Counselling provides a safe and supportive space in which to explore the issues you are facing. Life presents regular challenges, and sometimes it can be difficult to decide how to respond.
Talking about your situation can help you to cope with the emotions you are experiencing, so that you can begin to see the way forward. Change is never easy, and the presence of a compassionate and professional listener can make the process run more smoothly.
A counselling session can be described as a therapeutic conversation. It is different from a conversation with a friend because a counsellor stands outside your life situation and is able to see it objectively. She is able to suggest new perspectives precisely because she is not involved in the issues you are talking about in your sessions. Over time, insights gained through counselling can be integrated into your way of life.
Counselling normally happens at the same time each week. Your conversation with me is confidential, and you can therefore speak freely about about your thoughts and emotions. Each of us tells a story about our lives. At times that story can diverge from the path we would like to follow. By sharing the narrative of what has gone wrong, counselling helps you to move the story closer to the version you would like to tell.
My approach to counselling has two strands:
- Where appropriate, we focus on the themes and patterns in your story which have been with you for some time, possibly reaching back to your childhood. We explore those in depth, identifying ways in which they are affecting you in the present.
- The second strand is about the future you are working towards. Sometimes, a series of smaller changes may be all that is need to make a big difference to your life. At others, you may be considering more far-reaching decisions. Counselling will help you to look at the implications of a change of course, so that you can make the best choice.
Every client is different, and I work with the story the client brings to counselling. Some of the issues I work with are:
Couples & Close Relationship Difficulties
Building a resilient sense of self
Dealing With Depression & Anxiety
Navigating Life Changes
Loss & Bereavement
You can attend counselling for a few sessions, or over a longer period. Counselling is most beneficial if it becomes part of your weekly routine over at least four to six weeks. This allows time for exploration, as well as trying out new ways of doing things. Where issues have been with you for a long time and are very entrenched, a counselling arrangement over six to twelve weeks, or several months may be most effective.
In your first session we will talk through what you feel will work best for you, and we will put in place a counselling ‘contract’. This is an agreement to attend for an agreed number of sessions. Of course, it can be amended if circumstances change.
I am a kind and compassionate listener, with counselling experience extending over more than twenty years. I work with both individuals and couples from my consulting room in North Oxford.
I have two postgraduate diplomas, one in psychodynamic counselling from the University of Reading (1996), and the second in solution-focused, brief therapy, gained from the University of Birmingham (2005). I am a British Association of Counselling (BACP) accredited counsellor, and I work within its Ethical Framework. In addition to my core counselling qualifications, I am a trained clinical supervisor of other practitioners.
As well as practising as a counsellor, I work as an organisational consultant and an executive coach. I have an MA in ‘Consultation and the Organisation’ from the Tavistock Centre, and I have trained in executive coaching at Ashridge Business School. I worked for many years as a manager of clinical services for a global healthcare company, specialising in Employee Assistance Programmes (EAPs), and I have a strong interest in organisations, each of which has a unique blend of people, culture and relationships.
How To Get Started
The first step is to arrange an initial meeting. This is an opportunity for you to meet me, to talk about the issues you are facing, and how you think counselling might help.
During your initial meeting, we will agree how many sessions might be needed for the counselling work and agree a regular weekly meeting time. At the end I will send you an email that confirms our agreement and also provides you with directions to my consulting room in Oxford.
My consulting room is located in South East Oxford (OX4), within easy reach of the city centre and the M40.
Once we have arranged an initial session, I will send you detailed directions to enable you to find the consulting room.
Oxford Business Park South Oxford OX4
A counselling session costs £55 for an individual client and £65 for a couple.
Payment can be made at the end of each session, or on a monthly basis.