What are your qualifications?
I have a Professional Diploma in Counselling from UWE. The course is a Level 6 course, accredited by the BACP. I am accredited by NCS. I have done additional Certificates (each 150 hours of study) in working with Couples and with Adolescents. I have completed a specialist qualification in working remotely (80 hours). I am IFS Level 1 trained. And I have done countless days of CPD in subjects ranging from Working with OCD, Intergenerational Trauma, Alternative Sexual Lifestyles, Goal Setting in Therapy, Working with Shame etc. A full list and certificates are available if you should wish to view.
What happens in a first session?
The first session is for us to get to know each other and begin to explore a way of working together that suits you. I usually ask a few questions to get an idea of how your life is at present, and if you want you can share anything from the past you believe is significant to our work. However, some people want to jump straight in and we can also do this.
I’ll check how you are doing throughout the session and if things get emotional we can pause and decide what to do. At the end of the session we can both reflect on how it went and decide if we want to carry on together.
What is IFS (Internal Family Systems)?
IFS is an effective, yet gentle and safe, way to get to know yourself through working with parts (a part that gets angry, or scared, or overthinks). It gets to know these parts and understand what their history and job is in your system. This often helps calm things down. It also allows deep healing of parts of us that are in pain. The goal of it is to develop a strong sense of Self so that you can actually continue to do this therapy on your own!
I’m worried I might unleash a load of emotion and get overwhelmed
This is a common worry. And there’s no escaping the fact that therapy can help release emotions we have worked hard at burying for many years. We can work on this in session, and talk about ways you can manage this between sessions. And…if we can hold those emotions and understand them you may feel better.
How will I know when is the right time to stop therapy?
You’ll know. You’ll feel we have come to a natural conclusion, or will feel more able to be your “Self”. I’ll always offer an ending session where we can talk about how things went and what you might do to keep that sense of Self and wellbeing going forward.
What can I talk about?
You can talk about what you want! You have given yourself this time and space. We’ll talk about confidentiality before we start but from there you are free to bring up whatever is bothering you and to celebrate the good stuff. If you have stated you want to work on a particular aspect or topic and then we find ourselves a long way from this I will gently remind you of your initial request but am very flexible and happy to work with what emerges.
Can I contact you between sessions?
Generally the answer to this “no.” I am not an emergency service. However, sometimes it is appropriate to have contact between sessions if this has been agreed.
Why is therapy so expensive, and...isn’t it indulgent?
This is an investment in yourself, for your longer term health and wellbeing. You are giving yourself the gift of space and time to focus on you. In my experience, those who take time to reflect, to understand themselves better, to do that important inner work find more flow, energy, satisfaction and creativity in their interactions outside the counselling room.
I see a very limited number of clients per week in order to offer them the very best I can and not be overstretched. My clients are paying for my years of training, supervision, insurance and professional memberships, and also the work I have done and do on myself to stay well, responsive, alert and compassionate to them and their needs.