I am experienced with adults, young people and children who suffer with difficulties such as anxiety, bereavement, trauma, addiction, or who seek to change the way they view life, work, school, relationships, etc. I currently work in private practice with individuals, couples and families; I work as a School Counsellor with young people; I am also a Primary Mental Health Worker for CAMHS (Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service) for Brighton and Hove City Council; I offer Supervision to Counsellors, Diploma students and groups.
In addition, I have worked as a Bereavement Counsellor, Youth Counsellor and Drug and Alcohol Counsellor for agencies in the Brighton area. I have also worked with children and young people in both Primary and Secondary schools.
My work has brought me into contact with a variety of clients, covering topics such as:
- Family issues/Couples Counselling
- Adolescence problems
- Anger/Emotion Regulation
- Drug and alcohol misuse
- Self Harm
- Pet Bereavement
- Low self esteem
Sessions usually take place once a week. Making this regular commitment is a proven strategy for successful counselling.
What type of counselling do I offer?
There are several types of counselling and psychotherapy. Each model has its own theory of human development and its own way of working. I am trained as an Integrative/Humanistic counsellor and I work to combine the following Therapeutic models:
This approach to counselling and psychotherapy sees human beings as having an innate tendency to work towards their full potential. This can be blocked or distorted by our life experiences. Perhaps we understand we are only loved or valued if we behave in certain ways or are ‘allowed’ certain feelings and not others. This could mean we have a deep need to feel valued and tend to deny ourselves the inner experiences because we believe they are not acceptable.
The counsellor or psychotherapist in this approach provides a supportive, non-directive environment in which the client does not feel judged and is able to accept who they are as a person, and reconnect with their own values and sense of self-worth. This reconnection with their inner resources helps them find their own way to move forward.
The therapist works to understand the client’s experience from the client’s point of view, by positively valuing them as a person in all aspects of their humanity, while being open and genuine as another human being. This humanistic approach will only be helpful if the client experiences them as real within the relationship, and therefore the relationship itself, created between counsellor and client, is crucial for the success of therapy.
Transactional Analysis (TA):
Transactional analysis is a theory of personality involving an individual’s growth, development and ability to change. It is also a theory related to communication and child development explaining the connections to our past and how this influences decisions we make. Transactional Analysis theorises that people can change, if they actively decide to replace their usual patterns of behaviour with new ones.
TA also helps clients to trust their decisions and in turn improve the way they feel about themselves. TA is a humanistic approach and like Person-Centred Counselling focuses on the concept of ‘here and now’.
Together the therapist and the client plan the goals of the therapy as part of the process. The focus is on uncovering the ‘life scripts’ that contain messages received in childhood.
Gestalt therapy focuses on the whole of an individual’s experience; their thoughts, feelings and actions, and concentrates on the ‘here and now’ – what is happening from one moment to the next. Roughly translated from German, Gestalt means ‘whole’ and the main goal of this approach is for the individual to become more self-aware, taking into account their mind, body and soul.
A therapist will constantly promote the client’s awareness of themselves and often uses experiments that are created by the therapist and client. These experiments can be anything from creating patterns with objects, to writing, or role-playing. Promoting self-awareness is the main objective of gestalt therapy but other areas such as improving the ability to support ones emotional feelings are also important. Gestalt therapy is influenced by psychoanalytic theory and therapists will concentrate on ‘here and now’ experiences to remove obstacles created by past experiences.
In addition, I offer:
Solution-Focused therapy or Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT):
These types of therapy are concerned with the way people’s beliefs about themselves shape how they interpret experiences. The objective is to change self-defeating or irrational beliefs and behaviours by altering negative ways of thinking.
Clients learn to monitor their emotional upsets and what triggers them, to identify self-defeating thoughts, to see the connections between their beliefs, feelings and behaviour, to look at the evidence for and against these thoughts and beliefs, and to think in a way that is more realistic and less negative.
The counsellor usually gives the client tasks or homework to do between sessions. This could mean recording thoughts and feelings, or doing something that tests a basic assumption about themselves.