Mindful, resourceful, compassionate therapy
We have many identities through life: partner/spouse, parent, child, sibling, worker, friend, cousin - the list goes on.
All and any of the stresses we encounter can lead to issues in our own mind and heart and outwards with our significant others.
And 'life happens';
Compassionately connecting to understanding leads to change.
Most times, adults 'get on with' life, and so when they decide to take some counselling or therapy sessions, as an individual or in couples counselling, they often have a mixture of several of the issues above. Part of the initial assessment session is to help you decide which things to tackle, and in which order.
As a relational counsellor I work with any and all relationships. Your relationship to yourself - maybe you have a tough inner critic, put your self down a lot, lose confidence and resilience easily? Working to enhance your self esteem can give you a new perspective. Maybe your childhood was strained and you are still hurting from confusing or hurtful behaviours in your family?
Maybe you're unsure how to have positive relationships? Maybe you need to find yourself again after a relationship has ended? Finding your core values and how you express them to live your best life, no matter what else you are coping with, gives a positive focus to life and encourages a moving-forward-can-do-this attitude, and this can be reflected in a coaching style of work rather than a deeper therapy style - it doesn't have to be deep and painful to want to move to brighter days. Equally, deeper work doesn't always take a long time.
Are you in a relationship with a significant other? Sometimes only an 'MOT' coaching style of therapy is needed. If the issues are deeper then we can work more slowly to address self esteem in relationships. Are you experiencing conflict, betrayal, boredom, a loss of interest in sex, need to re-focus? Therapy with a sexual focus can find and change deep seated attitudes that 'ordinary' talking may take a long time to find.
Maybe you have children and are too tired and exhausted to pay attention to each other? Forward looking counselling can help you to refocus on the relationship. Maybe one or both have been coping with illness, redundancy, working away, bereavement?
Maybe Covid-19 claustrophobia strained all your relationships, at work, at home, with your wider family? Or the unthinkable happened and Covid took away loved ones or your own health?
The quality of the relationship we make together is really important. In the first session my work is to connect to you and your issues - my belief is that life issues happen to us all, its not about who or what is right or wrong, gaining understanding and resolving conflict helps everyone recover from stresses.
Acceptance and Commitment Therapy is a form of psychotherapy and a branch of behaviour therapy from the same family as CBT. It is an empirically based psychological intervention that uses acceptance and mindfulness strategies mixed in different ways with commitment and behaviour-change strategies, to increase psychological flexibility. I use elements of this therapy in most of my work; as a whole scheme of work it's particular goal is to enable an acceptance of the hardships we find in life to improve the overall quality of life, remove negative thinking or ruminating, choose a direction and implement mindful strategies to get there.
I often accept referrals from an expert in sex addiction, to help partners process and understand what is happening and how they might respond to their significant other who is taking addiction therapy, so if you have struggles in this area I can help you to regain your sense of self in a shifting world - this requires a commitment to a series of sessions.
When should I/We start counselling?
When you recognise emotional pain that doesn't go away.
Most adults are really good at soldiering on, thinking that things will get better, if only it was summer, or just get Christmas out of the way and stress will ease. These may be true. If your happiness in life doesn't change in the timescale you decided it might, then working with a relational counsellor can prevent things getting worse.
Taking the time to work through difficulties and restore joy and harmony to the relationship, or find amicable ways to part company (especially important if children are involved) is a worthwhile use of your time in pursuit of recovery, brighter days.
I am a trauma-informed counsellor and have substantial training and experience in working with trauma responses to both childhood and adult events.
I work with individuals, couples and families (children 16+).
LGBTQI++ and disability positive. I work with people, not societal labels.