Hello, and welcome. I’m glad you’ve found your way here.
Perhaps you’re looking for help to make a change in how you feel…?
If you’re feeling low or sad, angry, lonely, 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 and friends are suffering…
If you’ve had a loss 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 seeking help is always a step into the unknown. It really is a great sign of strength to be able to ask for help when it’s needed.
It’s also a really smart step. 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 therapy 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, 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.
I take a practical and respectful approach to my clients and their experiences, listening closely to what they tell me and working with them on what they choose to reveal to me. The way this happens is by me asking my client to describe their feelings and situation to me in 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.
Often 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”
- “Going to counselling means I must be going crazy”
- “Have I got depression? What does that even mean?”
- “What if the counsellor’s shocked, or thinks I’m a terrible person because of what’s going on inside my head?”
- “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 and troubling thoughts.
My job is to help people to ease up on themselves a little bit, and 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 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 and my full, close 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.