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Psychodynamic counselling for women. A chance to heal, to understand and be curious about your inner and outer world, and to consider how one’s past can unconsciously remain present.

Counselling

People come to counselling for many reasons. It may be there is specific life event or relationship you would like to address, or that there are painful experiences in your past that you need to safely talk through. It could be that you find yourself feeling unhappy, angry, anxious or lost, without knowing quite why, or maybe you simply want to understand yourself better. If any or all of these things are the case, this form of counselling may be helpful to you.

Counselling offers an opportunity to reflect, grow and heal. It is a unique space where you can safely bring your feelings and difficulties without expectation or judgement. I offer a confidential relationship which is based on female solidarity and trust.

I am an experienced counsellor, working out of my home at the heart of St Werburghs, Bristol. I offer one-to-one counselling for adult women (18 years old and over) who may be struggling with a range of issues. These may include, but are not limited to:

  • depression and low mood
  • anxiety
  • relationship difficulties
  • isolation and loneliness
  • feeling lost
  • loss and bereavement
  • sexuality
  • self esteem and confidence
  • family relationships
  • maternal relationships and motherhood
  • pregnancy, miscarriage and abortion
  • domestic abuse
  • sexual violence
  • girlhood sexual abuse
  • self-harm
  • body image
  • eating disorders

I am a primarily psychodynamic counsellor, which means that we will generally be exploring and addressing your present difficulties with reference to your past experiences and childhood. Our early life and relationships can unconsciously shape our sense of ourselves and create patterns in our behaviour and way of relating. Sometimes we find ourselves feeling stuck or at a point of crisis in our emotional lives, unsure where to turn and psychodynamic counselling offers an opportunity to understand ourselves, to untangle inner conflicts and areas of distress in a way which can bring both solace and change.

In addition to the psychodynamic model, I also draw on related ideas and techniques such as inner child work, trauma treatment theory, transactional analysis and feminist counselling principles.

Why Women’s Counselling?

“The personal is political”

Whilst human beings have much in common with each other, it is my belief that different groups face different challenges, and that this should be understood and addressed in counselling. As a feminist I have always been passionate about the provision of specialist mental health care for women.

There are many ways in which being born female may have impacted your emotional life and present difficulties. You may have felt pressured or limited by social expectations of femininity, struggled with your sexuality or found that sexist/racist beauty standards have impacted your relationship with your body. You may have faced inequality at work or within your relationships. Sadly, a large number of women also experience sex based violence such as domestic abuse, sexual violence, stalking and harassment.

Additionally, having a female body can bring changes and health problems which impact our mental wellbeing throughout different stages of our lives. Many women face a variety of physical and emotional challenges relating to menstruation, pregnancy, birth and menopause.

The experience of motherhood can bring emotional pain as well as great joy. Women also often report that the pressure of looking after children or older relatives takes an emotional toll, especially if poverty, lack of support and difficulties in accessing affordable care are a factor.

But what does this mean in counselling? Things like depression, anxiety, eating disorders and addiction can be understood, in part, as symptoms of the emotional disturbance that can arise in response to all these experiences. Even if you do not strongly relate to the examples I have given, we will always bear in mind how your experience of being a woman in the world may have influenced how you are currently feeling. Counselling can also be a chance to explore what your sex means to you, for in addition to understanding the challenges, we will value and celebrate the many amazing things that women can be.