Welcome to my profile…
I have worked with a wide range of people over the years in the course of my vocation as a childbirth doula, shamanic practitioner, in psychotherapeutic counselling and workshops for drug, alcohol and gambling addiction services, and in my own private counselling practice. The nature of my work and life experiences have drawn me to creating space for people to sit with themselves and help them bear witness to sometimes very deep emotional (or physical) pain.
My approach to counselling
The most important aspect of this work is that it feels like a collaboration between you and me and that you can feel comfortable and safe within the counselling relationship.
The work is client-centred in that it focuses on what you would like to bring to your sessions to talk about. Within this basic framework, I may draw on different modalities of counselling work that I feel would be helpful for you.
For example, some clients wish to come to counselling to be witnessed, with a minimum of reflection from me in the form of words, so that they can disentangle their thoughts and feelings and understand their emotional responses through listening to themselves give voice to them.
At other times it may feel more appropriate to by-pass the talking-mind processes and to use the imagination with sand-tray work or with drawing images and mind-maps, or working more with imagery and colour.
Sometimes I may use a more psycho-educational approach if I can see that the information I can offer would help you to gain a better understanding of a situation.
I may invite/encourage you to keep a journal or offer suggestions of (psycho educational/self help) books that you might find useful and interesting to read in between sessions. This is helpful as it adds depth and breadth to the work we are doing in sessions, and in this way you can have support with this ongoing inner process.
I believe that it is very important to learn how to be present for ourselves in the moment. This is useful not only in sessions, but is an essential skill to draw on in our lives, and so I encourage an awareness of mindfulness and how this can be cultivated.
I see body and mind and spirit as a holistic and indivisible system interconnected with all around us. So I encourage an awareness of embodiment and noticing experiences of how your thoughts can change your internal physiology within in an instant, and how this may affect the way you feel and behave, drawing on models borrowed from cognitive behavioural therapy and trauma therapy.
At the start of our work together, I would seek to take a history of the important aspects of your life story, and the people in it, and why you are choosing to come for counselling at this point in time. This is important so that I can get a sense of who you are, where life has taken you on your journey so far, and so that I can have a map with which we can work together.
All of our work together is subject to review, and I would encourage a review of the counselling process every several sessions to evaluate how it is working for you, and whether you feel satisfied that you are getting out of it what you came for.
Training, qualifications & experience
Some information about me…
So that you can get a sense of who I am, I would like to include some information about the directions I have taken in life….
I started my professional life in academia, as a zoologist, following a life long fascination and sense of deep connection with Nature, her beautiful ways, her plants and animals of all sorts, including humans.
Realising that there was no practical future for me here, but still using my knowledge and interest in biology I trained and worked as a childbirth doula, and menstrual health practitioner with the Holistic Birth Foundation, and Relaxed Birth And Parenting. During this time I started to train as a psychotherapeutic counsellor too.
All of my counselling qualifications have been facilitated by the Sweet Track Counselling Centre, and the many wonderful teachers there, and I hold diplomas in working psychotherapeutically within a spiritual model of counselling. This has nothing to do with any religion, but encompasses the idea that there is spirit in everything, and that life is a coherent, interconnected phenomenon- something that quantum physics and many other branches of science are now showing, and that the seers from centuries and even millennia back, have known.
I found this work fascinating, and it has been a constant path of personal and professional development for me, both to better understand my clients, but also my own mental health issues that had affected me in younger life.
More recently, my mental health based trainings have included workshops with n-science looking at early relational trauma and how this plays out in or lives, and a Diploma in Working with Eating Disorders, and Nutritional Interventions for Eating Disorders.
The other part of my work encompasses my shamanic practice, not so much a profession, but a way of living which has always been a part of my life for as long as I can remember. So my passion for this aspect of life has taken me into apprenticeships with many and varied shamanic teachers and master plant spirit teachers. I also work as a shamanic practitioner and cacaoista- which is someone who facilitates work with cacao (the ‘active’/tasty ingredient in chocolate) as a plant spirit teacher in shamanic ceremony.
Areas of counselling I deal with
Fees are £50 for an hour session.
