Brenda Clowes MBACP COSRT
Couples Counselling and Sexual Therapy are my main areas of work (I trained with Relate in Marriage Guidance, adding Sex Therapy and Infertility Counselling qualifications). Making a decision to come together is a big first step but if your partner is uncertain or unwilling to come I will see you alone so that you can speak about things from your side of the picture. Often partners soften when they see your commitment. I also welcome people who are looking for Individual Therapy. I have flexible daytime and evening appointments.
I continue to believe in the process of counselling to help us with personal development and problem solving, and as couples to find out what drew us together, to reconnect and develop our strengths with renewed enthusiasm.
Supervision for counsellors and consultations for supervisors is another part of my practice.
What sort of problems do couples want help with?
Could be continuing cycles of argument and a hopeless feeling of being back in the mire again, or family issues such as the adjustment from being a couple to being parents, problems with in-laws, or teenage children, roles and unfairness, etc., blended families, or it could be a crisis like an affair or illness. Many couples know that they love each other and want to stay together but are struggling to find a way. Some couples have had thoughts of separation but want to leave 'no stone unturned’ and can find comfort in talking about parting and the effects this will have.
Couple counselling is a very practical and acceptable way of solving problems particularly with communication.
How can I help?
Couples with whom I have worked with tell me they find it is easier to say difficult things when they are with me, to expose the hurts and to discover what are the real concerns and hidden issues behind the trivial triggers, scorekeeping and avoidance which goes on. Help with listening and responding dissolves the defensiveness and builds trust or rebuilds the trust that has taken a hammering. Vulnerability then can be experienced as a blessing and draw you closer.
Uncovering resentments and unspoken wishes happens more readily in a place where someone is there to make it safe. Often the current situation has triggered some feelings and behaviour experienced in childhood. Understanding the connection we are freed to use our adult selves to solve the problem that our child self was too helpless to do.
Talking about sex may have felt taboo or too embarrassing but I find clients open to talking when invited. When you are feeling shame or the piercing pain of betrayal maybe to talk to friends or family would feel humiliating (or you fear they will take sides) The isolation can be agonising. I understand and want to make it as easy as possible for you to unburden yourself.
The beauty of counselling is in discovering insights in to yourself as well as your partner, and things you may not have known, as well as rediscovering the things that drew you together. Rediscovering each other is uplifting.
Finding other ways of doing things happens more easily when goodwill has returned.
How do I make the next step?
I know what courage it takes to lift the receiver or email someone out of the blue. Once you have taken the step you can make an appointment there and then, or if you would like to have a telephone conversation about the problems you are experiencing before you make a decision to go ahead with counselling, I will be pleased to speak to you. If I am not available please leave a message or text me and I will get back to you. I hope you feel that you can.
I have daytime and evening appointments on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. Evening appointments are 6.00pm, 7.15pm and 8.30pm. With daytime appointments I can be a little more flexible although a regular time each week is recommended. Appointments are for one hour.
Training, qualifications & experience
- Marriage Guidance Counselling
- Sexual & Relationship Therapy COSRT
- Fertility Counselling London Hospital Medical College
- Marital & Couple Counselling & Supervision RELATE.
- Continuing professional development COSRT, TCCR, BACP, ATSAC
- Accredited Counsellor COSRT (college of Sexual and Relationship Counselling)
- Senior Accredited Supervisor BACP (British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy)
Accredited register membership
Areas of counselling I deal with
- Affairs and betrayals
- Carer support
- Emotional abuse
- Family issues
- Feeling sad
- Generalised anxiety disorder
- Internet addiction
- Low self-confidence
- Low self-esteem
- Physical abuse
- Postnatal depression
- Pregnancy and birth
- Relationship problems
- Seasonal affective disorder (SAD)
- Separation and divorce
- Sex addiction
- Sex problems
- Sexual abuse
- Work-related stress
Other areas of counselling I deal with
- Sexual problems particularly female issues
- Sex therapy
- Falling out of love
- "Just don’t get on"
Photos & videos
£65.00 per hour for individuals
I offer a reduction on some daytime appointments
£80.00 per hour for couples
I am an integrative counsellor, which means all of the theories (or ways of looking at life) have relevance to me and I will use all, or something from each of them.
The psychodynamic approach to therapy takes into account the influences of the past and how our internal conflicts, maybe from childhood, are adding to the anxiety in the present. We cannot change the past but we can undo the effects of the past in the present which may be having more of a damaging effect than we are aware of.
Marital interaction when applied to couples the question is 'What is the marital 'fit'? 'What were the qualities that made us believe we would be able to give to and receive love and support from this person based on our life's experiences' and 'What didn't we want?'
Systems theory believes that we are all a system within ever increasing systems (couple, family, community etc) and the whole affects the parts.
Behavioural therapy aims to modify the behaviour rather than looking for underlying causes. Behaviour and responses are learned and therefore can be unlearned
Client centred therapy is growth oriented and forward moving, the theory being that by being listened to and having your thoughts and feelings reflected back to you and the therapist being congruent (in tune with and able to use their our own reactions helpfully) you may develop a greater skill of listening to your own thoughts and feelings and be in tune with your own reactions and be released to take action if that seems appropriate.
There is a time when drawing or painting or using clay may be useful. Usually this is when there are strong
feelings or when there is something elusive that needs to be captured You may find one theory means more to you than another
Please visit my website buckhursthillrelationshipcounselling.co.uk and you can read the articles on this website 'The Creative Process in a Couple', and 'Whatever has happened to sex', which gives you an idea of how I think.
Maps & Directions
Type of session
|Face to face counselling:||Yes|
Daytime and evening appointments available on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday
Types of client
|Employee Assistance Programme|
Supervision & training
I have been a BACP accredited Supervisor for 25 years and am currently supervising counsellors working in many settings including Bereavement Services, Infertility Clinics, Psychotherapy Clinics, NHS Sexual Health Clinics, and Couple Counselling and Psychosexual and Relationship Counselling in Private Practice and Individual Counselling in Private Practice, in short or long term work.View supervision profile