TAKING CARE OF YOUR MIND IN CHALLENGING TIMES...
Online Psychotherapy, Counselling,
Supervision and Couples work.
Everything has changed…
The Covid 19 pandemic and the lockdowns and homeworking and furloughs accompanying it, shook all of us out of our regular routines and expectations. For some people there was suddenly more space and time. For others there were greater demands from work or childcare (or both). Whatever our experience, we have all been attempting to adjust to what we used to call the ‘new normal’ but, as a world, and as a society we haven’t quite made the transition. Many of us have been forced to review our life choices in the context of the intensity of the restrictions we still encounter. All of us have the opportunity to plan for a new start in the future.
I have been taking care to notice my own responses to the consequences of the pandemic while reflecting on its impact for society. This has seemed necessary in order to work with others effectively. Through these last months, I have been offering the people with whom I work a safe place to explore the emotional impact of their experiences and supporting them to bring about the changes they might feel are necessary in response. Or if that’s not possible at the moment, to find a more comfortable way to deal with the uncertainties.
Some areas of life we may all be reflecting on are:
Close relationships. Who really matters in my life? Is anything (or anyone) important missing?
What is home? Does my domestic environment satisfy the need for shelter and reflect who I am and what I want to present to the world?
Work. Am I doing the right work for me, in the way I want to do it? What other options are possible?
Attitudes to money and spending. What do I spend my money on? Are these my priorities? How much ‘stuff’ do I really need?
Travel. What journeys are necessary? How do I want to take them? Is it time to stop taking flights that are financially cheap but devastatingly costly environmentally?
Relationship with food and alcohol. Is my body weight satisfying for me? Do I make the right food and alcohol choices so that I am truly nourished at every level? How can I regulate appetite and intake effectively?
Who am I now? A chance to re-evaluate past choices, take stock, and plan for the future.
At the same time, people are still experiencing ongoing stress, anxiety and depression, loss, relational difficulties and chronic body symptoms that do not have an obvious physical cause. This may be a good moment to address those issues. A series of sessions could be a way back to greater feelings of wellbeing and, maybe, confidence about how the future will unfold.
Whether you want to find a context in which to explore the existential questions raised by the pandemic or begin to address ongoing issues that may have become increasingly challenging in lockdown and its aftermath, then please make contact, either by email or phone. I will respond to you myself, and as soon as I can. Contact details are on the sidebar.
Why you might choose me
I have twenty-five years experience of offering psychotherapy and counselling in private practice, higher and further education, business and the NHS. For several years I worked as a tutor at BCPC (Bath Centre for Psychotherapy and Counselling).
My accrediting professional organisation is UKCP (UK Council for Psychotherapy).
I have a particular interest in resilience, and how we can resource ourselves in times of stress. I am currently researching the link between what and how we eat and our mental health and wellbeing
Online means anywhere…
But if you do want the possibility of meeting in person, either for formal sessions later on, when things open up again, or just the chance of seeing each other informally at the shops or on the coast- path – this has happened in the past months – then you may want to choose to work with me because we live locally to one another.
If you don’t know Penarth…
The town I live in is a Victorian seaside resort with a pier and esplanade. The sea front is lined mostly with coffee shops and restaurants now and it is possible to sit there and watch the boats heading into and out of Cardiff Bay. It is on the route of the Wales Coast path – the foot path that runs around the whole of Wales.
Penarth is very accessible from Cardiff, and even further afield. The train station is 5 minutes walk from my house and there are regular buses to and from Cardiff and other parts of the Vale of Glamorgan.
You might be wondering...
What is the difference between psychotherapy and counselling?
Sometimes they look very much like the same thing. After a lot of thought, I believe that any difference might be influenced by the training the practitioner has undertaken. There is a huge range in the depth and timescales of the trainings available, depending on the theoretical background of the particular approach and the client group with whom a practitioner could work. Usually ‘psychotherapy’ trainings require the student to do a placement in a statutory mental health environment, and to be in therapy themselves for most of their training, which is often 7 years or more. ‘Counselling’ trainings do not usually require a placement and permit personal development approaches other than personal therapy. They are usually shorter, taking around 4 years to complete.
There is a whole range of approaches available including: psychodynamic, cognitive behavioural, person-centred, integrative and more. The approach I trained in is called Gestalt Psychotherapy.
What is Gestalt?
The Gestalt approach belongs among a group of approaches that came into prominence in the mid to late 20th century, that are called ‘humanistic’. This reflects the egalitarian and compassionate nature of this kind of work. In my experience, the various approaches borrow from one another, so may share current interests and trends. What is emphasised now is the relational nature of the process, and its embededness in a wider field that encompasses society, values and ethics and environmental concerns.
How could psychotherapy or counselling help me?
Psychotherapy and counselling help us make sense for ourselves about what it means to be human, and how we relate to the world in which we participate. The therapeutic relationship becomes an environment within which new possibilities can be discovered and explored.
How long would it take?
It depends on what you want to achieve. Realistically, the minimum amount of sessions to achieve anything significant is 4. Most people find 6 sessions a good amount to make sustainable changes. Others may choose to continue for months or years, appreciating the weekly session as a resource for a period of time. Usually a strategy that includes a possible timescale evolves at the initial session.
How to contact?
Email me through the link in the sidebar or call or text me on 07779 198917. We can discuss whether I think I can help, and how to go forward.
One of the major adaptations I have had to make as a consequence of the pandemic is to take my work online. I have found it astonishingly effective – not exactly the same as working face-to face but with its own advantages. Sometimes the safety of being at home can support deeper explorations. I am intending to continue working online for the next while and will review the situation in January.
For online work you would need to have a space available for the agreed time in which you feel secure and comfortable, and where you would not be overheard. You may need to think about how you would like to transition from speaking with me back into your regular circumstances. Homeworking arrangements may make this a bit challenging.
I’m happy to work with a range of platforms and have a secure internet connection with enough bandwidth to handle the requirements. Please think about whether you also have access to this. Would other users take up some of the capacity your system might require?
Author of this title, published by Routledge in 2014
What people say about Gerrie's book:
'I would like you to know how refreshing , useful and enlightening I have found your book Competence and Self-Care in Counselling and Psychotherapy. I am recommending it for all the counsellors I supervise, work with, train and meet.'