What is counselling?
Counselling can be thought about as a unique type of relationship between a client and therapist. It can be helpful to unravel and experience sometimes painful feelings in relation to what may have happened to us in our past, what we may be going through right now or simply to have some time to yourself in a completely confidential and safe environment where you will be listened to and accepted without judgement.
Therapy unfolds in a gentle and accommodating way and moves at a pace that you, the client, decides. In the journey we create together, particularly difficult or painful subjects are brought into conscious awareness only when you are ready to do so.
What is Psychodynamic Counselling?
As a Psychodynamic Counsellor my work is informed by certain aspects of Psychoanalytic thinking, for example we may not always be aware of everything we are doing or why. Our conscious thoughts and feelings are only a small part of who we are. We are also motivated by unconscious parts of our minds. Psychodynamic Counselling helps clients become more aware of themselves, to see their way of being in life more clearly and to know themselves with greater clarity. With this knowing and understanding we can then be in a position to address problems and think about a way forward.
What Conditions Can it Help?
It helps with many problems such as -
Abuse, Anger management, Attachment disorder, Bereavement, Depression, Family issues, Low self-confidence, Low self-esteem, Narcissistic personality disorder, Relationship issues, Self-harm, Separation and divorce, Stress, Suicidal thoughts, Trauma, Work related stress and many others.
I have a special interest in trauma and its effect on the body, family conflict, issues with our sense of identity in the world, pressures to fulfil expectations whether societal, family, peers or our own.
Is it confidential?
Yes. I will require your written permission to talk to anyone else about your sessions. Confidentiality is taken very seriously and I do not disclose material to any other party, other than in clinical supervision. All counsellors/psychotherapists are required to be in supervision and consult regularly with another counsellor/psychotherapist to review and enhance clinical work. My practice is supervised by a more experienced therapist to ensure that I am providing you with the best therapy I possibly can. I discuss my caseload with my supervisor but your identifying details (name, address etc.) are withheld.
It must be borne in mind however, that there are limits to confidentiality. If I had concerns that you or another person were at risk of harm, I may seek to obtain additional input from other professionals. In each case, I always aim to discuss any such issues and agree a plan of action with the client, except in emergencies where I may need to take immediate action.
How do I work?
What brings you to therapy will inform whether we work short-term or in open ended counselling, I offer both. Short term (6-12 sessions) can be helpful when looking at particular issues for example, stress at work, anxiety/panic attacks or relationship difficulties. Open-ended counselling can be helpful for some deeper rooted issues such as problems with low self-esteem, understanding depression or trauma linked to our past.
My style of working is supportive, collaborative and respectful and my task as your counsellor is to help you to see yourself more clearly and know yourself better. This means supporting you to unravel and make sense of what is troubling you, addressing not only the immediate symptoms that may bring you into counselling, but also by helping you to understand and gain more control over underlying patterns in how you relate to yourself and other people.
What happens during the first session?
Our first session will be a time for us to explore the issues that are bringing you into counselling. Although I will ask some questions, the aim will be to see if we can work together and if the counselling that I offer is right for you. We will also think about whether short-term or open-ended feels right for you.
What can I expect from the counselling process?
Beginning counselling can feel daunting so being prepared for what to expect maybe helpful. Counselling is your time and space in which together we can help make some sense of the difficulties that you may be experiencing. It provides a regular time and space where you can talk through how you are feeling.
Where do you work?
My practice is located in private, comfortable therapy rooms within Worting House (a Grade II listed building in Basingstoke RG23) and in the popular village of Odiham (RG29) in Hampshire. Please contact me by e-mail or phone to arrange an initial assessment appointment.
How often are the sessions?
I see individual clients at least once a week, and sometimes more often, either for an open-ended period of time or for an agreed number of sessions. This will depend on a variety of factors, including the type of problem someone wants to work on and the type of solution they are seeking. Sessions are sixty minutes long and usually take place on the same day and time each week. Although the outcome is best if session times are kept the same, there is flexibility in this.
I see couples individually and/or together, usually for an agreed number of sessions, but sometimes for an open-ended period of time. These sessions are sixty minutes long.
Yes, but is it for me?
Only you can decide, but it can be extremely beneficial for anyone who is facing stress or difficult times, who are in need of support/guidance or just needing someone neutral to talk to.
If you would like to learn more about coming into counselling with me, please read the pages here about my approach, and my qualifications and experience. Or if you prefer to talk this through, please telephone me.