All of us worry or feel stressed at some point in our lives but sometimes these feelings become more persistent and overwhelming. They may be to do with specific circumstances, such a performance at work, or social situations, or concerns about your health. Sometimes you may have a more general feeling of worry and a sense of being overwhelmed by your life that does not seem to be related to a specific circumstance. I can help you to discover what underlies your feelings of anxiety and to learn ways of managing your feelings for a better quality of life.
I am experienced working with people experiencing severe anxiety, including panic attacks, often with diagnosis of Generalised Anxiety Disorder (GAD), Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD), Health Anxiety and others.
Depression is more than a general feeling of sadness when life does not go your way. It is when you feel empty or very low for long periods of time. Being depressed affects many aspects of your life and can leave you struggling to do everyday activities such as eating, going to work, or bathing. Depression can alter your thinking patterns and in
some cases it can lead people to thinking about taking their own lives. If you are feeling like this it can be useful to talk with a counsellor / psychotherapist.
If you are thinking about taking your own life or struggling with feelings that mean you need to talk with someone right away, you can ring the Samaritans helpline at no cost, 24 hours a day, on 116 123.
Self-esteem, including shame
Do you get stuck in self-judgment, feeling that you are a ‘bad’ person and that nothing you ever do is good enough? Perhaps you feel a deep sense of self-disgust and think that if others could only see the real you they would recoil from you. Sometimes we all lose sight of what is lovely and unique in each of us and we struggle to forgive ourselves for how we have lived, felt and behaved. Sometimes if we have been abused or mistreated by others our sense of self will have been damaged and it can be hard to practice self-compassion. I can work with you to understand the negative ideas you have about yourself to repair and create new ways of living.
I also have experience working with people who have been sexually abused (as well as with their non-abusing family members) who very often struggle with deep feelings of shame.
Everyone grieves differently depending upon the type of relationship they have had with whoever it is who has died. The death of someone who has been part of our lives can bring feelings of grief, mourning, anger and uncertainty. Sometimes a death can make us feel more strongly about other aspects of our lives that we thought were more
settled. It is natural that such feelings are strongest in the first weeks after someone has died but if you find that your feelings are persisting or getting stronger, it could be useful for you to seek support. You may also find yourself grieving the death of an animal that has been your companion and I can support you after this type of loss.
I am a trained bereavement counsellor with years of experience working in different settings including in a hospice. I also used to edit the journal Bereavement Care on behalf of Cruse Bereavement Care.
We all have relationships with others whatever our life circumstances. Our feelings about how we relate and our ability to be intimate are important to our quality of life. Sometimes we bring old patterns of behaviour to new relationships and these can negatively affect how we communicate. Perhaps you feel you are unable to be your real self with others. If your ways of relating are getting in the way of relationships with others I can help you to create new ways of finding the closeness you desire. If you are in a relationship that is ending or which you feel is damaging for you, I can support you in moving forward and resolving the difficult feelings associated with this.
Loss and transitional times
There are many different stages to our lives and just as we think we are settled things change. People move away, we get older, children leave home, friendships become less close – all of these types of changes can be difficult to cope with. Life doesn’t ask permission before it throws challenges at us and we need to find the resources to meet them so as to keep on living as well as we can. If you need support in finding ways to get through a loss or to navigate through a transitional period, I can help you.
Long term health conditions
The challenges of living with a long term health condition can be intense. It is not easy to live well in the midst of pain or the lifestyle changes and medical treatments that some conditions demand of us. I can support you to achieve the qualitiy of life you wish if you are struggling to cope with a condition you're living with such as cancer, diabetes, ME, COPD, multiple sclerosis, coeliac disease, skin conditions and disfigurements.
I have particular experience of working with people with cancer. I am a trained facilitator and assessor for MacMillan’s HOPE and I was formally a group facilitator for Breast Cancer Care. I am a counsellor / psychotherapist at a Paul's Cancer Support Centre in London.
End of life
Living with an incurable condition or disease that will shorten your life is difficult and it can become even more challenging when you begin to know that you are entering your last months of life. Everyone faces the prospect of his or her own death differently and there is no right way to do this. Support can be useful to help you resolve issues that are troubling you before you die and in managing the strong feelings of yourself and others. I can support you in thinking about how you talk with others about your death and in thinking in advance about your final care. I can offer you the time and space to figure out what is most important for you in how you want to spend the final stage of your life.
Trauma, including complex trauma
Trauma is a description for the way your mind and body can react to an unexpected, very distressing event (or a succession of seemingly small events) over which you had no control. You might feel disconnected from others, as if you have lost your belief and trust in the world, with strong feelings of vulnerability. Other symptoms can include insomnia, flashbacks, unexplained aches and pains and anxiety. If you are finding that you are struggling in your everyday life I can support you in working through your trauma.
I am a qualified EMDR therapist and can offer this specialist therapy which will help you to unfreeze your traumatic memories and to resolve the feelings, images and bodily sensations association with your trauma.
As part of my work for Cruse Bereavement Care I supported people traumatised by disasters such as Grenfell and the terrorist attacks in London Bridge and Tunisia.