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MBACP COSRT

About me

I am Brenda Clowes and I work mainly with couple problems.   I trained originally with Relate in Marriage Counselling, 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 stuck and back in the mire again.  Maybe life stage issues such as the adjustment from being a new couple dating to moving in together,  to marry or not?,  from a couple to being parents,  problems with in-laws.  Blended families,  your children,  my children or no children so far and  fertility problems and treatment. 

Equality is not easy to measure, maybe fairness is a better ambition.  Who does what?when?  Time together/ time for yourself.   We all have expectations and some are unrealistic when put to the test. 

It could be a crisis like an affair or illness,  or sexual problems. fertility issues, or broken trust. Lockdown may have led to anxiety about dependency  Having spaces in your togetherness may have been difficult.

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, for instance, “You keep going on about that” is a response to catch yourself thinking and maybe 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 illuminating.   The origins in our experiences growing up can be understood. This builds understanding and 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 me and 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 exciting 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 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)

Member organisations

Registered / Accredited

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.

COSRT

College of Sexual and Relationship Therapists (COSRT)

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.

BACP

British Association for Counselling & Psychotherapy (BACP)

BACP is one of the UK’s leading professional bodies for counselling and psychotherapy with around 60,000 members. The Association has several different categories of membership, including Student Member, Individual Member, Registered Member MBACP, Registered Accredited Member MBACP (Accred) and Senior Registered Accredited Member MBACP (Snr Acccred).

Registered and accredited members are listed on the BACP Register, which shows that they have demonstrated BACP’s recommended standards for training, proficiency and ethical practice. The BACP Register was the first register of psychological therapists to be accredited by the Professional Standards Authority (PSA).

Accredited and senior accredited membership are voluntary categories for members who choose to undertake a rigorous application and assessment process to demonstrate additional standards around practice, training and supervision.

Individual members will have completed an appropriate counselling or psychotherapy course and started to practise, but they won’t appear on the BACP Register until they've demonstrated that they meet the standards for registration. Student members are still in the process of completing their training.

All members are bound by the BACP Ethical Framework and a Professional Conduct Procedure.

Accredited register membership

British Association for Counselling & Psychotherapy

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.

British Association for Counselling & Psychotherapy

Other areas of counselling I deal with

  • Affairs
  • Bereavement
  • Sexual problems particularly female issues
  • Falling out of love
  • "Just don’t get on"
  • Communication

Photos & videos

Fees

£60.00 per session

Concessions offered for

  • Low income

Additional information

£60.00 per hour for individuals

I offer a reduction on some daytime appointments

£80.00 per hour for couples

When I work

Day and Evening - Mon Tues Wed Thursday

Zoom and Facetime and telephone

Face to face  - coming soon when it is safe to

Further information

My approach

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.

176 Princes Road, Buckhurst Hill, Essex, IG9 5DJ

Type of session

In person
Online
Phone

Types of client

Young people
Adults
Older adults
Couples
Employee Assistance Programme

Key details

176 Princes Road is a tall Victorian townhouse There is a flight of steps to the front door and inside the house stairs to reach the counselling room. There is a pay and display carpark opposite the house.

Additional languages

no other language

Supervision

In person
Online
Phone

I have been a BACP accredited Supervisor for over 25 years and am currently supervising  counsellors working in many settings including Bereavement Services,  Psychotherapy Clinics,  Couple and Psychosexual and Relationship Counselling in Private Practice and Individual Counselling, in short or long term work.

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