Whatever word you choose: testimonials, feedback, comments or reviews, hearing what other people say about a person or product will often assist you in making a decision whether to use them or not.
Although it can feel strange to share the good things that people have said about you, sometimes it is important to “blow your own trumpet”. I am proud of the feedback I have had from my clients during my time as a counsellor. All of my testimonials are anonymous due to confidentiality, but they are all genuine and exactly what clients have said. On my About Me page, I talk about the importance of trusting that your counsellor is right for you and I continue to uphold that. Deciding to see a counsellor can feel difficult enough, but with the right one, it can feel less painful and hopefully a place where you can feel safe and comfortable enough to talk about what is going on for you.
Choosing your counsellor and feeling confident with them is as important as choosing your dentist or hairdresser. You wouldn’t keep going to the same hairdresser if they didn’t listen to what you wanted. When you have a dental appointment, whilst you may not actually enjoy going to the dentist, you need to trust them and feel confident that they know what they are doing. This could be in the way that they reassure you, or talk through what they are going to do.
You may not feel comfortable asking a friend or colleague for a recommendation for a counsellor, in the same way as you would for a hairdresser. So internet searching is likely to be the first place you start.
Browsing www.counselling-directory.co.uk may help you draw up a shortlist of possible counsellors – I’m on there too! Counsellors have different techniques and methods. As you will see from the testimonials I have received my approach has really worked for my clients, perhaps it could for you too?
So what have my clients said about me….
Sophie is: Approachable, compassionate, helpful, listener, professional, reassuring, supportive, understanding.
And how was counselling for them, when working with me….
Comfortable, gave me confidence, helped me through, important in my life, invaluable, listened to, taken seriously.
For more read my testimonials by clicking here, or watch the video below.
If you would like to see if I am the right counsellor for you, why not take advantage of my free introductory twenty minute session and contact me. My private practice is based in West Sussex, where I offer a safe and confidential space.
Having the right counsellor is important because You are important!
What would You like to be when you grow up? Close your eyes, allow your mind to drift off and focus on that thought. You may be grown up now, but take this moment to remember the younger you – what was it that you wanted to be when you grew up?
Imagine, as you do this exercise, going back to the hopes and dreams of your younger self. You may be smiling now remembering what your ambitions were or maybe remembering what you definitely didn’t want to do.
It’s still not too late to look at where You are in your career or life and make changes that will give you more balance, enable you to do things you enjoy and not just the regular day-to-day chores… imagine…
Whilst I can help you if you are in the above situation, (do feel free to contact me), this blog post is actually about looking at young carers.
The definition of a Young Carer is “someone aged 18 or under who helps look after a relative who has a condition, such as a disability, illness, mental health condition, or a drug or alcohol problem. Most young carers look after one of their parents or care for a brother or sister”.
One thing that is really important for a young carer is for them to have permission to think about themselves. They have put themselves to the back, maybe not even seeing themselves (metaphorically speaking) or being aware of their own needs. When a young carer thinks about making time for themselves they may feel selfish or that it is a pointless or even impossible task to take time out from their caring role.
A young carer may encounter many feelings and not know what to do with these feelings or how to communicate them. If they were given the space, they could explore what it feels like for them in their role, how it feels when they compare themselves to their friends, do they even see them as similar to their friends? Giving a young carer the time and space to play with their ideas about their future or what they would like to do right now, is about saying, its ok for you to be You. It’s completely ok and acceptable for You to have dreams and hopes, for you to maybe want to kick a football about with your friends or to join the ballet after school class
By giving the young person, because that’s fundamentally what they are, the opportunity to express how life is for them you are saying that they are more than a young carer, they are a young person who is entitled to reach for their hopes and dreams.
I work with a wide range of different ages of clients and maybe you are a young carer or someone that knows a young carer who may benefit from working with me, or perhaps you need my assistance in finding other support groups. I have a private practice in West Sussex, where I offer a safe and confidential space. I have an Enhanced DBS Check, this is the new name for a CRB check.
I can offer a first 20 minute session free, after the 20 minutes are up, we can either stop there and you can go away and think about if I am the right counsellor for you, or we can continue and turn the session into your first full 50 minute paid session.
