What is counselling?

Counselling can help us in ways that affect both our mind and our body. We can say things that we feel unable to say to anyone else. We can explain our thoughts to a counsellor and have them carefully reflected back to us, so that we can hear what those thoughts sound like, in order to make more sense of how we are feeling. We can share our worries and know that counselling is confidential. My counselling approach combines working with both the mind and with awareness of the body to change and improve how we experience our emotions, and how we relate to the world and to other people. Counselling improves self-awareness, and this helps us to better understand our thoughts, actions, goals and experiences. From here, we can develop healthier perspectives and coping strategies.

How can counselling help?

Experiencing stress, anxiety or trauma can trigger the nervous system into an over-sensitive or a collapsed state. Talking to a counsellor who is really listening, so that we feel heard, understood, and accepted as ourselves without criticism or judgement, can help to calm and regulate the nervous system. Simply being in conversation with someone who is calm and listening can go a long way towards co-regulating the nervous system into a more comfortable state. A calm nervous system is a helpful basis for finding the right frame of mind in which to practice mindfulness and grounding. Counselling challenges us, but instead of criticising or pronouncing judgement, a counsellor will gently invite you to think in a different way if their training and experience leads them to think that this might be helpful for you. You are afterwards free to retain your perspective should you so choose, and to have this caringly respected. Being heard, accepted, and valued as an individual can reduce anxiety, improve self-esteem, and build resilience to cope with the inevitable challenges in our lives. I believe that we all have the skills and resources within ourselves to live lives that feel more authentic and fulfilling.


What is my counselling style?

My counselling style is relational, with trusting therapeutic relationship between client and counsellor as central in supporting the counselling process. After the first session, which includes a short assessment at the beginning, sessions are carried out as a conversation with exercises and interventions carried out with your agreement and in a way that enables you to feel comfortable. Everyone is different. My work draws on the neuroscience of the nervous system, psychotherapeutic and attachment theories, and as an integrative counsellor I am fortunate to be able to draw on elements from a number of counselling approaches, such as person-centred, existential, cognitive behavioural, solution-focused, Gestalt, and Transactional Analysis.


What might bring you to counselling?

Perhaps you know what issues you would like to address, or maybe you remain unsure. Perhaps you have no idea why you feel sad, anxious or depressed, or why you have low self-esteem. You might wish to make changes to your life and you want help in making decisions about where to start. Counselling can allow you to experience the freedom of being your authentic self and it can build your ability to trust your own perception and judgement. Many people come to counselling when managing their emotions becomes difficult and begins to interfere with their every day lives, relationships, and often employment. Getting help early can prevent mental health issues becoming worse, and if your mental health is already significantly affected, counselling can support your recovery and, in most cases, your journey towards feeling better.