What is therapy / counselling?
Counselling is a term that can be used to describe any form of talking therapy. Talking therapies involve talking to a trained professional about your thoughts, feelings and behaviour. There are many different types of talking therapy, but their common aim is to give you a safe space and time to talk to someone who won't judge you. We can focus on your behaviour patterns, these are the choices and actions you are presently taking that are causing your life to be as it is, and find ways to change them, if you want to.
Longer term therapy can also help you to gain a deep understanding of your emotions by looking at your past. It questions how things you experienced as a child or young adult affected you and examines the possibility that they may still be causing you issues today.
To keep things easy I will just use the word therapy on the rest of this page.
Why do people have therapy?
People have therapy to help them resolve emotional, psychological and relationship issues. The most common of these are the things a client is currently feeling stressed by. These could be challenges they are facing on a daily basis at home or work, or it may be traumatic circumstances such as divorce or bereavement. Therapy can also help with things such as confidence issues, addictions or general underlying feelings of anxiety or dissatisfaction with life.
The issues that longer term therapy deals with are similar, it can help with present issues like stress, relationship issues, bereavement, sexual problems and addictions. However, it also deals with mental health challenges like depression, OCD, anxiety disorders and PTSD. Longer term therapy doesn’t just focus on present issues, but also on past issues, such as childhood trauma, abuse and neglect.
Some people think that therapy is an extreme option and that unless things get really bad you should try to manage on your own. THIS IS NOT TRUE, it's okay to try therapy at any point in your life, whatever your background. In fact getting support from a therapist when you're not at crisis point can be really helpful – it might feel easier to reflect on what's going on and could help you stop things from getting worse.
Sometimes it’s hard to talk to family and friends and you just need that one independent, non judgemental, person who takes the time to listen.
What happens in talking therapy?
Therapy involves a series of sessions where we discuss your behaviours and feelings. The sessions take place at a regular, agreed time and in a safe private place where we will not be overheard or interrupted. My therapy room and our field are ideal for this.
Therapy may involve talking about life events, feelings, emotions, relationships, ways of thinking and patterns of behaviour. I will listen, encourage and empathise, but will also challenge you if this will help you to see your issues more clearly or in a different way.
Therapy is not about giving you advice or my opinions, nor is it just a friendly chat. I will help you understand yourself better and find your own solutions to resolve or cope with your situation.
I use a combination of approaches that bring together different elements of psychological therapies. I believe there is no single approach that can treat every client in all situations.
My focus is always to help individuals with whatever problems they may present and that they feel they want help with. Therapy is always a collaborative process between us. I will listen to you and design a personalised therapy plan customised specifically for you and your own individual needs.
I know that reaching out for support takes great strength and through our work together, we will be able to find positive ways for you to move forward.
I am committed to helping people learn to care for themselves, by developing self-awareness and self-compassion through therapy.
What can I tell you as my therapist?
The short answer is that you can tell me anything – and I hope that you do. It's a good idea to share as much as possible, because that's the only way I can help you.
If you’re angry at me or I don’t understand what you have said, please tell me. We are a partnership and together we can sit with your most difficult emotions.
You should always tell me if you’re experiencing suicidal thoughts or urges. Not just because it’s a safety concern, but also because you deserve support, especially when you have hit a very low point.
I have had experience helping clients successfully navigate these dark, challenging times, but to be able to do that I need to know you’re struggling in the first place.
What feelings can I expect when I start therapy?
It's normal to be anxious going into a new situation especially when you might not feel in control of uncomfortable emotions.
People cry, laugh, rage, rant, and talk during sessions. Part of the therapy process is to look at your feelings and to feel those feelings, instead of what you think you should be feeling.
Most people cry in their sessions. I always tell my clients that it's safe to cry with me and that crying is not a sign of weakness. Crying is a normal human response to pain, physical or emotional. People actually do harm to themselves by trying not to cry, crying is cleansing and an important part of the healing process for many people.
