Practicalities: I am very happy to answer any queries you have about Counselling and if you then want to book a first appointment, we will look at times which work for you. A first session is at a reduced rate so you can see how it feels and how you find speaking to me. It is important that you can talk openly and trust me.
My Approach: At the first meeting we can discuss what the issues are, their background and what you want from Counselling. You have a particular and special way of looking at the world and we work with that as whatever you choose to do, needs to make sense with that view. My Counselling is about working with you personally and what you bring to sessions so that you can manage your life in a way that suits you.
Counselling helps us think about and get to know our values and priorities better and how we can use these to support us. Understanding and having an increased awareness of what underlies your thinking and actions can help decision making. It also enables you to decide whether old habits and ways of thinking are still relevant now; re-considering these with someone outside your usual family or social groups can be life-changing. Ultimately successful Counselling is always about change of some kind whether of thinking, feeling or behaving.
Theoretical Outlook: I believe we are all individuals and it is up to us to make the most of our lives within certain limitations we cannot change. We need to create a life which is right for us and being able to tune in and take note of how we feel supports us in doing that. Therapy can help us reassess aspects of life which are not working well or balance our lives so that they match more closely what we believe and value.
I am an Integrative therapist drawing on different Counselling approaches which we can choose and adapt so they suits you best. To help you get to a place which feels healthier and happier, I work in a Person-Centred way, using Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), Psychodynamic Theory, Transactional Analysis (TA) or sometimes Motivational Interviewing.
Whatever the tools, therapy means you have space to talk and my full attention. I will always respect who you are and what you are looking for.
I understand that relationships are very different; you might be in a heterosexual or same sex relationship, in a marriage, civil partnership or with a less formalized commitment to each other.
Relationship therapy also varies; my Couples Counselling is not about drama but about creating a calm and balanced space where each of you can talk and be heard by the other. Your relationship will be the focus of Couples Counselling; it is this which is at the heart of all the work we do together.
Both partners are encouraged to take responsibility for what they put into the relationship. We will look at ways to strengthen and nurture it whether you are having particular difficulties or are seeking ways to deepen your connection.
We all bring aspects of what we have learned and experienced in life whether from our personal, social, cultural or family histories. Sometimes these ways of seeing things are no longer necessary and can be unhelpful. Awareness of what could be happening enables us to pause and consider. There are powerful techniques and tools available to help you look after your relationship.
You will take from Counselling, a greater knowledge and understanding of your relationship which will enable you to protect and develop it both now and in the future.
Couples Counselling is different from having individual therapy as it is likely to feel more structured and perhaps more directive as part of ensuring that the sessions are balanced evenly between both partners. There needs to be a willingness on both sides to engage in the process and commit to it.
There are a few important issues you need to know:
I strongly advise couples to have face-to-face Counselling.
- Due to data protection legislation, I need both partners to contact me directly so that I know both sides are looking for Counselling and that I have permission to get in touch with you both.
- Couples Counselling involves shared communication between Counsellor and both partners. There can be no unshared communication between one partner and myself.
- Sessions always include both parties; they cannot take place unless both partners are present.
Number of Sessions
Counselling usually works best on a weekly basis; this might be over few sessions, several weeks or a longer time period; people and their lives are very different and I work with that flexibility.
Most people find they need between 12 and 25 sessions. Some people need fewer and others benefit from many more ongoing weekly sessions with a counsellor.
If you are looking for just a session or two of individual counselling, I suggest you start with a longer one of 90 minutes.