About Counselling

Heron Counselling - Precious Life Mary Oliver (2)

Many people feel unsure about what to expect from counselling when they first begin. Each counsellor will work differently in approach, but will generally try to offer a safe space where you can talk and be listened to as you explore whatever it might be that is troubling you.

I aim to give a place where you can breathe and find your own voice and way of expressing how you feel as together we work out what your life means to you and what you want to do with it.

This is a process which can take a short or long period of time, depending upon what each individual needs to work with. 

I offer short or long term counselling – it is for you to decide, but it is important to consider before you begin – are you in a position where you can make the regular commitment of time and a financial investment in yourself?

It is also worth considering what will it cost you if you do not do this?

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My Approach

I believe that each individual knows what is right for them, even if they are not yet able to recognise it.

I was trained ‘Integratively’ which means I can use several different approaches and I draw upon the theoretical approach that feels most appropriate for each individual client’s needs.  

Fundamentally I consider myself to be a humanistic counsellor, which means I work in the present moment and in the context of our relationship, looking at the unique individual’s tendancy to always move towards becoming the best they can be, focusing on developing self-awareness and taking responsibility for ourselves and our decisions.  In my work with you I aim to offer you acceptance, empathy and understanding and I will be open with you about how I experience you in the context of our  therapeutic relationship. The approaches I might use are as follows:

Person Centred Approach

This is my core approach and works with self concept and learning to see and accept ourselves as we really are rather than how we have learned to wish we were.  The next step is then to live as we really are, making our own decisions based upon our own judgement, letting go of the expectations and conditions imposed upon us by families and society. 

Existential

This approach works with the four givens of life : death, freedom, isolation and meaninglessness. What do they mean to us and how do we live with these? By looking at these we can begin to understand the significance of some of the decisions we make. 

Gestalt

With this we work with noticing what is happening in the moment in order to expand awareness,  this may include working with dreams and empty chair-work where appropriate. This also includes ways of stepping back and looking at the picture as a whole rather than the individual parts. 

Transactional Analysis

TA is particularly valuable when looking at interactions in relationships, in order to understand what may be going on and how to change repeating patterns that may be causing distress or difficulty. This is useful in all relationships, particularly personal and work/business.

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy

A popular technique which helps to understand how repeated patterns of behaviour can affect us and specifically looks at identifying these and collaborating to identify possible different strategies that might be used. 

Mindfulness

Mindfulness is not so much a psychological theory as an attitude to life.  It is embedded in the way I work and communicate. You may have heard of it in the context of meditation which is used as a means to learn an attitude of mindfulness – of living and existing in the present moment rather than ruminating or worrying about the past which is gone, or the future which may not happen. It can be particularly helpful for those who are struggling with anxiety or depression.

Relaxation and Breathing Exercises

Along with mindfulness and meditation, I often also work with guided relaxation and breathing exercises – these are useful for all kind of difficulties, helping to cope with stress, anxiety and panic attacks. 

Issues I work with

  • Abortion
  • Abuse
  • Addiction(s)
  • ADHD
  • Anger management
  • Anxiety
  • Asperger’s syndrome
  • Attachment disorder
  • Autism
  • Bereavement
  • Bullying
  • Cancer
  • Career
  • Carer support
  • Child related issues
  • Dementia
  • Depression
  • Disabilities
  • Dissociation
  • Domestic violence
  • Eating disorders
  • Emotional abuse
  • Family issues
  • Generalised Anxiety Disorder
  • Infertility
  • Life-limiting illness
  • Learning difficulties
  • Loneliness
  • Low self-confidence
  • Low self-esteem
  • Miscarriage
  • Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
  • Parenting a child with special needs
  • Passive aggressive behaviour
  • Physical abuse
  • Post Natal Depression
  • Pregnancy and birth
  • Redundancy
  • Relationship issues
  • Relaxation issues
  • Self-harm
  • Separation & Divorce
  • Sexual abuse
  • Sudden violent loss
  • Sexuality
  • Stress
  • Suicidal thoughts
  • Work-related stress
  • Young carers

Photo Credits

All photos on this page copyright Heron Counselling. 

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