Hello, and welcome. I'm so glad you've found your way here. Perhaps you’re looking for some help to make a change in how you feel…?
If you're feeling low or sad, angry, guilty, lonely, panicky, anxious or misunderstood...
If you feel ashamed or frightened, stressed or overwhelmed...
If you're finding you can't feel anything except a kind of numbness...
If your relationships with family or friends are suffering...
If you've suffered a loss, a bereavement, or a setback in your life, either recently or longer ago...
If you're carrying issues or difficulties that stay with you from your past...
... or if things have just hit a rough patch and you’re struggling to cope...
... then the chances are that talking to a counsellor may really help you. You have already taken the first and bravest step of looking on this website to see what help is available.
Perhaps you've been thinking for a while about coming to counselling, or perhaps you're simply just trying to find something that will help you to cope for now. Maybe your doctor or a friend or relative has suggested you talk to someone about how you feel?
However you have arrived here, I congratulate you on your courage, because looking for help is always a step into the unknown. It's really a great sign of strength, not weakness, to be able to ask for help when it's needed.
It's also a really smart step. Sometimes we all go through moments in life when we need the help of someone who is outside of our situation, to offer a new perspective on what we're going through. If that person is someone who is trained to listen, understand and offer emotional support then that can really help you to find your way around things that may have always seemed like impossible obstacles.
I know how hard it can be to decide which counsellor, if any, to contact. I hope that reading a little bit here about me and how I offer counselling may help you to decide if I might be the right person for you to work with.
I'm a counsellor with many years’ background in listening to people from all walks of life, including vulnerable women and men, young people and students, parents and people without children, gay people and straight people, the employed and the unemployed, businesspeople, retired people, homeless people, married, divorced, separated and single people, civil partners and those in relationships of many different kinds.
Before I trained as a psychotherapist I worked in several charities, including a relationship counselling organisation, a centre for vulnerable women and a day centre for homeless and isolated people. I loved my work; listening to people and supporting them through tough times made me realise that I wanted to do that as a full-time counsellor.
My approach to my clients and their experiences is practical and respectful. I listen closely to what they tell me and work with them on what they choose to reveal to me. The way this happens is that I ask the client to describe their feelings and situation to me in some detail so that they and I both come to the best understanding that we can, of what it feels like to be that person in that moment. The client is the one who is in charge of what we talk about and they decide where they want our work together to go.
Sometimes people worry a lot about the idea of coming to a counsellor or therapist, as they think things like:
- "I should be able to cope with this stuff by myself; I feel like a failure because I can’t"
- I can't battle with my anxiety by myself any more
- "Thinking about going to counselling means I must be going crazy"
- “Other people have so much worse stuff to deal with than I do; my problems seem trivial compared to theirs”
- "What if the counsellor's shocked, or thinks I'm a terrible person because of what's going on inside my head?"
- "Surely only weak people need help to handle their emotional difficulties?"
- "I ought to be talking to my friends or family, not a counsellor - but I can't tell my friends about this stuff"
If you recognise any of your own thoughts in this list, please be assured - you're not alone. Many, many people have these same fears, distresses and troubling thoughts.
My job is to help people to learn to be a little bit kinder to themselves, and to understand that sometimes we all need some help with handling difficult and painful emotions and situations.
Precisely because I'm not a friend or family member, people don't need to worry about whether I'll think badly of them, or whether I'll be able to cope with what they tell me, and I can offer an objective and confidential outsider's point of view to help them find their own way through their difficulties.
If you come to me for counselling or therapy I will listen to you carefully, providing a safe environment for you to talk, or to be silent, as you wish. I will offer you space, time, compassion and attention so that together we will be able to explore the things that are troubling you. I won't make judgements, but will support you emotionally for as long as you need, as you consider what might be the right way forward for you in the future.
Counselling can go on for as long or short a time as seems best for you and your circumstances, and you will always be the one in control of how the process happens.
Some of the results that people commonly experience through coming to counselling include:
- Coping better with anxiety, panic, anger, guilt, worries and other feelings that bring them down
- Discovering more about their own feelings, emotions, inner resources and abilities
- Learning new ways to feel about, and handle, the stresses and pressures that they face
- Improving their self-esteem and confidence, and learning to like themselves more
- Breaking free from unhelpful habits, attitudes and ways of thinking about their lives
- Recognising their strengths and feeling more comfortable in themselves
If you are thinking about approaching counselling, I really encourage you to make the next step and contact me for a first brief discussion. Either phone or email is fine, whichever feels best for you.
I very much look forward to welcoming you, and I hope to help you to experience some of these positive outcomes, too.
Training, qualifications & experience
I trained in Integrative and Existential Psychotherapy at the School of Psychotherapy & Counselling Psychology at Regent’s College in London. I am a Member of the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy and I work within the BACP Ethical Framework.
