Everyone has times in their lives when they struggle; many of us feel that we cannot admit this to others, and oftentimes we may even have difficulty admitting it to ourselves.
During difficult or stressful times speaking to someone else about how we feel can help us to clarify things for ourselves, to see things differently, and to gain new insights and understandings. Someone we know, like a family member or a friend may not always be the best person for us to talk to; we may be unable to be completely honest for fear of hurting their feelings, or vice versa, or they may be unable to see things in an impartial way.
How can counselling help?
Counselling involves talking with a person like myself, who is trained to help you explore your difficulties or distress in a safe way. I will not tell you what you should or should not do, rather we will work together to enable you to gain insight, and a greater understanding of what motivates your patterns of behaviour, ways of relating to others and negative emotions.
My counselling training (see qualifications) was psychodynamic, which means I believe we are influenced by our past experiences and relationships, unconscious attitudes and conflicts.
Current distress often has it’s origins in early relationships and experiences, and we have a tendency to repeat patterns of behaviour, even when we would like to change them. Counselling can assist you in becoming consciously aware of unconscious patterns and connections, and this may be all that is needed in order for you to make changes.
As your self understanding increases, we can consider how you might find more appropriate ways of coping, or bring about changes in your thinking and behaviours.
Sometimes there might be more work to be done, but sometimes becoming consciously aware of unconscious patterns and connections can be all that is needed in order for us to make changes.
For example, a woman who claimed she was happily married had felt herself driven to take their eight year old daughter and leave her husband, going to stay with friends in another part of the country without telling her husband where they were. She contacted me, seeking counselling to help her to understand what had motivated her to act in this way, and to think about her options for the future. As we began to explore her past, she mentioned that she had been abused by her own father when she was eight years of age – the same age as her daughter is now. Unconsciously, she had felt driven to act, to ‘save’ her daughter, as she herself had not been saved. Once she became consciously aware of this connection, and realised that her husband was not like her father, and would not act in the same ways, she felt safe to contact him and arrange for her and her daughter to return home.
When a new client contacts me I usually arrange an initial appointment where there will be the opportunity for us to discuss the issues that have brought them for counselling, and what they would like to achieve. If we both feel that we would like to proceed with the counselling then we agree to a further five sessions. The sixth session will be an opportunity to review how the work is proceeding and for us to decide whether more work needs to be done.
Counselling sessions last for 50 minutes, and usually take place weekly, on the same day and time, although this is flexible.
The initial session is half price - £17.50 – further sessions cost £35
The rooms I use are quiet and safe, and what we talk about will remain confidential.
Qualifications and experience.
As a member of BACP (British Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy) I adhere to their guidelines and ethical framework, and have completed BACP accredited Advanced and Post Graduate Diplomas in Psychodynamic Counselling with Cambridge University.
In addition to seeing clients privately I also work as a trainer and counsellor for a local charity providing counselling for adult survivors of sexual violence and childhood sexual abuse.
Following completion of my own training as a counsellor, I heard about and experienced different types of ‘meridian energy therapy’ (inparticular EFT - emotional freedom techniques, and Faster EFT – emotionally focussed transformations) and was so amazed at the changes that these can effect that I have since trained in these approaches also. This enables me to offer clients a huge additional resource, and in combining these approaches with counselling I found that clients were able to make much deeper shifts much more quickly than with conventional counselling alone.
EFT and Faster-EFT have been referred to as types of ‘emotional acupressure’ and involve tapping on different meridian energy points (some of the points used in acupuncture) whilst aiming at negative thoughts or emotions. There is an increasing amount of clinical literature demonstrating that EFT is able to rapidly reduce the impact of memories and incidents that trigger emotional distress (including PTSD); when properly done the underlying emotional factors that contribute to the problem are typically released. Instead of taking months or years using conventional ‘talk therapy’, EFT and Faster EFT can clear old traumas cleanly in far fewer sessions.
I explain a little to clients about how these work in our initial session, and if they are interested in integrating these into our work together this is done at no additional cost.
Some of the issues counselling can help with include, but are not limited to, the following;
Abuse (physical, emotional and psychological, and sexual) Anger, Anxiety, Bereavement, Depression, Domestic Violence, Eating Disorders, Low Self Esteem, Low Self-confidence, Panic Disorder, PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) Relationship issues, Self Harm and Stress.