WHO ARE YOU?
Like I imagine you are, I am a mixture of things. I am a trained counsellor, having a first in Psychology, and a Postgraduate Diploma (with Distinction) in Counselling Psychology. I have worked with a wide range of clients, from those with mild issues to address, to those with extreme psychosis. I believe strongly that no one’s issues are too large or too small, and that if we all bring our selves to the table, with all our lumps and bumps, it is amazing what healing we can find.
HOW YOU WORK?
I am primarily a person-centred therapist. To me this means that I will work with you as you are, not trying to change you unwillingly, and not trying to diagnose you behind your back… I want to get to know you, your hopes and dreams, your unique ways of being; and then together we can find ways to help you develop into what you want to be next.
Although my main method is person-centred, I am also trained to work psychodynamically, and in the techniques of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT). An integrative approach is nowadays fairly standard, and I would say I offer that. To give a quick introduction to how I work, I would ask you to imagine dividing your ‘self’ into past, present and future. I think a psychodynamic approach can be great for interpreting how you are in the light of your past experience; a person-centred approach can work well to ground us in the present and find stillness; and CBT techniques can be immensely useful in planning future development.
I also have an MA in English Literature from Cambridge, and am very interested in the way we all build up narratives about our lives. In developing my approach, I have come to prefer something I call Person-Centred Narrative Refocusing (PCNR). This involves me taking the time to listen deeply to your own life story, and the meaning it has for you. If we are truly in tune, then what often comes out of therapy is the wish and ability to develop a newer story for yourself, more in keeping with your nature, wishes and aims.
YOUR CORE VALUES, WHAT ARE THEY?
I believe that each client is a person, just like each therapist. Therefore, I don’t believe in the artificial distinctions many therapists make between themselves and their clients. I will meet you as a person, and I trust that you’ll find me genuine, open, empathic and understanding. A good relationship means that we will become less afraid, and more willing to set you free from whatever might be holding you back.
I believe that life is difficult, and full of suffering; and that many of us feel anxiety and depression because we are experiencing what it is to be human. But I am also a born optimist in my work! I believe strongly that, by cultivating a mindful approach to life, we can access a great space within us, a place of huge peace, wisdom and acceptance. Therefore, in the therapy I offer, you will find that I don’t deny how frankly s**t life can be!… but you will notice my firm belief that you have the answer within you.
WHY CHOOSE YOU AS A THERAPIST? WHAT IS IT ABOUT YOUR THERAPY THAT MAKES YOU UNIQUE?
Most clients feed back that they are surprised that therapy can be so easy-going. This doesn’t mean it’s easy, as it’s often hard to face up to truths. But I am known as a very accessible and friendly counsellor, not patronising or stiff, but welcoming and non-judgemental.
I can also be quite innovative in some of the solutions we might find for each other! For instance, some clients have preferred a different length of session, as more suiting to their character. Some clients have found other therapists difficult, but somehow we have found a way to work together that they’re happy with.
In terms of character, many clients have enjoyed the fact that I let them be themselves. Often, counselling and therapy can feel an alien experience, especially if you have had a bad experience, or are new to it. I would say I specialise in clients who have found therapy difficult; so if you are worried about coming to counselling, then I may be the counsellor who can put you at your ease.
WHAT THERAPIES DO YOU OFFER?
As mentioned above, I offer person-centred therapy; psychodynamic therapy, and cognitive-behavioural therapy, in a mix that suits your needs. The length of therapy varies with the client: sometimes as few as five or six sessions are enough; but many clients have used one or more years to really make a difference in their lives.
I would normally see you for face-to-face sessions in Guildford, but I also have access to rooms closer to London if need be.
For those with different needs, I also offer the following:
•Walking therapy, for those who find it easier than sitting in an enclosed room
•Creative writing therapy, allowing you to explore yourself and your life through creative journals and poetry
•Financial counselling, for those who wish to improve their relationship with money (I am also a Qualified Chartered Accountant)
Any of these can be combined together as we see fit.
I look forward to meeting you.