Your initial phone consultation with me is free of charge.
What is counselling?
Sometimes in life we may experience things that are deeply life changing, and yet it is difficult for us to contain these experiences.
These events might include major life changes such as bereavement, and this can be of any human life, including the life of a baby lost through miscarriage or abortion, or the life of a much loved animal companion.
They may be losses or changes of other kinds, such as loss of a job or an important relationship, or way of living.
In these instances, counselling can provide a space to grieve and give witness to your feelings and the fullness of flow of your emotional experience of loss and change. I
It is so important, particularly at times of emotional stress, to feel that somebody ‘gets’ us, that we make sense to another person, that somebody sees and understands us. Humans are social animals; it is an impulse from our earliest days and weeks, to seek connection with another, to want and need to be understood, so that we can have our needs met, and later on in life, so that we can meet the needs of others too.
If we are lucky, we may have friends and family that can support us through these events- but sometimes it doesn’t feel appropriate to share our deepest feelings with friends and family. Perhaps this is because they too are involved, because we do not feel wholly understood by them, or because we would not choose to share the depth of our thoughts and feelings and inner emotional experiences with them. We may fear being judged, or that sharing certain things would be damaging to, or change the dynamic of our relationships, and it can feel safer to share these with a neutral professional.
Some benefits of counselling
I see counselling as a process, a journey into your self.
The more we can understand and know who we truly are in relationship to ourselves, the better we can develop trust in and compassion for ourselves. We find out who we are in relationship by relating to others- the counselling relationship gives you a reflective space in which you can listen to your own thoughts and witness your feelings and emotions expressed in your own words, gestures and tears, and receive reflections from another person holding a non-judgemental and compassionate mirror for you.
Out of this process of talking and listening and reflection, we can find out on a deeper level, what it is that makes us feel the way we do about life.
We can find out what makes us feel happy, sad, angry, upset, anxious or depressed. Often we have learned to suppress the expression of these so called ‘negative’ feelings and emotions, perhaps out of a tendency to want to fit in, not to be shamed or be a burden for someone else or even to ourselves. This may have happened at a young age so that we do not remember having made these choices that can stay with us long into adult life.
But feelings and emotions are important signals about what is really happening for us below the surface. They give us important information about our responses to events in our lives; and how our thoughts and feelings are the motivating forces behind our behaviours.
Having the space to unpack and unravel the causes of these feelings, emotions and the stories behind them, can help us to see more clearly what patterns of thoughts and actions are helpful to us, that we want to cultivate in our lives going forward, and which don’t serve us and that we can work to change and let go of.
So often, we are obliged to look outwards, at what we need to do in order to make our lives work from a practical, physical, financial (and so on) level. Counselling gives us the opportunity to look inwards, to devote time to ourselves.
We may have been conditioned to think that this is in some way selfish, or that only people with debilitating mental health issues should, or need to come for counselling.
But if we had a constant, nagging physical pain or issue, we would likely see if we can resolve it ourselves, and then if not, consult a professional medical or healthcare practitioner. In fact, it need be no different for our mental health, and arguably just as important for our overall well being and happiness. As we are complex wholistic beings - mental stress and lack of happiness will eventually negatively impact our physical health.
To continue the analogy of the journey into self…
I will guide you and explain the process to you, and aim to act as your best advocate for your journey through counselling, but the steps are yours to take, the journey is yours to make. As such I would seek to walk alongside you at your pace and visit with you the places in your inner emotional landscape that it feels helpful for you to visit or re-visit by talking about and remembering them.
During the counselling process, many clients find that they learn to become their own counsellor, through modelling and adapting the way we work together in sessions and can learn how to ask themselves the questions that are most helpful for them. They become their own best advocate and friend as they come to recognise and silence their inner critic as they learn how to view themselves with compassion and understanding rather than harsh judgement. In this way, a counselling that happens over a period of weeks or months can have benefits that will last a lifetime.
Maps & Directions
Type of session
|Face to face counselling:||Yes|
office hours 9-5 on Tuesday,Wednesday, Thursday
Also some evening appointment times available.
Early bird appointment times available by negotiation.
Types of client