The sessions involve us meeting, talking and listening together with the mutual purpose of paying careful attention to your concerns and gaining a greater understanding of your own particular situation. It is a shared process and the therapeutic relationship can only be nurtured in a safe, confidential and dependable environment.
I work carefully and respectfully, honouring your privacy, autonomy and independence and your freedom and ability to make choices for yourself. Within the therapeutic relationship you can explore your physical and emotional feelings, your thoughts and behaviours and the contexts in which they arise.
The perspective I bring to the work is based upon clinical experience, knowledge of theoretical approaches and experience of our sessions. For some people, a CBT approach can help by providing coping strategies and tools, they can use when things get difficult, while other people who for example might be aware they are constantly repeating patterns in close relationships, might benefit more from a psychodynamic approach., which can bring understanding and insight. My extensive training and experience, means that I have a lot of therapeutic resources on which to draw to find the tools which are going to work best for you.
Couples Counselling can be a positive experience at any stage of a relationship, as relationships pass through various stages new challenges and possibilities arise where counselling can facilitate growth, change and alleviate conflict. Very often, relationship counselling is helpful when one or both of you are feeling misunderstood or isolated, or when you identify negative and destructive patterns. My clients come with a variety of concerns including breakdowns in communication, parenting, fertility, sexual relations, infidelity, financial pressures, loss or bereavements, work issues, transitions including preparing for marriage or managing a break up, cultural differences and age differential. I have experience of working with heterosexual and same sex couples, married and non married couples, couples with children, couples from mixed cultural backgrounds and couples from early twenties through to sixties.
Discovering that your partner has been having an affair is one of the most devastating experiences you can go through. Feelings of betrayal, anger, and fear seem unbearable. Rest becomes elusive. You can’t stop replaying the details of what you know and yet you crave for more information; wanting the truth but fearing the answers.
Affair counselling and recovery is a difficult process. You find yourself asking important questions: How could this have happened? Can I ever trust my partner again? Is my relationship worth saving? How can I stay with someone who did this to me (or someone I’m not sure I’m in love with anymore)? What did I do wrong? Should I forgive? When will the pain go away? Should we stay together for the sake of the children? Counselling can help you find a way forward after an affair.
Psychosexual Therapy - Sex Therapy
Sexuality is at the core of us, it involves body, mind and emotions and can be a difficult subject. Psychosexual therapy can help you find what sexuality means for you, unlearn patterns, rethink misconceptions about sex and relationships; learn a healthier model of sexuality.
I offer a confidential, safe, non-judgemental space for you to explore your problem areas and whatever else is arising for you. I strongly believe there's no ‘right and wrong' when it comes to sexuality. No matter how you identify, what you are into, your relationship status or how you approach sex and intimacy. Following our initial discussion, I offer therapeutic options suitable for your specific starting point and dependant on previous experience of psychotherapy.
I also work with people who use sex as way to manage difficult emotions in the way an addict might use alcohol or drugs. Addictive behaviours will usually be followed by a feeling of lack of satisfaction and regret, rather than one of fulfilment. Someone can become addicted to sexual activity, masturbation or viewing pornography. Once the person can admit to themselves that they have a problem it is helpful to discuss the issue
Consultations do not involve any physical examinations, or any sexual acts, but it does require you to openly talk about sexual feelings and concerns.
Trauma is not a disease or a condition, but the body and brain’s response to a severe, painful experience that overwhelms your ability to cope with the sudden rush of thoughts and feelings. The source of the trauma can be an accident, a toxic relationship or abuse. I can work with you to help identify the source of the trauma, and develop tools to reconnect with yourself and others. I am one of only a few therapists in Northern Ireland who has been trained in EMDR, Sensorimotor Psychotherapy and Trauma Focussed CBT.