When you start therapy, there are a few parts of the process that might seem painful, embarrassing or difficult. You are going to be expressing intense emotions and tapping into painful memories. The good news is that these feelings don’t last forever, they are the beginning of a process that will help you move towards feeling good.
Many of us didn’t grow up in the kind of environment where we could safely express our anger. Therapy is a place where we can practice having anger, articulating where it’s coming from and doing repair work that feels truly safe and validating.
Is therapy right for me?
Our first 30 min meeting is free and is an opportunity to explore this question. We can discuss how we will work together, confidentiality, fees and boundaries. You will also have the chance to talk about the circumstances that bring you to therapy and your expectations.
There is no commitment at this stage and you decide if therapy feels right for you.
What is the therapeutic relationship?
Research has shown the relationship you have with your therapist is a really important factor in how successful you find talking therapy.
During our first meeting we can decide if we feel that we will be able to work together and if you think that in time you will be able to to open up and trust me. Creating a strong relationship is important to enable us make your therapy a positive and productive experience.
Why is nature important in your therapy?
I believe in the power of nature and how it can help us relax, reset and heal. If the weather is appropriate and you would like to, we can walk around our large field and your session can take place outdoors in the natural environment. Walking has been proven to help people express themselves verbally and the physical act of moving helps avoid mental and physical symptoms of emotional shutdown. If the weather is inclement or if you would prefer, we can work inside my cosy room.
Being outside in nature makes us happier, less stressed, more creative, and more socially connected. It can improve short-term memory and focus, reduce inflammation, lower blood pressure, fight against anxiety and depression, and boost our overall immune systems.
Natural sounds relax you because they are constant noises of a pleasant pitch. Your brain interprets them as non-threatening noises, which helps reduce your fight-or-flight response. This in turn lowers your stress level and helps you become more relaxed, allowing you to focus on the therapy session.
The more fresh air you get, the more oxygen you will breathe which helps increase the amount of serotonin (the happy hormone) you have.
Being in nature can help clear your head and bring you into the present moment, which is a great way to de-stress, relax and is ideal for gaining the most from therapy.
How do I know you are properly qualified?
I am a Member of the British Association for Counselling & Psychotherapy (BACP) which is the largest professional body representing counselling and psychotherapy in the UK.
I have listed some of my relevant qualifications below;
BA (Hons) Integrative Counselling.
FdA Integrative Counselling.
Enhanced DBS certificate.
Diploma in modern applied psychology.
PTSD counselling Diploma.
CPD Chronic pain and Trauma.
Working with Trauma.
Sleep Consultant Diploma.
Certificate in online and telephone counselling.
Children and Young People, Level 2.
Emergency first aid in the workplace.
The following qualifications are relevant to our walking and being outside during your sessions (if you chose to take advantage of this): Outdoor first aid.
Hill and Moorland leader. Mountain training Association UK.
Master Trainer, European Institute fitness.
Advanced diploma in personal training, European Health and Fitness Association.
Sports massage therapist level four. Register of exercise professionals UK.
Will my sessions be confidential?
Confidentiality is hugely important in our work. We will talk about confidentiality in more detail during our first meeting.
How often should I see you?
Generally sessions are once per week, especially in the beginning. Therapy requires a concentrated effort on a consistent basis to gain the most benefits. You will find that you work hard in the sessions and often spend time thinking about what we have discussed between sessions.
How many sessions will I need?
How long the process takes varies from one individual to another. You decide and are in control of the number of sessions and when you want to stop. It’s up to you how far you want to go on the journey of self discovery and what you want to get out of it. My role is to help you to get what you need from the process in order to move on with your life as quickly and easily as possible.
How much does a session cost?
A session is charged at £45 per hour.
£65 for 90 minutes.
How do I pay?
You can bring cash or if you prefer to pay by bank transfer you can do this prior to your session.
Is there a cancellation notice?
I request at least 24 hours notice of a cancellation, otherwise there will still be a full charge for the session, unless there are exceptional circumstances.