What I can you help with
I can help you to overcome a wide range of issues that may affect your health and well-being. Some examples are listed below.
Our ways of relating are formed from a very young age. We learn what it means to feel secure and loved by the quality of our early nurturing. Where this nurturing has not been good enough it can often leave us anxious and insecure in the formation of intimate relationships. We can doubt ourselves, our lovability and our ability to sustain meaningful relationships. Our self-esteem can feel low and we often resort to familiar, distorted patterns of behaviour. In our sessions, I can help you to explore the most important and long-lasting relationship in your life – your relationship with yourself. Only when this becomes nurturing and enjoyable can we derive sustenance and nourishment from our other significant relationships.
Shame / Guilt / the "Inner Critic"
One of the ‘structures’ in our personality that we all have to contend with is our ‘inner critic’ which is sometimes called our ‘superego’. In simple terms, it’s the part of you that ‘beats yourself up’. It is highly critical both of yourself and others when you do not behave, think or feel in the way that it says you ‘should’. The inner critic is formed when we are very young - through the influence of parents, teachers, religion, culture – all telling us what is good/bad, right/wrong, acceptable/not acceptable. We internalise these ‘truths’ and they become the compass by which we regulate our lives. The inner critic thrives on judgement and shames us whenever we do something ‘wrong’. It can cause us a lot of pain and guilt and can limit our experience of ourselves and our lives. I will support you in dealing with your inner critic so that it no longer usurps so much power in your life.
For many, religious faith is important. Its doctrine, rituals and moral framework provide guidance and direction in life. For others, recent scandals in the mainstream churches have led to a crisis in faith. This is particularly difficult for those who feel that they are now in a ‘spiritual vacuum’, unsure what to trust in. However, I believe it is also an opportunity to enquire more deeply into the nature of our spirituality. We may have to challenge old ‘certainties’ and this can be painful, but we also come to the realisation that our true nature is in fact spiritual and always accessible.
Becoming comfortable with our sexuality can be a long journey for many people. From a very early age we are assimilating many spoken and unspoken messages about what constitutes ‘normal’ sexuality. It’s an area of our experience that can be challenging to explore as it is often overlain with shame and/or guilt. Yet, it is a powerful force within us and its power can often feel overwhelming, even threatening. On the other hand, some people find that they cannot connect with their sexual energy at all. Whatever your challenges are in this most sensitive area of life, I will help you to become comfortable and confident in your sexuality.
Living with a Life Limiting Illness
Receiving a diagnosis of a life-limiting illness can be shocking for the person in question and for family and friends. The ‘landscape’ of life changes very quickly and there are losses to contend with as you are no longer able to function in the way you used to. There can also be a loss of meaning or purpose that needs to be faced. What offered you strength, direction and meaning in your life no longer does so. Questions of self-worth can present themselves. Fears of death and the dying process can be difficult to process with family and friends as they are too close to you. These are issues that I have been supporting people with in a palliative care setting for many years.
Loss and Bereavement
All change involves loss and loss needs to be felt. I believe that bereavement is one of the most challenging of all losses that we, as human beings, are called upon to face. There is no time-scale, no right or wrong way to grieve and the experience can seem relentless. This has been the main focus of my professional work for most of my professional career.