What should I expect?

We’ll work together to explore and expand your understanding of yourself, your thoughts, feelings and experiences, and the challenges you face in the context of your unique life.  I’ll support you to develop the tools and skills you need to make changes; accept, manage, or overcome challenges; make meaning from your experiences; and find clarity and peace of mind.

Therapy is hugely rewarding, but it can also be difficult.  You should be prepared for some bumps along the road.  Rest assured, we’ll work at a pace that you can manage, and you won’t be pushed into continuing if you wish to take a break or to end your therapy – perhaps because you’ve acheived your initial aims.

It’s important that we can be open and honest with each other, so we’ll review your progress regularly as we go: what’s working for you and what isn’t, how far you’ve come, where you are now, and where you want to be.

What's a relational trauma-informed approach?

Typically, we think of trauma as the result of big, catastrophic experiences.  In fact, any distressing experience we haven’t fully processed – one-off or ongoing – might result in trauma.  These experiences can ‘stick around’ in our systems and affect us physically, emotionally and psychologically – sometimes in ways that are obvious to us, sometimes in ways we don’t fully realise.  That’s what trauma is.

Taking a relational trauma-informed approach means I understand mental health ‘issues’, ‘disorders’, ‘illnesses’, and ‘diseases’ as manifestations of distress in response to circumstances and experiences which may be happening now, or may have happened in the past.  Suffering is terrible, and it is normal.  It’s not a sickness, nor is it a result of biological or genetic abnormalities.  Relational therapy offers an opportunity to work things out, grow and heal through human connection.

If you have a mental health diagnosis or use medication to support your wellbeing, I’m interested in what these things mean to you, and how they impact you.  My focus will be on you, not your diagnosis.

What's the difference between counselling and psychotherapy?

There isn’t universal agreement about the precise similarities and differences between counselling and psychotherapy, although length of time and the depth of the work are generally considered factors.

For the purposes of our work together, it’s not really important.  We’ll work in whichever way is most likely to be of use to you.

Counselling

Often thought of as shorter-term (4 weeks – 6 months) to help you manage day-to-day challenges (things like stress at work, or relationship difficulties), or a specific issue that has come up recently (perhaps a bereavement, redundancy, relationship break up or ill health).

It’s not uncommon for this sort of work to bring other things up that you might want to look at.  If that happens we can continue working together to explore those things, and potentially help you move past them.

Psychotherapy

Psychotherapy looks at broader, sometimes deeper-rooted issues that might be affecting your ability to live your fullest life.  Often it’s less about addressing specific issues, and more about a process of exploration and discovery with the intention of bringing you closer to who you really are so you can live the life you really want to live.

If this is your aim, it can be helpful to make use of your therapist longer term (6 months – ongoing).

Individual or relationship therapy?

Work with couples and multiple partners tends to be focussed on the relational dynamics between partners.  It’s not unusual – and can be very beneficial – for one or more partners to be in individual therapy as well (usually with a different therapist).

If you’re not sure what’s best for you, or whether to see me alone or with your partner/s, get in touch and we can talk it through.

I work with partners in sexual, intimate, romantic, sibling, parent/child, professional and/or friendship relationships.