Many ancient teachings tell us that suffering is part of life and it seems the case that everyone at some time suffers whether it be at specific life moments such as death and loss, trauma and illness or ongoing such as anxiety, depression, fatigue, boredom or a sense of emptiness and lack of fulfilment.
For some it’s the effect of physical pain and for others it’s mental or emotional suffering. Sometimes our usual support system of family, friends or routine and self-care doesn’t seem enough or we need a fresh perspective. At these times counselling can provide that space, time out or quiet moment to see the situation more clearly so as to proceed again or move on.
For some, daily suffering is so great that counselling alongside other forms of support can help us release patterns of negative behaviour, get us out of feeling stuck, hopeless or overwhelmed and open ourselves up to greater potential for fulfilment, completeness, peace and joy which we were unable to realise before. For many of us the effect of covid has also brought new challenges both physical and mental.
What is counselling?
Counselling is a talking therapy where a trained, experienced counsellor provides support and help to find a way forward by listening to you and responding in a way that doesn’t tell you what to do but facilitates you to find the best way yourself. Often suffering comes from not seeing any way out or not being able to move on or deal with difficult feelings. Working with a counsellor can offer fresh perspective to feel better and have a sense of renewed hope for the future. When we stop and spend a bit of time with our feelings and issues we find a new relationship with them which helps them transform and us evolve. Understanding the context of the problem and putting it on the table, so to speak, can help us come to terms with it which we were unable to realise before.
What will happen in the counselling session?
We will have an initial session to discuss the presenting issue and the best way forward for you to start to feel better. We will sign a counselling agreement form which states the terms and conditions of practice and then we will agree on a potential programme of 6, 10 or 12 weekly sessions and regularly review progress as we go. We can then adapt as necessary according to how you feel things are progressing. It may be that work goes to a deeper level and more sessions are required or that you may need strategies for specific difficulties such as anger management or lack of confidence in which case a shorter programme may be adequate. At times there may be a lot of talking at others silence because this work can elicit deep reflection about our lives. By asking questions, listening, offering feedback and perspective together we explore the best way for you to manage the situation and feel better. Sometimes I may suggest practices such as mindfulness or a creative exercise which challenges or puts a spotlight on habits which may be unhelpful. For work on trauma issues our sessions will be more focused on the body and physical practices.
Sessions are 55 minutes long over Zoom in a confidential setting. For face to face sessions we can arrange a walk and talk meeting in the New Forest or at my therapy space. Payment is in advance by bank transfer for online sessions or in cash for walk and talk/face to face sessions. Please contact me for a free initial chat using the details below, I look forward to speaking with you.
I am a qualified counsellor, teacher and musician working with an integrative approach which means I use an appropriate approach for each client depending on their needs. Some people need goal-orientated direction or specific ways of working whereas others prefer a more receptive, open style. As an integrative counsellor I could use any range of modalities depending on what is best for you the client, including for example, cognitive behaviour therapy, mindfulness and meditation, psychodynamic approaches, somatic intervention and person-centred counselling to name a few. My areas of specialisation are bereavement, loss, trauma, anxiety and depression and I work with adults over the age of 18. I abide by the code of ethics of the British Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy, have regular supervision and am covered by Professional Indemnity Insurance. I have lived abroad so understand diversity and in addition can offer counselling in Spanish. I have also worked as a life coach and this goal orientated approach can sometimes blend well with the reflective aspect of counselling where we explore the causes of our feelings and behaviour. I have practised different forms of meditation including transcendental, mindfulness and Buddhist meditations. I have also studied different spiritual teachings and philosophies for many years.
I came to counselling myself through trauma and bereavement in early life and found that there are always new paths and possible evolution even when we believe it impossible. If we sit down and meet our suffering fully in the present moment something happens, it transforms, it is never quite the same again. Something new emerges. It doesn’t mean we won’t suffer again but we get closer to our true self, feel more complete and at peace, richer and happier step by step. Very often part of our healing and recovery from difficult times might be to find a new purpose or outlet, to build something or organise ways to help people who have had the same experiences. For me it has been making music.
More information: Qualifications, memberships and trainings:
- Diploma in Counselling
- Registered Membership with the British Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy BACP
- Cruse Bereavement Training in Grief in Lockdown
- Grief and loss – David Kessler and Elizabeth Kubler-Ross; Anne Geraghty
- Trauma – Peter Levine, Michael Gavin, Arielle Schwartz and Susan Anderson
- Regular Continuing Professional Development with the British Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy
- BA Hons Degree
- Qualified Teacher Status
- MMUS Jazz Performance (Voice)
For music related news, information and CDs please click here.
You can call Claire on: 07935 618529
Or you can email: Talk@opentalkcounselling.com
YOu can access the opentalkcounselling Facebook page here.