I am Brenda Clowes and I work mainly with couple problems. I trained originally with Relate in 'Marriage Guidance', adding Sex Therapy and Infertility Counselling qualifications.
Deciding 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 to seeking out help.
What sort of problems do couples want help with
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, your children, my children, or no children so far. The effects of the lockdown have been an extra challenge.
It could be a crisis like an affair or illness or sexual problems. fertility issues, unfulfilled expectations or broken trust.
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 effect 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 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 understanding what is really being said “You keep going on about that” is a response to catch yourself saying. It is often because you haven’t really ‘heard’ and taken in the significance.
Understanding our defences against anxiety and the self protective responses we make can be talked about. The origins in our experiences growing up can be understood. This builds trust, or rebuilds the trust that has taken a hammering. Vulnerability then can be experienced as a blessing and being more of oneself a relief and draw you closer.
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 talking to friends or family would feel humiliating (or you fear they will take sides). The isolation can be agonising. I want to make it as easy as possible for you to unburden yourself and begin to confide in one another again
The beauty of counselling is in discovering insights into 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 hopeful and uplifting.
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 we can 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.
If you have had both vaccinations and the flu jab then coming here and working face to face may be possible The majority of my work is on line via Zoom. FaceTime or telephone counselling can be an alternative.
For Zoom and Facetime - you will need a quiet area, confidential and secure
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)
Registered / Accredited
Being registered/accredited with a professional body means an individual must have achieved a substantial level of training and experience approved by their member organisation.
College of Sexual and Relationship Therapists
COSRT is the UK’s leading membership organisation for therapists specialising in sexual and relationship issues.
All members must abide by their Code of Ethics and the performance of accredited members is regularly monitored.
British Association for Counselling & Psychotherapy
BACP is one of the UK’s largest professional bodies for counselling and psychotherapy. Therapists registered with the Association fall into a number of different membership categories such as Individual Member, Registered Member MBACP and Registered Member MBACP (Accred), each standing for different levels of training and experience. MBACP (Accred) and MBACP (Snr Accred) members have achieved a substantial level of training and experience approved by the Association.
Registered members can be found on the BACP Register, which was the first register to achieve Accredited Voluntary Register status issued by the Professional Standards Authority. Individual Members will have completed an appropriate counselling and/or psychotherapy course and started to practise, but will not appear on the BACP Register until they've progressed to Registered Member MBACP status.
All members are bound by a Code of Ethics & Practice and a Complaints Procedure. Accredited by the Professional Standards Authority.
Accredited register membership
Accredited Register Scheme
The Accredited Register Scheme was set up in 2013 by the Department of Health (DoH) as a way to recognise organisations that hold voluntary registers which meet certain standards. These standards are set by the Professional Standards Authority (PSA).
This therapist has indicated that they belong to an Accredited Register.
Areas of counselling I deal with
Other areas of counselling I deal with
- Sexual problems particularly female issues
- Falling out of love
- "Just don’t get on"
£60.00 per session
Concessions offered for
£60.00 per hour for individuals
I offer a reduction on some daytime appointments
£80.00 per hour for couples
Day and Evening - Mon Tues Wed Thursday
Zoom and Facetime and telephone
Face to face - coming soon when it is safe to
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 'What is or was 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.