What is counselling?
It’s a safe confidential space to talk about whatever is troubling you. As a counsellor I listen and help you make sense of what is going on for you.
Sometimes I might teach you some self help techniques or explain some theories to you to help you understand your thoughts and feelings better.
It’s not always “fluffy” sometimes I will challenge you to think about things in a different way or encourage you to face up to things you might be avoiding.- this can be painful but you are always in control and I support you throughout.
Why would I come for counselling?
Friends and family are a great source of support but sometimes it’s really helpful to talk to a professional because there are things you don’t feel able to share with those close to you.
You worry about being a burden or being judged
They might push their own agenda on to you (for example if you are trying to make a decision about something important that will also impact them)
Family and friends might “take sides” and you might worry this might cause disharmony or disagreements
Sometimes close relationships can be part the problem that is getting you down and you need someone neutral to help you make sense of things
A set time and space to talk about whatever is troubling you. It’s space set aside just for you. Sometimes it’s helpful when things are getting overwhelming to know you have an appointment coming up
A no judgement space
Is it confidential?
Yes counselling is confidential. I will not disclose anything you tell me except in very exceptional circumstances. For example if a life is in danger or if there is serious crime.
As a counsellor I follow the BACP code of ethics and confidentiality is never broken lightly.
What problems can counselling help with?
Counselling can help with many emotional and psychological problems. For example:
- lack of confidence or self esteem
- feelings of overwhelm
- lack of sense of belonging
- sense of purpose
- chronic pain
- relationship issues and break ups
- significant life changes
If you aren’t sure if it’s right for you I offer a free 20 minute phone consultation click to contact to help you decide if you would like to go ahead.
If I am not able to help you or we aren’t a good fit (this happens – for example you may need a counsellor with a different style or with specific expertise in a certain issue) then I will do my best to refer you on to someone more suitable for you.
What approach do I use?
Counsellors use different approaches to help clients. I use two main ones, Person Centred and CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy)
Person Centred Counselling
My main approach is person centred counselling. This means I use counselling skills to help you make sense of your life and find your own answers to your problems. Some of the main things we practice are called “the core conditions”. Three of them are
empathy – this means I really try to understand how you feel and see things from your point of view. Many people feel misunderstood or unheard and empathy is about really understanding a person and hearing them
unconditional positive regard – this is so much more than just being non judgemental. It’s about seeing a person as valuable and worthy even if they have done “bad” things or don’t feel worthy themselves
congruence – this is very hard to describe but it’s about being open and honest with no masks or deception. Oftentimes we wear a mask and pretend to be OK when we are not (and sometimes that’s appropriate – you aren’t going to tell the person on the checkout everything about how you feel) or we feel unable to express what we are really feeling. Congruence is about being real and open and in a counselling relationship it’s really important.
Sometimes just being heard, understood and valued can help bring about massive change.
CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy)
I also use CBT (cognitive behavioural therapy). This is a practical solution focused way of teaching you coping skills and strategies. In CBT we believe that thoughts cause feelings and behaviour and many of us have negative automatic thoughts that influence how we feel and act. In CBT we learn to identify and challenge those unhelpful thoughts which in turn improves mood and helps you take action.
For example a person with social anxiety might have negative thoughts about interacting with others. They go to a social event and feel nervous and act withdrawn. Because they act withdrawn they don’t speak to people and then the idea they can’t speak to people gets reinforced. CBT would help them identify those thoughts and challenge them and give them more confidence in events in future.
Is it like coaching?
No. A coach is an expert in a certain area like health or business and their clients come to them for advice in the coaches’ area of expertise. This is perfect if you need specific focused advice in a set area. In counselling it’s more about giving you space to work through your thoughts and feelings rather than giving you advice.
How do I book in?
If you are ready to go ahead just click schedule appointment and book yourself in at a time to suit youself. I offer appointments either face to face or online.
If you aren’t sure if counselling is right for you I offer a free 20 minute phone consultation for you to get a feel of how I work and if we are a good fit. If you would like this please contact me and I will get back to you within one working day (please do not use contact form if you need emergency help) Sessions can be either face to face at my office in Birkenhead, Wirral or on zoom or telephone, whichever you prefer.
How many sessions do I need?
This depends on the issue. As a general starting point many people go for 6 sessions and come once a week. However you do not need to sign up for a set number of sessions and can leave counselling at any time.
What if I need help in an emergency?
If you feel unable to cope or are struggling with suicidal thoughts or self harm please contact Samaritans. Or there is a drop in mental health cafe open daily 1pm to 10pm in Hamilton square Birkenhead – which is staffed by mental health professionals who can offer support to anyone in a mental health crisis.
My name is Anna and I have been working as a massage therapist for 6 years with a specialism in chronic pain and oncology (cancer) massage. 4 years ago I decided to embark on counselling training as I could see so many of my clients needed emotional support to help them with their chronic pain and illness. I also work part time in GP surgery supporting clients with a wide variety of issues. I believe everyone has the right to feel valued and worthy no matter their body shape or size, sexuality, race, gender or income.
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