‘Who I am is worth presenting to the world.’
If you have not experienced counselling before, or if you have had a negative experience of counselling before, then I completely understand if you are feeling apprehensive or unsure. Whilst you might have been aware for some time of not feeling as you would like to feel, you are not sure how talking to a complete stranger could possibly help.
Before meeting a counsellor for the first time people are often not sure what they will talk about, or they fear that they will be made to talk about certain things – their pasts, their childhoods, their relationships with their fathers, or mothers, their dreams, their sex life, their worries. Others are not sure that they want to open up about what might then become ‘a whole can of worms’ – they might then conclude that actually things are not too bad as they are and that with a bit more exercise, a good nights sleep and a more healthy diet, things will probably get better.
One of the principle aims in the counselling that I offer is to create a safe and permissive space where you will not feel shamed or judged for sharing whatever is on your mind. I will respect your right to share as little or as much as your feel comfortable with so that together we can work out what you might be looking for from counselling, what you might need and what the best way forward for you might be. I will not ‘make you’ do anything or put any pressure or demands upon you but will support you, and sometimes challenge you, to identify what it is that you need.
I am a fully qualified and fully insured counsellor. I am a member of the British Association for Counsellors and Psychotherapists (BACP).
Being a member of the BACP means that I work in alignment with the BACP’s Ethical Framework for Good Practice in Counselling and Psychotherapy. Please follow the link if you would like to find out more about what this framework means. In accordance with the BACPs requirements I have monthly meetings with a counselling supervisor, the purpose of which is to ensure that I am working safety and ethically, and to ensure that I am putting your safety and welfare at the heart on my work.
I stumbled my way into counselling in mid life after being unhappy for a number of years in my previous career. With the help of having my own counselling I realised that at quite an earlier age I had come to believe that if I excelled academically then I would be accepted and valued…. by my parents, by teachers, by society, and ultimately by myself. However, many years later I discovered that what I was doing in life was not making me happy: it was not bringing me alive and I realised that I had to do something else, something that would bring me a sense of contentment, inner peace and self acceptance. The words of Alan Downs resonate with me when he writes:
‘Since we were young boys, most of us were heavily focused on wining the acceptance of others to compensate for that inner feeling of being unacceptable, perhaps even unlovable. As men, we can continue this pattern by choosing careers, partners, and friends based on what we imagine will make us more acceptable to others rather than those things that are intrinsically rewarding to us’
Having the chance to talk things through with my own counsellor – someone who was not a family member, my partner or a friend and yet someone who was non-judgmental and who I felt was completely on my side and wanting the best for me, helped me immensely. Counselling helped me to make sense of all that had happened to me in life and it helped me to start to find steps forward that I could call my own.
‘taking a step backward after taking a step forward is not a disaster, it’s a cha-cha.’
I believe that having gone through my own periods of real difficulty and struggle, helps me to be a better counsellor because it helps me to be able to better empathise with what you might be struggling with. Having worked in Higher Education for a number of years I have experience in supporting students and staff with academic concerns. I have also worked in the UK and overseas in the construction industry and feel that these roles have given me a wide range of experience to draw upon, so as to be able to better support you in my counselling work. Issues such a business stress and/or problematic ways of trying to cope with stress, career dissatisfaction, concerns about performance and progression, homesickness amongst others, are struggles that I would be happy to hear from you about and to support you with.
In terms of theoretical orientation I am qualified in person-centered counselling, which to cut a long story short, means that I have absolute belief that the answers you seek ultimately lie within you and not me: working together, I support and empower you to find out what it is you need. My experience is that most of us are tired of being told what to do and/or of meeting the expectations of others, even though when we start to really explore what it is that we are looking for, it can feel unfamiliar and confusing at first.
I am also trained in therapeutic movement practice, which means that I have an awareness of how we often carry our worries and struggles, not just in our thoughts, but also in our bodies – the issues in our tissues! Anyone who is familiar with the book ‘The Body Keeps the Score’ by Bessel Van Der Kolk will be familiar with this approach. I run classes and workshops in this practice and those interested can find further details at:
Sometimes clients ask me to bring a specific body-focused approach into their counselling and so sessions become a kind of person-centered embodiment therapy, but as I have stated earlier in this website, I will never ‘make you’ do anything and unless specifically requested and discussed beforehand, sessions will be talk-based.
If you feel that I might be able to help then please get in contact.
Phone: 07757 859650
If I am unable to answer my phone when you call then please leave a message and I will call you back within 24 hours.
I look forward to being able to offer you a discrete and supportive counselling service.
Appointments are offered daytime or evening subject to availability.
My fee is £55 per session.
I have limited number of discounted rate slots for students of counselling and full-time students (evidence will be required) at £45 per session.
I offer a 5% discount for block booking of 6 consecutive sessions and 10% discount for block booking of 10 consecutive sessions. Feel free to call me for a no obligation 10-15 minute chat: we can then work out a best way forward.
‘Don’t ask yourself what the world needs. Ask yourself what makes you come alive, and go do that, because what the world needs is people who have come alive.’
Please note that the Counselling Shed is accessed by a step and there is no wheelchair accessible WC. If this presents an issue for you then please feel free to get in contact to discuss the possibility of other arrangements.