I aim to nurture the person you are or would like to be so you can live a healthier and more fulfilling life
I believe you have the strength and inner resources to heal, grow and change, yet understand that life gets in the way of that - including being in relationships and experiencing life events that have affected your ability to trust, value and believe in yourself.
As a person-centred counsellor, I will work to support you as best I can, yet also help you thrive. I will relate to you in a warm, genuine, deeply understanding and non-judgemental way, and I trust these qualities can help you make choices and changes you want to make and continue with a healthier and more fulfilling life.
The introductory session
Meeting me for the first time (and counselling in general) may cause you to feel some anxiety - which is 'normal', and I will do my utmost to put you at ease.
I offer a space that is free of any outside pressures and expectations, so you can be just as you are. I will meet you with fresh eyes and a curious mind - even if I have met many people with similar struggles to you.
My aim for this session is that we connect, you feel safe enough to share something of yourself - what's brought you to counselling and what you hope to achieve, and have an understanding of what I'm able to offer.
If you come to this session as a couple or family, I'll be aiming to connect with both or all of you, and everyone will have a chance to talk.
If we decide to work together - either at this session or after having time to think about it, we'll arrange how we are going to start - for example, the day, time and number of sessions.
I usually suggest an initial commitment of 6 sessions, and this can often help us decide whether short-term or longer-term counselling is appropriate for you.
Working together in sessions
The counselling sessions are your time, so you decide what we explore together, including setting any personal goals.
I may offer information and skills from time-to-time, yet I won't provide solutions or make decisions for you. Everyone is different, and only you can know what is best for you.
I will listen at a deep level, yet I'm not a passive listener - I actively engage with you and provide feedback, so you can gain new insights and perspectives and move forward with your life.
Sometimes, it's difficult to put thoughts and feelings into words, and I offer the option of using art alongside counselling, including making visual images through collage, drawing or colour.
Using art alongside counselling can be a quick, effective way of helping you to:
If you're a couple or family, I sometimes suggest activities in the counselling room (such as role play) and between sessions, enabling you to try out and develop a different way of relating to each other.
We may work together on a long-term or short-term basis, and my role is to help you make sense of your difficulties, find a way through them, and continue to be the best that you can be.
I have experienced counselling myself and felt the benefits in all areas of my life, and I have also witnessed many other people grow through the experience.
I have worked with adults for many years - initially through support roles within the public and voluntary sector such as Women's Aid, Solent Mind, Bereavement Services, Adult Mental Health and Cruse Bereavement Care.
I have been a counsellor since 2011, and I continue to work with adults affected by bereavement, loss, domestic abuse and mental health issues.
I have both personal insight and professional knowledge of autism, and I support individuals on the autism spectrum, and parents of children suspected of or diagnosed with autism.
I am a former volunteer for a county-wide Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS/ME) charity, so I am aware of the physical, social and emotional effects of this condition, as well as the stigma often associated with it.
I enjoy group work, and I have designed and facilitated 8-week bereavement support groups in the past. I currently facilitate a group for women with lived experience of mental health issues, and the group is well-received by members.
Professional registration, qualifications and training
I am an Accredited Professional Registrant of the National Counselling Society, and I adhere to their Code of Ethical Practice. I am also an Accredited Member of the Foundation for Infant Loss.
I regularly consult with a counselling supervisor and undertake continuing professional development in the form of courses, workshops and reading.
I am a member of the Person-Centred Association (TPCA), listed on Psychology Today and the Welldoing Directory.
I have been awarded the following qualifications:
Continuing professional development
I am trained in First Aid and have undertaken continuing professional development in the following areas: