When we’re struggling with a problem we often resort to unhelpful patterns of responses and behaviour without really understanding why. Through counselling I aim to help you find a deeper understanding of why you are experiencing things the way you are, so you can then take more control over your situation. As a volunteer with Samaritans for many years alongside my professional counselling work, I believe strongly in the power of a safe, blame-free and non-judgemental space for you to reflect, learn and decide.
The quality of the relationship with your counsellor is possibly the biggest factor in how helpful you'll find therapy to be. It is crucial you are able to decide if I am a good fit for you. In our initial assessment session I will want to start to get to know you and to understand as much as I can about the problem you are experiencing, its impact on you and what you want to achieve through counselling. More importantly, it is your opportunity to ask about the counselling process and to decide if you'd like to work with me. If not, that's absolutely fine and I may be able to suggest an alternative counsellor for you.
After the initial assessment I'll ask to see each of you individually as there can often be things you can talk about more freely on your own. This gives me a fuller picture of what might be happening in the relationship. We then meet all together where I share thoughts and reflections about what you've told me. This is a sharing of ideas both ways and we'll then decide a plan of work to suit you. This might be about improving the experience of the relationship or exploring together whether separation might be right for you.
It might be that you are struggling to get over a failed relationship, or that you’ve been experiencing the same problem in a number of past relationships, or that you want to think about your current relationship on your own. I can help you think about the dynamic of your current relationship and/or patterns and influences from all of your life experience and how it affects your self-esteem and confidence in relationships. We can think together about using this understanding to find ways to explore the change that you are seeking
Difficuties can arise in family relationships whatever the age of your relatives or children. I don't work with very young children but can involve young people over 12 in our work together. We would discuss this as part of the initial assessment. Family counselling can be quite flexible in who attends from session to session and we can tailor the sessions as we go. A key to change is for everyone to be able to understand all perspectives and my main task is to ensure every family member involved can have their say and feel heard and respected.