COVID - 19 UPDATE
I am currently providing all counselling sessions via phone & video link.
Be in touch if I can support you during these uncertain times, with flexible rates & sessions available to NHS staff, Key Workers and Income difficulty.
See below and view my BLOG for updates and Strategies to help during this time.
WHY A BALL OF WOOL?
I've selected a ball of wool as my logo because sometimes we might feel like we want to curl up into a ball and hide away from prying eyes. Sometimes there may be a part of us that feels we are being pulled or tugged in a direction that doesn't feel comfortable and we could begin to unravel. The different colours symbolise our changing moods.
When the above happens, it can be comforting to know someone is available to help support us. Someone who will listen without judging, offer their views with no hidden agenda and most importantly has the ability to allow you to be yourself no matter if that self wishes to cry, laugh,be angry or sad, sit in silence or rant.
We all have times in our life when things become overly stressful and often we manage and cope, though on occasion there can be too many things weighing down on us, our coping strategies cease to work and this is when life becomes heavy and everything starts to race out of control. The smallest thing turns into a massive issue and we may even think we are going mad! It can feel a frightening and lonely with no way out of the tailspin.
Choosing a therapist that you feel comfortable with and who has the expertise to help with your concerns is an important decision.
I am a Senior Accredited member of the National Counselling Society and also an Accredited member of the British Infertility Counselling Association and have been working within the counselling profession almost 20 years as an Integrative therapist. This means I use elements from different schools of Psychotherapy to best support the personalities of my clients. I divide my time between the voluntary sector and private practice and some of the venues where I have worked include GP surgeries, Clinics, Hospices, Church halls, Primary & Secondary Schools, Offices and people’s homes. I have experience working with adults, teenagers and children from a diverse range of cultural backgrounds in both 1:1 and group settings.
MY AREAS OF WORK
IN/FERTILITY, DONORS, PREGNANCY DIFFICULTY/LOSS & CHILDLESSNESS
I trained with BICA (British Infertility Counselling Association) and help coordinate regional meet-ups for them and write for a number of publications & journals. In addition I provide independent and impartial counselling support to various clinics, consultants and networks, including the Donor Conception Network.
I support patients using any fertility clinic or service and have worked directly within the counselling departments at Fertility for all, Gennet City Fertility, Fertility in Community, Harley Street Fertility, Andrology Solutions, London Women's Clinic , The Bridge Clinic, British Pregnancy Advisory Service Fertility Clinic, The London Sperm Bank and The London Egg Bank. I offer private counselling to explore the implications and to support you through all stages of your journey, which can be an exhausting and confusing time.
If you are male, female, or non binary, single or in a relationship and have received a shocking diagnosis and/or considering Fertility treatment of any kind in the UK or overseas (inc IVF, IUI, egg freezing, using donor sperm/eggs or a surrogate) or thinking of becoming an egg or sperm donor or surrogate yourself please be in touch.
Donors, if you have been asked to be a known donor or have already donated outside of a clinic setting, be in touch if you wish to discuss the implications around this. Also if something has now come up for you after some time has passed and is weighing on you.
We can discuss the questions you have and also legal elements around anonymity including if/when and how to tell, if this is relevant to you.
I am very aware that men and women cope differently with many things in life, though especially with Assisted Conception and how the thoughts going round in your head, relevant to the treatment cycle you are going through sometimes require an outlet.
The impact of not being able to fall pregnant, pregnancy loss and miscarriage (a single time or multiple) and being childless (not through choice) can be isolating and reverberate through all aspects of your life. It can also bring up many previous losses, traumas and create feelings of shame or guilt or envy as well as many others (anger/sadness/loss). It can also come out of nowhere! Please be in touch and we can sensitively explore what the situation you currently find your self in means to you and the effect it is having on your life. We will work together to try and reconcile, develop strategies and find a way in order for you to move forward with this loss in your life, both for men and women, singles or couples and also for parents who may be suffering watching their children struggle through infertility.
A message to men struggling with your own diagnosis including male infertility of any kind/for any reason. If you are finding it difficult to know how best to support yourself or your partner, I work with many men trying to make sense of what this might mean for them/their partners (along with impact it may have on other relationships/friendships/family/work). Having an outlet can be really helpful to get some practical support and to safety offload any fears, worries, stresses that may be building up or emerging.
GRIEF AND LOSS
I work with clients through many different situations and specialise in grief and loss, which encompasses bereavement (single or multiple), miscarriage/pregnancy losss, separation, divorce, loss of job or career, loss of hope, motivation and confidence, serious illness, loss of health or limbs, and infertility/childlessness.
When grief hits, it can feel like your world has come to a standstill and no one understands. You may feel like a burden and not want to be around people and when around others you possibly wear a mask to disguise your true feelings. Some people I speak with also find it difficult to grieve what's not materialised (i.e pregnancy loss), thinking it's not appropriate. It is and it's powerful.
