Counselling With A Difference - Kaushika Shah MBACP
07884 698 358
I have been working as a counsellor since 1998 and have the experience of working not only with day-to-day life issues, but also with ethnic minority issues.
Day-to-day issues may include difficulties of anxiety, stress, panic attacks, domestic violence, abuse, marriage issues, after adoption issues, divorce, dysfunctional families, bereavement, etc.
I also have a greater understanding of cultural aspects : differences, culture clash, Multi-cultural issues, Race and religion, Ethnic identity issues, Domestic abuse by extended family, Honour-based violence, Arranged or forced marriage issues, Discrimination, Racism, Social exclusion, Alienation, Migration, etc.
BE DIFFERENT : Be empowered --> change positively --> enhance your well-being
The lotus is a symbol of purity.
Its roots are in the mud, underneath the water,
But, the flower above the dirty water remains unaffected.
YOU are born an innocent child.
Life may have presented you with difficulties.
But, YOU can transcend above the problems and remain unaffected.
Be empowered, change positively and enhance your well-being.
Be DIFFERENT - Live a lotus life.
closed bud --> beautiful blossoming lotus
Let's talk about YOU first !!!
I feel it’s important to consider you first. Let’s look at the situation that may have led you to research the internet to seek the right therapist. Well done – by searching for a therapist, you are already half-way there - You want to talk!!!
You are hopefully looking for counselling that will work for you and make a difference to your life. It takes a lot of courage to take this step forward to seek counselling help and support. Now, let’s work on the other half to encourage you to get into therapy and have a successful counselling journey!
Why YOU might be seeking Counselling?
You might be experiencing difficulties in your life and you feel family and friends are unable to help, but you need to talk to someone. It’s good to talk !!!
You might need to talk to somebody :
- that is not part of your family or friends’ circle
- who is neutral and impartial
- who is non-judgemental
- who can listen, understand and empathise
- who can help you to overcome your difficulties
- who can help you to change positively
- who can make a difference...to your life.
REASONS FOR COUNSELLING NEED
There may be one of many different reasons why you might be seeking counselling, e.g. anxiety, stress, panic attacks, domestic violence, abuse, adoption issues, cultural issues, marriage issues, divorce, dysfunctional families, bereavement, etc. These are just a few examples. Whatever the issues are, counselling can certainly help you to make a difference and turn your life around positively.
Your counselling journey is individual to you. What you bring to the session is very important to your life and your experiences and also to the counselling journey. In the sessions, you bring alive the difficulties you are facing, now in life, out there or are suffering from, because of past experiences, e.g.
- there may have been issues during childhood or teenage years which are affecting you now as an adult
- your growing up may have been healthy, but you are finding things difficult as an adult with certain people/situations
- there may be nature and/or nurture issues whilst you have been growing up
- you may have migrated from another country and are finding the transition difficult in a strange country
- your children may be in a culture-clash situation where they are feeling confused and this is affecting the whole family
- there may be marital difficulties or you may be going through a divorce and the whole family may be suffering
- you might have been adopted and you need to work through identity issues or searching for birth parents issues
- you might have a disability and you are struggling in life
- you might be alone and finding it difficult to cope
- you may be suffering from work-related stress
- you might be feeling ill due to stress
- you might be in a domestic abuse or honour based violence situation
- you may be struggling to work through bereavement of someone close to you
Whatever the difficulties are or have been in your life, they are probably affecting you greatly, now in your daily life. If you are having marriage difficulties, you and your partner may be seeking help as couple counselling. Whether seeking counseeling as an individual or as a couple, you will be seeking the right counsellor for yourself/yourselves that will make a difference to your life.
Therapy provides an opportunity to build up a trustful counselling relationship and explore to make sense of your difficulties, in a non-judgemental safe environment. It empowers you to listen to the 2 voices in your head (Still Small Voice), develop your self-understanding, bring about effective change, enhance your well-being and improve your relationships.
The counselling relationship is one of the most significant trustful relationships, ever, that you can build up in your life that can change the course of your life in a very positive enriching way.
Now, let’s talk about me !!!
You may have been intrigued when you read the name “COUNSELLING WITH A DIFFERENCE,” and wondered what I am about and where I come from and what difference I can make to your life
FAMILY & CULTURAL PRESSURES
My name is Kaushika. I am of Indian Origin, born in Nairobi, Kenya, now settled in the UK for more than 4 decades. Migration with my family from Nairobi to Leicester, UK, caused a great disruption in my A* full-time “O” level study whilst doing my final year in Secondary school. More upset followed when family financial pressures led me into working full-time. However, I was determined to get some qualifications, which I achieved, studying night classes whilst working full-time. This was followed by another blow to my development and my confidence and self-esteem - Family and cultural pressures led me into an arranged marriage when I was not ready.
