Due to the risks associated with face to face contact and in line with Government advice, all sessions are currently conducted remotely on a video conferencing platform, via Zoom, by telephone or walk-and-talk therapy in an outside space. See below for further details.
WHAT IS COUNSELLING?
Counselling falls under the umbrella term ‘talking therapies’ and allows you to discuss your problems and any difficult feelings you encounter in a safe, confidential environment. Counselling can help when you are:
At a point of significant change, crisis or loss in your life
Looking to address difficulties that arise from past or present experience
Struggling to manage distressing thoughts and feelings
Experiencing conflict, challenges or communication difficulties in personal, familial or professional relationships
Seeking focus or direction or looking to enhance your general wellbeing
Using unhealthy coping mechanisms to help manage overwhelming thoughts or feelings
WELCOME TO MINDSIGHT COUNSELLING
My name is Alison, and I am a qualified and experienced BACP registered counsellor working with a person-centred focus. Seeking support can be daunting - but you have taken the courageous first step and I can offer you a calm, safe space and a warm, non-judgemental & empathic approach.
Stepping away from a focus on diagnoses and labels, we will work together, acknowledging you as an individual and exploring the impact that your own unique set of challenges and experiences has had on your ability to engage with and enjoy the world around you.
Through reflecting on your personal goals for therapy, we can work collaboratively to help you make sense of things, feel better and manage life's difficulties with more ease.
Contact me now to arrange a free 30 minute telephone consultation to discuss how we can work together
I am a Humanistic Integrative counsellor, incorporating elements of person centred, TA and Gestalt modalities (click here for more information about different types of therapeutic approaches).
All my work is underpinned by the principles of autonomy, collaboration, respect and embracing individuality. I understand that therapy is certainly not 'one-size-fits all' and that whilst some people may prefer to focus on talking therapy, for some a more structured approach appeals and others may prefer to incorporate some creativity and the use of therapeutic tools; I have a varied range of resources available should you wish to work in this way - but how we work will always be your choice.
As a counsellor, it is not my role to sit you down and tell you what to do. Instead, I offer an opportunity for you to explore your relationship with yourself, with others & with the wider world, drawing on your own internal strengths and resources to build your self-awareness & self-acceptance.
The time is yours and I trust your decisions and respect your choice to use it in the way that benefits you best.
THE COUNSELLING SPACE
The counselling space does not need to be a physical room - I believe that it is formed from the boundaries of the therapeutic relationship that we work together within. I am delighted to be able to offer you the choice of how you would like to work - within the counselling room, remotely via video or telephone, or walk and talk therapy. We can discuss your wishes during our initial consultation - it may be that you have a particular preference for one way of working, or I am happy to offer a hybrid service where we mix and match the space, dependant on your mood and needs in the particular session.
Counselling Room Sessions
I work from a private and purpose designed space at my home address; the room is detached from the main house, has its own entrance and is used exclusively for therapy. It offers a calm, comfortable and confidential setting with a peaceful vista across a secluded rear garden
Accessibility and Facilities
The room is on the ground floor and offers level access from street to room entrance
Private toilet and hand washing facilities are available on the premises
The environment has been designed to avoid sensory overload with soft lighting, neutral calming decor and a distraction and clutter free atmosphere; if you have any specific physical, sensory or environmental needs then I would be happy to discuss these with you
Whilst many people made the initial move to working via telephone or online during the lockdown period, many clients have really enjoyed the convenience that these platforms can offer whilst others have discovered a preference for the particular type of interpersonal interaction that they can facilitate. I offer telephone or video sessions, with video sessions being hosted on the Zoom video platform. I have undertaken an additional 80 hour training programme in Online and Telephone Counselling in order to offer this service safely and effectively. My preference is to work with Zoom as it offers an excellent level of security and privacy, and is very user friendly. No IT expertise is required to operate the platform, and I am happy to talk you through the initial set up if required. Please click here to access information regarding using Zoom for counselling sessions, and click here to access Zoom's privacy statement.
Walk and Talk Therapy
During walk and talk therapy the counselling session takes place outdoors walking side by side. You set the pace just like in a traditional indoor session, yet the dynamic can be fairly different. You and I are on the same footing, literally. Walking side by side can be much less intimidating and helps release inhibition. It can be taken as an introduction to counselling, followed up by a more formal type of therapy if you’re apprehensive about this, and can be an option to consider if you are seated all day for work and the idea of sitting yet again for a therapy session is preventing you from seeking counselling.
During our initial consultation, we will agree on what to do if the weather is bad. I am not deterred by a few drops of rain, but it is your call, and I offer the possibility of either calling off a session due to bad weather or conducting the session indoors. We will discuss the type of terrain that will be most suitable for you, and I will offer a choice of routes which have all been risk assessed in line with the requirements of my professional insurance.
We also discuss issues of confidentiality and how we will negotiate encountering other people when out walking. Seeing people walking and talking side by side is a very common sight, and a client and therapist walking side by side don’t look any different.
Walking outside might itself confront issues you would like to address such as a fear of open spaces or a fear of feeling judged for their appearance, and it may ease a return to engaging in social situations. We will walk, pause, sit on a bench, look at the view and engage with the environment to suit your mood and at your pace.
Contact me to arrange a free 30 minute consultation to further discuss these different options, and how they can work for you.
Inviting our thoughts and feelings into awareness allows us to learn from them rather than be driven by them