Counselling can help you to hear what you are thinking. As you speak your thoughts they become clearer.
Counselling gives you time and space to feel and understand your emotions and to make sense of things.
Counselling supports you in understanding why you may be feeling or behaving the way you are.
Counselling gives you a therapeautic relationship in which you can be heard and accepted. Working at relational depth can help bring restoration from painful experiences.
Counselling will help you to find ways of being who you want to be and of living a fulfilling life.
Counselling means you don't have to struggle alone.
Choosing a Counsellor
Research tells us that the most important aspect of counselling is your decison to want it and your willingness to engage in it.
The second biggest influence on the effectiveness of counselling is the relationship you have with the counsellor. This is more important than the type of therapy you choose*.
It's important then that you feel comfortable with the person you are talking to; feeling heard, understood and valued. If you don't feel comfortable, you are unlikely to talk honestly.
It is also important that you check that the counsellor is appropriately qualified and registered on an accredited register that is approved of by the Professional Standards Authority.
*Micheal Cooper. The Facts are Friendly
What happens if I contact you?
I know it can be hard to make the initial contact, so I want you to feel as comfortable as possible and be able to do it in a way that suits you.
If you call or email and would like me to call you back, then please let me know this and I will contact you to arranage a suitable time to talk. We can discuss your needs and if you want to arrange an appointment you can. If you would rather communicate by email or text to set up an appointment then that is also fine.
Once we have agreed on a time to meet, I will email you a copy of the counselling contract. Contracts are part of professional practice for all counsellors as they outline the agreement between us. It states my commitment to you in terms of confidentiality and safe note keeping and confirms your agreement to the when and where of counselling.
The contract is something we can negotiate together at the first appointment but I like you to have had a chance to look at it before the session so you have the opportunity to query anything you are unsure of or propose anything you would like to add.
What happens in the first session?
Having a good relationship between us is one of the most important elements of effective counselling so the first session is an opportunity for us to get to know each other and for you to decide if you would like to work with me.
I will ask you what has bought you to counselling and what you would like to achieve from it.
It may consist of some brief assessment questions to help us have a place to begin, but this is not always necessary.
You are welcome to ask me as many questions you need in relation to your counselling.
During the first session we will discuss and sign the counselling contract and
What qualifications and credentials do you have?
I am a Registered member of the BACP (British Association of Counsellors and Psychotherapists), an accredited register approved of by the Professional Standards Authority.
This means that I have the accredited counselling qualification;
Diploma in Theraputic Counselling (CPCAB).
I have also fulfilled the pre requiste requirement levels in Counselling Skills (level 2) and Counselling Studies (leve 3) before embarking on the Diploma.
I have an Advanced Specialist qualification in Counselling Children and Young People. Accredited by the NCS (National Counselling Society) and which fullfills the BACP curriculum.
I have a 1st Class BA (Hons) and an MA in Theatre Practice.
Prior to my counselling role I worked for 18 years as a drama practitioner with Children and Young People from a variety of backgrounds and with a varitey of needs. Much of this was issue based theatre working to create scripts with young people to voice thier experiences. This would take place in both mainstream and SEN schools, Mental health units, Pupil referral units and on mentoring projects. This helps with the creative aspect of counselling.
ALL QUALIFICATION CERTIFICATES CAN BE VIEWED ON REQUEST.
As a member of the BACP I am bound to its Ethical Framework for Good Practice. I also adhere to thier recommendations for regular supervision and on going professional development.
Recent CPD includes:
Trauma and Abuse
Substance misuse screening
Personality Disorder Awareness
Safeguarding and Child Protection
Anger, Anxiety and Self Esteem.
Grief and Loss
Tell me more about Integrative counselling
The Counselling Directory refers to integrative counselling as "a combined approach to psycotherapy that brings together different elements of specific therapies"
There are many ways in which human functioning can be explored and understood and as an integrative counsellor I draw on more than one type of counselling approach and combine them.
The main approaches I use are Person centred counselling and Psychodynamic counselling.
Person centred counselling considers you to be the expert on you. It focuses on creating an environment in which you feel at ease to explore all aspects of your self. Person centred theory believes that a person becomes distressed when there is a disharmony between thier inner sense of self and thier sense of self imposed on them by others. This can impact a persons ability to trust and rely on thier own judgements causing anxiety and other internal struggles.
Psycodynamic counselling considers that there are feelings, thoughts and experiences that we have pushed into unawareness because we find them too difficult to manage. It also consists of the messages we unconciously took on board as we grew up. This layer of our mind has an active influence on our present thoughts, feelings and behaviour.
Both approaches aim to understand and recognise why a person behaves, thinks or feels as they do . In becoming aware of this a person is able to have more choice over thier responses. if we can become aware of our thoughts, feelings and motives, they have less power over us and we are able to have choice and create change in the present.
With young people I use a proactive approach which recognises thier stage of developmental and thier capcity to reflect and resolve issues. It includes psyco-education around the bodies physical and mental response to stress and anxiety as well as coping stratergies. With younger children creative counselling using play, music, games, and image prompts are often incorporated into the sessions. Elements of this can also be used with adults if requested.
I have a question you haven't answered...
No problem, Please feel free to send me a message or call me and I will do my best to answer any questions or concerns you may have.
I have a legal and ethical obligation concerning Data Protection and transparency of information storage and usage.
You can view it
How many sessions will I need?
There is no set answer to this. I offer open-ended counselling which means it can be as short or as long term as you need. We will regulalry review the counselling to ensure it is still meeting your needs.
Regular sessions are usually at the same time each week, although there can be some flexibility if necessary.
Is what I say Confidential?
All personal information disclosed during a session will be confidential.
The excpetions are:
If I am concerned about your safety or the safety of an other. In this situation consultation may be sought with another professional such as your G.P. As far as is possible I would discuss this with you, but will break confidentiality if I feel there is immenent risk of harm.
By Law counsellors are also required to break confidentiality should there be any disclosure of money laundering, terrorism or drug trafficking. If a judge or coroner makes a legal case for the release of notes a counsellor is obliged to surrender them.
For Data Protection and GDPR please see
Children and Young People
I am not currently taking on any new children or young people for one to one counselling...However.....
When Covid-19 social distancing restrictions are eased, I will be offering small groups for children and young people to explore themes such as anxiety, self esteem, emotional literacy and resiliance.
These groups will be creative and use drama based workshops to interactively explore the themes. They will not be 'therapy' or 'counselling' but will be a fun way to understand the themes and themselves.
I have worked in the theatre running various types of workshops for the past 19 years and I believe that drama is a powerful tool for change. Adding my theatre work to my counselling knowledge, the young people will gain confidence, understanding, friendships, enjoyment and an opportunity to understand their own responses and discover coping tools that work for them.
If interested please do drop me an email and I can let you know as soon as they are able to be run.