I grew up very much believing that I was “strong and independent” and didn’t need anyone. I was numb to ny own vulnerable feelings until my mid twenties and I first sought counselling and discovered that most of my way of being was a protective strategy that had worked for a really long time, but wasn’t working anymore. I have worked hard to deconstruct my own belief system that I created about myself as a child and move into the more authentic place that I am now am. Part of this journey involved moving to Brighton in 2008 and soon after beginning my Counselling training in Humanistic Therapy.
Therapy can help us to make sense of our emotions and find a way forward when we are feeling very stuck. I am quite existential in my outlook and recognise that just living and being in this world can be difficult and overwhelming at times as we all have to come to terms with huge losses, transitions and ageing. It is easy to forget how powerful it can be to just be witnessed in our pain and distress and not feel alone. Often we need to be given the space to grieve for what we have lost or haven’t had before we can step into creating a life that is fulfilling for us in the present.
I also take a holistic approach and think it is important to look after ourselves physically with exercise and nutrition, by identifying and then giving ourselves what our mind and bodies need. Social connections, friendships and community are also essential to wellbeing, so we may look at ways you can make changes to incorporate such elements in your life, should you wish to do so.
I worked at Brighton Therapy Centre for the 8 years seeing clients of all genders for individual therapy, for a wide variety of concerns. I have also facilitated the students in their self development groups at Brighton University on the Postgraduate Humanistic Counselling training course for the past three years.
After I qualified I undertook a voluntary placement at Dialogue in Hove where I worked with young people aged 16-25. I am pulled to work with young people at this age as I feel this transition to adulthood is incredibly difficult and helping them to ease this transition is very rewarding.
I co-facilitated groups for young women struggling with alcohol and drug dependence at The Oasis Project for two years before taking up a position at Brighton’s Women Centre. Women were referred to us via the NHS and I saw people regularly for up to 12 sessions for individual counselling until unfortunately our funding was cut last year. I have also worked for RASAC in London and Crawley, in which we offered women counselling for up to a year who had experienced sexual abuse or sexual violence.
My most recent position has been with Winston’s Wish, a charity which supports children and their families with bereavement. Here I worked with the young people on their own, as well as providing family sessions to support the families together with their grief.