Choosing a therapist can be quite daunting and confusing as there are so many different models and you will see so much jargon which might make your head spin: psychodynamic, Gestalt, Transactional Analysis, Person Centered. Unless you have specifically researched and want a particular model then you should not overly worry about it. My belief is that the relationship between you and your therapist is the most important factor and you cannot know how you feel unless you try. You will soon find out if you feel comfortable or not. You are then under no obligation to stay.
Sometimes we don’t quite know why we want to see a therapist. We know something is not quite right but we’re not sure why. If you decide to come along, through talking, themes will begin to emerge and I will be able to direct you, challenge you if necessary or just listen if need be. This will all be done at the pace you need; often therapeutic change cannot be rushed.
Other clients come into therapy for a specific reason, often after some kind of ending: bereavement, splitting up with a partner or redundancy. I can focus on this specific issue and help you explore the significance for you.
For me therapy is about relating, finding balance and working with frustration. This, of course, is a very simplistic description and many other themes come into the therapy room.
Training, qualifications & experience
I trained at the Centre for Counselling and Psychotherapy Education in West London. I qualified in 2007 and I am a member of the BACP. I have worked in private practice since 2004 as well as with Family Friends and The Woman’s Trust. My training was integrative which means I can work with many of the models mentioned above. I do not have to stick rigidly to one way of working but can look at the past if it is relevant, work creatively with drawings or dreams, explore your potential or as mentioned before just listen at times if this is what you need.
Over the years I have worked with many issues but some of the themes that seem to arrive quite often in the therapy room are:
- Break up in relationships
- Anxiety (specific or general)
- Sex addictions and other sexual issues
- Family dynamics
- Childhood difficulties and bullying
- Self esteem
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
The first thing is for you to simply contact me. We will then arrange an initial consultation - a conversation is which I will talk to you about your background, family history, lifestyle and what is bringing you to therapy.
From this first meeting we will both be able to see if we are happy to work together. We will then draw up a basic contract identifying whether you want short term therapy (6-8 sessions) or open-ended therapy. This can be flexible. Sessions will then take place weekly - at the same time, in the same place and on the same day - though there can be flexibility for shift work.
I ask for payment at the end of each session - this can be either by cheque or cash. Sessions last for 50 minutes - but if for some reason you arrive late the session will still finish on time to accommodate my next client. We will need to discuss holidays, both yours and mine. I ask that you give me notice of yours at least a month in advance, and I shall do the same. If you have to cancel a session, or miss one at short notice (less than 48 hours) fees will still be charged.
Fees £50 per 50 minute session.
Over the years I have been involved in counselling and therapy I have seen it work for different reasons. I worked in a drop-in centre where people could come and talk, even if it was only for 40 minutes and they didn’t return. Sometimes crisis listening can be very effective because you are speaking to someone impartial and you can get things off your chest in a way that you cannot with friends and family.
I have also had clients for short term counselling, usually between 9 to 18 weekly sessions. The work here focuses on a specific issue such as bereavement or the ending of a relationship. The counselling can sometimes bring up deeper issues which are pertinent to how the client is feeling in their present situation but which they were much less conscious of. They are often unable to make links between the past and what is happening in their present.
Quite often clients know when they have gone as far as they are currently able to go in therapy and chose to leave but feel as if the counselling has helped them to unburden themselves but also to take stock and decide what is important for them in the present. Other clients remain in therapy for several years. Over the months clients become more conscious of what they are feeling, thinking, saying and doing. And as the years progress they go even deeper into this knowledge. This happens because in the therapeutic environment you have the space and time to simply be.
The therapeutic relationship between the client and me is hugely important here and it is my job to create an atmosphere in which you do not feel judged. At the same time I will not collude with you in any distorted views or beliefs you may have. I will be helping you to look at those views and beliefs from every angle. When you are free to say or think what you need to say or think it can be very liberating and inspiring for you. I will help guide you to self discover the real you and your potential. Therapy does not need to be a mystery; you are the one who is the expert on yourself and I can help you find the key to unlocking what, at times, can feel hidden or out of reach.