Counselling and Psychotherapy

About therapy

Therapy provides a discrete and regular place to work with someone to address and find a way through emotional distress. This distress may take many forms and is something everyone will experience at some point in their lives, even if just in a milk form. When it becomes overwhelming or when our day to day functioning feels difficult however, then it may be helpful to have time with someone who is not a family member or friend, in order to express and explore life experiences in a confidential setting.

It is a process of giving space and attention to what feels difficult (and also, at time, what feels good and life-affirming).

The perinatal period (from the beginning of pregnancy throughout the first year or two of your baby’s life) can be a time of intense emotional upheaval, confusion, and even trauma. Your identity may be changing and causing discomfort, you may feel you’re not getting enough support (or your support people may be struggling themselves) and the demands of caring for a new baby may be overwhelming. These are all reasonable responses to a life-changing experience; our focus in therapy is how to build resilience and ways of coping with what may sometimes feel unbearable.

Different life experiences affect the way we see ourselves, the way we are in relationships and the way we interact with the wider world. In therapy we give ourselves time to acknowledge our past experiences and make sense of our present-day way of being in the world in relation to these experiences. We can build realistic thoughts of the future while making changes in the present.

The creative Approach

Arts Therapy is simply another way of working with your personal experience and is one possible option for our work together.  It is concerned with expressing on the outside something that is happening on the inside, which gives you the chance to look at your experience in a new way.

This creative form of psychotherapy uses creative and expressive techniques (such as story-making, art etc) to support people who are experiencing emotional and psychological difficulties. Sometimes it can be difficult to put into words what we are experiencing. As a result, it can be hard to engage with traditional verbal therapies. Dramatherapy offers the safe option of metaphor as a way of exploring overwhelming feelings. It helps people form new perspectives on life situations and to make positive changes.

For example, creating a small structure with objects to represent different people or aspects of your life can reveal something about your relationship that hasn’t been clear. Or you may find a way of “telling” your stories using different materials or methods that can “unstick” your usual way of telling them. This gives you the chance to shed new light and clarity onto a situation that may previously have been difficult to understand. This in turn enables you to build a new relationship with whatever you’re experiencing, and opens up the possibility of developing new ways of relating to others and to yourself.

Different materials/tools you may choose can include art materials, small objects, images, stories, writing, action methods and dialogue, amongst others. There may be times when you opt to use the different materials available or times when talking feels like the best way. That choice is entirely up to you and there is no right or wrong way to be in therapy.

Importantly, no artistic skill whatsoever is needed to engage in a creative form of therapy. There is absolutely no emphasis on producing a particular thing or on demonstrating any skill. I am more interested in where the creative work takes you rather than on the work produced.

My approach takes into account the whole person and as such is not limited to a particular set of techniques or model of thinking. Each therapeutic relationship is different and I propose to work with each individual to find out the way of working that suits you. I know that each person’s particular story is unique and I will offer you a space in which difficult aspects of this story can be contained and reflected upon together.

While there may be similarities in symptoms of people experiencing depression, stress or anxiety, the details will be very different and personal, as will the way towards recovery. People coming to therapy have different strengths, inner and outer resources, coping methods and ways of relating and different hopes for the future.  Therefore there is not a fixed treatment formula, but an individually tailored approach focused on discovering together the most helpful and likely path forward.

I propose to work alongside you in a confident, thoughtful and respectful way, and welcome anyone who has a concern that could benefit from a psychological approach.

Practicalities

I offer an initial, 1-hour session to give us a chance to meet and for you to discover if what I offer is what you are looking for at this time. At the end of the session we will make a decision about whether to engage in a longer piece of work. This may be just a few sessions or it may be for longer which doesn’t need to be decided at this early stage. Therapy is an evolving, personal process and we will discover together what length of time will best support you.

I will suggest an agreement for our work together which you can add to, and will include details of confidentiality, payment and missed sessions, physical safety and session regularity. We will make an agreement on this before moving forward.

Therapy rates: £50 per 1/hour session, with concession rates available (please contact the me discuss/enquire about this).

I abide by the Health & Care Professionals Council Standards of Performance, Conduct & Ethics. You can find the document by following this link.

My HCPC registration number is AS14006. You can check my registration status here.

My practice is insured with Holistic Insurance Services.

You can find more information about Stephanie  here

For more information and to book please contact Stephanie directly on 07825 415966 or stephanie@pregnancyandparents.org.uk