The Heeler Centre
Station Approach East
Brighton Therapy Centre
23 New Road
I have over nine years of counselling experience and work with both couples and individuals. My experience has predominantly been gained via Brighton Therapy Centre, The Heeler Centre, Mid Sussex Counselling Centre, and The University of Brighton Counselling Service. I’m able to work with clients on either a short or long term basis, and my experience encompasses a wide range of emotional difficulties and issues.
What is Psychotherapy?
For some problems, talking to a friend or relative may be helpful (and this is psychotherapy of sorts). The advantage of meeting with a trained counsellor/psychotherapist is for times when the problems are perhaps more complex, when you are seeking to explore deeper issues, when your friends/family are advising you or expressing opinions on what they think you should do making it more difficult for you to think about what your own thoughts and feelings are on the matter.
As a psychotherapist I won’t offer advice or tell you what to do, what I will do is provide a space for exploration and self-knowledge, enabling you to find the answers and feel more in control. It can feel hard to understand and know what the right kind of counselling is for you. Whilst each approach does differ slightly, at the heart of all therapy is a relationship between the counsellor and client(s), a relationship that provides the foundation for self-exploration and change. For this reason, it’s important in choosing a counsellor that you feel comfortable with them as a person and for me this is far more important and conducive to the work than what the particular mode of therapy may be.
By way of more information on my background and the reasons I choose to work in this way: I believe in the presence and power of our unconscious thoughts and feelings and the effect they have in our day to day lives. In psychodynamic counselling I’m interested in these unconscious processes and how our past experiences (often very early years of childhood) have an effect on our current relationships and psychological well-being. The therapeutic relationship works to facilitate insight to help you know and understand yourself better and in so doing then also enabling you to feel more in control.
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy
CBT differs to psychodynamic work in that it’s more problem focused (undertaken for specific problems) and the work utilises a range of more practical tools, centering on specific strategies and tasks to challenge your thoughts and your behaviours. Sometimes the symptoms are so debilitating that the difficulties feel much more urgent. CBT is helpful for providing some more immediate tools for relief and as such it’s a particularly good model for short-term therapy. The work is collaborative but in this method of counselling you’ll be given work-sheets and exercises to work on outside of the sessions, bringing the results for review in the sessions. It’s important to mention that I don’t ever offer ‘pure’ CBT as I feel some exploratory work and talking therapy is always useful alongside the CBT – this is integrative therapy
Relationship Counselling/Couples Therapy
Our intimate partnerships have a very powerful impact on us, influencing our emotional wellbeing, our sexual desires, the contentment of children, our finances and our social lives. It’s so important to feel happy and content in our intimate relationships, to feel secure and stronger as a result of that partnership – and to be on the same team. Attending to any difficulties in our intimate relationships is extremely important. Couples do this all the time together – communicating to overcome difficulties and working through ‘safe’ conflict for effective resolution. Often though conflict arises which cannot be worked through for whatever reason, or there’s a theme to the difficulties that keeps being repeated. Couples find they are defending and attacking rather than feeling on the same team. It may be very difficult to know what the source of difficulty is let alone how to overcome it and this is where couples therapy can really help, with a very strong body of evidence to show the benefits to be gained. An unhelpful partnership can lead to recurrent mental ill-health, not to mention the profound effects it can have on any children, so as much as it can be very hard to make the first step towards seeking help, it’s very important and many couples find it life-changing and enriching. They learn from understanding how each contributes to the creation and maintenance of their difficulties, how the patterns repeat, and it becomes possible for each to achieve deeper emotional growth.
Couples therapy will address many aspects of the relationship, although communication tends to be the primary focus of relationship therapy as this is usually the source of the difficulties. When partners repeatedly employ conflict avoidance or engage in heated power struggles, it is often the case that communication problems ensue; resentment builds, and repairs are never made. One of the first steps in improving a relationship is to help each person with how to regulate their emotions, stay calm, and use healthy communication skills (most often stopping the blame) to resolve problems new and old.
The goal of couples therapy is not always to stay together, and sometimes a couple will seek therapy for help in separating. Whilst part of the work can still be to understand what the difficulties may have been and reasons for the separation, helping with communication, in separation work the focus is also to mourn the loss of the relationship and to make the separation as constructive as possible.
In either case it’s important to work with a therapist experienced in working with couples as it is different to working with individuals.
Training, qualifications & experience
I qualified from the University of Brighton with a Post Graduate Diploma in Psychodynamic Therapeutic Counselling. I also have a Certificate in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) from the Wimbledon Guild, a certificate in Relationship Counselling from the Tavistock Centre for Couples and Relationships, and I’m a trained Counsellor with ChildLine.
I’m a member of the BACP (British Association of Counsellors and Psychotherapists: www.bacp.co.uk) and adhere to the BACP Ethical Framework for the Counselling Professions - this can be viewed by clicking this link (and includes detail on principles around confidentiality): http://www.bacp.co.uk/ethical_framework/
I’m committed to continuing my professional development and as such I regularly attend training events and workshops including:
Love and Hate: The Dynamics of Violence and Reconciliation (Brighton Therapy Partnership)
Emotionally Focussed Therapy for Couples (The Wimbledon Guild)
Understanding Shame and Humiliation in Couple Relationships (Centre for Emotional Development)
Attachment, Neuroscience and 21st Century Psychotherapy (Centre for Emotional Development)
Areas of counselling I deal with
- Anger management
- Attachment disorder
- Borderline personality disorder
- Child related issues
- Chronic fatigue syndrome/ME
- Domestic violence
- Drug abuse
- Eating disorders
- Emotional abuse
- Generalised anxiety disorder
- Internet addiction
- Low self-confidence
- Low self-esteem
- Obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD)
- Panic disorder
- Passive aggressive behaviour
- Personality disorders
- Physical abuse
£45 a session for individuals and £50 for a couple.
The first thing is for us to meet for an initial consultation - this is an opportunity for us to explore what has brought you to therapy.
Counselling can seem quite daunting to people and the relationship between counsellor and client is key to the success of the work. The initial session will provide the opportunity for us to see if we feel we can work well together. From here we’ll discuss how to progress forward and hopefully be able to book a regular weekly session. I’ll aim to provide some guidance in the initial session as to how many sessions I feel will be required, but this is also something that we’ll review as we go.
All sessions last for 50 minutes.
Maps & Directions
Type of session
|Face to face counselling:||Yes|
Types of client