“When you stop trying to change others and work on changing yourself, your world changes for the better.”
Have you ever experienced an ‘unburdening’ when you’ve talked to a friend about the things that bother you? Most people do and that’s why it often feels good to talk and get things off your chest.
But talking to a friend can only go so far. Counselling goes much further by giving you a safe and confidential space to talk with a trained professional, in any way, about what is happening in your life. It gives you the chance to off-load… but, unlike talking to a friend, counselling has no personal agenda, no judgements about what you are bringing and no telling you what to do. Instead, it aims to help you discover what is really at the bottom of how you are feeling. Once you understand why you feel the way you do, we can work together to help you resolve it.
My aim as a counsellor is to try and help you change your perception on what is happening, because when your perception changes, how you think about it changes, how you feel about it changes and how you behave around it changes…and change is what people in an unhappy situation want.
I trained to be a person-centred counsellor. Person-centred counsellors believe that inside each of us lies all the answers to our problems…the counsellor is only there to help you find your way. I do this by using what you bring to the session and helping you to look at it from different angles. As we do this, new possibilities about your situation may surface, giving you new avenues to explore, new thoughts to entertain and, hopefully, a new perspective to be had.
The first session is really a ‘get-to-know-you’ session for us both.
For you, it’s to see how it feels to be working with me and to consider whether or not you feel comfortable and safe and would like to continue having therapy. It also gives you the time and space to ask any questions you might have and, of course, to begin to talk about what is troubling you.
For me, it’s to help me assess whether counselling is the right therapy for you and to have a chat about alternatives, if not.
During subsequent sessions, you will have the space to say as much or as little as you want to, however you want to say it, without being judged or criticised or told off. I never tell you what to talk about, either. You are always in control of your therapy session. I simply work with whatever you are comfortable talking about and take it from there.
Counselling is confidential. I will not tell anyone about you or the problems you are struggling with, unless I think you are going to seriously harm yourself, someone else or a child-protection issue becomes apparent. In this event, I will try and talk to you about referring on to others before doing so.
As an Accredited counsellor with the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP), I adhere to the BACP Code of Ethics for my practice.
Also, as an ethical practitioner, I work with a supervisor who gives me support and guidance in my work with you. Even here, a large degree of confidentiality is ensured, as full names or other identifying details are not used. Supervision also helps to ensure I practice ethically and safely, to help safeguard your interests.
This is just an idea of what people might come for:
- Depression Counselling
- Anxiety Therapy
- Loss & Bereavement Counselling
- General Low Mood Therapy
- Work-Related Issues
- Drug & Alcohol Misuse Counselling
- Other Addiction Counselling
- Family Issues
- Relationship Counselling
- Couples Counselling
- Marriage Counselling
- Stress Counselling
- Counselling for Loneliness
- Counselling for Despair
- Counselling for Anger
- Post-traumatic stress (PTS)
- Panic attacks
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
Anyone might experience these feelings, or others, which affect them emotionally and psychologically. There is no ‘type’ of person who seeks therapy – only normal people experiencing a difficult time.
Why should I talk to a counsellor when I can talk to friends or family?
This is true – you can talk to friends and family and, for many people, this is the first port of call when they are struggling. However, what happens if your friends or family are part of your problem? What if you don’t feel comfortable telling them about something very personal? And what do you do with responses like: “If I were you…” or “You’re making a mountain out of a molehill” or “Chin up…it may never happen” or even “You’ve got it good compared to…”?
Often, those close to you are just too close. They cannot bear to see you unhappy, so they try and convince you that it’s not that bad. Or they try and lift your mood by distracting you. Or they try and make you see that your problems are not as bad as some other people’s.
When you talk to a counsellor, you don’t get any of that. You get someone objective, yet empathic, who is trained and qualified to listen – really listen – and help you make sense of, and work through, your problems with you.
Why talk about the past? You can’t change it.
During counselling you may well find that what is bothering you has its roots in the past. Many people cannot see the point in ‘raking up the past’, as they cannot go back and change what has happened. However, counselling is not about changing the past, but understanding yourself and what was happening for you at that time, so that you may understand yourself more fully in the present and gives you the chance to change things for the future.