Counselling and Psychotherapy in Pontcanna
I am offering online (Zoom or Whatsapp) or telephone counselling and psychotherapy until there is greater clarity and safety around meeting for face to face sessions.
I work in the following areas:
- Anxiety, shock, trauma
- Fear and sadness
- Life transitions
- Sexuality, gender diversity & lgbt
- MIndfulness and compassion
I am interested not only in a client's pain and dysfunctional patterns, but also in their inherent wisdom and compassion. I see the task of psychotherapy as helping clients bring awareness and kindness to their own experience and to support them in seeing beyond any limited views of themselves and their life.
I try to help clients find ways of being that are more spontaneous, creative, open-minded and flexible. I would like clients to let go of some fixed ideas about themselves, their relationships, and their lives. I think this helps clients to feel more connected with themselves and others.
As a contemplative therapist, my aspiration is to help clients connect, or reconnect, with their brilliant sanity: their sense of spaciousness and clarity. I invite clients to connect fully with anything that arises from their experience with awareness and openness so that their inner wisdom and emptiness can give rise to a deeper sense of compassion for themselves and others.
Living with anxiety is a natural part of being alive. It is how we respond to anxiety, distress, and emotional difficulty that matters. The approach I work with acknowledges our deep, inherent, natural health, and focuses on what gets in the way of that health. The more we connect to our authentic selves through exploring our inner lives with acceptance and curiosity, the more we are able to work through our emotional difficulties. This brings with it the potential to retrieve what has become lost to us, and notice our new capacity for growth and change. Recognising that pain is simply part of being alive can be a relief. Emotional distress is not a sign that we have done something wrong, stupid or shameful. Pain and suffering are not signs of some personal defect.
'Anguish maintains its power only as long as we allow it to intimidate us. If we try to avoid a powerful wave looming above us on the beach, it will send us crashing into the sand and surf. But if we face it head-on and dive right into it, we discover only water.' - Stephen Batchelor.
I am a BACP Accredited humanistic existentialist counsellor, and I am deepening my practice through studying a mindfulness based masters in Core Process Psychotherapy, which combines Buddhist mindfulness techniques with western humanistic and psychodynamic approaches. While I draw from some Buddhist approaches, there is no reason why anyone needs to have any Buddhist interest or understanding to find this kind of psychotherapy helpful. I work in the following areas:
- An important loss or life change
- Not maintaining the stories we tell ourselves about our lives
- A need to acknowledge emotional pain and distress
- The direct expression of emotional difficulty
The counselling work is creative and offers ways of working with a client's inner life at depth to connect to their felt sense of themselves, with the potential for change and transformation. I work compassionately, with non-judgement and empathy at the heart of the work, with the deepest respect for a client's sensitive material. I abide by both the BACP and UKCP code of ethics, which includes client confidentiality.
Working with a counsellor
The therapeutic relationship can offer you a space to be seen and met at depth, where the counsellor can mirror and respond to your inner thoughts and feelings, at a meeting point between what is both conscious and unconscious. The therapeutic relationship also invites you to notice your resistances, defence mechanisms and to ask you to turn towards what you might be avoiding with curiosity.
When we recall painful events, we can do this in relationship to a counsellor in that moment, to bring mindfulness and kindness to ourselves and to ground ourselves in the reality of the non-threatening present. In that way, we can plant 'good seeds' of connection, mindfulness, kindness and awareness.
It is really important that you feel comfortable with a counsellor so that you can work in a therapeutically safe environment that can allow a way through so that the emerging self can show up in a way that allows vulnerability without becoming overwhelming.
As we deepen into awareness and stay connected with our distress, there is the potential for change and movement through difficulty.