First steps

 

For anyone seeking therapy, choosing the right therapist can be a challenge in itself. Shop around until you find a person you can trust and be open with. I recommend you only consider an experienced professional with qualifications, validated by a professional body. Research has shown conclusively that it is the relationship between you and the therapist, over and above any method of working, which makes for a successful outcome. I offer a 30 minute FREE initial ZOOM or phone conversation will help you decide whether you want to arrange to meet me for a consultation.

 

Initial consultation

 

Together we will explore your current situation to identify problems, dilemmas and issues. I am experienced in assessment and referral on to specialist help where appropriate. The number of sessions we plan would be subject to ongoing mutual review and progress. I offer a flexible service and in the first session we would discuss frequency of attendance, fees and confidentiality.

My fees are currently £75 for 50 minutes for individual face to face counselling and £60 for on-line ZOOM sessions. I am available to negotiate a lower fee in some cases when I have space. I also sometimes arrange fortnightly sessions. After the end of the initial consultation there is no pressure to start.  I make time for you to decide about when and how you might want to work with me.

 

How I work as an integrative counselling therapist

 

Since my original humanistic therapy training, my way of working has broadened. Rather than following a single theoretical approach I now use a range therapeutic models and approaches which makes for more effective therapy. This enables me to work more creatively and to focus on each person's particular situation and potential.  My years in the NHS has given me the competence and confidence to help people make the changes,  effectively and efficiently. 

 

My approach to therapeutic change
 

If the solution to your difficulties was obvious you wouldn't be seeking therapy. This is why it is often helpful to explore unconscious habits, beliefs and assumptions.

 

People may be asking themselves:

  • Why do I get hurt so often?

  • Why do I get stuck in difficult situations or unsatisfactory relationships?

  • Why do I repeat the same old patterns over and over again?

 

I usually start by tackling present difficulties, particularly where symptoms of anxiety or depression are affecting day to day living. An improvement in mood early on can build confidence and pave the way for other changes. With people who choose to come for longer term therapy. I encourage what is called transformative change. This is when a small change, often in attitude or belief about life or self, leads to profound change in your way of being, thinking and relating.

 

I have wide experience of working with the following issues:

 

  • Depression

  • General and social anxiety

  • Relationship difficulties

  • Bereavement

  • Parenting

  • Childhood abuse and attachment issues

  • Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

  • Self Esteem

  • Career direction

  • Sleep Difficulties

  • Trauma

  • Addictive behaviour

  • Disordered Eating

  • Work stress and bullying

 

Influences and focus

 

Overall my focus is to get more out of life in the present.  I will help you find ways to deal with brooding, worrying and generally 'over thinking'   These ways might surprise you.  As author Michael Neill says: “There’s nothing you can do that will quiet the mind faster than doing nothing to quiet the mind.” 

My work has also been enriched by using psychodynamic principles and we might explore past relationships, events and trauma if we find they are affecting life now.  Once trust between us takes root, a combination of support and challenge will help you to access your inner resources and make changes in thinking, feeling and or doing.

 

Fundamentally, my style of working is person-centred and influenced by Carl Roger's three Core Conditions.

 

  • The first ”unconditional positive regard” means I accept you unconditionally and non-judgmentally. You are free to explore all thoughts and feelings, positive or negative, without fear of judgement .

  • The second ”empathic understanding” means that I seek to understand your thoughts, feelings, and meanings from your point of view and perspective.

  • The third ”congruence” means that I do not hide behind a detached and professional facade, but am open and transparent.
     

Working with couples

 

My basic approach to working with couples is to facilitate more trusting and open communication. I focus on the relationship and on the process of relating rather than working with each individual. Some couples are looking for insight and understanding whilst others look for active change.  More difficult but equally important is handling differences between the couple and working towards acceptance and what is called 'empathic joining'   When appropriate I help couples to create their own First Aid Couple Repair Kit

 

My approach is practical, collaborative  and creative.  Fees are negotiable on request.