Themes that tend to emerge through grief work include change and transition, identity, anger/stress and anxiety, guilt, self esteem and worth, confidence, relationship difficulties, depression and seeking/discovering ways in which to live within a changed future and new beginning.
TRAUMA & PTSD
I am trained in the REWIND Technique and studied this under the guidance of the founder at the International Association for Rewind Trauma Therapy. The technique delivers very swift results in eradicating nightmares, flashbacks, anxiety and panic which are involuntarily recalled due to triggers after a traumatic event such as an accident, attack, near death experience, abuse, witnessing of a tragedy, natural disaster, bereavement and other events that may have left a lasting effect that you cannot shake of or escape from.
This is different to counselling as it is a non disclosure method of therapy which means you do not need to verbalise or speak about the event if you don’t want to or are legally not allowed to (eg, military personnel). This also minimises the risk of being re-traumatised.
I have had great success helping people overcome their trauma/s very swiftly, with significant change often occurring after the first session. If you are suffering from the effects of a traumatic episode and wish to move beyond it, please be in touch to discuss how I may be able to help.
My ultimate focus in all work is supporting you to find balance, meaning and a new perspective to difficult events that may be occurring in your life.
This virus continues to generate a lot of uncertainty on so many levels, which for some is leading to loss (real physical loss as well as retraumatising of previous losses), panic, illness, stress, anxious thoughts, sleep deprivation, financial worries and lack of control amongst other things.
During this time you may find it helpful to offload and voice your fears in a safe & confidential environment and find helpful strategies for support.
I can support you via phone or video link and am offering flexible rates, times and session lengths to assist wherever possible.
I am aware that some key workers are being well supported , whilst others are not or due to confidentiality concerns are worried about using employee support. If this is the case, please be in touch with an assurance that you can unburden yourselves confidentially and be looked after (all conversations are private and no info will be passed to your employer /GP or anyone else).
SCHEDULE A SESSION
I am based in the United Kingdom (London) and through working via Video and Phone I am able to support anyone, regardless of geographic location right now. I support many people in the UK, Wales and Scotland and over the past few years I have helped many more people living overseas, across all continents. I am aware of the courage it can take to ask for help and how difficult it can be to reach out for support, as such if I feel I am not the right person to support you I will let you know and endeavour to help guide you to the correct person or organisation that will be able to assist.
Fees and Term:
My work tends to be short to medium term ranging from a single session to six - nine months and we would agree an appropriate amount of sessions during our assessment. This is flexible and would be regularly reviewed together.
Fertility / Donor Counselling - £75 for an initial consultation session with an individual and £90 for a couple. This reduces to £65 / £80 for follow up sessions. We will discuss a diagnosis you have received relating to yours or (if applicable) your partners fertility and the implications this might have for you, or if embarking on any fertility treatment inc Egg Freezing, Being a Sperm or Egg donor (known or bank), using donor sperm/eggs or a Surrogate and understanding the legislation and questions about anonymity.
Grief counselling we would normally meet for an initial Introductory session of 45 minutes. This provides us with an opportunity to meet/speak, allowing me to learn what is on your mind and for you to discover if my style is right for you.
If compatible, we would agree a contract that includes how many sessions and what time to meet, generally weekly or every other week for one hour at the same time & day each week.
Initial (Grief/Bereavement) Introductory Session: £50........................... Weekly sessions: £60
Sessions are available face to face or via Skype / Zoom or telephone if more convenient.
Trauma Work (Rewind Technique) - £295 (inc up to 3 sessions)
Concessions are available for individuals on low income, benefits and students + NHS staff.
CORONA VIRUS concessions:
NHS STAFF / KEY WORKERS & LOW INCOME - I'm aware how much this virus has impacted so many people in so many ways and in so many sectors. You may be working but feeling overwhelmed in your job right now or you sadly may have lost your job and therefore your source of income and many other things that a job brings. Be in touch and we can discuss your needs and work out a package of support to help you at this time.
Private Medical insurance - I am registered with the following private health insurance companies and if you have a policy with them and the appropriate cover in place you may be able to claim back some or all of the costs of our counselling sessions (please check first with your policy/provider): Aviva Health, Cigna, Vitality and WPA.
For more information about the talking therapy I provide and to discuss an issue in confidence please use the contact form at the bottom of this page or call me directly on 07785 714 254 (please leave a message if you get my voicemail as I may be in session at the time of your call. I will call you back). My direct email is firstname.lastname@example.org
Previous and on-going projects I have run, worked with and supported include The London Women's Clinic, Bridge Clinic, London sperm Bank, London Egg Bank, Harley Street Fertility Clinic, Andrology Solutions, Concept Fertility, Fertility Fest, The Fertility Show, Fertility Network UK, MIND / IAPT, Sour/Sweet, North London Hospice, Marie Curie, Think Family, Barnet Bereavement Service, GroOops and the Teenage Pregnancy Strategy.
"The smallest change can make the BIGGEST difference."