Children communicate in many ways but a lot can be expressed through playing, creativity and movement. They may not yet have the vocabulary or cognitive development to engage in talking therapy about the things that bother or upset them but the feelings are still there. Through playing, creating and interacting in dance or movement, children can unleash intense feelings in a safe space. I have the facilities and the training to help children to express themselves and build up their self esteem.
Children naturally gravitate towards play as a way of discovering their world and expressing their inner world through the metaphor of toys. They also use other mediums such as sand, paint and clay to represent or symbolise events which are important to them and feelings which they attach to those events. It can sometimes take many sessions to build up trust but we work slowly and gently together to develop a relationship where the child feels secure enough to express themselves through play. Gradually once the trust has been created, the child will start to open up through play and express what is going on in their world.
Bereavement therapy for children
Bereavement of a loved one is traumatic for both adults and children alike, but for children it can be particularly difficult as they struggle to understand what has happened. Other family members are dealing with their own feelings around the loss and may not have the emotional resources or expertise to support the child, who in turn may bury his/her feelings in order not to burden anyone. Friends and peers may not understand them either, and children may hide their feelings when in the company of friends to avoid pity. However these intense feelings need an outlet, as bereavement for children can be a very lonely and frightening place. I have additional training and experience in childhood bereavement and can provide children in bereavement with support, a place to express their feelings and the ability to come to a place of acceptance and understanding of their new reality.
I have worked in many areas of counselling such as anxiety, depression, bereavement and addictions counselling. Through experience I have developed my own style of working with clients in a gentle, empathic manner. It is not always easy to take that initial step to seek counselling and we will work at a pace which suits you. The first session is usually an assessment where we can get to know each-other a little and decide the terms of our working together. We will do regular reviews and you can decide the direction of the counselling and number of sessions you feel you need further after each review.
Depression can be triggered by life events or it can be something underlying your day to day mood. You may feel low in energy and motivation, overwhelmed by day to day tasks and disinterested in things which previously gave you pleasure. These feelings may be impacting on your relationships with others and even your physical health. Through counselling, you can come to better understand the root of your depression, and to find ways to manage or even overcome the negative feelings and find meaning and fulfillment.
Bereavement is very traumatic and has many stages. Together we can try to understand the range of emotions you may be experiencing. This is a safe space to cry, to vent anger if you feel it, to be silent and reflective, and also to laugh and celebrate the lives of the people you have lost. In your sessions with me you can come to understand the impact of your loss, where you find yourself in the present, and how to move forward.
Behind substance misuse is often underlying anxiety, depression or low self-esteem. Addiction can happen to anyone, my clients range from adolescents to housewives, grandfathers and successful businessmen. Providing a safe, non-judgmental space, we work together to find out what is behind the addiction and how it can be managed and recovered from.
We all feel anxious sometimes, and anxiety is not always a negative emotion. It can propel us into action and direct us towards positive change. However, if it becomes overwhelming and crippling it can affect one’s day to day activities, and this is the time to examine where its coming from and why it is having this effect. Often severe anxiety is a symptom of deeper issues, such as unresolved trauma or grief. We can explore both the symptoms and the causes in a safe, empathic way and develop tools to manage anxiety.
I am an integrative counselling therapist working primarily in the areas of low self-esteem, anxiety, depression, grief, bereavement and addiction. I have worked in all of these areas and done additional training in childhood trauma. I also use art and painting as a form of therapeutic expression.
Short and long term therapy
The number of sessions you would like to have depends on you. We normally review the work together in 6-week blocks. Some clients may feel ready to stop after only a few sessions, others may want to carry on for more long term therapy. I am open to both ways of working.
What to expect in your first session
This will be an opportunity to get to know each other and discuss what brings you to counselling. You can get an idea of how I work and see if you feel comfortable to work with me. I will do a brief assessment to get an idea of what we will work on. You may feel anxious to start counselling. It’s a big step and you may feel quite vulnerable, but the alternative is to feel stuck with no place to express yourself. It takes courage to open up about your feelings, but it will hopefully allow you to move forward, heal and live a happier and more fulfilling life.
Expressiveness through creativity
For some, traditional counselling may feel daunting and difficult to engage in. In my creativity studio, I have several art mediums through which clients can also explore their feelings. This relaxing and creative form of expression works for many who find it easier to unleash emotion through a paintbrush or sculpture.