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I am a highly qualified, experienced and approachable Couples and Family Counsellor. I worked for RELATE for many years helping people to build strong foundations in their own relationships and to help couples and families to work through tough times and re-build a new relationship.

MA (distinct.) Relationship Therapy
BACP Accredited Therapist
U.K.C.P Independent Registered Psychotherapist
Post Graduate Diploma in Couples Therapy
Diploma Person Centred Therapy
Certificate Counselling Children/Adolescents - Relate & CMHC London
Certificate Family Counselling
EMDR Europe Accredited Practitioner
Clinical Supervisor BPS Reg.
Diploma in Sex Addiction, accredited by CPCAB

Blog Archive

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Are you in a controlling relationship?

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Traumatic Events and Recovery

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2nd Jun 2017

Any event that places your life or the lives of others at risk results in your body going into a state of heightened arousal. This is like an ‘emergency mode’ that involves a series of internal alarms being turned on. Emergency mode gives people the capacity to access a lot of energy in a short period of time to maximise the chance of survival, for example running away from the event.

Most people only stay in emergency mode for a short period of time or until the immediate threat has passed. However, being in emergency mode uses up vital energy supplies and this is why people often feel quite tired afterwards.

The normal healing and recovery process involves your body coming down out of a state of heightened arousal. In other words, your internal alarms turn off, the high levels of energy subside, and your body re-sets itself to a normal state of balance and equilibrium. Typically, this should occur within about one month of the event....if this doesn't happen then you should seek professional help.....I can help with this by using a technique called EMDR, please contact me on 07831 169635 for further information on how this can be successfully used.

Anxiety and Your Teenager

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15th Mar 2017

All children and young people get anxious at times, this is a normal part of their development as they grow up, and develop their ‘survival skills’ so they can face challenges in the wider world. In addition, we all have different levels of stress we can cope with - some young people are just naturally more anxious than others, and are quicker to get stressed or worried.

But if you think your child’s anxiety is getting in the way of their day to day life, slowing down their development, or having a significant effect on their schooling or relationships, it is best to try and help them tackle it.

The causes of anxiety can be complicated and it might not be one thing alone that is causing it.

We all have different levels of stress we are comfortable with. Being anxious or a ‘worrier’ can run in families - many parents whose children are anxious also remember being anxious in their own childhoods, and are keen to support their children so they don’t suffer in the same way. Personality type and temperament can also be a factor – some children are simply born more anxious or ‘nervous’ than others. So you might notice some of the following behaviors in your own child at times or most of the time......

Feeling scared, panicky, embarrassed or ashamed a lot of the time.
Not having the confidence to try new things, face challenges or even carry on as normal
Finding it hard to concentrate, or having problems with sleeping or eating.
Having angry outbursts where the person gets very angry very quickly and feels ‘out of control’.
Worries or negative thoughts going round and round the person’s head, or thinking that bad things are going to happen all the time.
If someone is very anxious they might feel they have to do or say certain things, or bad things will happen.

If you feel that any of the above is worrying you, your child or impacting on your family situation then contact me and let me help your child uncover the underlying cause of THEIR anxiety.

Teenagers and Family Battles

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11th Jan 2017

The teenage years can be a very difficult time for both the family and the teenager. The transition from childhood to adulthood is a hazardous journey that has to not only navigate hormones, body changes and developing identity, but also all the pressures that young people face these days, such things as exams, peer pressures, relationships and the social media.
This can create anxiety, confusion, depression, sadness and anger for some young people and for parents it is very distressing to see your teenagers struggle and seem overcome by the pressures and stresses of growing up. As hormones rage so can the battles at home which is unsettling for everyone. I can provide a space for the teenager and the family to help make some sense of what is happening.
I have worked in many high schools in the northwest and also for a leading northwest online counselling service for young people that covered many areas within the UK. I also offer this service in my private practice and if having read this you believe that I can be helpful for your family, please do get in touch with me and let me help your teenager to feel more understood and to regulate their own emotions in the face of a storm.

Power Manipulation

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17th Oct 2016

Power manipulation is the sabotage of your personal power in order to maintain a relationship. If you find yourself keeping hold of your personal power based on your own choices, decisions and strengths, this can disrupt and threaten your relationships with other people around you, even to a breaking point.
Their power to control and access you is threatened and they can fear they will lose you and instead of putting your interests at heart ahead of their own, they can try and drag you back down into the relationship they had known before with you. Whether they do this consciously or not is of little consequence to you as you listen and think for yourself.
So, have you heard those closest to you saying "you can't" because they will be threatened if you "can".
People who genuinely care for you will tell you the truth, even if you don't want to hear it BUT they will also find a way to help you to get what you want, even if it scares them for you to change. HOWEVER examine their motives and keep your eyes wide open - there is a specific mechanism that people use to infantise you: to treat you as a child, so that you will behave childlike to the authority of their power!!! does this sound familiar to you and your relationships...

