Counselling and Mindfulness around Canterbury, Folkestone & Dover
I am an experienced counsellor and have worked with many people and a wide range of issues. However I have particular experience and skills in the following areas:
Introduction to Mindfulness workshop, Tuesday 26 June 2018 See Mindfulness page for details
As a hospital based counsellor on a cancer ward for 8 years I met many men and women at all stages of treatment and beyond. I provided cancer support to people anticipating their first chemotherapy, the anxious build up to test results and follow up appointments, the confusion of feelings following end of treatment - often in sharp contrast to those of people around them, facing terminal illness, facing new life. I have supported relatives and friends as they ride their own emotional roller-coaster in the background. I have sat alongside couples whose different ways of coping with the uncertainties they face can cause tensions. People were sometimes also dealing with other significant illnesses at the same time - such as diabetes, kidney failure, HIV, stroke, new physical disability - all of which give rise to their own emotional and mental challenges. Since that time I have also provided therapeutic support to people living with other long term illness.
Running a Staff Counselling Service for 5 years, supporting NHS staff and students, and working for various EAPs has enabled me to work alongside a wide range of individuals dealing with work based issues and life changes. Whether a senior lecturer, a caretaker, a nurse or an administrative manager, the distress is all too familiar. Problems like feeling unappreciated or bullied, or being overloaded with work, can feel impossible to address. Yet frequently our joint work yields significant change for people. The counselling is often a mix of careful listening, gently introducing different ways of viewing things, encouraging people's own understanding of themselves and what helps, and occasionally signposting to practical skills development and training. Interventions are often more solution focused than with other clients, although there are times when this may not be appropriate. My work with staff also includes running workshops, seminars and courses on stress management.
I have been a trained Integrative Supervisor since 2005, and provide supervision and reflective practice to both counsellors and others in the helping professions. I am experienced in both one to one and group support. Whether you are newly qualified or an experienced practitioner, I would welcome hearing from you.
Mindfulness is about gently training our powers of awareness of our experience as it unfolds. Much has been written about the benefits of mindfulness. My own experience is of becoming more resilient in the face of challenges, appreciating things more, becoming my own best friend instead of my own worst enemy, and becoming more empathic and supportive of others.
I offer one to one sessions, group taster sessions, workshops, retreat days and 8 week Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) courses. The 8 week course introduces you in a gentle way of managing stress and anxiety long term. It would be my pleasure to introduce you to Mindfulness or support you in developing your practice, whether to address your own challenges or to support others. For more details on mindfulness itself please visit my Mindfulness page.
You may find it difficult to think that things could be different from the way they feel at the moment. Counselling is a chance for you to explore what is going on for you, and identify how you might move closer to experiencing life in ways that work better for you. This may include changing your mind set over time and being willing to try things differently, but this is likely to be an organic process that is sustainable.
Whilst counselling is often referred to as a talking therapy, I use a variety of approaches tailored to individual needs and learning styles, including:
- Mindfulness techniques - Diaries - Creative media - Written exercises - Visualisation work -
What I offer
I see adults on an open-ended basis or for an agreed time period. The aim is to explore your concerns and experiences gently and respectfully, so as to enhance your life and enable you to live it more fully. I provide a safe, non-judgemental space in which you can explore what is distressing or worrying you in confidence. I work with each person individually, tailoring my approach to suit you. You may not have considered speaking with a counsellor before, but if the time feels right I would be happy to hear from you.
The people with whom I have worked have come from many different backgrounds and life experiences, all of which have affected their emotional and practical worlds. Often this is the first time someone has experienced counselling, and I understand how daunting that can be. However that nervousness is usually short-lived, and it is heart-warming to see what a difference our work together can make.
I am an experienced clinical supervisor of other counsellors, and have provided a wide range of training courses and workshops.
I work as a counsellor and supervisor in the Barham/ Wingham area, within easy reach of Canterbury, Dover, Folkestone, Ash, Sandwich and most of East Kent by car. To see one of the counselling locations where I work, visit the website for the HolistiCentre Barham.