My approach

The training at Edinburgh University focuses on two theoretical approaches. The person-centred approach was founded by Carl Rogers in America, whilst the psychodynamic training I received originates from psychoanalysis which is based on Freud’s teachings which are of European origin. My emerging orientation in relation to both approaches is a key feature of my identity as a counsellor.

I work primarily from a psychodynamic perspective, however having trained in both methods, I value and do incorporate aspects of the person-centred approach in my work. At the heart of my thinking which emanates from personal experience is a belief in the existence of an inner world through which we perceive an outer reality, where the past is alive and dynamically active in the present. My primary aim in my work is in building a therapeutic relationship based on openness and honesty which leads to trust and eventually understanding. For me, the relational aspect of my work is pivotal and research has shown that this appears to be the most important factor in the therapeutic process.

Sometimes it can be just having an opportunity to talk and to be listened to non-judgementally that can make an enormous difference. Because I have worked through painful issues of my own, I feel that I can be more empathic with others who recognise their own need. By spending some quiet reflective time we can become aware of patterns and behaviours that stem from our past which may be holding us back in the present. This increased awareness can help to break unhelpful patterns thus enabling you to move forward productively in life. It is not necessarily the events themselves that can upset us, but the meaning and interpretation we give to them which can cause us distress.

Healing and change can only happen through the recognition of the need for change, a real desire to make things different and a willingness to engage in the work to make that change. I recognise the worth and value in all and hold a firm belief in everyone’s capacity for change. I feel too that it is important to say that seeking help is a real sign of strength and not a weakness.

Clinical Experience

I have experience in both short and long term counselling work in the following areas:

Depression, anxiety/stress, loss/bereavement, work issues, trauma, abuse, relationship difficulties, childhood issues, low self-esteem, separation/identity issues, social anxiety, self-harm, sexual abuse.

I have many years experience working with women suffering from post-natal depression.

In the past I have worked at a student counselling service and with a child counselling agency.

I also have experience facilitating therapy groups and have a keen interest in this area.

Occupational Health work for government agency – Jan 2015 – present.