counselling and psychotherapy
Adjusting to change ~ making sense of the past ~ finding your future

Life has many challenges, and it is common to feel overwhelmed at times.  This sense of 'overwhelm' may be related your current circumstances, including unexpected events beyond your control.  Or, it may be related to unresolved issues from your past that keep re-emerging.  The result is that you may find it difficult to make important decisions and/or, you may feel overcome by fear, confusion, and self-doubt - leading to increased stress, anxiety and/or depression.

Counselling and Psychotherapy can provide an opportunity for you to find a way out of your feelings of distress, and to help you look forward with a new perspective; gaining support and insight that will help you to navigate problems that may seem insurmountable.

As a Counsellor and Psychotherapist, I will seek to understand and assess your individual situation, your background, your unique needs, and also identify your strengths and unique abilities.  By learning to know you as best I can, we can then identify hindrances from the past, explore solutions and begin to put helpful plans into place.

My aim is to offer you hope, to help you make sense of the past, and to envision a better future.

My approach is tailored to your specific needs and may include a combination of theoretical models, drawn from the following:

  • Cognitive Behavioural

  • Psychodynamic Psychotherapy

  • Solution-Focused

  • System theory

Here is a brief explanation of each approach:

Cognitive Behavioural

Taking on the basic principles of behavioural and cognitive psychology, this approach focuses on developing new coping strategies to address your current problems.  This is done by examining and ultimately changing unhelpful patterns in your thoughts, behaviours, and emotions.  It is an action-oriented form of therapy and requires looking closely at beliefs, behaviours, and the thoughts that surround them.  This may include looking at your past experiences and relationships as you try to understand how your core beliefs were developed - beliefs which have contributed to your current thought processes. The premise is that thoughts are often the driving factor behind your emotional states – therefore the aim of treatment is to look very closely at the thought/feeling connection and test our thoughts against objective reality.  The result can be a positive change in your feelings (and sense of well-being) as you tailor your thoughts and perceptions more accurately and rationally.

Psychodynamic Psychotherapy

This therapeutic approach is an outgrowth of some of the earliest methods used to treat conditions of the mind, and it relies on an understanding of how behaviors and emotions have a link to the unconscious or subconscious.  The importance of insight is critical, as patterns are identified in relationships and through emotional reactions that often have their origins in past experiences and particularly in childhood.  These patterns or behaviours may not be clear to you, but through psychodynamic psychotherapy you can become more aware of your reactions and bring these unconscious processes more into the conscious arena where they can be dealt with more effectively.  This discovery can also include processing events from the more recent past that have had a traumatic impact upon you, and have become imbedded in your subconscious, leading to emotional and behavioural difficulties.

Solution Focused

This “strength-based” therapeutic technique is designed to support clients in identifying and hopefully replicating successful choices and behaviours.   Looking closely at those times when your problem was less noticeable or less severe (sometimes called “exceptions”) we can discover how you managed and coped, using existing strengths and positive traits.  Therefore, solutions are often found within your own experience and can be repeated and developed through recognition and commitment to positive change, even if small and incremental. 

Systems Theory

A type of systems therapy following on the work of Murray Bowen, this approach looks at the degree of “differentiation” you have towards your family of origin.  This is based upon your capacity to manage emotions, thoughts, individuality identity, and connection to others.  For example, a high level of differentiation would suggest that you are less emotionally reactive in close relationships, and have a distinct intellectual and emotional functioning from that of your family.  Low levels of differentiation however, can result in being emotionally “fused” and overly reactive and dependent on other’s approval and acceptance.  This can make you more vulnerable to stress and you may find it difficult to adjust to life changes.  So, the aim of this approach is to increase your ability to act independently as an individual, while remaining connected to those close to you.

Areas of Expertise

Drawing from over 25 years' experience, I can assist you with a wide variety of emotional and psychological issues as follows:

  • anxiety

  • depression

  • loss and adjustment to change

  • anger management

  • stress management

  • panic feelings

  • post traumatic stress disorder

  • obsessive compulsive disorder

  • workplace stress 

  • communication problems

  • mental health disorders

  • self-confidence and self-esteem struggles