Naively, I went into the marriage thinking I could make it work, as any Indian girl does. However, issues of male hierarchy, manipulation (gas-lighting), domestic violence, powers of the in-laws family and the cultural pressure for the woman to tolerate any situation worked it's way into my life for 8 years by which time I was blaming myself totally for things not working out, subjected also now to mental abuse. As an Indian woman, brought up to tolerate any situation, I was not able to talk to anyone about the difficulties I was facing, not even close friends. Finally, a cultural event experience back in my home country within the in-laws family and the wise words of a very good friend (who I had not shared my troubles with but who wisely picked up body langauage signs), opened up my eyes to recognise that the problem was not mine but belonged 100 % to my husband and the in-law family.
SEEKING CHANGES --> CREATING OPPORTUNITIES
On the flight back home, change started to happen because I had seen a new light. With intense thinking and a determintaion to better my son's and my life, I then started feeling the confidence to make some changes in my life, However, it was very difficult to think about bringing about any drastic changes.
After 2 more years of physical and increased mental abuse AND a huge amount of further thinking (whether I could do it or not and survive), I finally plucked up enough courage to set myself and my son free from this horrific life by applying for a divorce. Other Indian women going through similar marital difficulties praised me for being so very brave. I didn't feel brave at all though, as I faced many new difficulties created by my ex who manipulated the community into ostracising me completely. Bringing up a young child as a single parent was a struggle in this environment, but family and close friends helped supported me which helped pull me through.
PATH LEADING TO HUGE POSITIVE CHANGES
I had to work really hard at rebuilding relationships again in the community - It took quite some time for the community to start accepting me for what I was and believing in me. This same community started seeing me in my true colours and believing in me so much that the head of the community sponsored me along with almost 20 other ethnic minorities to do a counselling course so that we could help people in the community needing counselling. We were all allocated mentors to help us through the course.
CHALLENGES leading to EMPOWERMENT
Confidently, but, confusedly, taking in all of the above baggage I went into the counselling course at the University of Leicester branch based in Northampton. The course was designed for white mainstream students. Being different from the mainstream students raised many issues in the course as well. We felt alienated and excluded and very angry when our voices as ethnic minorities were not heard. Our mentors helped us to resolve this issue with the University. The University made some changes in the course to incorporate ethnic minority needs.
Very bravely, I did my full training in five years, using many real-life experiences. The whole counselling course helped me to work through the past negative experiences, bringing live in the sessions my feeling and thoughts experienced then. Role-plays, pair and group work empowered and enabled me to accept the past experiences and to come to terms with the turbulence experienced then and to let go.
WORKING THROUGH DIFFERENCES
Working through the differences that I faced in the counselling course was quite challenging as well. The Cultural group was a huge support in this aspect. Successfully, I moved forward confidently, bringing about positive change and developed into an enhanced well-being. I became a different, better person, and began to get in touch with my true identity, finding out who I really was, which I guess, had frozen up, whilst I was in the difficult marriage. The whole course along with the support of tutors, mentors and colleagues over the 5 years brought about a huge positive life-changing experience for me.
So true are the observations of students working with each other in the course. In a final summing up about each other in a pair activity, a colleague commented on my personal and professional development :
“Kaushika has blossomed out, beautifully and confidently,” like a beautiful flower.
closed bud --> beautiful blossoming lotus
Hence, I chose the LOTUS, the Indian sacred flower, as my logo, from the closed bud to the beautiful blossoming lotus.
Very early on from my childhood, I had been deemed as a helper, whether at school, at home or outside in the community. Whilst studying, I started my counselling placement in 1998 at a local counselling agency doing voluntary counselling. After completing my diploma, I wanted to continue helping the agency through counselling, which I have been doing ever since.
How YOU can benefit from professional counselling with me and how I can MAKE A DIFFERENCE to your life?
Together, over time, we build up a confidential relationship of trust, honesty and respect so you feel safe enough to open up about your difficulties. I allow you the time and space to bring your story into the counselling room. In this safe and confidential environment you start feeling at ease, yet vulnerable enough to start being yourself and relating your story. Together we explore the issues that you would like to work with, that we have agreed in the Initial Assessment (1st session).
I listen to your story and understand and analyse what you are saying and what you may not be saying. I observe and listen to couples interacting with each other. You learn through the analysis of the story and I too learn from you, your life experiences, etc. that help me understand you, as my client/s. I help you to fix together the pieces of the jigsaw-puzzle that might be all over the place in your troubled life.
I offer you unconditional and non-judgmental support and empathy in a safe nurturing environment through your counselling journey. The counselling journey can be a difficult, overwhelming and a challenging experience, which requires a lot of work to be done by you in between sessions from the insight gained in the sessions. It can also be a path of discovery where you gain insight into yourself and your true identity that you maybe never knew existed.
I help you to gain insight into your difficulties and help you to recognise and work through the feelings, thoughts and emotions that you might be struggling with and help you to let go of the difficult experiences you are struggling with and move forward positively in your life. I help you to change your outlook, think positively and empower you to become the real you. I help you to become a different person that is so different from the one who first emerged onto the counselling journey.
With couples, I help you to communicate effectively with each other, listen to each other and gain sight of what the difficulties are that you both are facing with each other.
