My Therapy Journey
It all started...
Like lots of therapists, I trained as a psychotherapist after I had experienced therapy myself.
My past life was committed to achievement, and I gained academic success and a series of well-paid jobs in retail management and then for many years in marketing, researching new products and bringing them to market.
I pushed myself to meet all the demands of a fast-paced career with the added needs of my partner and family and indeed seemed to thrive on being independent and achieving. I used all my coping strategies to deal with the stresses that this life placed on me and felt worthwhile in achieving so much without needing help from anyone. I celebrated this as a strength.
Over time I found that I was anxious, stressed and just miserable, stuck and lonely. I often wondered what the point to my life was, as I felt so confused and unappreciated.
Something had to give.... but what?
With apprehension and a sense of guilty self-indulgence, I looked for and began a therapeutic process with a psychotherapist. It was a strange feeling at first having another human being follow my mood closely and be openly curious about what was going on for me out there in my life as well as with them. I got a lot of care and nurturing, and this felt like my therapist was involved, empathetic and got me.
What impacted me the most was when her care was both curious, challenging and understanding in ways I had never experienced before. This was eerily strange and puzzling at the time. I couldn’t let her responses in although I noticed that between sessions her responses to me stayed and I kept on hearing her words, tone and gentle empathy as she expressed how she felt hearing my story.
This really made a profound difference, opening up so much for me and growing my own compassion that I’d never allowed in my world of pushing myself to be strong and perfect.
I can be all of me
These conversations led to a new sense of ‘seeing myself’ and although this was difficult for me, I’m sure that my therapist’s authentic curiosity and challenge, helped me have the courage to face myself and change. I noticed I felt more resilient as I gained a better understanding of myself with new skills to engage, get and keep the love I wanted. I became open to changes to protect, love and cherish me. My confidence and self-esteem took on a new energy and I felt good with myself.
Yes, I made changes to my life, and I now feel alive and thriving….
Therapy worked for me, and I know it’s made a difference to many others.
I am a science graduate and further qualified to:
Check me out
I am a fully qualified and experienced Psychotherapist and have been in private practice since 2008. I am Registered and Accredited with BACP and my training is in Transactional Analysis. As a member of BACP I adhere to their code of ethics. I integrate other modalities including gestalt, mindfulness, somatic and person-centred psychotherapies. I work in private practice in Bowdon with adults and couples. I have also worked as a counsellor at a busy counselling and family centre in Altrincham, Cheshire where I worked with individuals and groups.
You can find me on their BACP Register, my professional body for ethical standards and BACP Therapist Directory by searching with WA14 3BA and on the Counselling Directory. You can also find me on LinkedIn.
Being registered and accredited by BACP is important because there have been reports of concern at a growing number of unqualified counsellors offering services, highlighted by Kevin Ashford ITV News.
In his article 26-10-2022
“There’s a growing demand for counselling in this country. Over the last year, the number of people waiting for mental health support on the NHS has risen to 1.2 million. The British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy represents professional therapists. The charity’s Head of Professional Standards Caroline Jesper there can be indicators that a counsellor may be fake. She said:
“They might overly give advice, tell you what to do. They might start blaming you for your problems or for not getting better, and their skill set may be limited. They might come across as being judgemental, disrespectful, unempathetic. They might be unreliable and coercive, such as asking you to market their services for them. All of these would be warning signs that somebody isn’t a trained or legitimate counsellor. The BACP advises people looking for help with their mental health to use therapists registered with an accredited professional body based in this country.”
I have regular clinical supervision for my individual and couple work. This is a requirement of BACP and is both for your safety and my effectiveness to help you.
I am committed to providing counselling and psychotherapy in a confidential and non-judgmental environment.
Depending on what your difficulties are and what you want to achieve, I will work with you to an agreed timescale or on an open-ended basis.
How I work with you
With Transactional Analysis
I am a Transactional Analysis Psychotherapist meaning I sensitively build relationship paying close attention to the relational gaps. These gaps arise from inconsistencies and mis-attunements within early relationships as you grew up. When exploring the unique structure of your personality, both your strengths and limitations. I delve, when opportune, into difficulties and stuck places… allowing space for these difficult feelings to take shape.
I am patient, compassionate, accepting of you and your pace, tolerant and curiously challenging. I won’t collude with unhelpful ways though I will find a way in to explore these ways. I will use myself to authentically confront protective behaviours that resist engagement. I won’t be passive or create dependency.
TA begins with a very simple philosophy ……that people can change and that change is possible.
In my work as a therapist, I use the skill of Mindfulness for stress reduction, relief from anxiety, depression, and emotional regulation. Each client will develop their own understanding and experience of what mindfulness is for them.
“Mindfulness means paying attention in a particular way; On purpose, in the present moment” Jon Kabat-Zinn.
Paying attention to noticing your sensations, affect, calmness, agitation, heaviness, tension, lightness or numbness is important in the search for self, meaning and love.
“Mindfulness is taking control of your mind rather than allowing your mind to be in control of you” Linehan
I work sensitively and gently incorporating mindfulness and transactional analysis to help my clients manage their emotions, feel better about themselves and learn to cope with the stresses of their day to day lives.
Transactional Analysis psychotherapy is a popular and easily understood theory of personality and self-development. It is also widely used in business and organisations and is a useful tool for exploring ourselves when used collaboratively within a therapeutic relationship with individuals and couples.
TA helps you to understand how you function and how you express your personality in terms of the way you sense, think, attribute meaning, feel and behave. The way you relate to yourself, and others becomes clearer, and your relationships will improve as you grow and change.
Healing from the bottom up
From the moment we are aware of our separateness from our mother, we make our way in the world by making choices that feel right and fit with the ‘People in Charge’. Our early choices help us to fit into and cope with our circumstances. Some of these ways may help us grow and reach our potential and some may hold us back. This becomes apparent as we approach adulthood when symptoms of anxiety and depression debilitate and limit functioning. Self-medication through over work or addiction may add to our dysfunction. As adults we can make new choices and change some old decisions, beliefs and limiting strategies.
With a deeper insight into your early strategies from childhood you can discover how previous life decisions and choices may have really helped you during early life although may be limiting you now as an adult. I will help you find and grow new ways of managing feeling, supportive thinking and behaving so that you can change the old decisions and ways of being about yourself that are holding you back and promote contentment for who you are.
I am experienced and trained in helping my clients through your life difficulties and in supporting you to make changes in your life. I am always happy to discuss your needs and answer questions before you commit to a session. Click here to contact me.