Individual Counselling and Psychotherapy
I work short, medium and long term.
Counselling is usually short-term (between 6 and 12 sessions) and can be very useful in developing strategies to manage problems better or to deal more effectively with an immediate crisis. Psychotherapy is longer term work (usually months rather than years), because it involves a deeper exploration of your issues, as well as a gradual process of self-knowledge, healing and growth. If you are unsure which approach would work best for you, we can discuss the number of sessions together as we go along, depending on what you want to achieve through therapy.
After making initial contact, our first appointment takes the form of an assessment, allowing you to say what has brought you to therapy and what you would like to achieve. It also allows us to see if we are happy to work together. If we do, then we would meet together weekly for a 50-minute face-to-face session. I work on the telephone and Skype, but only after we have begun a therapeutic relationship face-to-face.
My style is friendly and relaxed. There is no couch for you to lie on and no brick wall to face, though sometimes silence has its place alongside conversation in deepening insight. I also make use of non-verbal techniques, such as artwork or inviting you to become aware of what you are feeling in your body. Many clients comment at the close of a session that the time has flown!
In common with most therapists, I have a very clear policy on missed or cancelled sessions, charging in full if a session is missed without prior notice.
The area around Rye, with its harbour, nature reserve and beaches, is rich in footpaths and circular walks. And walking at a steady pace is well known to decrease the stress hormones such as cortisol, while increasing endorphins and so enhancing the body's sense of well-being.
As an altenative to meeting in the consulting room, I also offer walking therapy.
We meet for a conventional consultation, to establish what you are seeking in therapy and whether walking therapy would work for you. We discuss practicalities such as where and when to meet, what to wear and wet weather alternatives. We would then meet at the agreed time and place and spend the agreed session time talking and walking in a beautiful environment.
Walking therapy can be of particular value to clients who may be feeling stuck, burdened with depression or grief or who may feel intimidated by the traditional format of face-to-face counselling.
Research has demonstrated that a strong, mutually supportive and satisfying relationship is one of the most significant factors in the health and well-being of partners and families. And yet most couples have difficulties with their relationships. In many cases the 'problems' they experience are essential for healthy development and greater understanding of what is happening can help to solve them.
Couple counselling offers you a space in which you and your partner can talk without arguing and discuss how you are feeling about each other and about your life together.
Typically, I begin couple counselling by asking each partner to describe what they are experiencing right now in their relationship (good and bad), then explore what each partner has in mind as a preferred scenario for the future . Each partner is challenged to work through whatever obstacles and/or levers seem to lie in their path. An important part of sounding out the conflicts which arise is to explore the legacy of previous experiences of relationship, both in the family of origin and with previous partners. If it becomes apparent that there is no shared, preferred scenario, then counselling addresses how best to forward from that point. Throughout the work, each partner is encouraged and supported in how to communicate assertively, particularly around areas of conflict.
Couple counselling sessions last for one hour and are usually between 6- 12 sessions in duration.
Among the many issues that couple counselling can address are:
The BACP suggests a minimum recommendation for counsellors of 1.5 hours of supervision per month, depending on the number of clients seen.
I owe a huge debt to all the supervisors I have worked with, before and after qualification and the good practice I learned from them informs the way I practice both as supervised and supervisor. I trained and qualified with a Diploma in Supervision from CCPE, London in 2003 and have worked with individual and group supervision ever since.
I offer 90 minute sessions of supervision, mostly using a process model, in which both the therapy session and the here-and-now experience of supervision inform your awareness of the work, as well as taking account of your theoretical model, developmental needs and training/organisational requirements. Inevitably I bring my own theoretical background and experience to bear on the work, but, as you will have gathered from this website, my approach is broadly eclectic and integrative.
I like supervision to be fun, focussed, honest and open. I really enjoy working with training or newly-qualified counsellors, as well as those who have been working for some time. I want you to accept that I do not know all the answers, though I am not afraid to ask some searching questions!
You might like to consider Walking Supervision (see above) as an alternative to a conventional face-to-face meeting. Rye is rich in footpaths and circular walks and to be talking over your caseload while also enjoying the stimulus of the great outdoors can be of particular help if your clients have left you feeling stuck.
If you would like to arrange an exploratory meeting, at which we can discuss your needs and see if we can work together, please contact me by email or by call 07939 393567.