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How I work

I am trained in integrative counselling. This means that my training covered different ways of understanding people and working, and that I blend different parts of these. I think of different approaches as like using different lenses on a camera; they can highlight or illuminate different things, depending on what is needed. How I work is different with every person – it will depend on your needs, and will evolve between us.

There are particular principles that guide my thinking:

  • You are the expert in your own experience. It is not my job to tell you what to do – I see my role as helping you to tune into what is right for you.

  • This doesn’t mean that I will never challenge you. For example, sometimes I might draw attention to things you are avoiding, or point out another perspective.

  • We often avoid or ignore things that feel difficult or cause us pain. But in the long run, this makes things more difficult and painful.

  • We are shaped and affected by the things that happen to us – whether that’s directly or via the social forces in which we live.

  • The ways we react and respond are learned. As adults, we can find ourselves feeling stuck in patterns that frustrate us, or repeating behaviours we want to change. These may have originated as ways of protecting ourselves or keeping ourselves safe and can be understood as useful in their original context – but may have outgrown their usefulness and now be upsetting

  • Change becomes possible when we learn more about ourselves, our backgrounds, and the choices we are able to make and not make

  • Part of this learning is learning more about our own feelings and emotions. Emotions are embodied experiences and need to be felt and expressed through the body, but many of us have been taught in different ways to suppress and ignore how we feel. This might be due to our upbringing; because of our role in society; or because we had upsetting or damaging experiences that other people don’t want to acknowledge.

  • Another part of learning about ourselves is how we are shaped by the wider world and social forces – such as the effect of marginalisation, discrimination or oppression. The messages we received about what we could or couldn’t do due to our gender or race. The ways others see us.

  • As we gain more understanding, new possibilities emerge and we can feel able to live with more purpose and freedom.

  • This learning can happen in different ways. I will work with you to find approaches that suit you

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