*Currently offering sessions face to face from a COVID secure venue in Central Bristol, and online- get in touch for my availability*
Do you feel overwhelmed by thoughts of the future, or trapped by memories of the past? Perhaps these feelings have caused you to feel stuck, unsure of how to proceed, or you’ve found yourself repeating the same unhealthy patterns?
Are you feeling angry, exhausted, lost or numb? Whether you have carried these feelings in your body for much of your life, or there has been a specific event or series of events that have led you to seek out therapy now, talking to a professional who can offer a private, confidential, containing space can help you to process these feelings.
I am a fully qualified, integrative counsellor, who works relationally, with an emphasis on humanistic, pyschodynamic & gestalt perpectives. Being integrative means that I draw from a few different schools of psychotherapeutic thought, in order to tailor the experience of therapy to fit the individual needs of each client.
Whatever it is that has brought you to therapy at this time, we will work together at a safe pace, forming a collaborative relationship with you at the helm.
As a registered member of the BACP, I adhere to their ethical framework, and I hold the values of integrity, accountability and client autonomy highly in my work. I have a strong commitment to the client and to my own continued professional development, learning, and challenging myself. I hold professional indemnity and personal liability insurance, am registered with the ICO, and attend regular monthly supervision.
As a member of Psychotherapists and Counsellors for Social Responsibility, I have a commitment to recognising the impact of the political dimension on the client-therapist relationship, and to identifying and challenging adverse discrimination at all levels, both within the profession of counselling and the wider world. What this means in practice is that I will seek to locate your issues not just in the personal sphere but in their wider social, political ecological and economic context.
What Is Counselling?
Counselling is a form of talking therapy. Sessions last 50 minutes and usually take place once a week. During your sessions, you are free to talk about whatever it is that is troubling you. I will not offer advice, and I will keep what you are saying confidential, which means I will not share information you tell me with anyone else.*
* We will discuss more about confientiality and it's limitations in your first session.
How does it work, and how can it help?
From a young age, we are often taught that we are only acceptable if we behave in certain ways. We learn to censor ourselves in order to receive love: first from parents, then peers, friends, partners, and society as a whole. This can mean keeping aspects of ourselves hidden, leading to secrecy, shame and low self-worth.
Over time, we learn different ‘roles’ and ways of being that we inhabit, depending on who we are around. These serve a purpose, but it can make it hard to know who we truly are.
One of the principal theories of humanistic counselling is that if you can show these parts to someone who will accept and respect you, you will in turn learn to accept and respect yourself. This doesn’t mean I will never challenge you, or experiment with looking at a situation in a different way; but it does mean that I endeavour not to shame you for the choices you have made, but rather respect your agency to make them.
Something that is hugely integral to the way I work is a stance of non-judgemental, open curiosity. I want to learn about how you see the world, and what it is like for you to inhabit; I am not here to 'fix' you (for a start, you are not broken!), pathologize you, or reduce you to a label or a set of symptoms. We are all unique individuals, who have developed 'creative adjustments'; survival strategies for navigating our environment. Sometimes, it is useful for us to examine these stategies to see if they are still serving us.
If you are having difficult emotions, are struggling with a decision, or have experienced an event that is causing you distress or confusion, having someone to talk to who is external to the situation can be invaluable. Because I don't have a pre-existing relationship with you, such as a friend or family member might have, I can listen to you without having my own prior opinions on you or your situation.
"You have helped me understand myself considerably more than I have before, in a way that has felt safe and supportive"
"Your skill at listening, supporting, encouraging and reflecting are true gifts, and I know that your future clients will benefit from those skills as well as your ability to challenge gently when required."