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.  I believe that just as people can be hurt in relationships, so to can healing take place in a healthy therapeutic alliance where compassion, empathy and uncondtional positive regard are modelled.  It is from a place of safety where people can begin to look at specific issues.  I also draw upon theory from Transactional Analysis, Attachment theory, Internal Family systems, as well as somatic and creative interventions, according to an individual's needs. 

I have gained considerable experience working and supporting people who are struggling with relationship difficulties.  Personal and professional experience of trauma and abuse has instilled a passion and dedication in me to help those who have been similarly affected.

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.



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.  I have drawn much inspiration from the work of trauma specialists such as Arielle Schwartz, Bessel van der Kalk, Janina Fisher and Peter Levine.



Some people ask me "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 continue to be attracted to toxic people?" We can begin to explore what may be taking place in their relationships. I help them identify repetitive patterns of feelings, thoughts, and behaviours that can often be traced to the rules placed on them as children. For some, they may come with an awareness of the role they played in their families e.g. scapegoat, hero, rescuer or lost child.  I can help them to understand this more fully, to begin to set appropriate boundaries to protect themselves and begin to break the cycle of unhealthy relationship patterns. I use a number of different tools from visual aids, futher reading to creative interventions to help bring clarity.  This increased understanding along with the tools to change unhealthy coping strategies and defence mechanisms, can have a profound effect on one's self image..



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, 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. 


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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. 



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.