My ways of thinking and working.
My training is 'integrative' of several theoretical disciplines.
In plain English, this means I'm able to use many different techniques and active ways of working to help you search for your own answers, make sense of your feelings and expectations, and change where needed to enable you to feel joy and happiness again, to interact with your loved ones and life in general in more enriching ways.
My counselling work seeks to resolve conflict and establish confidence in the relationship. My therapy work is longer term and seeks to resolve conflict within the individual.
Our sense of 'who' we are in the world, 'how' a relationship happens, a family works, are largely informed by the experiences we have lived through.
In our fast-paced society it's almost impossible to replicate our own childhood patterns of good experience; society has changed, technology has changed our ways of interacting, there seems to be less hours in the day. We can, though, pull out the essence of family, keep what is good and re-invent the rest, and polish it up to be 21st century proof.
I also work with people who are asking themselves 'big questions' about existence and progression: Who am I? Where am I headed?
Counselling needs heart as well as head, and I am committed to using both to assist you.
What people DO is driven by how they think and feel in the here and now as well as what happened in the past. Learning to DO more kindly, respectfully, usefully, changes life faster than simply reflecting on problems or getting stuck in defensive or rejecting modes.
So, much of my work is around what you want to DO about something, helping you find the best change, best solution, best action and helping you make that journey.
Technical stuff about my Counselling qualifications:
I hold a Masters Degree with Distinction in Relationship Therapy from The University of Hull via the Relate Institute (2015). This is a Level 7 qualification. This course was BACP Accredited and had an integrative stance, blending psychodynamic theory and systemic theory. I also use techniques from cognitive behaviour therapy, narrative therapy, solution focused therapy, person centred therapy, gestalt therapy, acceptance and commitment therapy, compassion focused therapy, sexual psychotherapy, cognitive therapy and neuro linguistic therapy in my practice.
I am Relate couple and family counselling trained and qualified and worked for Relate in Leeds for 7 years.
I hold a University Advanced Diploma in Couple Therapy from the University of Hull via the Relate Institute (2012). This is a Level 6 qualification.
I hold a University Certificate in Integrative Counselling from the University of Leeds (2001). This was an integrative training blending person centred and psychodynamic theory.
I am a Registered Member of the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy and abide by their Ethical Framework.
I am a General Member of the College of Sexual and Relationship Therapists and abide by their Ethical Framework.
Can you work with me?
I work with people over 16 years of age.
If you have a physical disability I can arrange lift access to the office in daytime hours, and sometimes a ground floor room is available, please talk to me about your needs.
Many people who come to me for help worry that their problems are overwhelming, or too complex. Mostly, we can work together to improve specific or general aspects of concern and almost everyone can be helped to some extent.
Mental Health Concerns
If you have a psychiatric diagnosis then please talk to me about this when you speak to me to book a session.
Depression and Anxiety
One or both of these conditions are often present when people have experienced trauma or been under stress for a long time. Understanding what this means for you can be a big help to living alongside depression and anxiety; finding the root cause may be a 'stage 2' for you, or you may want to tackle it head-on, particularly if these conditions are creating relationship distress.
Frequently asked questions
Q. I'm a wheelchair user, can you work with me?
A. Yes. Lift facilities are available at my office, currently during the day only, this should change to full availability soon.
Q. Can I pay by using a card?
A. Yes, you can pay online to my PayPal account (always this method for the first session).
At the end of the session then you can pay in the room for the next session you book; this can be by cash or card, I have a PayPal Here terminal.
You can pay over the telephone - you will need to give me a mobile number or email address to send a receipt to.
Q. Can I pay online on this website?
A. No. I'm looking into the possibility.
Q. I've had counselling before and it hasn't worked. Will this?
A. Most people can benefit from counselling at some level. Many times, clients tell me that previous counselling took them to a 'thinking about it' place of change, and now they are ready to 'do it'. I work with and within relationships, my relationship to you and the dynamics of the relationship you are in, my primary aim in the first session is to 'get' you so that we can work with some sense of ease, that we are all tune and have the same aims.
After a series of sessions, it is sometimes the case that what is learned needs time to assimilate, to go off and try out your new ways of thinking, and live the new life, before any further counselling can be tackled and so there may be gaps in the counselling, this is ok, its your world you are working on, it takes the time it takes.
I have clients who have occasional 'MOT' appointments, this is usually in more of a 'coaching' style, and others who return years later to tackle something else that life has thrown at them.
Q. What do you need to know from me when I ring you to book?
A. Your name and a contact number. We will talk together about how we match our diaries, you then send me the fee via PayPal, I will confirm your appointment when I receive this.
I don't need to know your issue or problem as this stage. If you are attending as a couple, then this pre-information is outside your partner's knowledge, so is inappropriate. It is better that you can both hear each other's views face to face.
There are two important exceptions to this:
1) If you are experiencing current violence from a partner, especially if the Police or Social Services are involved, I would need to make a full risk assessment before agreeing to work with you and may need to see both partners separately, so its good to get this out in the open at the beginning.
2) If anyone attending has a psychiatric diagnosis.
Q. Do you have testimonials?
A. I treasure every thank you card, text, email and letter I receive from clients. I never publish them, even anonymously. No-one would publish anything but a glowing review, so it would feel a bit fakey to me. I greatly appreciate clients recommending me to others.
Q. I've had psychotherapy before and I had to pay when I was on holiday and when the therapist was on holiday are you the same?
A. No. You will pay one session ahead, refundable up to 48 hours before, that's all. I'd like to be able to lose this rule and allow the client full control, unfortunately that is not possible as I am self-employed and need to protect my income. An unexpectedly empty hour can't be re-sold to another person.
Q. Are you connected to the NHS?
A. No. I am a private practitioner, I do not have funding from the NHS and so do not offer any free counselling.
Q. Why doesn't your calendar show every Friday and Saturday?
A. Bluntly, I have other, very important things to do with my time, my family life and relationships are vitally important to me, as you might expect from a relationship counsellor.