Areas of Special Interest
I have a special interest in working with people who are experiencing anxiety, depression, bereavement and relationship issues. I also have an interest in working with people with special educational needs as I want to make counselling more available for people with neurodiversity. I am also interested in attachment theory and how our attachment styles can impact our relationships with ourselves and others.
Please click an area to read more
Read More about Grief ............
In life we all experience loss in many forms (bereavement, loss of a job or a relationship) and grief is a natural and normal response to this.
Everybody grieves in their own individual way and there is no ‘correct’ way to grieve. We all have our own timescale for dealing with loss and may find it hard to explain our grief to loved ones as they expect you to ‘get over it’ after a certain period of adjustment.
Some people can grieve for a certain period and then carry on but many of us need more time to explore our grief and come to terms with it. Counselling does not set a time limit on your grief it gives you a safe space to explore these feelings of grief and to allow you to deal with these feelings at your own pace. Grief can bring lots of varying and complicated feelings as often our relationships to the person we have lost are complicated and varied. Sometimes grief can bring up troubling or unexpected emotions.
Some complicated grief can take many years to accept. It is also normal to feel grief with other life events, for example, loss of employment or transitioning into a new stage of life. Sometimes you may feel guilty about being a ‘burden’ to your loved ones and may find it hard to talk to your usual support network who might struggle to know how to respond to your grief or expect you to have dealt with it.
Some emotions you may feel when grieving are:
Anxiety about our own mortality
Pain and distress
Read More about Anxiety ................
Anxiety is something that we have all experienced from one time to another. It is usual to feel anxious with certain situations for example job interviews or exams. In fact, anxiety can help us to motivate ourselves in these situations and can have a useful purpose. However, sometimes people can find that their thermostat for anxiety is turned up to maximum, so they find that their anxiety starts to feel intrusive and starting to affect their day to day functioning.
It is important to remember that Anxiety comes in many different forms and can be experienced very differently by individuals. Some forms of anxiety are phobias, panic disorder, social anxiety, health anxiety, generalised anxiety disorder and social anxiety. Anxiety can affect us both emotionally and physically and symptoms vary for individuals
Some symptoms associated with anxiety are:
Constant feelings of worry and unease
Difficulty making decisions
Overthinking things that we have said or done
A sense of hopelessness or despair
Low mood/ Depression
Withdrawal from relationships or activities that we normally enjoy
Dizziness and heart palpitation/
Giving up on goals, relationships or dreams in order to avoid anxious Thoughts and feelings
When helping clients with anxiety I believe it is important to help teach you some coping strategies for the anxiety to help your day to day life which will help empower you. Although I think it is important to help you to feel more in control of your anxiety it is also important to look at the underlying causes of anxiety, which may involve some exploration of past events.
Read More about the Inner Critic ........
This is the voice in your head that seems to always criticise your or make you feel worthless. This is part of our brain responding to perceived threat and can serve a purpose to keep us safe and to stop us feeling shame. However, sometimes the inner critic becomes too loud and overwhelming and becomes unhelpful. In counselling I can help you to challenge this negative thinking and to accept your authentic self in a non-judgemental and more self-accepting way.
I will help you to become more comfortable with your inner critic and to balance the critical voice out to become quieter and more useful to you. I can help you to work on your radical self-acceptance and to find ways to live with your inner critic.
An important thing we can work on in counselling is the relationship to yourself and to work on self-acceptance and self-kindness and to increase our self-esteem and the value we place on ourselves and the relationship we have with ourselves.
Read More about Depression.........
Depression is where we feel sad or low for prolonged periods. It is a recognised illness that can affect anyone and not something that you can just snap out of. It is not a sign of weakness or something to feel ashamed about. Sometimes our loved ones can struggle to understand why you feel sad or low for a long period of time.
The causes of depression can vary with everyone sometimes the cause of depression is known for example a significant life event and in some people the cause is less clear and might seem that there is no obvious cause.
As with the cause of depression the symptoms of depression are varied. Some symptoms are:
· Low mood
· Difficulty sleeping/restlessness
· Feeling restless/tearful
· Finding no pleasure in things that you used to enjoy
· Feeling empty, numb or stuck
· Feeling suicidal
I can support you in challenging times and give you the space to explore your feelings and the causes of your low mood. I can support you to develop coping strategies and to help you to understand that you will not always feel this way and that there is light at the end of the tunnel.
Read More about Coronavirus...........
Coronavirus and the following lockdown has led to unprecedented challenges and ongoing changes to our lives and this can be unsettling for people for many reasons.
You may have experienced a detrimental effect to your mental health and/or relationships, exacerbating current problems or creating new ones.
You may have been working within the NHS or as a keyworker, experiencing a high level of stress as a result of Coronavirus, feeling exhausted and overwhelmed.
You may have experienced a bereavement due to Coronavirus. Perhaps you are experiencing a high level of anxiety and fear, feeling overwhelmed and/or very low, in reaction to the current situation.
The relationships with the people you are living with may be under strain. The lack of structure and routine may be impacting on your well-being. Or you or those you are living with are sheilding having been identified as vulnerable. You may live alone and be struggling with social isolation or loneliness.
Have you lost your job or had a change to the way you work that you are finding hard to manage? Are you self-employed and concerned for the future of your business.
It is completely understandable that people are finding these changes very stressful and may need some support at the time. I believe it is important that people still have access to counselling as it is important to look after our mental health as well as our physical health.
I am happy to help with any issues you are struggling with because of COVID-19. For example you may find that social distancing is having an impact on your current relationships, you may be struggling without a sense of routine or purpose and dealing with changes in your work life routine as well as home-schooling children may be extremely stressful.
As the UK is starting to look at how to relax the lockdown this can be quite an unsettling and uncertain time. The concern for the safety of ourselves and loved ones when we get back to whatever a new 'normal' may look like can lead to understandable anxiety. It is also uncertain what a new 'normal' may be and the lockdown may have given people a chance to pause and to give them time to consider what they may want for the fututre and you may want support with this and dealing with this uncertainty.
Read More about Special educational Needs.........
I have an interest in working with people who have special educational needs or have a loved one with special educational needs. I have an interest in this as my work experience before becoming a counsellor has been in the education profession and working as a teaching assistant with children with different special educational needs and working in an autistic provisional unit.
I am keen to help individuals with special educational needs and individuals who support someone with special educational needs as I know this can be very challenging and stressful. I am keen to use this experience to make sure that my therapeutic space can give people with neurodiversity a chance to have access to counselling.
Read More about Relationship Problems...........
As mentioned in my therapeutic approach, I believe that it is in relationships with ourselves and others in the past and now that affect our wellbeing. Sometimes our relationships can be difficult, and this can affect our mental health. Relationship difficulties come in many forms they may be difficulties with family, friends, work colleagues or romantic partners. Our relationships can be a source of confusion and despair. We might notice repeated patterns in our relationships, feeling like we are seemingly in the same relationships with different people.
Some relationship problems you may have experience of are:
Affairs/betrayals of trust
Conflicts with family or friends
Struggling to have satisfying relationships with others
I can offer you an accepting space where you can discuss relationships and look at exploring them, trying to understand these relationships and reframe experiences. Counselling can allow you to get in touch with your authentic self. I can show you a relationship which is healing and mutual and we can discuss your relational needs and if we feel they are being met. It is also important to consider your relationship with yourself and value you put on yourself It can be easy to be critical or judgemental about ourselves and sometimes we need to look at being kinder to ourselves.