I strongly believe that for counselling to be effective the relationship between a counsellor and client has to work. Because of this I feel it is important to tell potential clients a little about myself to give you a feel for my personality and way of working so that you can decide if I sound like the right fit for you as a counsellor. I will try to strike a balance between giving you a sense of who I am but without telling you too much about myself as this is about you rather than me.
My professional journey has been varied. On leaving school I trained as a primary school teacher and worked in teaching for over ten years. I had always had an interest in counselling even when training as a teacher and considered changing courses even back then. However I stayed with teaching and had ten rewarding and enjoyable years in the profession.
I then decided it was time for a career change and to pursue my original interest in counselling. I worked in retail while studying a Level 3 counselling course part time. As soon as I started the course I realised I had made the right choice and I haven’t looked back since. I then went onto complete the Level 4 Diploma in Therapeutic Counselling Skills and qualify as a counsellor. I am a registered member of the BACP, which is a professional body for counsellors and psychotherapists, and I work within their ethical guidelines.
On a personal level, I have had my fair share of life experience over the years, both good and bad, and I feel the difficulties I have faced I have helped to shape me both as a person and as a counsellor. I’m very passionate and committed to my counselling but when I’m not working I like spending time with my family, watching football and reading.
My counselling approach is person-centred counselling. In summary, this is a non-directive approach which aims to put you in control of your therapy and healing. When working with you using this approach I will support you, rather than direct you, as you work through any issues, and find ways to cope with or overcome them. Supporting you rather than directing helps give you autonomy and empower you and this can be helpful in the future once you choose to finish therapy.
While person-centred counselling does not involve advice giving, it is definitely not a passive form of counselling. I will be fully involved in the process with you, helping you clarify and make sense of things that are troubling you. I can give you a safe and confidential space where you will be listened to respectfully and empathised with. Your thoughts and feelings will always be heard and never be judged.
While the foundation of my counselling approach is person-centred counselling, I am able to incorporate elements of other approaches where appropriate, for example including aspects of CBT such as work on challenging irrational or negative thoughts and overthinking or looking at coping or relaxation / grounding strategies.
If you would like to find out more about the history or theory behind person-centred counselling then please click here.