I am a counsellor and psychotherapist working in Coventry and offer help with a range of difficulties including depression, anxiety, trauma (including childhood traumas), OCD and self-esteem issues. Other areas of my work include therapy for bereavement issues and broader life difficulties. I have a private practice working at the Park Counselling Centre in central Coventry.
My background is in NHS mental health services, psychotherapy services and within the voluntary sector. I have been in practice for thirty years.
I currently work for the NHS as a psychotherapist and clinical supervisor. In this role, I provide supervision and training for both trainee and experienced psychotherapists. I also have a background of teaching in University psychotherapy programmes. I am an external examiner for postgraduate psychotherapy training at the University of Sussex and University of South Wales.
MA MSc Cert. Ed. BABCP (Accred.) MBACP (Reg)
If you have questions about the help you’re looking for, please browse the site and visit Frequently Asked Questions. Alternatively, please feel welcome to contact me directly. It is usual to have telephone or email enquiries and I’m always happy to explain how I work and what might be involved.
Therapy is usually a very positive experience, helping you to develop the skills and strategies you’ll need to manage what life brings your way. It aims to increase your resilience and strength of personality and to help you understand yourself better.
Therapy is about being ourselves and being comfortable in our humanity. It is a gentle conversation in a safe place.
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) is a talking therapy. It can help people who are experiencing a wide range of difficulties. How people think can affect how they feel and how they behave. This is the basis of CBT.
During times of mental distress, people often think differently about themselves and their worlds, seeing things through a negative or anxious filter. This can worsen how a person feels. They may inadvertently find themselves acting in ways that prolongs their distress.
CBT practitioners help each person identify and adapt their thinking styles and routine actions. In doing this, the result is often a major improvement in how a person feels and lives.
Research over the last thirty years has shown that CBT can be as effective as medication for reducing symptoms of depression, anxiety, fears, obsessions, and some health problems. It is usually more effective than medication in enabling people to stay healthy afterwards.
Therapy helps people become aware of and then adapt the thoughts and behaviours that can lie at the root of their problems. The overall aim is to help people to develop skills in managing their problems - in effect, to become their own therapist.
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Counselling offers you the opportunity to talk in confidence about any issues that are causing you concern. These might include difficulties related to bereavement, mental health issues, stress-related problems, employment issues, relationship difficulties and more general concerns around self-esteem and life fulfilment.
Although good CBT provides the same empathic and supportive relationship that is found in counselling, it will usually have a more obvious structure and has a stronger record of effectiveness for many of the problems people experience. In addition, the Health Service’s National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE) particularly recommends CBT as the treatment of choice for a range of anxiety and trauma related problems.
It is important to recognise, though, that some problems will be more suited to counselling than CBT. In addition, some people will find one style of working more comfortable than another. Everyone is different. In an initial meeting, we would discuss the way of working that feels best for you.
People meet with their therapist to develop an understanding of their problems. This is a shared knowledge. CBT and counselling encourage an equal relationship between therapist and client. You’re the expert on you. What the therapist brings is knowledge of how different problems get established and maintained and how you can begin to make changes.
CBT will mostly focus on current difficulties. Although it is possible that earlier experiences may have shaped the way you currently think and feel about a situation, the aim of CBT is to understand how this is having an effect now.
People will sometimes come to therapy because they feel stuck and see no way out of their difficulties. Therapy can offer a way to resolve these problems or find ways of managing the situations with less pain and struggle.
When problems have become entrenched, new ways of thinking and behaving need to be practised. Often, between-session activities are planned to help people test out their assumptions and develop confidence in new ways of handling their situations.
Following your contact, an initial meeting is arranged in which you will be able to say something about your problems and explore with me how I might be able to help. This is intended to be a relatively relaxed and friendly conversation in which both you and I can discuss your needs and decide how these might be addressed together.
It is possible that after the first session you decide not to continue any further. This would be completely reasonable and there would never be any pressure placed on you. If, however, we decide to continue working together then how many sessions we will have and what the meetings will involve will be agreed between us.
Sessions for individuals cost £60 for one hour, payable at the beginning of the session by cash, cheque or bank transfer.
Company referrals are managed differently and can involve a higher fee as there is usually additional administration involved.
This varies from person to person. However, you will normally be offered up to 15 sessions of CBT although if the problems are longstanding, a longer therapy may be necessary.
Usually the first session includes a conversation about your current problems. At the end of the first session, it is generally possible to agree a plan for the therapy and for us to have an idea of how many sessions will be needed.
Therapy rooms are located in Coventry a short distance from the city centre at the Park Counselling Centre http://www.parkcounsellingcentre.co.uk/
I am unable to offer an emergency service. If you are feeling your difficulties are urgent and cannot wait, the best source of help is your GP including their out of hours service. You may also access urgent care by contacting your local A&E service.
In addition to these, the Samaritans or Mental Health Matters telephone services are available (details below).
Telephone: 116123 (free to call anytime day or night)
Mental Health Matters (Coventry & Warwickshire)
Telephone: 0800 616171 (free to call anytime day of night) or 0300 330 5487 free from mobiles
Finally, your local, non-urgent NHS service: Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) is a free service that you can access through your GP or by contacting the IAPT Service directly
Telephone: 02476 671090
All those wishing to practice as counsellors or therapist are rightly expected to maintain the highest standards of conduct and professionalism. These standards are enshrined in the codes of ethics of the major counselling, psychotherapy and psychology organisations.
I am an accredited member of the British Association of Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapists and a registered member of the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy. Based on the codes of ethics of these organisations I have established clear standards for my work.
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There is a contract I use that includes basic details of how I work, confidentiality, level of fees and data protection.
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