how I work

I offer 3 ways of working with clients. Each has pros and cons for different people so I urge you to read about these options below. We will also undergo an assessment together before deciding whether to go ahead, with the aim of finding the right approach for you.

1 Indoors – I see individuals and couples in a large room where where viral transmission is far less likely than a traditional counselling room. Read about these precautions here.

2 Outdoors – working in natural surroundings is is an effective way to work which requires a different approach from therapist and client. Read more about his here. I am not currently seeing couples for outdoor therapy.

3 Online/telephone – for those who cannot meet face to face due to geographical distance or health/covid transmission precautions. Read more here

With all of these, I offer personalised therapy/counselling, usually weekly, until we mutually agree to finish. Endings should be discussed and agreed. Breaks, cancellations etc are discouraged except where unavoidable or pre-arranged.

Late cancellations are charged for. Please give 48 hours notice.

I also work for a Greater Manchester charity which specialises in working with people with autistic spectrum conditions and learning disabilities or their parents, carers and siblings. See Respect for All

I also lead workshops and support groups on specific topics such as grief or Men’s issues. See The Human Cry

My approach is sensitive, non-judgemental and active. We need to work together to form a good therapeutic relationship. We have to explore, to find a therapy that works for you; partly through talking and often through other means. My background is in creative and expressive arts so I am happy to go beyond or around words to help us find what needs to be shared. (I have written various entries to show some of the ways I work, see faq posts )

In brief: I use an Integrative method which aims to bring together or integrate parts of you that are in conflict. (e.g. a devil and an angel on either shoulder, the inner child, the internalised parent…etc. these are parts of your psyche.) It also requires that you be active and involved in exploring your issues. Therapy is not a magic pill or cure that is done to you. It requires your full presence and involvement, it is a process of knowing oneself and of using support to move safely towards change.

I am aware that to some people these statements can sound like jargon so please feel free to contact me with questions or to ask for clarification. I will try to answer promptly and clearly.

Therapy usually follows this kind of format:

  • Getting to know each other and hearing about you.
  • Establishing goals, objectives, direction of travel etc sometimes described as contracting.
  • Working together on agreed issues.
  • Adding to or adjusting the contract to deal with what comes up.
  • Working towards and end. This may include plans for staying safe in the future, tools for coping or referrals onward.
  • Closing session(s).

We may spend time:

  • Examining patterns that you want to change.
  • Observing your physical sensations as well as your feelings and behaviour.
  • Reflecting on your behaviour and thought patterns in stressful situations.
  • Experimenting with different ways/responses/behaviours etc.
  • Safely exploring how your life could be different.

Our conversation could also include: (if appropriate)

  • Playing – exploring issues visually, by using objects, creating maps models or schema,…
  • Writing – either looking at writings you bring to sessions or by short writing exercises.
  • Moving – the body holds our feelings and the body has it’s own language.
  • Body awareness – exploring posture, physical tone and habitual movements can open new ways of understanding.
  • Voice work – using the voice to explore the feelings and body sensations.
  • Role play – understanding relationships through embodiment often helps to unravel complexities.

These approaches can help us to:

  • Gain a new perspectives.
  • Observe ingrained patterns.
  • Try out new ways of being.
  • Communicate on a deeper level.
  • Access repressed feelings.
  • Access the subconscious.