You can contact me for an initial conversation or to arrange a session.
Together, let’s make a small step for a young carer to become a young person.
What is it that You would really like for Christmas?
Christmas can be an incredibly challenging time for many, it can exaggerate how you are feeling. You may be feeling sad or have a problem with your relationship, but everywhere you look, there’s sparkle and Christmas cheer – well that’s what the commercial part of Christmas will have You believe.
You may already be struggling to ‘keep up’ with others and now with the added pressure of Christmas, failure starts to creep in. It is really important to remember You are not the only one that is finding the 25th December and all its trimmings overwhelming – its true!
You may indeed be looking forward to many parts of this festive time of year and it may be only one of the ‘trimmings’ that sticks in your throat. If so, what is it, what would you like to change that can you help towards making that change?
What does the thought of Christmas bring to you, do you feel anxious, depressed? Does it cause you stress, is it the thought of spending time with certain family members or friends? You don’t have to be alone with these issues. If you were to come to counselling we can look at the impact of the festive season on You and ascertain what coping strategies You could put in place to make it more manageable for You.
At Christmas sometimes emotions can run high and outbursts of anger can happen, this can be for a variety of reasons! You may have been finding life difficult and now with what feels like the added pressure of making a ‘picture perfect’ Christmas it has become all too much.
You could write a list of all the things that are causing you concern. Next see if you can break each point down even further, then see if there are any changes or suggestions that could be made to help the situation not seem so overwhelming.
Lets look at the Christmas dinner as an example…
Here is the first list:
Who is coming for the Christmas dinner?
Who is cooking the Christmas dinner?
Which foods are presented for the Christmas dinner?
The second list could look like this:
Who is coming for the Christmas dinner?
X, Y & Z are coming for dinner, but I always sit next to Y and I’m not keen on them. Okay, can you present a different seating plan, or change seats at each course.
Who is cooking the Christmas dinner?
My partner always cooks the dinner and I have to clear away and wash up. Okay, does this give you time away from Y, or does Y come and speak to you which irritates you? Could you and others wash up as you go along, so where possible items are cleared away rather than a heap of pots and pans at the end? Would you like to cook this year, or go out, or have something that doesn’t make too much washing up?
If nothing else, writing a list and acknowledging what you may struggle with, is about honouring your feelings and acknowledging that “do you know what, I find Christmas difficult and therefore I will be the best that I can be on that day”.
If the festivities still feel too much, why not contact me to arrange a free introductory session, and lets start unwrapping Christmas and looking at what You need throughout December. We don’t even have to mention the ‘C’ word!
I am based in West Sussex and for ease, my private practice has free off-road parking.
Do you know what, I actually believe that names do hurt us and they hurt us in a way that sometimes cannot be seen by the untrained eye of another person. But when someone is ‘attacking’ you verbally, whether it is to your face, behind your back, on social media, email, the list goes on…. IT HURTS and IT IS PAINFUL!
This can leave you with feelings of despair, low self-esteem, anxiety and feeling sad among many other feelings. These feelings are very real and can overwhelm you and start to affect many areas of your life. You may start to shy away from socializing or playing games on the internet with your friends, for fear of the bully appearing at any time. Being bullied may make you see yourself as weak or wondering why it is you and not someone else.
The reality is, that it isn’t actually You as a whole unique person being targeted. You just happen to be probably one of the many people that has triggered something in the bully that they are missing themselves – have I lost you?
Ok, lets put it another way: A common reason for bullying behaviour can be due to lack of attention, learned behaviour, relief from feeling helpless. This doesn’t make it right, but knowledge is power and knowing the above next time the bully approaches you, you can say in your head, they are not happy and that’s them!
I appreciate what I am about to say may be easier said than done, but do you know what, none of what they are saying or doing is Your Fault, it is the other persons behaviour, BUT and again one of my big BUTS, its about looking at the impact that this is having on you and for us to work together to make life how You need and want it to be. Right now it may be one person that is making your life feel unbearable and lets face it, one person is one person too many.
