the unconscious mind and what is hidden there, current problems can be directly healed and recovery can take place.

Psychodynamic counselling can be very effective in treatring many emotional disorders. It is particularly useful in treating depression, anxiety, addictions and eating disorders.

Through psychodynamic counselling I can help you to identify any harmful thinking styles that have developed through subconscious processes. I can help you to identify and become aware of where this came from and how it has come to affect you now. Through reflecting on and processing this awareness, you can come to a new understanding of yourself and a better sense of emotional well-being.

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