Whilst in practice the distinction between counselling and psychotherapy is not always clear, thinking about the different processes involved may help you think about what your needs are right now, how our work together might progress, and whether it sounds right for you.
Counselling has a long tradition of helping people to help themselves. The understanding and acceptance I offer puts you at the centre of things. It enables you to focus on your own emotional needs and resources, supporting a natural healing process that can help you gain a greater sense of balance and wellbeing.
It may, however, be difficult for you to focus on your emotional needs without increasing your anxiety and distress and triggering a range of inner conflicts.
The goal of psychotherapy is to help you manage those inner conflicts. As a psychotherapist I will engage you in a therapeutic dialogue aimed at increasing your awareness of the conflicts which have impacted on you, enabling you to bring them under greater control. This can be a challenging process with a risk of opening up old wounds. My skill is to ensure we work in a way and at a pace that is comfortable for you.
The aim is to help you develop the psychological and emotional resources that will enable you to focus more on your own needs and to meet those needs in less destructive ways.
This is the integrative nature of counselling and psychotherapy that I offer.
I gained a post-graduate certificate in counselling skills at the University of York St John before taking a BACP accredited MA in psychotherapy and counselling in the faculty of medicine and healthcare at the University of Leeds. The course takes an integrative approach to therapy, building on the humanistic principles of shared understanding which underpin my practice and continuing research interests. Unlike most accredited courses it was a requirement of my training that I undertook 70 hours of therapy which has been invaluable in developing my practice.
I am a registered member of the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP) which is the largest professional association of counsellors and psychotherapists in the UK. I work in accordance with the BACP ethical framework and carry professional indemnity insurance.
I have helped young people and adults of all ages from a wide variety of cultural, ethnic and religious backgrounds all of whom shared your belief that seeking support could help to make their lives better. Since 2013 I have worked in a community mental health service, university counselling service and have been employed as a school counsellor. I bring a range of related experience to my practice including mediation, mentoring and advocacy work with families, victims of crime and vulnerable adults, some living in social care and secure mental health settings.
One of the benefits of counselling and psychotherapy is its adaptability to a wide range of non-clinical problems associated with everyday living. You may be struggling with loss – following bereavement or associated with the breakdown of a relationship – perhaps due to a major relocation. You may be having difficulties at work or in your current relationship. Recent events in your life might have triggered painful memories and emotions and you may be suffering the effects of a traumatic event. Harmful behaviours including addiction and substance misuse are common problems. These are just some of the issues I have helped people with. It may of course be the case that you do not know what the root of the problem is. You might just have lost sight of who you are. In all these situations counselling and psychotherapy can help.
I have also worked with individuals with a range of mental health diagnoses including anxiety, depression, post-traumatic stress, and personality disorders. I also have experience of working with young people diagnosed with autism and ADHD.
Therapy involves a process of building trust that enables you to engage with your emotional resources in a way that can help to develop a more balanced sense of your own identity and individual needs. How you engage with this process will depend on a number of factors each of which will have a bearing on how many sessions you might need.
For individuals dealing with the normal losses and transitions of life as few as four sessions can be effective. More deep seated issues can normally be addressed in fewer than twenty sessions. However, for those living in particularly difficult life situations and with complex life histories, longer term therapy might be appropriate. I have worked with one individual for over two years.
To help decide what is most appropriate for you I will carry out an initial assessment at our first meeting together. It will include a review of your current situation, previous life experiences and family and medical history. This will enable us to develop a treatment plan tailored to your specific needs and resources.
Participation in counselling and psychotherapy can lead to less destructive patterns of behaviour, a more positive outlook on life and new and improved relationships. There is, however, no one form of therapy that is guaranteed to work for everyone. I will, however, always put your best interests first and I will always work with you to help you find the most appropriate support. We will review your treatment plan on a regular basis and it is important that you raise any concerns you may have to ensure that our work together continues to meet your needs.
My commitment is to offer a relationship in which you feel safe and secure and in which your confidentiality and privacy are protected. Like all relationships its success depends on making our expectations of each other clear from the start, and on being honest and open if we feel those expectations are not being met. The Terms of Agreement attached are designed to start us off on the right track. You should note in particular the limitations on confidentiality and privacy and the terms regarding the storage and processing of personal data as detailed in the Terms of Agreement. We will review these during the course of therapy to ensure they continue to meet your needs.
My standard consultation fee is £45.00 for a 50 minute session.
If you feel I can help then please contact me to arrange an initial meeting. We can then agree a regular time and date to suit you.
Please do not include personally sensitive information in the contact form as the content cannot be guaranteed to be secure whilst in transit (refer to policy regarding storage and processing of personal data). Instead just let me have a contact number noting when it would be best to contact you.
Kentdale Therapy, Stramongate House, 53 Stramongate, Kendal
Tel: 01539 727111
Tel: 01539 727111
Stramongate House is located close to local bus and rail links and pay and display car parks are located nearby. Free one hour car parking is available within a short walk.