Beauty for ashes

What to Expect

When people enter counselling, they often want to change behaviour or feelings they have struggled with for a while. They may also feel frustrated or worn down.  In coming alongside each person, I believe it is important to firstly consider what is working. I see a person’s efforts to survive as a strength that affirms their humanity and need for support with professional help. 

I approach my work from the perspective that we are unique and therefore my counselling model is integrative which means I will draw upon different elements of specific therapies such as Transactional Analysis, Karpman's Drama Triangle as well as somatic and creative interventions, according to an individual's needs. 

What is vital on this journey is that we work at a pace that individual's feel comfortable with – for things to unfold in their own time and this is where the quality of the relationship between us is key.

I have provided further details below of some of the ways I may work with clients.

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SOMATIC INTERVENTIONS

People often want to develop greater understanding of why they are experiencing certain symptoms such as flashbacks, panic attacks, negative thought patterns, low mood and hypervigilance.   I have found it helpful to understand the important links between the brain and the body.  I can help you begin to manage what’s going on in your body and how this relates to mental health. I may use guided visualisations, deep breathing and other somatic interventions to help you learn to regulate your nervous system.  Learning how to feel safe in your body, how to learn to sit with uncomfortable stress responses until they pass and for some people, learning how to feel safe with other people, are probably the single most important aspects of mental health.

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UNDERSTANDING RELATIONSHIP DYNAMICS

Do you ever find yourself asking "how come sometimes I feel like I'm a little kid again?" or "why do I find myself acting like my Mum or Dad?" or perhaps "why do I keep on repeating the same old mistakes?" We all have different aspects to ourselves. We can explore what may be taking place in your relationships. I can help you to identify repetitive patterns of feelings, thoughts, and behaviours that can often be traced to the rules placed on us as children. You will learn ways to change negative patterns into positive ones which can bring a sense of relief and increased confidence.

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INNER CHILD WORK

Your Inner Child is the echo of the child you once were. We each have our own history and we have all been influenced by our environment, events and the significant people around us. We will have made ‘decisions’ at a sub-conscious level, about how we ‘should’ be and what we ‘should’ do in order to be seen as OK and to survive in our families. Our later experiences can reinforce these beliefs and we form our own ‘Script’ for how our life ‘should be’. It is sometimes helpful to revisit the experiences of the child we once were. This allows us to work through our feelings and give the responsibility, shame and guilt back to whom it belongs.

I may offer clients different techniques to help identify the hurts from your childhood, which include; guided imagery, sand tray, working with nesting dolls, poetry and journaling. Working creatively in therapy is a way to safely visualise what you cannot verbalise or is perhaps too triggering to discuss. 

I have also completed further trauma training and am particularly interested in the work of Dr Janina Fisher. I believe her trauma informed model offers a roadmap to trauma survivors, helping them to gain a deeper emotional connection with their very young fragmented wounded selves.

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TALKING TOGETHER

It can be very healing to have someone listen to you in a non-judgmental way, offering acceptance, empathy and compassion. Perhaps you are simply looking for a fellow traveller to sit with you whilst you grieve, whilst holding on to hope for a way through painful times. 

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CREATIVE TOOLS

Sometimes, it’s really difficult to find the words for the things that have happened to us in life – experiences can be too painful to put in to words. Working creatively in therapy can enable you to find a voice where perhaps you struggle to hear yourself. I can carefully help to release feelings or emotions through using creative tools such as drawing, shells, stones, nesting dolls. For some people, it can bring a possible self in to existence or be a means to survive and recover from difficult circumstances.