I've been counselling in Exeter for 10 years now. I run a successful private practice located on Southernhay East, in the heart of Exeter. I work with adults, couples and young people from the age of 16. I am a fully qualified and insured Intergrative counsellor. I also have experience working for a domestic violence charity in Exeter as well as work in secondary schools and most recently as a lecturer for the University of Worcester.
I love to laugh and find that humour can be really helpful in therapy.
I am a big fan of nature, I love festivals and have a beautiful labrador called Star. I regularly practice yoga and meditation and enjoy the space and peace these things bring to my life.
I feel passionate about working in a professional, safe and ethical way whilst being warm and human.
I will always strive to create an atmosphere where you feel safe, supported and free to just be you, without fear of judgement. I believe very much in the power of healthy and robust relationships and this is one of the things I think is most valuable about counselling. I promote openess and equality with each of my clients. I am me and you are you, different and equal in the same measure.
I'm real, mindful and speak my mind whilst being gentle and compassionate.
My approach to counselling
I offer a modern approach to counselling and maintain a strong professional ethos which respects the ethical principles set out within the BACP Ethical Framework.
As an Integrative Counsellor I have been trained to select a small handful of different theoretical approaches to develop my own distinct way of working. The approaches I have chosen mirror my own personality and allow for me to work to my strengths. I believe in working with the whole person, this includes your emotions, thinking, beliefs, family, life situation etc. I will adapt the use of these methods depending on you and your needs.
Fundamentally my work is based on Humanistic principles which means I will allow you to lead the way and to express yourself without judgement or criticism from me. This provides a space for personal growth through self reflection. I will do this by showing empathy and understanding, by being honest with you and by accepting you for who you are. I will not give you advice or tell you what you should or shouldn't do, I believe there is far more value in helping you decide things for yourself. You are the expert of you!
I love to work very creatively and it's important for me to follow my instincts and to help you to follow yours. There is no one way to do therapy! Creative work can range from using a tray full of sand to create a 3 dimentional version of the area we're working on, to role playing family dynamics using the imagination. The sky really is the limit. I tend to find that creative work can create a lot of depth to the work in a very short space of time and is a valuable tool I have available to use.
I often use a Psychodynamic approach which is about looking at a persons younger years and how they impact you in the present day. It looks at bringing the unconscious mind into the conscious, helping you to understand and uncover what's really going on for you behind the scenes. This helps develop a much deeper level of self awareness. It also looks at any unconscious patterns or behaviours that might be going on between client and counsellor usually as a result of previous life experiences.
I also draw on Mindfulness Based Cognative Therapy (MBCT). This is a practice of being aware of ones thoughts and reactions to the world around them and if necessary, challenging their validity. It's amazing how many problems can be solved by challenging the thinking behind them. MBCT is also about being in the present moment and learning to focus attention in the body and away from the mind. MBCT involves the regular use of grounding, breathing and gathering excercises. Underpinning this approach is the development of compassion toward yourself and others.
Very close to my heart we also have Transpersonal Psychotherapy. Trans -personal means to "go beyond the personal". This is about becoming aware a deeper sense of connection to all that exists beyond your 'self'. It's about moving outside of your own ego and connecting to a higher state of awareness. Some methods I may use are:
Guided Imagery / Meditation / Body Awareness / Breath Work / Inner Child Healing / Developing the imagination and intuition / Creative Art Work. This approach can help you to value your true worth, to find a connection to something bigger than yourself.
It's worth noting that I will not use all of these approaches with each client. I will use what feels appropriate and most useful. Any kind of exercise or activity is strictly by invitation only - you will never have to do anything you dont want to.
Here are some of the tools I sometimes use in creative work... Who ever said therapy couldn't be fun =)
Training and Qualifications
2021 - Bachelor of Arts with Honours in Integrative Counselling. University of Worcester
2017 - Post Qualifying Diploma in Creative Arts Therapy. The Iron Mill Institute, Exeter.
2015 - Certificate in Counselling Couples/Relationships. Exeter & East Devon Counselling Training.
2014 - Qualified as a Thrive Practitioner. Babcock International.
2013 - Advanced Diploma in Intergrative Counselling. The Iron Mill Institute, Exeter.
2008 - Counselling Studies Level 3. North Cornwall Adult Aducation.
I am a registered member of the British Association for Counselling & Psychotherapy (MBACP) and abide by their code of ethics. My membership number is 716535.