What can you expect?
Our First session
In our first session you can expect a comfortable, private room and a warm welcome. My priority is to listen to you as attentively and non-judgementally as I can about whatever your concerns are. Of course if you are in a crisis I would respect and stay with that. Otherwise we would include discussion about how we felt about working together and the practical arrangements of doing so.
In further sessions I will accompany you as you explore what’s important to you at any given moment. My genuine and ongoing attempt to understand how it is to be you, without judging or interpreting you as you describe your experience out loud (people often keep these thoughts and feelings unsaid) can be very helpful in helping you make sense of that experience.
Exploring, describing and clarifying
This process can be compared to you exploring the inside of a building and describing it to me on the phone as I stand outside. By looking at everything in there and describing it to me, it can become clearer to you and with greater clarity you can begin to act to make changes in your life. The interior of this building represents your inner life and it includes thoughts, feelings, ideas and behaviours which can often seem unconnected, vague, strange, frightening…
It is essential that I am able to stay with you and incomplete ideas or very distressing concerns as you explore. And it is better if I am closer – perhaps more like someone blind-folded but alongside in there with you as you explore – getting as clear a sense as possible of what it is to be in your shoes.
I do my best to create an environment in which you feel safe to say when you do not feel heard as well as when you do. In this way we can build the trust and openness which is necessary for you to feel able to explore your concerns with increasing freedom.
Specific issues & experience
I am committed to meeting unique individuals with unique concerns. However I do have particular experience of some areas which include those which can
be described as:
- People who have experienced trauma including childhood sexual, physical and psychological abuse
- People with concerns about their drink and drugs use
- People with relationship problems
- People who describe themselves as depressed
- Men in general
- People with problems to do with loneliness and isolation
- Un-named distress – when things feel wrong or painful but don’t yet have a name
Walk and talk
I have training (with The Wilderness Foundation) and experience of doing counselling work outdoors. In North London this means walking in the parks. Being outside can be liberating and grounding for some. It can help re-tune to our natural environment as well as to our own internal nature.
Working outside needs to begin indoors in the usual way. It is very important to agree about various issues such as what to do when someone speaks to us if we are outdoors and in the middle of some delicate counselling work. We also need to be able to work in my room for various reasons such as if the weather is not good for working outside.