TAKING THE FIRST STEP
For many people, the decision to seek counselling or psychotherapy can feel like a step in the dark. What you read below is intended to throw some light on it. I am always happy to chat further on the phone if you feel uncertain about whether to try it out for yourself.
"Not everything that is faced can be changed.
But nothing can be changed until it is faced."
- James Baldwin
Feeling powerless can be very incapacitating, whether you feel powerless to control panic attacks, overeating, worrying thoughts, your children or your bullying boss. The very act of initiating counselling can help restore a feeling of being in control.
For some, therapy can provide a different way of looking at a difficult past and the relationships that made it so in order to live more fully in the present and future. Exploring events and the feelings evoked by them in a safe space with a compassionate and empathic companion is often the key to unlocking the stuck feeling.
Very often, the initial decision to take time on a weekly basis to reflect and explore in complete confidence can have a huge therapeutic impact, the first important step on the way to feeling better about life.
WORKING AS A TEAM
The relationship between you - the client - and me - the therapist - is all-important and forms the basis for permanent therapeutic change and growth. To put it more straightforwardly, we work together as a team. I know a lot about psychotherapy and psychology but I believe that you are the expert on you.
Together we will set about exploring your present feelings and very often how your past impacts you now. You will get to understand more about the distress or problem that has led you to seek help, and very likely change old patterns of reaction and behaviour, ultimately leading to relief from some of those life-sapping feelings such as anxiety, depression, anger and so on.
My experience has demonstrated repeatedly that working in a therapeutic relationship has the power to enable you to change, grow in confidence and self belief and begin to realise your potential.
TO LISTEN, NOT TO ADVISE
Each therapy session provides a safe space for you to talk to a person trained to really listen and try to understand, without judgement or agenda for you to act in a certain way. A counsellor is not there to give you advice but to work with you to help you find your own answers and ultimately to reach your own goal, whether this be to increase self-esteem, communicate your needs to your partner, feel less depressed etc.
Your counsellor can be objective , but supportive and concerned for your wellbeing. It can be emotionally very liberating to be able to be fully honest and to feel understood.
If you want to read more about this style of counselling, please go to the person-centred therapy page where you will find more details.
DECIDING TO CONTINUE
Because the client-therapist relationship is so important, no commitment is made until after the initial session - you will need to reassure yourself that you feel comfortable with me and I will need to assess whether I can be of assistance to you.
Occasionally I might suggest that a client would be better served by specialist support and on these rare occasions I ensure that I provide details of services that could help. When this happens, I don't charge for the assessment session; if you decide not to continue, the session is chargeable (see FAQs).