Creating a life that you deserve

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5th Oct 2016

A life without color is a life without excitement and passion…it is a gray existence where you put one foot in front of the other and go through the motions without any emotions.
You spend all of your energy meeting expectations and doing jobs, you stop really living and start just existing.
When playing it safe is your only existence in life, it is your only purpose in life too, then there is no life and one must be found….no passion then you have sold yourself out. I know that within all of us there are passions that, if acknowledged and released, will excite and energise your experience of your own life.
In a passionless life, superficial needs substitute things that ought to matter. False goals like money, approval from others, collecting of objects will come to dominate your life and energy until you are trapped into an aimless existence.
Want to get out of this downward spiral and find out what you really want and who you really are, then contact me and together we can begin the process of putting you and your needs first.

Are YOU dating an emotional manipulator?

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8th Jul 2016

Emotional manipulators are experts in the craft of guilt-tripping. They have the ability to make you feel guilty either for not speaking up, for speaking up, for not showing enough emotion, for showing too much emotion, for not giving and/or caring enough, and for giving and/or caring too much. There are no lines that the emotional manipulator will not cross in order to put you in a guilt trip. This person will very rarely exhibit any real needs or desires he or she has. Instead, emotional manipulation is the game they play in order to get these needs and desires satisfied. Combined with guilt, sympathy is a very powerful tool to manipulate your emotions.
The emotional manipulator is excellent at playing the victim. They stir up your will to support, care, and nurture them. These individuals very rarely do their own dirty work, so to speak. They are able to make you do it for them and when you do (through indirect means) they will say that they never expected or wanted you to do anything at all. Do not worry, you are not losing your sanity! Make it abundantly clear to them that you are not going to do their dirty work, which can be said by saying “I am fully confident in your ability to work this out on your own.”
Does this sound as if this could be happening in your relationship - then let me help you break free from this pattern of behaviour.....

What Is a Codependent Relationship?

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8th Mar 2016

Do you find yourself making lots of sacrifices for your partner's happiness, but not getting much in return? If that kind of one-sided pattern sounds like yours, you don't have to feel trapped as it's a pattern of behaviour that is dependent on approval from someone else for your own self-worth and identity and this can be changed with the right help and support.
You can usually find that your own sense of purpose in life depends on you making extreme sacrifices to satisfy your partner's needs, this can often begin in childhood when children are often taught to put their own needs to one side to please a difficult parent, and it sets them up for a long-standing pattern of trying to get love and care from a difficult person.

Watch out for these signs that you might be in a co-dependent relationship:
• Unable to find satisfaction in your life outside of a specific person?
• Recognising unhealthy behaviors in your partner BUT stay with him or her in spite of them?
• Giving support to your partner at the cost of your own mental, emotional, and physical health?
• Have you been convinced that there is something fundamentally wrong with you?

If you need support in changing this pattern then contact me and I can offer that support....

Teenagers and Counselling

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11th Feb 2016

It can be tough being a teenager in today's society. Not only do they have to deal with normal teenage issues... the psychological and biological changes, but the temptations and choices and decisions they may have to face are vast and can be overwhelming.

As a teenager... Unexpected life events can suddenly happen which you don't understand and you may find difficult to cope with. This may lead to overwhelming feelings that you find difficult to understand or control and cannot make sense of, leaving you feeling lost, confused and that no one understands you. At other times nothing much may have changed in your life but you just feel unhappy - for no real reason.

For parents... This is a difficult and worrying time for you, to see your son/daughter go through this stage, wanting to help but feeling unable to reach them. You may see them stressed, depressed, acting out, or see their behaviour change; developing eating disorders, or become more aggressive or withdrawn as they try and manage their emotions.

Post Christmas Blues

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19th Jan 2016

It’s has been a while since I posted a new article on the blog section of my website (I have been extremely busy helping people to weather the storm of Christmas and the new year and all that these festivities brings!!!!) not all fun and laughter for some. Unfortunately, this time of year can leave memories that may not be all that we could have hoped.
Longstanding family issues between parents, siblings or other dysfunctional family relationships may have spoilt these gatherings for some or all members of the family – leading to hurt feelings after the holidays that are sometimes difficult to forget. If the damage has now already been done, now is the time to repair it, before hurt feelings are allowed to persist long past the festivities.
If this is where you find yourself either within your couple relationship, child relationship or family relationship then maybe now is a good time to address this.

Disagreements

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12th Oct 2015

What happens when two people in a relationship can't agree on anything? Well one purpose of communication is to determine what reality is!!!
Communication involves the collaboration of two people as they share and examine all of their perceptions, feelings, ideas and thoughts to come to an accurate understanding of what is happening.
Everyone knows that communication is simply a matter of talking and listening. However, most of us mistakenly believe that the matter of communicating is simple. We fail to realise that communication involves specific skills which can be learned and developed in ourselves in order to talk with and listen to our loved ones.
Step 1 Give up the need to be right!! YOU are not going into a battle that YOU have to win.
Step 2: Always remember to talk about YOU and what needs are not being meet for YOU... Not about others needs but about YOU. What need would you say is not being met for YOU in this relationship?
Step 3: How do YOU check out that what has been heard - is actually what has been said?
Step 4: A deeper awareness of each other eliminates many of the misconceptions, misinterpretations and miscommunications that go into creating confusion between couples
Learning how to communicate effectively can really turn a relationship around....