Dee Smart - Relationship & Family Therapist / Supervisor Reg. MBACP
I am an experienced Relate Practitioner, Counselling Supervisor, Counselling & Personal Development Lecturer/Coach, Victims First Counselling Specialist and the founding member of Berkshire Relationship & Family Therapy (BRFT) based in Wokingham.
MY WAY OF WORKING
As a Systemic Relationship and Family Psychotherapist I work with:
- Family Members
- Children & Young People
- Placement Trainees
This explores how individuals operate within the many 'systems' they have in their lives e.g. couple relationships, families, friends, work groups etc. We do not live in a vacuum, we are relational beings and every relationship we have may impact us either positivity or negativity, and is ever changing.
I integrate a range of therapeutic approaches to enable you to reach conclusions about your own life and find your voice. Every individual I see is valued unconditionally, as each will have their own individual story and perception which has played a major role.
Supervision plays an important role in my work both inside and outside of the training room. I have supervised placement trainee’s and newly qualified counsellor’s on a one to one basis and in groups for the past six years. My supervision style is very collaborative in nature and as an Integrative Systemic Therapist, I work with a number of different modes of therapy. My way of working is to enable Therapist’s to ‘blend together’ their knowledge and abilities for the benefit of each client and achieve their own personal & professional development goals.
A couple relationship brings two separate and unique individuals together who have different ways of viewing the world developed by their cultural influences, religious beliefs, education, aspirations and parental conditioning. These values and beliefs are bound to clash causing misinterpretations and assumption-making as time goes on.
My role is to help both individuals understand each other's perceptions of their reality whilst helping them to find ways forward, whether it is together as a couple, or as individuals who have decided to separate.
By the time a person has come to therapy, the stories they have for themselves and their lives may have become completely dominated by problems that work to oppress them; these are often created within their family system from childhood.
These kinds of stories can invite a powerful negative influence in the way people see their lives and capabilities within themselves as it can often be reinforced by family members around them and how they are treated i.e. through language and behaviour e.g. “I’m the failure of the family”.
We will explore these and other issues together as a group in order to create new stories which will help to uplift each member of the family and enable them to feel valued.
Children & Young People (CYP)
By creating a safe and trusting relationship rooted in acceptance and unconditional positive regard, I intend to listen to the underlying story of the child or young person; to what is said, to what is not said, and to what is intuitively felt.
Through talking and creative play, I hope to make a connection with him/her that will help to raise their self-esteem, self-worth and self-confidence, enabling them to eventually find their voice and establish a sense of autonomy within their family system and beyond.
Some Issues Highlighted...
Infidelity/Affairs - During arguments each person uses past examples of their partners ‘bad’ behaviour as ammunition whenever a mistake is made thus continuing the cycle of distrust, especially if there has been an affair or infidelity they are trying to overcome, causing an impasse. Betrayal of the couple relationship can be considered fundamental to infidelities and affairs. Betrayals may not always involve a sexual connection with another person; internet porn, ‘sexting’ or close emotional relationships are considered just as painful to many partners.
Parenting Styles - Children see and hear everything, they may not overtly comment to this effect but the behaviour they witness is teaching them how to deal with conflict, and they will mimic their role models. Differing parenting styles is another recurrent theme in couples counselling and there are tried and tested techniques and strategies that will enable parents to tweak and compromise their individual style in order to demonstrate a more united front for the health and well-being of their children. Coaching tends to help couples in this area.
Domestic Violence and Abuse - Sometimes relationships can become more volatile in nature, with one or both partners unable to control their anger due to built up resentment of unresolved issues. This may develop into controlling behaviours such as verbal, emotional or physical abuse and couples can become trapped in a dysfunctional and sometimes co-dependent relationship of control, guilt and fear.
If both individuals are willing to engage in the therapeutic process and are able to take responsibility and accountability for their own actions then it is possible for a relationship to be brought back from the brink of despair.
Sexual Issues - Some couples complain about having different sex drives, or their partner may want to experiment with more ‘kinky’ sex toys or fetishes. Perhaps one partner would like to explore ‘role-play’ scenarios and fantasies that they’d like to share with their partner. Or perhaps the couple have ‘gotten out of the habit’ of love-making and now just feel awkward talking about sex or having any type of intimacy.
All of these issues and others can be explored openly and honestly both individually and collaboratively, within couple counselling. I am trained to coach you into becoming closer sexually if that’s what you both want for your relationship.
A Way Forward:
I provide a safe and confidential space where thoughts and feelings can be freely expressed openly and honestly without judgement which allows couples, families and individuals to fully 'hear' themselves and/or each other, sometimes for the first time in a long time.
More often than not, friends and family have their own agenda because they too have invested in your issue, relationship or life. As a Relationship & Family Therapist, the only agenda I have is to give you the best service I possibly can, individually, collectively and ethically.
Training, qualifications & experience
- Relate Practitioner Certification
- Teaching Qualifications
- PG Dip Relationship Therapy
- PQ Dip Counselling Children & Adolescents
- PG Diploma in Integrative Supervision - In progress
- PG Cert Pastoral Studies
- BA HONS Theological & Pastoral Studies
- Pastoral Counselling (upon request)
- Family Systems
- Solution-focused / Brief Relationship Counselling
- Mental Health & Couple Counselling
- Counselling with a Sexual Focus
- Domestic Violence & Abuse
- Substance Misuse and the Couple
- Working with Relationship Breakdown
- Separation & Divorce
- Child Development
- Child Protection & Safeguarding
- Adult Survivors of Sexual Abuse
- Impact of Sexual Trauma on Relationship
- Gender & Sexual Identity
- Bereavement & Loss
- Suicidal Risk & Support
- Disordered Personalities
- Mindfulness in the Relationship
Areas of counselling I deal with
- Affairs and betrayals
- Anger management
- Asperger's syndrome
- Attachment disorder
- Behaviour problems
- Body dysmorphic disorder
- Career counselling
- Carer support
- Child related issues
- Childhood bullying
- Chronic fatigue syndrome/ME
- Depression and anxiety in children
- Domestic violence
- Eating disorders
- Emotional abuse
- Family issues
- Gender dysphoria
- Generalised anxiety disorder
- Internet addiction
- Learning difficulties
- Low self-confidence
- Low self-esteem
- Panic disorder
- Passive aggressive behaviour
- Physical abuse
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Pregnancy and birth
- Relationship problems
- Separation and divorce
- Separation anxiety
- Sex addiction
- Sex problems
- Sexual abuse
- Suicidal thoughts
- Work-related stress
- Young carers
Other areas of counselling I deal with
- Issues related to Religion and Beliefs
- Differences in Cultural Value Systems
- Clashing Parenting Styles
- Gender Roles and Identity
- Generational Influences e.g. Parents, Grandparents etc
Photos & videos
All Fees are Negotiable
£65 - Relationship Therapy
TBN - Family Therapy / Group
£50 - Adult Therapy
£35 - Child / Young Person
£45 - Supervision (1 Hour)
Initial Consultations are 90 minutes duration
- Sessions can be open-ended or short-term
- Enhanced DBS
- Concessions are available for benefits claimants (documented)
- Payments are made a week in advance by BACS or in cash
If you are happy with what you've read so far and you feel that I might be able to help then please:
Send me an email or text message with your telephone number requesting an initial consultation and I will respond via email or text to arrange a suitable appointment for us both.
I look forward to hearing from you.
Maps & Directions
Type of session
|Face to face counselling:||Yes|
Daytime hours and Evenings 10am - 10pm
Types of client
Supervision & training