About the way I work
I use an integrative approach to counselling which means that I draw from several well-established therapy models, adapting my approach to suit you. “I'm really happy I have found you! Your counselling approach is well rounded ..... I already feel stronger and capable!” G (age 41)
Many studies suggest that the quality of the therapeutic relationship is the main healing ingredient in psychotherapy. Central to my approach is the importance of a genuine, accepting relationship with the people who come to me for counselling. “I felt so heard and held and comforted, like you were really there for me ….. Thank you ….." L (age 57)
I aim to create a supportive, non-judgmental environment in which you will be given time and space to understand and gain insight into your situation. This process can foster growth and lead to positive change in your life. “I found it cathartic to work on my ‘life graph’ ..... I shed a lot of tears and that was healing.” P (age 48)
I have worked with individual adults across all age ranges both in a private and community setting, online and by telephone. I offer short-term and long-term, open-ended counselling.
I am committed to my ongoing professional development and my knowledge and practice are regularly updated by continuing training, including attending conferences and workshops.
I believe it is important for counsellors to have had a broad life experience as well as the relevant professional experience and qualifications. In my own life, before I changed direction to become a counsellor, I worked from home as a freelance journalist for many years while raising a child with severe learning disabilities.
I work part-time for The Challenging Behaviour Foundation co-delivering Positive Behaviour Support workshops and providing a 'listening ear' service for family carers. I have also worked as a volunteer counsellor for All Saints Counselling Service in Portsmouth where I offered both Christian counselling and counselling to non-Christians.
Training and qualifications
MSc in The Applied Psychology of Intellectual Disabilities, with Distinction at Portsmouth University. My study about parenting a child with learning disabilities is published here
Diploma of Higher Education in Counselling, gained from Waverley Abbey College, Farnham
Certificate in Counselling Skills Level 3 gained from Peter Symonds College in Winchester
Areas of interest and experience
These include working with the unique issues that parent-carers of children/adults with additional needs face and with clients who consider themselves to be neurodiverse. I share my thoughts and reflections on my own life experience in this area in my blog
I am author of a 'Parent's Perspective' chapter in an academic journal on genetic causes of learning disability and a self-help book
My training and experience allow a flexible, holistic, client-centred approach that includes working with people who hold religious/spiritual beliefs, which they may or may not choose to explore in counselling. I only incorporate these areas in my practice if people specifically ask me to because they find them meaningful and helpful.