Exeter Natural Health Centre.
83-84 Queens Street
Widcombe Therapy Room,
4 Millbrook Place, Widcombe
01647 253479 / 07753 827745
After a not too easy start in life, I entered University at the age of 22. I obtained my Psychology degree and then worked in a Psychiatric Hospital in East London, working in Occupational Therapy. Having been brought up in Cornwall I returned to the South West many years ago working in Children's Services. I qualified as a Gestalt Therapist in 1999 and have since worked in General Practice surgeries and private practice. I now work part-time for a national mental health charity and remain in private practice.
Gestalt Therapy does not stigmatise or see mental health issues as something 'wrong'. We go through life making creative adjustments to situations as they arise. For example: if an individual is brought up with a violent, abusive father then in order to live safely, we may adjust to this situation by learning to be very quiet and invisible. Gestalt therefore looks at the total situation.
Support is necessary for change to occur. Aspects of individual and environmental support will be investigated and how the environment can maybe be adapted, to facilitate the change process. How we feel within our bodies is an important aspect of self-support. For example: connecting with a sense of breathing in the body and how this can support.
Change can take time, uncovering creative adaption themselves can take time. The therapeutic space can be a good environment that provides support in which different ways of living can be practised and experimented.
I work with individuals, couples and groups. More about group work below,
Training, qualifications & experience
- BSc (Hons) Psychology
- Diploma Gestalt Counselling
- Certificate Group Facilitation.
- Developing Effective Group Facilitation
- Introduction Group Analysis
- Conflict, Challenge and Confrontation in Groups
- Understanding Group Dynamics.
- Facilitating groups and leading teams.
Areas of counselling I deal with
- Affairs and betrayals
- Anger management
- Antisocial personality disorder
- Asperger's syndrome
- Attachment disorder
- Avoidant personality disorder
- Bipolar disorder/Manic depression
- Body dysmorphic disorder
- Borderline personality disorder
- Carer support
- Child related issues
- Chronic fatigue syndrome/ME
- Dependent personality disorder
- Domestic violence
- Drug abuse
- Eating disorders
- Emotional abuse
- Family issues
- Gender dysphoria
- Generalised anxiety disorder
- Hearing voices
- Histrionic personality disorder
- Internet addiction
- Learning difficulties
- Low self-confidence
- Low self-esteem
- Narcissistic personality disorder
- Obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD)
- Obsessive-compulsive personality disorder
- Panic disorder
- Paranoid personality disorder
- Passive aggressive behaviour
- Personality disorders
- Physical abuse
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Pregnancy and birth
- Relationship issues
- Schizoid personality disorder
- Schizotypal personality disorder
- Seasonal affective disorder (SAD)
- Separation and divorce
- Sex addiction
- Sex problems
- Sexual abuse
- Suicidal thoughts
- Work related stress
Other areas of counselling I deal with
Shame issues are a common feature in our society. Having suffered from being shamed as a child I know what it is to live in the world where I would like to feel invisible. It is possible to change these feelings.
To feel exposed and 'like a rabbit in headlights' is a difficult place to be.The deep significance of shame and how this can affect us in all forms of living in the world could be a very surprising revelation. It is so easy to feel ashamed of being ashamed. To travel in life with our full confident sense of being who we are, allows such a sense of freedom, visibility and movement.
Coming to terms with such feelings as shame are difficult and sometimes shameful in themselves. In Gestalt therapy it is possible to look at these feelings through slow, gentle, empathetic, direct experience. Acceptance by the individual of him/herself and the acceptance of that person totally by the therapist is a large part of the process of healing and change.The understanding of how these feelings have arisen can also help in developing news ways of being in the world. There may be no quick fix, however, it is definitely possible to create a new way of living.
Photos & videos
Individual therapy £40 per hour. Couples £50 per hour. All initial meetings free.
Groups ..£15 per evening group. See website.
I offer individual therapy, couples therapy and group work in Bath and Exeter. See my website for details of groups in Bath and Exeter.
Group members are very varied and diverse and no two groups are the same. When thinking about coming to group therapy it is well worth spending some time thinking about what it entails and what you aim to achieve by being a member.
Maybe there is a need to relate differently to people in your life. Aspects of how we relate as humans is so important to our lives. There are few environments that allow us to be honest and to explore who we are, feeling our way with others who are also doing the same. It can be very challenging to give direct feedback and to listen to others returning feedback.
What is your experience in this group at any moment? You could be experiencing confusion, or finding there is a lack of support and direction that needs attention. There may be a desire to change, to act or behave in a different way, and the group provides an opportunity to practise a new way of relating or to discover how our relationships are formed or damaged.
Group members unfold and grow gradually. This is the process of the group. Safety, confidentiality and trust are most important. Participants are required to look after themselves, but facilitators and group members can support in this regard.
Each person coming to a group brings their total ‘field’. That is, everything that has made them the person they are today, be it past, present or future. It is well worth being yourself and checking on how you feel in the group here and now. It is imperative to use ‘I’ statements and talk about our own experiences and how these affect us today. Be honest, try to come without masks or veils, be prepared to show yourself and be prepared to protect yourself but also to take risks (safe emergency). Try not to have investment in outcomes or conclusions, understand that support will be there and feel able to give support. This can be a central feature of group work.
Very little learning takes place in our comfort zones. The learning edge is at the place where we challenge ourselves. Experiencing ourselves behaving differently can lead to a greater sense of our potential. That behaviour can then be integrated and utilised within the group and outside.
Groups can require a considerable amount of investment in time. Attendance is vital. You may well find yourself thinking about the group throughout your days. This can be productive and also useful. Ascertain what it is you need from the group and may not be getting. Evaluate how you feel in the group and be honest in taking these feelings to the group.
It is not the role of groups or Gestalt facilitators to instruct members in how to be, or to interpret behaviour. Each person has the freedom to decide for themselves how they proceed in the group or in their lives. However, actions will have consequences and these can become apparent in such a diverse environment.
Finally, groups should be fun as well as a place for creativity and awareness. The group creates the group and can be largely responsible for the environment. Your time should be varied, stimulating and enjoyable.
Maps & Directions
Type of session
|Face to face counselling:||Yes|
Available Tuesday,Friday, and Sunday, evening appointments also available.
Types of client
|Employee Assistance Programme|