How sessions work

“Telling your story, uncovering and discovering thoughts and feelings, creating in you a greater sense of  self-awareness and self-worth, and by doing so, help you move forward.”

Sometimes relationships, careers and life don’t unfold as we expect and can throw up many unwanted challenges. It’s how we deal with these temporary obstacles, past and present, that I believe shapes us.

Its often hard to speak to family and friends about these challenges and what’s really worrying us, and we need to talk to someone who will listen, understand and accept us for who we are – free from judgement, advice and criticism.

In seeking help, I generally find that people want to be heard, understood, supported, gain an increased self-awareness and reconnect with their values and strengths. With all of my clients, I follow these guiding principles so they can start to feel better in themselves.

With a combined training in person-centred and problem solving counselling, I’m essentially an empathetic and practical counsellor.  I work with you, side by side, so that you feel validated, understood and accepted, creating in you a greater sense of self-awareness and worth, and by doing so, helping you to find and trust your own answers.

How we work together

During the first session, I’ll spend a little bit of time asking you some background questions about your life before moving into why you have come for counselling. We may also talk about what you want to achieve from counselling as well any questions you might have about the counselling process and about me.

At times I may work with you simply by listening, at others, I may draw upon a tool or technique to help guide you,  I may also ask you to notice the sensations in your body as you tell me about your thoughts and feelings, always working in the best interests of your well-being, growth, progress and sense of self.

Generally, the first stage of counselling is about understanding your story. We’ll explore your thoughts and feelings, discovering and uncovering past and present, gaining greater insight about what is causing you distress.  This may take several weeks depending on who you are and what you want from counselling.

As we go further with our sessions, you may find patterns emerge which signpost the cause of your suffering or things you hadn’t even remembered will crop up. With time, we’ll gradually build a picture about what’s going on and work together to help you move forward.

You may find some weeks there are specific issues you want to talk about and work on, and at other times, you may feel you just want to talk and be heard.  Whatever your need, I am there to listen and support you, always taking things one step at a time and at your own pace.

Gradually you will move towards a place of awareness, understanding, acceptance, relief and meaningful change.

Having been trained in both person-centred and problem solving counselling, I’m able to draw upon a variety of tools and techniques to help you towards relief and resolution. Different approaches work at different stages of counselling, so I can use both at different times to best suit your needs.  I may also touch on your bodily response to how you are feeling, although not formally trained in this approach, during my own therapy I have experienced this and found it very healing. I also believe that mind and body are inter-connected. it’s important to acknowledge these sensations so that we can work with the whole self.

What’s important to remember is that counselling is not a linear process so we may go back and forth, seemingly without sense or logic, touching on past, present and future as we navigate what feels right for you. If at anytime you don’t feel comfortable or you’re not getting what you want, I encourage you to speak openly with me as this is all part of the counselling process and therapeutic relationship.

This is your safe space to be who you are and to say how you feel without worry of criticism, judgement or having to please.

After your session 

Counselling can sometimes affect your relationships with your friends and family in a negative as well as a positive way. Strong feelings may come up in a session and you may feel vulnerable or angry afterwards. Being aware that this may happen is important and part of the healing process for which I am trained to help you.

You may also find changes in the ways you think and behave. You may understand yourself better or you may feel more able to deal with difficult times. Or, you might feel disappointed, perhaps feeling it didn’t work and you don’t feel any better.

Above all, counselling is more likely to work if you feel comfortable and at ease with your counsellor. Finding the right person for you is as important as finding the right type of therapy so I encourage you to tell me if things are working or not working for you.