I offer Gestalt therapy, which focuses on how you are and how you interact with the world; it is about the 'how', (what is happening - ‘the experience you have’) as much as it is about the 'what' (the content of what happened to bring you to therapy). For example when discussing the end of an important relationship - the information about what happened would be the content and the experience is the associated sensations of tears, sadness, anger, relief or even delight. The emphasis in gestalt therapy is on our moment to moment experience and what is being thought, felt and done right now, rather than what was, could possibly be or should have been.
Many people come to therapy because they do not like the way that they have reacted to a life event, with a sense that they should be different or have acted differently. In therapy we aim to understand the way that someone is experiencing life, their patterns of behaviour and how they make sense and how they get stuck in repetitive ways of relating -to themselves and others. This awareness can allow us to offer a welcome to those parts of us that may have been ignored, rejected or suppressed as well as trying out new ways of being. Most people report that these changes then happen naturally, often without even noticing at first, as they start to make peace with themselves.
Some people don’t have an ‘issue’ to bring to therapy; it is more a feeling, maybe of feeling lost, frozen or numb with no clarity of why they feel like this. It can be hard to start therapy without having an understanding of why those feelings are there and people sometimes feel they shouldn’t have them - or even if they don’t know what the problem is or how to solve it, that therapy isn’t for them. But those feelings are there for a reason and if we listen enough we will understand more and there will be more space for new things to happen and for things to change.
In general, I hope to support you to be curious without judgement. This is not always easy. Therapy can require us to be courageous in the face of long-held difficulties and attitudes and for us to experiment with new ways of being. It can involve us facing meeting our shame or anxiety when we have spent a long time trying to run away from them. It is a thoughtful endeavour. I aim to provide support to enable you to do this and also to be able to find self-compassion and humour.
I have experience of working with a broad range of people; who have brought their feelings and thoughts around loneliness, relationship difficulties, anxiety, fear, personal identity and trauma.
I completed my first course in Gestalt in 1990 -1994 with Gestalt Training Services. I completed a further year in 2003 with Edinburgh Gestalt Institute. I have experience in working in counselling services in higher education and voluntary organisations, as well as having been a social worker for many years in local authority adult services.
I have a particular interest in working with shame and how it is managed in a relationship. I also have an interest in how our story is held in our body, how we hold ourselves and how we use our breath to support ourselves in relationship. I find that working with body process can be enlivening and allow us to discover or rediscover aspects of ourselves we were not.
I am currently only offering online therapy.
Like all UKCP registered psychotherapists and psychotherapeutic counsellors I can work with a wide range of issues, but here are some areas in which I have a special interest or additional experience.