About Counselling......
Why do people have counselling?

People come to counselling for a wide variety of reasons. Perhaps they feel something which happened in their past, is still adversely affecting them now. Or it might be because they are having difficulties with drugs or alcohol. Sometimes, it is to help them adjust to major life events involving loss such as divorce, bereavement, disability or redundancy. It might be about their relationships with others (family, partners, friend's) or with themselves (self esteem or identity). Some people find they are having difficult feelings but are unsure what to do about them. Often people do not know exactly what it is wrong, but just know that something doesn't feel quite right. The common factor is that it's probably something they feel is preventing them from living life today as fully as they would like to. There is sometimes a misconception that counseling is only for people who have reached a crisis point, but that is not necessarily the case and it is often best to address things before they reach that stage.

My counselling approach
Describing counselling in general terms is difficult, there are many different types of approaches and each counsellor is also unique based on their training, personality and style. Therefore, I have described my counselling approach, to give you an idea of the way I work.

Fundamental to my approach, is developing a strong 'therapeutic relationship' creating a respectful, supportive environment where it feels safe to explore what can sometimes be difficult subjects. It's also non-judgmental, so I don't give advice and tell people "what they should do" or "who they should be" but aim to help them explore things more fully to gain a better understanding of themselves. For example, it might involve getting a better insight into how to interrelate with others and deal with their emotions appropriately. Alternatively, it could involve developing a greater awareness of alcohol use, exploring the motivation required to make changes, gaining an appreciation of what might be getting in the way and identifying what would improve things.

In addition to a greater understanding counselling can provide an opportunity for change. It's a safe space which provides a chance to consider things from several different perspectives and perhaps try out different ways of doing something. At times it's about breaking down something that seems insurmountable in small more achievable steps. Sometimes counselling can alter how we feel about things, even if 'the thing' is something that we can no longer change. It's about us working together to identify your own choices and solutions based on what works best in the circumstances and feels right for you. Theoretically, my approach is Humanistic, more specifically Gestalt combined with Person Centered and Transactional Analysis influences. I work in a way which is individually tailored to each person as what's appropriate for one person might not suit another. If I think that it could be helpful to you, I might suggest we could try a certain way of working (such as using Cognitive approaches or working creatively) however, whether we do so is completely up to you. One question people often ask is "how many sessions do I need?", this varies depending on individual needs, sometimes people require just a few sessions, while others might require longer-more open ended counselling. In either case my approach is to hold regular reviews, so we can look at the work together to ensure that you are getting what you need from the sessions.

Counselling is something that many people find extremely helpful and it can even be life changing, however it's not for everybody. I charge £25 for a 50 minute (no obligation) introductory session which gives us the opportunity to meet and discuss what you would like to explore and ask any questions you may have. You can then take some time to decide whether you wish to continue working with me.