I believe strongly that it's the client who's the expert on their own feelings and experiences, and my job is to help them to focus on those, rather than coming to them with any theoretical ideas of my own of what may be causing their difficulties. For some people, coming to counselling is the first time that they may have ever been able to learn to feel and understand their emotions in detail, rather than trying to run away or cope with them by blocking them out. Although this can be a difficult process it can also be a very rewarding one and can lead to a real change in outlook, strength and ability to cope.
This work can help with a wide range of different issues including:
- depression, fear and anxiety
- addictions of many different types
- anger management
- problems with body-image, low confidence and low self-esteem
- loneliness or isolation
- stress, pressure, feeling out of control
- bereavement and other types of loss
- difficulties with sex and relationships
- effects of bullying, past or present
- effects of illness, whether physical or mental
- feelings relating to infertility or childlessness
- or a sense of loss of purpose or meaning in life.
I have many years’ experience of working with people in the Worcestershire and Gloucestershire area, including work with homeless people at a local day centre, and with vulnerable women using two local women’s centres. I also volunteer as a counsellor with a low-cost general counselling service.
Over the past several years, I have had counselling myself on a number of occasions, so I do have a personal understanding of what it can be like to sit in the client's chair. I know that it can seem quite daunting to begin with, but I believe that exploring and talking about our difficulties and problems in a safe place, with someone who is trained to listen, can be a really helpful way of resolving them. It can help us to see more clearly and gain insights into ourselves and our emotions.
This process can really help us to feel more in control of our lives, helping us to find out what we really want - and how to make the changes that we need.
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
Other areas of counselling I deal with
Sense of self - who am I?
Is this all there is? - loss of purpose or meaning in life
Empty nest - what next, now that my kids are leaving home?
How to feel more confident and like yourself more
Dealing with a long-term illness
Coping as a carer
Panic and anxiety are ruining my life!
How does my past affect my present?
Counselling Fees (per session): Standard fee £45.
A limited number of spaces are available at a concessionary rate, by negotiation, in case of financial hardship. If you feel the standard fee is out of reach please do discuss your situation with me.
Initial consultation session - usually charged at £25.
I know how difficult it is to be put on a long waiting list when you need help. I also know from my own experience how hard it can feel to make that first step to come for counselling. Therefore when potential clients contact me I try to offer an appointment within a week whenever possible, so people don't have too long to wait.
If you have questions about counselling, if you would like to know more about any particular aspect of it, or if you would like to discuss anything about fees, appointments or the usual counselling process before you make a decision, then please call or email me. I will be very happy to help you if I can.
Concessions offered for
Parking available: Yes
Flexible scheduling available including morning (before 9am), evening (after 6pm) and Saturday morning appointments. In certain circumstances I can offer telephone or Skype appointments although my usual way of working is face-to-face.
If you telephone me and I am unable to answer your call, please don't be discouraged! Please leave a message or send me an email and I will get back to you as promptly as I can. I aim to respond to all calls and messages within 24 hours.
Here is some of the feedback that I have received from clients in the past:
"I would like to thank you so much for what you have done and the very caring and sensitive way in which you have helped me find some understanding. I feel I have largely achieved my objective of understanding my inner anger and the few sessions we have had have really helped me a lot. Just the opportunity to hear myself saying what has always been just inside has really helped."
"Thank you again for all your support over the last few months. I feel stronger, more self-aware, and have a better understanding of, and ability to manage my head and my heart. You have helped me to move forward."
“If you had asked me a few months ago, I’d have said that counselling wasn't something that could help me. But I was so down that I didn't know what else to do, and actually it has really helped me. I see things a lot more clearly and I feel more in control of my life now.”
“This process is really useful because it’s teaching me how to handle my emotions. If I feel overwhelmed by stuff during the week I can just think: ‘I’ll talk about that in my session on Tuesday’ then I know I can do something about it so it doesn't have to affect my everyday life in the meantime.”
“I didn't think that anything was going to help me with my grief and depression after my loss. But it’s true that talking about things really does help. Nothing is any different in my actual life but I’m just better at coping with things now that I have someone to talk to. Sarah really ‘gets’ how it feels to lose someone and understands what I’m going through.”
"Your support and help have truly helped me to be the person I know was always there but you have helped me "believe" in her. I am sad to say goodbye to you and I know I will shed a few tears but they will be tears of happiness. Thank you."
“I feel stronger and happier because I've realised that I don’t have to be a slave to my feelings. I’m learning how to manage them instead of letting them control me. Thank you for all your support and kindness.”
"I have fully realised the positive impact that coming to see you has had. I really cannot thank you enough for all of your hard work, patience and good will. You are exceptionally talented at what you do and I really hope you have many years of assisting some of the many people in the world who could use your help. In my circle you have helped changed the stigma around counselling which may have contributed to a friend to seek a counsellor during tough times."
(Please note: All these clients have agreed to my using their comments, and all names and personal information have been removed to ensure their confidentiality is maintained.)