Anxiety is a feeling of worry or fear that is a normal response to a range of different situations. It is our natural fight or flight response and happens when our body feels as if it’s in danger. Anxiety can show itself in a range of physical signs, such as an increased heart rate, muscle tension, dizziness, sleeplessness or hyperventilating. Constant feelings of anxiety however, can seriously affect our ability to enjoy daily life and can lead us to spending the day with excessive, uncontrollable, and non-specific worry.
It is important to look at what is causing your anxiety. Together we will work on exploring the possible causes and triggers of your anxiety. We can begin to identify and understand the unhelpful thinking patterns that you might be having and help you to develop effective coping strategies. I can help you find ways to overcome your anxiety that work for you.Back to top
Working with young people requires a different approach. Often young people are embarrassed or worried about their peers finding out, so they decline offers of counselling from their school. I understand this. Sometimes teenagers don’t want to talk to their parents for fear of worrying them.
The teen years are rarely straightforward.The developmental goal of this period is to grow from a child to an independent, confident and capable adult. They must do this while their bodies and brains are undergoing immense physical changes with hormones and to add to this, today’s teens must do all of this under the scrutiny and influence of social media.
I provide a safe space for teenagers to talk about any concerns they wish to bring to the session. By creating a trusting and confidential relationship it can help them gain confidence in self-expression and can improve their ability to describe and explore how they are feeling without judgement or fear of embarrassment. I support them in learning to understand their emotions and feelings better, while also gaining skills to manage them more readily. I can also support them on their journey in discovering their strengths and weaknesses. The sessions can be a mix of therapeutic work and games or others may prefer creative sessions.Back to top
Do your thoughts centre on the notion – am I enough? Am I doing enough exercise? Do I have a good enough job? Am I a good enough mother/partner? Is your tendency to fixate on ‘not being good enough?’
All around us, there are messages that tell us who, what and how we are supposed to be. So, asa coping mechanism we learn to hide our imperfections. We protect ourselves from shame, judgment, criticism and blame by seeking safety in pretending and perfection. Therefore, how we feel on the inside does not match how we behave on the outside.
With exploration and understanding, you can begin to accept that you are enough. You can let go of preconceived notions of who you should be, or where you should be at in your life and learn to love who you are in that moment.
Counselling can help you explore how your core beliefs about yourself are shaping your thoughts and behaviours today.
By unpacking these core beliefs, we can begin to understand what drives your fears of not being good enough. We will work together to help change the ways in which you view yourself and challenge long-held beliefs and assumptions that may be interfering with your ability to accept yourself.
The quest for perfection is exhausting and unrelenting and by working through these perceptions of ourselves we can begin to sit comfortably with our imperfections.Back to top
For most of us, bereavement will be the most distressing and painful experience we will ever face. Losing a loved one is arguably one of the hardest things anyone has to find a way through.
Everyone experiences grief differently and there is no 'normal' or 'right' way to grieve. When someone we love dies, we can feel overwhelmed by a whole range of feelings such as shock, numbness, anger, guilt, blame and regret. We may also feel depressed, exhausted, and want to hide away.
Whether your grief is immediate or delayed, there will probably be times when your whole existence seems to be taken up with grief. It is quite common to have periods of calm and normality between acute and painful waves of sadness and some days they will be more intense than others. This is all normal.
The pain of a loss can seem so monumental that we can feel we may never recover. People around you may seem to think you should be ‘back to normal’ after a few weeks or months.You might appear to be your usual self to other people, but you know that on the inside, you are not even sure what normal is anymore.
Sometimes couples find it hard if their grief patterns do not match and one partner may feel that the other is not grieving as much or in the same way. This can put a strain on your relationship.
Everyone grieves in a way that is unique to them.
One of the hardest things to face when we are bereaved is the way other people react to you. They often do not know what to say or how to respond to your loss and you may hear phrases such as ‘time is a great healer’ or ‘it was meant to be’. People can avoid those who have lost someone for fear of saying the wrong thing or upsetting you.
This may be the opposite of what you really need and talking about the person who has died is often a great healer. It can become especially hard as time goes on and other people's memories of the person or baby who has died fade and life for others appears to return back to normal.
