What Is Counselling?

Sometimes people have a concrete reason for beginning counselling; the loss of a loved one, a challenge or obstacle life has thrown up, difficulties adjusting to a new situation or phase of life. But just as often, the decision to seek support may come from not much more than the nagging feeling that something just isn’t right. No matter what the reason for contacting me, you will be met with compassion and curiosity, and the space to explore your feelings and thoughts at your own pace.

Counselling is not advice-giving, and I am not going to tell you how to ‘fix’ whatever is feeling wrong in your life. I believe you are the expert in that, and besides, sometimes what is wrong cannot be ‘fixed’, as such. But it can become easier to live with; more ‘doable’. By offering you a safe and neutral space in which to explore what is going on for you, you will begin to hear yourself more clearly. Family, friends and colleagues often want to support, or may even figure in your current challenges, but sometimes taking a step away from external voices and advice can help you identify internal patterns, opinions and resilience you may not be aware were there.

I do not judge what you bring, and our working relationship is collaborative and confidential, within the boundaries of my ethical framework. I offer a discounted rate for a first session, so we can explore how it might be to work together. Counselling might last for only a few sessions, or might continue on a more long term basis. This too can be discussed during our first session together. For more information on how our first session might look, please visit my Appointments, Rates & Contact page.

The work I do is underpinned by my training in the Person Centred, or humanistic, approach. This simply means I believe in the primacy of you within our relationship, and that you are the driving force behind the change you seek. But change is not always easy, and so you will be supported by me and our relationship to explore those difficult places in a safe and trusting environment.

My practice is trauma-informed, meaning I have received sufficient training to be able to support those dealing with the impact of trauma, both in childhood and later in life. It is important to note that it is possible to work with the impact of trauma without talking about the trauma itself. This work might be a little more structured than the work described above, though you remain in control of the process. If you would like to know more, please do contact me.

Following further training in 2018, my practice is now Complicated Grief Therapy-informed (Complicated Grief Therapy). Clients deciding to approach this way of working with their grief will find the sessions work slightly differently from those described above, as while the respect, autonomy and confidentiality remain the same, the sessions follow more of a structure. This treatment has been much researched, and has often proved successful in combating the pain of CGT. If you would like to know more about the treatment or whether it may be right for you, please do not hesitate to contact me.

More information on counselling, how it might work for you, and where to go with any concerns about a counsellor or your therapy, can be found on the BACP website. You can find a summary of my commitment to clients here.