Your Counselling Journey is about YOU & ME TOO !!!
Into the counselling room, I bring myself and my wealth of rich cultural life experiences and diversity, including, not just my Indian cultural experiences, but also my transitional experiences migrating from my home country to settling into the unknown in the UK including unfair experiences relating to being different. With this, I also bring in knowledge and experience of working with various languages.
I bring lots of colour, enthusiasm and energy in my counselling work to help you to blossom out into your strong confident unique self, as I did, from the closed bud to the beautiful blossoming lotus. Using all the resources available to me, i.e. my knowledge, experiences, skills and training, I help you to explore the issues that you bring to the session. I offer unique counselling to make a huge change and difference to your life.
If you can change, others can also change towards you !!!
Training, qualifications & experience
My core training is in the Psychodynamic Approach. As part of this training, I have also done modules on Transcultural counselling, couples counselling, mental health, aggressive behaviour, suicide, loss, death and bereavement, transference and counter-transference, issues affecting women, working with difference, working with disability, working with women, separation and divorce, identity issues, working with anger, working with birth trauma, etc.
For other approaches, I have touched base on CBT techniques, NLP techniques, TA techniques, Gestalt techniques, Motivational Interviewing, Person-centred and holistic overview, Mindfulness, etc.
My most recent training has been in MARAC – Risk Assessment, Honour-based violence (HBV) and Domestic Abuse (DV). I am part of a voluntary group that raises awareness about HBV and DV issues through presentations, information at events, etc. I have also recently completed training to help survivors of child sexual abuse and rape.
I continue with my training to enhance my professional development. For CPD, I also read on many different approaches and issues through books and journals and watch TV documentaries, attend seminars, conferences, open days, etc.
I also deliver training sessions in counselling skills, breaks and endings, multicultural counselling and raising cultural awareness.
My qualifications include:
Certificate in Counselling Skills
Certificate in Counselling
Advanced Certificate in Counselling
Diploma in Psychodynamic Counselling
Certificate in Education (Cert-ed) – teach any subject
Diplomas in teaching specialist subjects – Maths level 5 and ESOL level 4
I have worked as a volunteer counsellor at a local Counselling agency since 1998 using an Integrative approach, adapting my counselling style and approach to suit the needs of the clients, drawing on approaches from all my training and learning.
I also did Initial Assessments to establish client needs and consider necessary approach that would best suit each individual client. In Intake panel, the assessors allocated a suitable counsellor to each client, referring the client on, in cases where the agency is unable to cater for their needs.
I have also done supervised family contact work
I work with the British Association of Counselling and Psychotherapists (BACP) ethical framework for good practice and receive regular clinical supervision to help me to work effectively with my clients.
Areas of counselling I deal with
- Affairs and betrayals
- Anger management
- Anorexia nervosa
- Asperger's syndrome
- Attachment disorder
- Binge-eating disorder
- Bipolar disorder
- Bulimia nervosa
- Carer support
- Child related issues
- Domestic violence
- Eating disorders
- Emotional abuse
- Family issues
- Feeling sad
- Generalised anxiety disorder
- Learning difficulties
- Low self-confidence
- Low self-esteem
- Obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD)
- Panic disorder
Other areas of counselling I deal with
- Multi-cultural or trans-cultural issues
- Race and religion issues
- Identity issues
- Ethnic identity issues
- Domestic abuse by extended family
- Honour-based violence
- Culture clash
- Social exclusion
- Arranged marriage issues
- Forced marriage issues
- Language issues
- Migration issues
- Learning difficulties
- Lone parenting
For individual counselling - My fees range from £30 - £45 depending on the time and day of the appointment. Evenings from 5 – 8 pm and Saturday appointments rate will be at the higher end of the tier. The rate are negotiable for student counsellors
Couple counselling is additional £5 on top of the rates below.
From time to time, my fees will be reviewed.
9am – 4 pm
5 pm – 8pm &
For people unable to travel, I am able to do home visits (+ travel mileage rate), the full payment payable in advance through BACS.
I have an enhanced CRB certificate.
I work with young people and adults from a wide range of diverse and cultural backgrounds, dealing with a wide range of diverse issues.
I offer counselling in English, Gujarati and Hindi.
I offer a safe, affordable, confidential professional service in one location, NN3, providing disability access.
The initial phone communication will give us both a chance to start to get to know each other and see if you feel comfortable to have counselling sessions with me, with no obligation and commitment to attend any sessions if you feel it’s not right for you. We will also decide if my counselling practice is the right one for you.
After the initial phone session, each counselling session will be 50 minutes. The initial assessment (1st session) will establish your needs, the type of work to be done and the practical aspects of fees, place, duration, etc. Deep routed issues may be long/medium term whilst surface issues may be short/medium term. Together, we will draw up a working agreement.
Maps & Directions
Type of session
|Face to face counselling:||Yes|
|Other languages:||Gujarati and Hindi|
Flexible times during the weekdays - day and evenings. Saturday afternoon is also available
Types of client
|Employee Assistance Programme|