I will help you navigate the stages of grief and support you to develop coping mechanisms that make adjusting to this new way of life easier. Together we can make memory boxes, jars, or crafts to remember the person that has died.
I am dedicated to providing emotional support from the early weeks after a bereavement, through to the months and years ahead.Back to top
More than 1 in 5 pregnancies in the Uk will end in miscarriage and sadly miscarriage is still known as the ‘silent grief’, often due to the fact we keep our pregnancy quiet for the first 12 weeks.
If you experience a miscarriage, there is no right or wrong way to feel. Just as every pregnancy loss is different, every woman’s reaction is different too.
Women can experience a wide range of emotions following a miscarriage including sadness, guilt, anger, disbelief, and loneliness. There is also fear that it will affect the chances of pregnancy in the future. Miscarriage can also have a huge emotional impact on the whole family and also on relationships.
If you or your partner have suffered a miscarriage, counselling provides a safe and supportive space where you can gently explore your own thoughts and feelings to help you to find a way forward that’s right for you. We can explore:
I can support you through your healing journey.Back to top
There are arguably few experiences that can compare to the trauma of your baby dying. The emotional impact of baby loss is long lasting. Everyone will process their emotions and grief in their own way.
Many women say they have an aching in their arms to hold their baby. During our sessions, you can talk openly about your experience. We can discuss the birth and how you felt you were treated. We can unpack any difficult emotions that have been too painful to discuss.
When you are ready, you are more than welcome to share photos, memories, or anything you may have made to remember your baby. I believe this is a huge part of the healing process.
If you are worried about getting pregnant again, we can gently explore this and what it means to you. Perhaps now, you have a fear of giving birth? Together we can explore ways to make sure you feel more empowered, heard, and valued for your next experience.
You don’t have to let go of or move on from the death of your baby. You can find your own way to carry your connection with them. I will help and support you to find the skills to manage and navigate your changed world.Back to top
Birth is the door to our entry into parenthood. How we feel about our whole journey into parenthood alters our entire parenting experience.
Are you starting this new journey feeling empowered? Or are you entering this feeling broken?
Perhaps it is the expectation of perfection. The pressure to be seen to be coping is greater than ever, as highly edited versions of other people’s lives are displayed on social media. These standards of the ‘perfect mother’ seem to be getting higher and higher.
Many women feel a bit down, tearful, or anxious in the first couple of weeks after giving birth. This is often called the "baby blues" and is so common that it is considered normal. The "baby blues" don't last for more than 2 weeks after giving birth.
Postnatal depression is different and can affect women in different ways. The most common symptoms of postnatal depression include persistent feelings of sadness, a loss of interest in the wider world, and not bonding with your baby.
Counselling can be really helpful when exploring your emotions. You will be able to talk openly and freely about your experience as a new mother. I will support you in expressing and understand your feelings and your experiences on your journey into parenthood. I can help you to find a more positive way through your parenting journeyBack to top
We expect birth to be the happiest day of our lives. Birth is seen by society as a ‘normal’ and happy event. Yet birth trauma is common and often missed. A traumatic birth occurs when a woman finds some aspects of her birth very upsetting. It doesn’t matter what part of the birth you found distressing, it is your story and those feelings need to be validated and heard.
Birth trauma may include the birth itself, particularly where there has been operative birth, but also the fertility journey, pregnancy experiences and post natal care. Trauma is subjective to the person, what one person will experience as traumatic, another will not. This is often the point at which the birth trauma can be dismissed.
Women can feel discouraged from sharing their experiences. The shame associated with birth trauma can also deeply impact on a person’s view of themselves as a parent, challenging long-held ideals of motherhood and leading to a cruel cycle of blame and shame.
Perhaps during your labour you felt ignored, had your concerns minimised or felt criticised, judged or humiliated.
Many women dismiss their feelings or feel guilty talking about their birth experience as the focus may be so much on the baby. My role is to support you to process your birth experience. We can explore what went well and gently those parts that did not. We can look at your expectations and how they perhaps weren’t met. This reflection and processing gives you the opportunity to look at what happened to you during the birth.Back to top