Welcome to my Mid Sussex Counselling PracticeThank you for visiting my website. I am an experienced accredited counsellor based in Burgess Hill, well located for Haywards Heath, Hassocks and the surrounding villages. I run my practice from my private office in a quiet, peaceful area with its own parking.
After reading further, if you have any questions, or to arrange an initial appointment, please contact me by phone on 07851 732 134 or by email.
Do have a look at the column to the left of this page, and if any of the headings there are of interest to you, just click on them to move around the various pages of my website.
If you are new to counselling and would like a free half hour telephone consultation, please click here to arrange this.
For those unable to attend counselling at my office, home visits may be possible.
I work mainly on weekdays until early evening.
What I doI work with adults of all ages. My therapist training is integrative, which means I draw from a number of counselling models, adapting my approach to best fit each individual. I find that many people are looking for support with change, relationship difficulties, anxiety, low mood, depression, loss and bereavement.
My counselling practice is broad; areas of my experience include, though are not confined to:
- Alcohol dependency
- Compulsive overeating disorders
- Lack of life fulfillment and meaning
- Low mood, negativity
- Relationship difficulties
- Self esteem issues
- Workplace issues
What I Do - A Closer Look
Certainty makes us feel safe and secure. Change on the other hand involves making choices which we can find disturbing, and often there is an over-attachment to old familiar types of emotions, habits and and mindsets that keep people feeling stuck and powerless. As a result we can hold onto ways of thinking and behaving that no longer serve us, better the devil you know type of thing. The work often involves helping people disentangle themselves from these patterns, gain awareness and insight into their world and their reactions to it, creating a more flexible, emotionally grounded and resilient response to life that helps generate wellbeing and healthy positive change.
Anxiety is a common issue that people bring to counselling. My approach includes looking at the purpose of anxiety, and tailoring ways to manage it according to each individual.
I see depression as a kind of withdrawal from the full flow of life, often during a time of personal vulnerability, and the work includes gradually exploring ways to strengthen the internal resources needed to eventually rejoin that flow once more. At times, some people, in collaboration with their GP, take anti-depressant medication to enable them to function at an acceptable level.
One area of change common to us all is sickness, death and loss of the loved. I held a voluntary post as a bereavement and patient counsellor at a local hospice for six years. When a loved one dies, our world can feel alien and lacking in purpose, as though we don't fit any more. Grief is a very individual experience and can be extremely painful; part of the work of therapy often is to reassure and validate what is happening; also to give support as people gradually take steps to reintegrate themselves into the mainstream of life again.
Some people are seeking support with something they can't stop doing that is negatively impacting their quality of life. For two years I worked with people with drug and alcohol difficulties based at a GP surgery. By far, alcohol was the most common drug of choice, and the majority of people suffering from this dependency worked and functioned well on the surface, keeping their difficult attachment to alcohol fairly well hidden. At times, family members, affected by their loved one's struggles, seek counselling too.
I work with adults who compulsively overeat. The catalyst to my counselling career was a voluntary post with a national eating disorders charity; I went on to train with the National Centre for Eating Disorders and more recently I have taken further training in the area of obesity. People who are overweight or obese, who also have an eating disorder, would benefit from working with the disorder first of all, and once the relationship with food is under control, weight loss can be treated. When you first contact me, I ask that you complete and return to me a questionnaire and a week's worth of food diaries, which gives me a brief overview of the situation. We then meet to discuss the paperwork and hopefully give you some sense of what is happening to you. If we decide to continue to work together for a while, regular once weekly appointments lasting for 60 minutes follow. You can expect to complete regular homeworks and continue to complete food diaries. The work is on a parallel track, the behavioural track taking precedence in the early weeks, with the psychological track becoming more pronounced over time. If you have an issue with alcohol, then I suggest you deal with that issue first.
Is Counselling for you?The fact that you are looking through a Counselling website suggests you are experiencing some kind of difficulty in your life at the moment. Perhaps your dis-ease is hard to define; or maybe you are reacting to specific events. Relationships, getting along with others can sometimes be challenging, and stress, anxiety and depression are frequent reasons why people seek therapy. Some questions that people often ask at the enquiry stage are to be found on the Fees and Other Questions page.
There are so many different schools of therapy out there. You will find plenty of information about this online. It is also important to pay attention to the feelings that arise in you when searching for and making contact with counsellors, as the relationship between the two of you is a central ingredient in a successful outcome.
For those of you who are completely new to counselling, I suggest you view it as good housekeeping for your life, a support for a period of time. Sessions are highly confidential, the relationship between counsellor and client is private and professional, and when the work is done, the relationship ends. Please consider whether now is the right time for you to start counselling. Realistically, do you have the time, money and focus required to commit to regular weekly therapy, or is therapy going to be yet one more thing that you have to squeeze into your busy week? Accessing counselling at the wrong time can feel like a burden and hold you back from a successful outcome.
You may find it useful to have a look at accessible on-line organisations and websites offering information and support displayed on the Useful Links page. For example, there is Grandparents Plus, www.grandparentsplus.org.uk, a charitable organisation providing advice and support to kinship carers. Kinship care refers to situations where a relative or friend steps in to raise a child; about half of those carers are grandparents. Experienced advisers help kinship carers with their questions on benefits, employment, housing, education, grand applications, and they also offer a compassionate listening ear.
If you find you have a lot of unstructured time on your hands, and feel the need for some extra focus and purpose to your day, you may like to visit your local Citizens Advice Bureau, www.citizensadvice.org.uk. This service, as well as helping people resolve their legal, money and other problems, also has a wide list of organisations in your area looking for volunteers to support their good work.
Some of you may be considering whether to stop smoking for the first time, or you are about to start another attempt to stop. The NHS are offering an app to help you with your struggles in this regard. The app is called Smokefree, and it provides daily support and motivation. They say that if you stay smoke free for the 4-week programme you are up to 5 times more likely to quit for good.