I do not in any way wish to brush away the crippling effect that bullying can have on you. or someone you know. We would look at how they are carrying out their bullying and what you may be able to do, to reduce or remove their offensive behaviour towards you. This doesn’t mean directing it at someone else, but how we can make you feel safe and gain control.
One of the many ways we would work on together, will be empowering You, raising your self-esteem and enable You to be kind and compassionate to yourself. This can facilitate you to gain respect for yourself and truly appreciate who You are as a person, not who the bully has made you believe you are.
Start by taking control today, by contacting me to arrange your free introductory session, or if you prefer we can start with a full 50 minute session.
Let’s get you started on living the life that you would like to live and NOT how the bully is affecting you living!
I am based in West Sussex and for ease, my private practice has off-road parking.
Bully’s are like parasites (an organism which lives on another organism and benefits by deriving nutrients at the other’s expense) BUT – with helpful coping strategies You can reclaim control of your life!
Each year 9th to 15th October is Baby Loss Awareness Week and this important week is in its 15th year. This gives parents, family members and friends time to remember and commemorate the all-too-brief lives of their babies that have died during pregnancy, or after birth.
There are more than 3,600 stillbirths every year in the UK, and one in every 200 births ends in a stillbirth. However, baby loss still remains a topic that’s not openly discussed as much as it should be.
For the parents, family members and friends, baby loss during pregnancy, or after birth is very real and what they are going though needs to be acknowledged. Offering someone the time to talk about how their baby loss is for them, hearing their pain and anguish, or them questioning if they missed something, or was it something they did, will provide an important space for them to explore the feelings that they are experiencing.
Each persons baby loss, is as unique as their own fingerprint, for the mum, carrying the baby, feeling the baby move inside them, the changes in their physical shape and how the hormones are reacting including changes of eating habits were all valid for however long mum carried their baby. For the father, seeing the scans, touching his partner’s tummy and feeling their baby move, preparing himself for fatherhood, validated the expectancy of having their baby.
You could be preparing to be a grandparent for the first time, it could be your sister’s baby loss, your best friends or a colleague at work. Whichever category you fall into (and you could be several), how you are feeling and wondering what to say or do may leave you feeling alone. Help is available to everyone that experiences a baby loss – you do not need to suffer in silence.
What happens next….
There are no guidelines as to how you may feel or what to do. No-one has the answers, but there are several charities (https://babyloss-awareness.org/charities/) that are able to provide you with the support that you need.
Your baby that has died is still part of your family and it may be helpful for you to consider how you wish to remember him or her. Shortly after the death of your baby, you may wish to hold them, take photos or a video, maybe have a lock of their hair or have their fingerprints taken professionally to create lasting memories. Whatever you decide you want to do is okay. At this point other people may feel they know what’s best for you, but actually at that moment in time, you should concentrate on you and your needs. Your partner, family members and friends will be struggling themselves and may differ in the way they wish to remember the baby and that’s okay too.
You may feel that 1:1 counselling is not for you and that a forum group may be more helpful, I understand that. You can contact me and together we can look at what support networks are around and arrange for you to meet with the groups that could benefit you – you don’t have to do this on your own.
If you were to have counselling with me, you would be met with empathy and compassion. You will have time, space and a confidential environment to talk about the loss of your baby.
You may be someone who has been impacted by the baby loss of a friend or colleague and may find it helpful to be able to talk about the impact of how the loss is for you.
You are the most important person and therefore it is a right for you to have the opportunity to talk through this difficult time and what may feel like taboo subject. It is not about anyone else, it is about You and how You feel. I will sit with you and listen and hear exactly how your baby loss is for you.
If coming to see me feels too overwhelming, you are welcome to call me and we could speak on the phone initially, this may help reiterate that I am the right person to hear your story.
My private practice is based in West Sussex and has off-road parking.
You no longer need to sit in silence, we are here to listen to You.
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“I was apprehensive at first but Sophie made me feel at ease and comfortable and throughout she helped me believe in myself again and get the confidence and strength back. My time with Sophie was invaluable.”
Click to read more testimonials…
Your Space Today is a private counselling service providing a confidential, supportive and safe place to talk.