Integrative Counsellor + Psychotherapist
Relational Integrative LGBTQ affirmative Counselling and Therapy.
Based in Brighton and Hove
*Due to COVID restrictions I will be offering only online/telephone sessions for the foreseeable future*
Most people experience mental health challenges at various times in their lives, and there is still so much pressure to appear like we have it all together. There is strength in admitting that we can’t do it all on our own and that we need a bit of help to get through life’s difficulties.
There can be multiple reasons why you might feel this is the right time to come for counselling. Perhaps something has happened in your life that has left you feeling like you can’t make sense of the world anymore, or perhaps you feel ready to let go of some of the heavy feelings that no longer serve you, or are not yours to carry any more.
I specialise in:
LGBTQ+ Affirmative Counselling
Generalised Anxiety disorder
Drug /Alcohol Misuse
Identity Issues (Gender, Sexuality, Class, Cultural, Ethnicity)
Neurodiversity (ADHD/ADD, Autism Spectrum Condition, Aspergers, Dyspraxia, Dyslexia)
Self Esteem Issues
How does it work?
It is really important that you find the right therapist for you. If you would like to book an introductory session, please get in touch via email , where I would be happy to talk through any concerns or questions you might have. Introductory sessions are charged at £20, all sessions after that are charged at £50. A limited amount of concessionary rates are available.
You can read more about what kind of therapy I offer below.
“to that piece in each of us that refuses to be silent.”
Relatonal Integrative Therapy Explained
Integrative therapy is a combined approach that brings together a number of theories tailored specifically to each client. The most important aspect of Integrative Therapy is that you feel in control; and that our work together is collaborative.
Relational means that our ability to build a relationship is the foundation of the work, i.e that you feel safe enough with me to explore a new way of being. The ability for us to build a trusting therapeutic relationship means that you can then hopefully improve the other relationships in your life.
Some of the approaches I use are Gestalt, Existential, Body-Focused and Trauma-Informed therapy:
Gestalt: This approach emphasises personal responsibility and the body's reaction to our experiences, with a focus on what is happening in the present moment. The main goal of the Gestalt approach is to make clients aware of what is really happening, rather than on what is just being talked about. An example would be a tightening of the chest when speaking about a loss, or the clenching of the fist when talking about something that is painful. These responses can give us information about how we feel about something, not just what we think we should be feeling.
Existential: A holistic approach which uses philosophical theories such as choice, freedom and uncertainty to look at each individual's unique experience, and does not define someone by their history. This approach emphasises meaning-making, by accepting how we really feel, rather than suppressing or changing it.
Body-Focused: This approach is influenced by neuroscience and helps us to understand how and why the body communicates. It considers the body and mind to be one; and looks to somatic expressions for information, as our bodies can 'remember' more than our brains care to acknowledge, due to cellular memory. We are often not taught to listen to our bodies ques, and yet so much information can be found here.
Trauma-Informed: This way of working acknowledges the complex ways trauma impact us now, and how it shapes our ability to cope in, and relate; to the world. Trauma is a very subjective experience, but it essentially means anything that changes our world view or affects our feeling of safety in the world. Being trauma-informed means acknowledging the importance of safety and is focused on empowering the client to understand what cultural, ethnic and historical forces might be influencing their way of being in the world.
Essentially, I do not believe that there is just one theory of being that applies to everybody. Some clients, for example, might find it useful to work with what is going on in their body when they speak about what is troubling them, others might prefer to use creative techniques such as drawing or imagery. This is helpful as a lot of our feelings and experiences can not always be expressed or understood cognitively. I do not like to focus too much on the past, or on your childhood (unless you would like to). Rather I focus on what is happening for you right now. Integrative therapy is essentially about looking at what might make you feel more whole, and help you to identify what triggers might be keeping you stuck in unhelpful and negative patterns of behaviour.
What is the difference between Counselling and Therapy?
Counselling and Therapy are really similar! Counselling can refer to time-limited work (e.g 12 sessions) about a specific issue you would like to focus on (e.g a bereavement) whereas therapy often refers to open-ended ongoing work, depending on what support you need at this time in your life. Often the most refreshing thing about coming for counselling or therapy is that you have space once a week to let go of all demands and expectations, and just focus on you. This work is really about exploring new parts of ourselves. Talking things out with someone impartial can make a huge difference.
I am from Ireland and I have lived in the UK for many years. I have studied Psychotherapeutic Counselling at the Minster Centre in London and at the University of Brighton, and I have a Masters in Equality Studies from University College Dublin. I have experience working with people in distress in a variety of different positions. I have worked as a Mental Health Advocate for an award-winning LGBTQ+ Mental Health Charity and as a volunteer Appropriate Adult helping juveniles and people with mental health issues in Police custody in East London. I believe that we are in a mental health crisis, due to the fact that we are taught to question our own reactions to living in an unequal and increasingly uncertain world.
I often incorporate Feminist Theory in my work, which means that we can look at what societal, cultural or political pressures might be influencing how you feel. I like to work in an intersectional way, which means looking at the many systems that impact our lives, or how internalised oppression may play out in our day to day lives. As a white Therapist, I am committed to Anti Racism in my professional and private life, and I believe that the therapy sector has so much work to do to be inclusive of BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, people of colour) experiences. I am committed to continued Anti Racist work and I acknowledge that the onus is on me to educate myself about clients intersectional identities. I believe that social transformation can have a direct effect on mental health.
LGBTQIA+ Affirmative therapy
I believe we should all live in a world free to be who we truly are and to be accepted as such. I identify as queer and I have been working with clients from the LGBTQIA+ (Lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, queer, intersex and asexual +) community for many years. I believe that it is incredibly important to have access to a therapeutic space where your identity does not have to be justified or explained. I welcome clients from all abilities, backgrounds and identities. I understand that when in crisis, we must be treated with compassion, rather than judgement. I believe in social justice, and that everyone should have access to help when they need it.
Trans 101 Training (Mindout)
HIV Awareness Training (Terrence Higgins Trust)
LGBTQ+ Affirmative Training (Mindout)
GSRD (Gender, relationship and Sexuality Diversity) and Older people Training (Mindout)
Chemsex Training (Terrence Higgins Trust)
Suicide Prevention Training (ASIST)
Anti Racism Training
I am a fully insured and qualified Counselling Psychotherapist, and registered member of the British Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP). This means that I am required to meet the highest standards of ethics and proficiency within the counselling profession.
I am also a founding member of Rampion Counselling and Psychotherapy. We are a counselling and psychotherapy practice in Brighton and Hove, offering an affirmative, inclusive and confidential service to anyone facing a life challenge or mental health issue. We all identify as part of the LGBTQ+ community and we work with everyone: all identities, religions, abilities & cultural backgrounds.For more information www.rampioncounselling.org.uk
I usually practice out of
198 Church Road
*Please contact me for accessibility requirements*