In the waves of change we find our true direction
Sometimes, when everything feels like it is in flux, we have an opportunity to become who we are meant to be.
We are very rarely just one thing because we do not fit into boxes even though society often tries to squeeze us into certain ones. We exist in different roles, different spaces and different relationships; we are messy. This can often lead to tension within ourselves as we try and fit into who we think we 'should' be.
Lots of us spend a great deal of energy hiding the parts of ourselves that do not fit, pretending that everything is ok, when really we know that we are not being true to ourselves. This might be interests that you do not pursue, relationships or jobs you stay in even though they no longer make you happy, or even a denial of part of your identity that feels too difficult to let out.
Can you imagine how it would feel to be at peace with all of the parts of you, to craft a life where they were all valued and nourished?
Sometimes we become so caught up in all of our 'shoulds', that we don't stop think about what we would could or would like to do. While change can feel scary and difficult, it is also an opportunity to make different choices.
How Can Counselling Help?
Counselling can provide a safe place to become curious about yourself and your life. By working with someone who is impartial and only interested in supporting you to make the right decision for you, it can be easier to tune into your own sense of self rather than other people's expectations.
By understanding and acknowledging the different aspects of our own identity and how they interact with each other and different areas of our lives, we can begin to make choices about who we want to be.
Any change can feel difficult and will cause ripples in different areas of your life, but when you feel secure in who you are and what is important to you, it becomes easier to start living the way you want to.
How Do I Work?
My training was integrative, which means that it covered several different types of counselling (Person Centred, CBT, Systemic and Psychodynamic). Since qualifying I have completed additional training in Compassion Focused Therapy and Brief Solution Focused Therapy. (Details on what different types of counselling mean can be found on the BACP website, here).
Because my training has been varied, I can tailor my way of working to suit your changing needs. Sometimes you might want a place to talk and explore whatever is coming up for you that day, but on other occasions you might want to work with a structured exercise. The most important part of how I work is that it will be led by you, we will talk about what does and does not feel helpful in all our sessions.
Why Work Creatively?
I often use creative expressions as part of my own personal development and this was the focus of my Masters research project, so I know that it can be a powerful way of working with difficult thoughts and emotions.
There are lots of ways to work creatively (and none of them require any artistic talent), including working with objects, images, using metaphors and tuning into our bodily feelings. I know that not everyone finds working in this way helpful for them, so although it will be offered it is not the only way I work.
Who Do I Work With?
I work with adults (18+) for both short-term and longer-term work.
While I have experience of working with a range of issues, I have an interest in working with people at times of change and transition, as well as those who wish to gain a better understanding of their own identities.
I am happy to work with any individual who feels they would benefit from counselling and have previously worked with LGBTQ+ communities and university disability support services. As someone with more than one label attached to my identity I know how frustrating it can be to have to educate professionals on what they mean in general before you can even start to talk about your unique experiences. If you're worried that this might be a barrier, please get in touch for a free initial consultation to check if I am the right person for you.
What to expect in your first session
At the beginning of our first session we will go through the contract I will have sent by email so you have a chance to ask questions about anything you are unsure of. The contract lays out what we can expect of each other around things like confidentiality, payment, cancellations, data storage, etc. We will also make sure that the information sheet is completed (this includes information like your contact details and who to contact in an emergency). I ask all clients to complete these before we start working together.
Once I have answered any questions we have we will start by talking about what has brought you to therapy and what you would like to get from it. Sometimes this is very straight forward, but for other clients this can be quite difficult to put into words, often we know something is not right, but we can’t quite put our finger on what it is.
If that is the case for you then I will usually suggest that we spend the first session mapping out what is currently going on in your life and talking about any areas that you might like to explore in therapy. Sometimes a focus will emerge quite quickly, whether it’s an experience, emotion or question that you wish to explore. For others we might spend several sessions sorting through the past and present before some clarity begins to emerge.
If you are already clear on what your focus is then we will discuss how you would like to approach it. I might make suggestions of possible starting points of initial steps, but you will be in control and are always welcome to say no. The important thing is that we will work together to find a way that works for you.