‘What’s in the driving seat of the metaphorical car (or canoe) of my life right now? Is difficult or distressing emotional thinking in charge? Or is wise, kind, grounded awareness guiding my actions?’
Counselling may help you explore questions like these and find ways to put awareness in your driving seat more often. Developing healing awareness usually involves working with others. Well, no one’s an island. For over 20 years, I’ve supported people to find their way through confusion and stuckness. Maybe we can do some good path-finding too.
I also teach a self-help and stress management method called Autogenic Therapy (AT) and offer strengths coaching and careers guidance.
Feel free to get in touch if you’d like to talk anything through or book an appointment to explore how counselling or another type of support could help.
Are you a counsellor or psychotherapist in need of some holistic, creative CPD? If so, you may wish to check out my 'What's in the driving seat?' and 'Working with the body in therapy' workshops.
With best wishes,
Sometimes, despite our best efforts, we just get stuck. We can get lost in:
• Life just getting too much.
• Stress, anxiety and depression.
• Psychological wounds that won't heal.
• Career challenges and uncertainties.
• Communication and relationship problems.
• Struggling with emotions such as anger, shame, fear and sadness.
Are you considering working through some important issues with a counsellor? My experience is that possibilities for emotional healing, from small to large and from practical to profound, wait quietly and patiently within and between us all.
contentment, clarity and peace.
That is the path for you to follow.'
Is there too much distress in your life? Counselling could help you get on better with yourself and enrich important relationships. I aim to work with the whole you. This means I’m interested in both the qualities that strengthen you and painful experiences that can often be sources of deep learning and growth.
Being listened to while sorting through important issues can be profoundly healing. We can also use creative approaches to explore confusing goings on when words aren't enough. Maybe occasional use of self-help practices, such as combining mindful breathing and/or acupressure with saying kind words to yourself, will help you to feel more balanced and grounded and to think more clearly.
Check out the counselling page to find out more about what to expect during therapy.
Nurturing and developing kindness towards yourself could be a core part of our work together. We’d be in good company as many spiritual, philosophical and therapeutic traditions emphasise the importance of loving kindness in how we relate both to others and ourselves. Dr Kristin Neff provides a contemporay perspective on the importance of self-compassion which you may find helpful.
Time: 20 minutes? An hour? Just give yourself the time you need.
Many of the people I work with enjoy and benefit from using creative methods. This wonderful video from Thirsty for Art takes you step by step through a creative exercise where you bring compassion to any aspects of yourself you're struggling with. Watercolours are used in the video but feel free to use felt tips, crayons, pencils or any materials you're comfy with.
Self-help and stress management
Do you need to learn how to relax? Autogenic Therapy (AT) practices last between 10 seconds and 10 minutes and can bring many balancing and restoring moments. Meeting once a week for up to eight sessions with a follow up about a month later, you learn a range of straightforward relaxation techniques and active ways to support healthy emotional release. Find out more about how AT could help you learn to relax.
Many people I work with enjoy learning other stress management techniques that support the counselling process. Check out the Balancing part of the Counselling page to find out more.
Are you making good use of your inner resources? Strengths Profile coaching may bring valuable energy and direction into your life. You can have a one-off session or use this enriching activity as part of ongoing support.
Time: About half an hour to do the questionnaire and reflection.
Do the free Values in Action Institute on Character survey. Which two of your top ten strengths do you need to use more of to deal with an issue you’re facing? For each strength, identify one strength-based practical activity you could do today to help you. As you reflect on these two activities, which one leaves you feeling most hopeful and energised? Commit to taking this more supportive and energising action today.
Does your career need some TLC? If you’re stuck in a rut, careers guidance could help you find more meaningful options and get clearer about how to move forwards. If your struggle is more about who you’re working with rather than what you’re doing, it could be that counselling is what you really need.
Are unhelpful thoughts and difficult feelings bubbling up as you face developing your career? This great animation explores some common psychological responses as we embark on important new ventures in our lives.
How are you getting on with the people in your life? Sometimes clients tell me they think coming for counselling is selfish because 'it's all about me!' I think therapy is both personal and social as developing our sense of wellbeing and wholeness can help us engage more fully in our relationships.
If you can acknowledge and work through your own issues with kindness and patience, this may help you face and work through challenges with others. Everyone potentially benefits. This wonderful video shines a scientific light on the value of connectedness.
For Southampton, Hampshire and the South
While many people I work with live in Southampton, some also come from places like Winchester, Salisbury, Romsey, Portsmouth, Petersfield, New Forest, Fareham, Eastleigh, Chandlers Ford and Bournemouth. There’s free parking where we’d meet if you travel by car and good train and bus services to the practice. I'll give you my Bitterne address when you request an initial face-to-face appointment - COVID safeguarding permitting!
I offer one day workshops for counsellors, psychotherapists and related helping professionals. Please check out the workshops page to find out more and feel free to get in touch if you've got any questions.
To be confirmed
Resourcefulness: April 2021
The Gestalt approach to counselling can include exploring how to reconcile polarities/opposites. A classic example is judgement vs kindness. Lots of human suffering stems from the judgemental thoughts that crash around inside our heads. As judge and jury, we often find ourselves (and others) guilty and hand out harsh punishments.
Regularly practising the three elements of self-compassion advocated by Kristin Neff could, I believe, often have a profound impact on our lives. The first step is self-kindness vs self-judgement. Sounds familiar?
While many people find that developing kinder self-talk reduces emotional distress linked to judgmental thinking, we can often discover valuable (and painful) learning about our needs and values as we slowly unpackage our judgements.
So ‘Yes’ to more self-compassion, 'Yes' to exploring our judgements and ‘Yes’ to what I call kind judgement which helps us to be real about our experiences so we can genuinely learn from them and move on.
Check out the Refriend yourself exercise if you need a self-compassion boost.
Additional support for my clients
If we worked together, you'd be able to use resources I've developed as well as a carefully selected collection of self-help practices. We'd also work together to help you make good use of any resources that seem particularly relevant to your needs.
'Our sorrows and wounds are healed only when we touch them with compassion.'
Counselling in Southampton and CPD workshops for therapists.
Autogenic therapy, strengths coaching and careers guidance.