Sometimes clients want to talk and explore painful experiences and issues, like the loss of a beloved relative or partner or child, or an abusive family relationship, or their utter communication breakdown with their spouse, or their troubled self-esteem and their doubts of their self-worth. At the same time many feel they would desperately like to change things around but they do not know how, they do not seem to find the “right” words or they find trusting others difficult.
Rest assured you are not alone out there and many individuals and families are faced with these or similar challenges which I helped them overcome.
1st Session Practical Details
Beginning therapy starts with a semi-structured assessment session that lasts 50 minutes (60m for families). The 1st session is an opportunity for us to meet whilst I collect information on your individual, couple and family background. It also gives me the chance to hear from each of you your definition of what the challenge or difficulty is, its history and intensity, followed by your description of what changes you hope to achieve through the therapy/counselling work together.
At the end of the session we will decide whether it feels ok to work together to meet your needs for change, and if so we will agree a number of sessions (normally 8, 12 or 16). When the number of agreed sessions is reached we will have a review session to assess the current progress and discuss a way forward.
Following the initial assessment, we will start to meet on a regular basis. This is normally once per week for a session of 50 minutes, at the same time on the same day. We will sit in a quiet, confidential space and talk about what is on your mind and the issues you choose to discuss at a pace you feel comfortable with. You will not be pressured to talk about anything which you do not choose to or you do not feel ready to explore.
My task as therapist is to help you achieve an understanding of your feelings, of your patterns of behaviour and of their meanings and to find together ways to change the aspects of your life you are not happy with, and to find the "right" language to communicate with your beloved ones. This is often achieved by enabling you to draw from your pool of strengths and skills, and by empowering you to change the way you relate with your inner self and with the important people in your life.
The way we talk
In our counselling session our therapeutic conversation will explore many facets of a challenge or problem you face, and the dimensions of your relationship with it.
This is done in a non-judgemental or non-blaming way. I will work with you to help you understand how you arrived at that point in your life and what you want to be or do different.
What is Psychotherapy
The United Kingdom Council for Psychotherapy (UKCP) defines psychotherapy as:
"Psychotherapy is the provision by qualified practitioners of a formal and professional relationship within which patients/clients can profitably explore difficult, and often painful, emotions and experiences. These may include feelings of anxiety, depression, trauma, or perhaps the loss of meaning of ones life. It is a process which seeks to help the person gain an increased capacity for choice, through which the individual becomes more autonomous and self determined. Psychotherapy may be provided for individuals or children, couples, families and groups."
Psychotherapy involves more in depth work than counselling and may be expected to take longer.
People come to counselling or psychotherapy for a variety of reasons.
- Is your relationship going through a bad patch?
- Do you and your partner want different things from life? from your relationship?
- Is communication difficult?
- Are you arguing a lot?
- Have things got to the point where one of you has got violent or walked out?
These are just some of the things couples who come to therapy talk about and I collaboratively help them resolve.
Sometimes people want support in talking about their unhappiness with life. There are many reasons why a person may feel unhappy. For some, their reasons are connected with their identity and sense of belonging and are related to:
- immigration status
- past experience of abuse
- loss or bereavement
Some people come to see me because they find themselves repeatedly making relationship choices that lead to disappointment; or others come because they worry about how to deal with their:
- panic attacks
- eating problem
- drinking problem
- drug misuse problem
Relationship counselling helps you to make the most of your relationships, past, present or future. It can help you even if you are not currently in a relationship. Many people believe that a good counsellor is only here to help with the major crises in people’s relationships. A good counsellor is the first source of help when people face divorce or separation; affairs or major conflict. But support can also be provided for the worries that might seem trivial or minor.
What can you expect from Relationship Counselling?
As a Relate counsellor I will provide a caring and supportive environment to help you find a way through any difficulties you may be facing.
Your first appointment will be a consultation which lasts for up to 1 hour. This gives you the opportunity to talk about the problems you are facing and help you decide what the next options might be. If you decide to have ongoing counselling we will discuss the best plan for your needs, family circumstances and time allocated. Counselling normally takes place on a weekly or fortnightly basis at the same time every week.
I will help you put things in perspective, learn how to deal with difficult situations, restore balance to family life and keep time aside for you and those close to you.
What can you expect from Family Counselling?
· Family counselling helps you understand and cope better with the stresses and strains of family life. Families can be a source of support, encouragement and love but sometimes relationships within families are put under strain and family members may feel isolated, unloved, frustrated or overlooked.
· Family counselling can also help when siblings aren’t getting on, or parents and children are going through a divorce or separation. Forming a new family is a challenge and it is at this point that many parents contact a professional for support to help everyone settle.
Children and Young People's Counselling
Life not so great? Don't try to fix it on your own.
Children and young people’s counselling service is for any young person who is having problems at home or school. I can help you talk about the things that are worrying you. Children and young people tell us that seeing a counsellor helps because they are independent from either school or home life. I have 20 years of experience engaging very successfully with young persons with various difficulties. I talk with them honestly and openly always respecting their readiness to discuss particular issues and I can support them with problems like family breakdown; moving in with a second family; or bullying at school.
What can you expect from Children and Young People's counselling?
You can expect to be helped by a supportive and non-judgmental counsellor. What you say to me is confidential, unless I become concerned about someone's safety in your family, in which situation I will discuss the issue first with you before I contact the appropriate supporting network as I am obliged to.
· I hope that you join the thousands of families who have made use of professional support to open up the communication channels again, find ways to cope and change and let the healing process in their family begin.