I offer a safe and compassionate transitional relationship, supporting you to find more self-compassion and develop healthy relationships with other people. which are fundamental to mental and emotional well-being.
The relationship that we create together can help you to understand how unhelpful (although originally useful) patterns of relating to ourselves and others endure in the present. This unique relationship can offer a world of possibilities for different ways of being in the world.
Informed by up-to date neuroscience, I offer a safe relationship to work with trauma, (both complex developmental trauma and trauma from specific events) which would slowly, very gently invite you to tune in to the feedback you receive from your body (nervous system) so allowing you to better manage symptoms of trauma.
I integrate several complementary psychological theories into my work. I have a particular interest in Gestalt Therapy, Transactional Analysis, Existential Therapy and Object Relations Theory. Mindfulness theory and practices feature centrally in my approach. I also draw on motivational interviewing and coaching skills to support change.
My style is personable and open. I draw on a range of creative approaches to tap into our immense innate capacity to grow, make meaning, express our humanity and adapt to life's challenges. Therapy can be painful, cathartic, funny, awkward, joyous, exciting and I am hope to meet clients in the full range of emotional states.
I would hope that we can draw our work to an end at a point when you feel that you enjoy greater self-awareness, compassion, autonomy and freedom, and where you are supported by improved relationships with other people.
I provide a holding space for you to explore current challenges in your relationship within the context of your background stories. Whilst the issues leading you to seek therapy might be clear, (such as breakdown of trust, loss of intimacy, sexual incompatibility, infidelity, growing resentment and frustration) I find that over time, couples will tend towards exploring current impasses in the context of their histories, life traumas and difficulties. I encourage this enquiry to help you to understand how your relational needs may not be being met.
I am committed to maintaining a neutral stance which supports both individuals involved. I will encourage you to talk to one another, as honestly and openly as you can about your experiences of the relationship and to express your needs and wishes, with confidence, that I will enable you to be heard by the other. I will help you to observe and understand the patterns of relating to one another, and identify where you get stuck and how.
I trained in couples therapy with David Slattery, whose concept of relational trauma states helps to understand how relationships can get stuck in painful patterns, often for long periods of time (link). My interest will be in exploring how these states come to obscure love and intimacy between you.
In some instances, it can become clear to you and your partner that the relationship needs to come to an end. In these circumstances, sessions can help to facilitate a separation which is as painless as possible.
And you don’t have to be in crisis to come for couples therapy. It can be an enormously positive step to engage in a facilitated conversation during difficult transitions and decisions, not because you are struggling but because you want to get more from your shared life together. When a couple is deciding on parenthood, marriage, or considering retirement can be rich with opportunities to deepen your understanding and connection.
My Background and Training
I decided to train as a counsellor in 2007 after a chance meeting with a suicidal man who wanted to talk. I was deeply moved by the encounter and starting exploring training options. I had previously worked in poverty alleviation, community development and human rights work in the UK, Africa and Central America and had been gravitating towards the psychological dimensions in this work so it also felt like a logical transition.
I obtained a certificate in counselling from the University of West of England in 2009. I subsequently trained in Group Analysis with the Institute of Group Analysis. I later decided to train as a psychotherapist because I believe that the depth of training involved is essential to support people effectively and at depth.
I have completed an Advanced Postgraduate Diploma in Integrative Psychotherapy from the Welsh Psychotherapy Partnership and have obtained full clinical accreditation with UKCP. I have completed a certificate in couples counselling with Relational Psychotherapy
Since 2007 I have worked as a trainer on group psycho-education courses using Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, a motivational interviewer on a trail run by Cardiff University and as a mental health mentor for students at Swansea University. I have completed placements in Swansea University Wellbeing Services and NHS Primary Care Psychological Therapies team in Swansea.