Susan has a Diploma in Counselling, and Certificate in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy. She is a registered member of the BACP (British Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy).
She has a background of working in the caring professions of Nursing and Careers Guidance and has worked as a counsellor in charitable organisations for several years.
I feel it is important to realise that for all of us, life will always hold ups and downs, good times and not so good times. It is how we view our life and how we cope with change, challenge and uncertainty that can really affect our quality of living and ability to feel confident, happy and fulfilled.
I feel very strongly that counselling can enable a client to find a way of dealing with life’s issues by creating a safe, confidential space to explore thoughts and feelings in order to find solutions, come to terms with difficult situations and grow and develop as an individual.
I feel that the relationship between counsellor and client should be unique and special and a real partnership. I hope to bring respect, empathy and careful, sensitive listening to my clients, without being judgemental. I aim to work alongside the person in order to help them move forward; to use honesty and challenge, in a gentle, sensitive way; to help them develop, grow and fulfil their individual potential; to nurture them and help them to find purpose and meaning in life.
I am trained as an Integrative counsellor, which means that I bring a variety of ideas and approaches from various counselling theories to my work, depending on the individual I am working with. For example, if relevant, we might work in a Person Centred way, use ideas from Transactional Analysis or techniques from CBT.
I attend regular training and look at new ideas in the counselling field in order to provide the best possible service to my clients.
When a client comes to me, initially, we will discuss what that person is looking for and hoping to achieve from counselling. We might spend time exploring their childhood and unpicking and unravelling strands from the past. However, the client might not wish to do this but want to concentrate on their adult life or perhaps on how things are just now for them. The approach we take will be very much tailored to the needs of the individual. I find that most often a variety of approaches are effective.
We might work over a shorter or longer period of time. Again, this is based on individual need and choice. It is difficult to predict what will be necessary as the counselling process grows and takes shape according to the specific needs and wishes of the client.
I work with female and male clients over the age of 18 – no upper age limit. I have worked with wide ranging issues including anxiety; depression; stress; anger; issues resulting from childhood abuse (physical, sexual, emotional, psychological); low self esteem; loss; bereavement; domestic abuse; addiction; shame and guilt; relationship issues; problems and unhappiness in the workplace; life changes such as illness, redundancy, retirement, divorce.
I will willingly look at any issues a client might be struggling with. Also, I feel that sometimes we don’t always know what is going on for us but have a general sense of dissatisfaction with life; things have become meaningless and we feel empty. We can work together to explore what is going on and try to change things round.
I really do believe that counselling can potentially change lives for the better, and have witnessed this both from a professional and personal point of view. Also I feel there is a ripple effect in that it isn’t only the client who benefits form the counselling but also family, friends and others connected to them.
I find people fascinating and am interested in what makes them tick. We are all unique and individual but I feel we have so much more in common than we sometimes imagine.
I feel able to offer my warmth, empathy, support, compassion, patience, sensitivity and kindness. It is a privilege to be trusted by clients and very rewarding to help them achieve change or whatever is needed to help them live the best life possible for them.