Yes, your counselling is about you. But it’s hugely important to know something about the person sitting opposite you – after all that’s how relationships work.
On this page you’ll find out if I’m the right counsellor for you and if you have any questions, please get in touch.
Counselling with someone who’s been there…
I faced a lot of challenges growing up that affected my life, my relationships, my mental health and my beliefs about myself. As a young adult, I felt pretty hopeless and knew I had to do something. Things had got as bad as they could get when I went into counselling and I had no idea it would work. It took time to build trust and start to hope things would get better. My therapist was patient with me – even when it was tough and felt easier to give up. She understood that too!
Through her caring, support and love she helped me challenge the beliefs that were holding me back, recognise strengths I didn’t know I had and start to heal from the trauma I’d experienced. Back then I couldn’t have imagined my life now. She gave me the greatest gift – she gave me my life back. And the best way I’ve found to express my gratitude? Helping others do the same.
I believe that no-one should have to live with anxiety, depression, addiction, low self-esteem, ongoing relationship problems or the effects of abuse. Life is to be lived and can be so much more than you’re imagining right now…
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“Kirsty was experienced in the type of counselling that I needed. I felt I could talk to her and trust her. She understood when and what I needed to discuss, and was able to question me at crucial points. This helped me explore and question things about myself that I didn’t even realise were causing problems and pain”.
Catrin, Teacher, South Wales
One of my first jobs was in a pub and I loved it. For me, there’s nothing better than working with people and hearing their stories (I think of it as part of my counselling training). In my early twenties I started working at a homeless hostel and learnt a huge amount from the people there. I enjoyed support work but knew I needed to get better at helping clients change; I had people relying on me and wanted to do them justice.
Through studying and having my own therapy, I fell in love with counselling. It wasn’t an easy journey, but often nothing worthwhile is. And after 12 years of support work (and 5 years in therapy) I got my first counselling job. I’ll never forget how excited I was, nor how lucky I felt – counselling jobs are rare and it was a huge validation for all my hard work.
So far, I’ve counselled with:-
- New Pathways with clients who’ve experienced rape and sexual abuse.
- Cardiff Alcohol and Drug Team.
- Cardiff Council Employee Counselling Service.
- University of South Wales, counselling students.
I lead support groups for:-
- NAPAC a national organisation that supports adults who experienced abuse in childhood.
And I’ve just written an Ebook on Counselling:-
- I wrote this book to do my bit to address the misunderstanding (and sometimes stigma) of what counselling is and who it’s for. In jargon-free language and with plenty of examples, this full-length book guides you through the process of changing anything in counselling. Expected publication date – end of 2017.
Qualifications & Professional Membership
- Postgraduate Diploma, Therapeutic Counselling (Integrative) – JAN 2009
University of Wales, Newport
- Qualified Member of BACP (British Association of Counselling And Psychotherapy) – JAN 2009
The main professional body for counselling in the UK.
- BACP Accreditation Awarded – JULY 2013
Accredited status recognises experience and ethical practice in the field.
- I regularly attend ongoing training. So you get the most up-to-date service.
My Counselling Style
Because all clients are different, I integrates three main styles of counselling:- Person-centered, Psychodynamic and CBT. This means whatever difficulties you have (and which ever way you prefer to work) I’ll provide a service unique to you.
As my work, experience and self-development continues I’m always learning new ways to help you, so I also use (and I’m trained in):-
- Motivational Interviewing.
- Solution-Focused Brief Therapy
- ‘Tapping’ from EFT – Emotional Freedom technique.
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“Kirsty offers a great service all round. I’d highly recommend it – I feel I don’t need counselling anymore which is proof in itself.”
My Strengths and Values
As a member of the BACP (British Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy) I practice within their ethical framework and I’m committed to their principles of:-
- Being trustworthy: honouring the trust you place in me as your counsellor.
- Autonomy: respecting your right to free choice.
- Beneficence: a commitment to promoting your wellbeing.
- Non-maleficence: a commitment to avoiding harm to you.
- Justice: the fair and impartial treatment of all clients and the provision of an adequate service.
- Self-respect: fostering my own self-knowledge, integrity and self-care.
If you’d like to know more about the BACP and their Ethical Framework, please click here.
On a personal level, the strengths I’ll bring to our work include:-
Making Connections. I see the connections between people and the events in our lives. This makes me a good detective and I can help you see patterns in seemingly unrelated thoughts, feelings and actions. From here we can find new meaning in your experience. Yes it’s important to deal with your symptoms but understanding what’s caused them means you can change patterns and stop them reoccurring.
Individualising. I’m just as fascinated by our differences as our similarities and always want to know more about people (whether I’m working or not!). I hate generalisations and instinctively tune into the things that make you you. This means the counselling you get from me will be as unique as you are.
Strategic Thinking. Someone told me once if you’re a good worryier you’re also a good planner! Thankfully I’ve dealt with the worry but I’ve kept the strategic thinking. All change takes planning and often your success will come down to this – being able to predict obstacles and work out how to get around them. Believe me – this is something I know all about.
Positivity. Now don’t let this put you off. There’s nothing more annoying then being told to ‘cheer up’ when you’re really not feeling it but there’s something important in having a counsellor who can hold the hope for you. And that’s what I’ll do – wherever you are (and whatever you’re feeling) I’ll work with you to find the light at the end of the tunnel.
Belief in self-knowledge. I’ve always believed that because our perspectives are so unique, no-one can tell us what’s best for us. I haven’t always known how to use (and trust in) my self-knowledge which is where my own therapy came in. Sometimes we need someone else to help us come to know ourselves – strange but true. Because I’m so passionate about personal choice, our work will help you uncover and trust your own inner knowledge too.
Credit here to strengthsfinder.com for helping me understand myself a little better. If you’re interested in discovering your strengths, check it out.
And a little more…
I’m a self-help junkie. New ways to beat stress, balance emotions and break-through old mindsets – give me more of that! There’s always more we can learn about ourselves. And the good news? As my client, you’ll benefit from everything I’ve learnt.
I never thought I’d be working for myself. I’ve always loved the services and working ‘on the front line’. Due to recent cuts and a lack of investment in counselling, my focus is now on my private practice and making counselling more accessible and understandable to the public. Counselling (and counsellors) have a huge amount of knowledge and it’s become my mission to share as much of this as I can.
I only joined Facebook last year. No really it’s true – and I only use it now for work. Staying connected is great but I much prefer a chat over a cup of tea. Old fashioned? I know.
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