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Integrative Counselling in GuilDford
Whether you are struggling to cope with specific issues and need support, or want to explore and reappraise your life in some way, choosing counselling can be a helpful and healing approach to change.
To gain some insight and self-acceptance, or to have space to think about your thoughts and feelings is sometimes easier in the safety and boundaries of a therapeutic relationship.
Perhaps you feel ‘stuck’ and seek to work with problematic patterns of relating to others.
Maybe there are patterns that keeps repeating themselves despite your best efforts to feel or behave differently each time. Our histories, cultural and family backgrounds effect how we show up in the here and now of today. Counselling can help to shift our experience of life and the people, places and things that constantly trip us up.
If you have decided you want to explore counselling, or revisit it again, you will find an introduction to my approach below, but for further information or any questions, please do get in touch.
I look forward to hearing from you.
I am an integrative counsellor and have been working with adults on a one-to-one basis since 2014. Prior to this I have worked in both the corporate world and non-profit sectors and have been self-employed for eight years. During this time, I have followed my passion for being and working in the natural world and of exploring with others the human capacity to recover and grow. I am an experienced meditator, a beginner yoga practitioner and a fellow traveller in what seems an increasingly confused and divided world.
I offer weekly sessions to explore what's concerning you. I provide support and encouragement and a space where you are listened to safely and confidentially. I also have an eye to the relationship between us as this is often a reflection of our pattern of relating outside of the counselling room.
I believe counselling to be a joint exploration of your struggles and difficulties in life, and I strive to be creative and open to ways of working which may help. This may involve looking at both patterns of thought (our cognitive experience) as well as how we show up in the here-and-now of life (our embodied experience). I also work in the belief that our personal histories determine to a large extent our present experience. Undergoing therapy can help us to understand our old experiences and potentially create new, positive ones.
Integrative Counselling aims to integrate the various schools of therapy, these originally being the humanistic and psychoanalytic schools of psychotherapy. The integrative approach is inclusive rather than exclusive – the core philosophy being that all modalities have valuable contributions to make. I therefore take an interest in and continue to develop my understanding of what it means to be human and, in the context of psychotherapy; existential, transpersonal, analytic and humanistic approaches to self-understanding. I am particularly influenced by attachment theory and the view that our earliest attachments to others play a large part in how we relate to others and the world as we grow.
Being an integrative therapist essentially means I am able to think and work in an open and receptive way which can include the body, mind and spirit. My goal is to follow you wherever your process takes you, but a central concern is the nature of the embodied relationship in which the two of us can grow together, and how this reflects the themes and issues of your life.
Following someone's spontaneous process can end up in some unusual places; but often the session will be spent sitting and talking together, in the way that most people expect. Other possibilities include (by mutual agreement) working with breath; with visualisation, dreams or fantasy and movement.
Counselling or Psychotherapy?
The two terms have no precise definition or specific differences. Traditionally a psychotherapist would work with clients at a deeper level than a counsellor, and charge more, but this is not always the case. In today’s world with over 400 different therapeutic modalities, the quality, rigour and depth of trainings varies significantly. A widely held view is that a therapist can only work at depth with a client to the extent that they have worked at depth on themselves (both during and after their training). It is not so much the qualification or title that is important therefore, as the quality, openness and honesty of the relationship that you are offered.
Male or female therapist?
Perhaps by finding my website you have already a feeling that you would prefer to see a male counsellor. Perhaps you are undecided. My experience has shown that we have an instinctive feel for who we might need to see at a particular point in our lives and where the focus needs to be for now. This may change over time of course. It is not uncommon for someone to seek a therapist of one gender for a period and then depending on what has arisen in their own process, another gender at a later stage.
What to expect / next steps
It is important when finding the right counsellor to feel comfortable and safe and to have a sense that the counsellor gives you his, or her, full attention. Making a first appointment allows you the opportunity to bring whatever is on your mind and to use the time for your own needs. In this first session you may just feel like talking about things that may have been pent up for a while. You may instead want to find out more about the counselling process and how it works before you share personal information. Both are fine. Perhaps what is key to this initial session is the understanding that my role is not to give advice or provide answers, but more to help you explore and come to terms with what’s on your mind and, in time, to see things more clearly. Of course, it may not be that simple to just “say what’s on your mind” and hence a first session is just a beginning. There is no formula or fixed way of doing things at this stage and perhaps a “one step at a time” approach is a useful way of thinking about the process.
You may decide at the first appointment that you wish to return or you may feel that you need time to think about your next steps and your readiness to begin counselling. Again, both are fine. If you decide to return for subsequent sessions we will try and find a regular time and venue that suits us both. I will provide you with a contract that sets out our working arrangements (cancellation policy, fees, holidays etc) and we will begin meeting regularly. We may agree to work on an open-ended basis and see how things go, or agree to work provisionally for a limited time period, say 6-12 sessions. Do please call or email to arrange an initial conversation and I very much look forward to hearing from you.
BA (Hons) History & Philosophy
PG Dip. Law
Member of the British Association
for Counselling and Psychotherapy
The Eaves, Guildford
The Eaves, Godalming
I offer an introductory session for £30. Subsequent sessions are £45-£60
At the Eaves, Guildford
or Godalming, Surrey.