Why choose Gary as your Counsellor?
Thank you for considering my counselling services. I do my best to work in a straightforward, jargon free way. My approach is based on a genuine and open format - this establishes trust, quickly enabling 'real talk'. You can be sure you won't feel judged or criticised - I work to build people up not knock them down - anything I notice or reflect back will be done so with sensitivity and tactfulness.
I am not the expert on you, thats your job, my usefulness comes in working to help you see things clearly and get what you came for. I do not give advice! This is a common counselling misconception. However I may be able to help you explore options or offer alternative perspectives. It might not always be a barrel of laughs - I'm OK with that, and I'm used to helping people feel relaxed and able to speak freely, while at the same time being able to get in touch with feelings and thoughts that may not always be comfortable. Not put you off yet? It's best to start as we mean to go on!!!
Your personal circumstances and experiences are unique - as such I will take my cues from you. I have no agenda or set formulaic way of working, my training is Integrative*, which in a nutshell means I work within a framework that allows me to respond and help based on what we are discussing, how we are relating to situations, people and each other, and your specific needs. It is a flexible way to provide the support people need.
*(Clarkson specifically - ask me more when we meet if underpinning theory interests you)
We'll work at your pace, you'll get regular opportunities to discuss how you feel things are going and communicate what is working for you. I am super open to feedback, and make it very easy to communicate what you need to - we will check out regularly how we are doing together.
You can trust that I work with commitment, respect and professionalism, and that our time spent will be purposeful and treated with the importance your time deserves. Fortunately society is recognising the helpfulness and benefit of talking about their issues, mental wellbeing is frequently discussed in the media and by those in the public eye. As a nation I think we are beginning to understand that getting a bit of support when we need it is OK, and actually a sign of self awareness, resourcefulness and strength.
What are the potential benefits of Counselling?
You get to become your own therapist - thats the plan anyway. From when we meet we will be checking out ways to make the work we undertake sustainable, meaning you don't become reliant on my support. You'll be slowly but surely adding to your existing toolkit of coping strategies, ways of viewing things, relating to yourself and the world. You may need to buy a bigger tool bag!
Discussing things and feeling heard on it's own can be a very useful process. Being honest with ourselves allows us to hold ourselves accountable if neccessary. Things we discuss and work on in sessions can be replicated in the outside world - such as communication, with a partner, at work, or with whoever you feel you could deal with a little more assertively, or sensitively!
Talking may help you identify what you need from others, and how to get these needs met, find more effective ways of managing your time, reduce stress and look after yourself by improving your work life balance or seeing yourself in a different light.
It's not always about changing yourself either, often acceptance, understanding, or just remembering a loved one, can lead to a sense of peace or understanding ourselves a little better. If you've been through testing times, taking care of yourself and attending to feelings or memories as they arise in a self compassionate way can allieviate feelings of shame or keep guilt in check.
Can Counselling help with your experiences?
Areas of counselling I deal with are uniquely different with each person I meet. No two person's experiences are the same. Being listened to, feeling understood, can be very helpful experiences on their own. Counselling provides an unbiased non judgemental place to explore ideas, voice opinions and figure things out. The ability to discuss whats going on in a steady, supportive environment can allow a clarity of thinking or raised sense of self awareness, it can also be a secure place to vent or feel emotions that are difficult to do so in other settings or with certain people.
I try to view situations as a sign of what a person has been through or is going through, something to be understood, accepted or worked through, rather than a disorder, diagnosis or label, things are often so much more complex than that.
Our initial meeting will help us decide if we can work together - if I believe another therapist may be better positioned to help you, I'll let you know.
Who do you work with?
I work exclusively with adult individuals over the age of 18. People from a diverse range of backgrounds, ages and cultures access the service on a weekly basis, I enjoy assisting with the broad spectrum of issues this encompasses, and feel I can draw upon a wide range of experience as a result. I do not have a 'typical' client!
So what now?
I'm guessing if you've read this far you are considering contacting me to arrange a meeting. Doing so helps me understand your aims or situation, and gives you a chance to suss me out! It's not a counselling session - you can share as much as you feel comfy with while putting me in the picture as to why the time feels right to talk things through. You can ask questions and get a sense of how I work. From there we can agree days/times that suit and take it from there, providing I am your cup of tea and feel I can help you with your circumstances.
To do so, please feel free to email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 07724 321830 07724 321830 (confidential answerphone accessed only by myself), to ask additional questions or arrange an initial meeting.