How sessions work

“Telling your story, uncovering and discovering behaviours, thoughts and feelings, creating in you a greater sense of  self-awareness and self-worth, helping you to relieve emotional pain and move forward.”

In seeking help, I generally find people want to be heard, understood, supported, guided and safe with some tools at their fingertips so they can feel relief, rebalance, recover and ready to take a step forward.

With an integrated counselling approach; combining person-centred talking therapy with problem solving and cognitive behavioural techniques within a psychodynamic frame, I can draw upon the “best fit”  tools and techniques that feel right for you, creating a personalised therapy that’s unique and right for you.

Essentially I’m a compassionate and practical counsellor, taking an active role working alongside you so that you feel heard, supported and understood while at the same time gently challenging you to gain greater self-awareness and momentum for change.

How we work together

During the first session, I’ll spend some time asking some background questions about your life before moving onto why you have come for counselling. We may also talk about what you want to achieve from counselling, how you would like the sessions to work as well any questions you may have about about me.

Generally, the first stages of counselling are about understanding your story and building trust and confidence between us. We’ll explore your thoughts, feelings and behaviours 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.

During these sessions, I may work with you simply by listening, at others, I may gently ask you questions or 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.

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 your triggers, unhelpful thoughts and emotions and work together to help you manage these so you can 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 working in the best interests of your progress, well-being, growth and sense of self.

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 with experience in cognitive behavioural techniques and the psychodynamic approach, 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 these together or individually at different times to best suit your needs.

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.

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