Is something weighing on your mind?
Does it all just feel too hard?
Counselling can help.
There are many reasons why someone might seek counselling, such as: anxiety, depression, relationship difficulties, bereavement, or feeling 'stuck.' It can also be helpful for someone contemplating a big transition or decision, or those who are unable to process something from the past. I support my clients with warmth, empathy, dynamic listening and non-judgemental understanding.
I have a special interest in perinatal mental health and working with clients who encounter unexpected challenges during the fertility journey, pregnancy or the postnatal period. I am a member of Postpartum Support International (PSI) and the British Infertility Counselling Association (BICA).
I see clients online via Zoom or in person in central Norwich.
We all have times in our lives when we don't feel like ourselves or when things just feel too much -- too hard, too overwhelming, too demanding.
Sometimes we might put on a brave face when underneath we really feel vulnerable, anxious, sad, depressed or angry. Other times, that brave face might start to crumble. As your counsellor, I will sit alongside you, no matter how 'messy' it feels.
We will work together to reflect on how you might regain your emotional equilibrium, uncover insights and make small, often subtle, changes -- changes that can improve your mood, your relationships and your day-to-day life.
The fertility journey, whether you are struggling with primary or secondary infertility, can be a time of immense strain, sadness and uncertainty. Women and their partners are faced with so many questions and decisions, and many feel like it's just not fair that having babies seems to come so easily to 'everyone else.' It's a lot to bear, and often women and their partners wind up bearing this privately which can be intensely difficult, both practically and emotionally.
Counselling can help reduce isolation and provide another level of support during this time: it gives you a space where you can give voice to those circling doubts and worries or the grief, shame or anger you might be experiencing. Counselling can also be especially helpful if these emotions are intruding into your everyday life and becoming harder to manage.
I am a member of the British Infertility Counselling Association and currently pursuing further training in this area.
Women who suffer a pregnancy loss -- whether a miscarriage, abortion, termination for medical reasons, or stillbirth -- sometimes find themselves in a grey area of grief. How do you grieve for a baby you never met, or who only lived a short time? Our society tends to view pregnancy loss as not a 'real' loss, or one that doesn't warrant a long grieving process, so it can be extremely distressing when emotions dictate otherwise. Many hospitals have improved their care of women who endure pregnancy losses, but even so, many women find their experience traumatic and are unprepared for the grief that follows.
I have specialist training in perinatal loss and grief and currently volunteer as a counsellor at Time Norfolk, a pregnancy loss charity.
MATERNAL MENTAL HEALTH
New parents encounter an array of challenges, and it is natural to need extra support as you navigate this new terrain.
The arrival of a long-awaited baby after fertility treatments
A traumatic birth
A baby with additional needs
Feelings of isolation
These are just a few examples of circumstances that can have a profound impact on parents' mental health. A baby is wholly dependant upon their primary caregiver, so it makes sense that these caregivers need some taking care of, too. Counselling is a place to start. I support mothers and fathers as they find their way back to a place of mental and emotional wellbeing.
I have both personal and professional experience with an array of issues related to maternal mental health, from infertility through to the postnatal period. I also have experience facilitating groups for new mothers and have recently completed additional training about perinatal mood disorders with the Seleni Institute in New York and the Tavistock Clinic in London. I am a member of Postpartum Support International.
BACKGROUND AND QUALIFICATIONS
Originally from the US, over the past 20 years I have lived in London, Bristol, Utrecht, the Hague and, currently, in Norwich, England. My working life has included fundraising in the voluntary sector, teaching Pilates, research about ethnic conflicts in sub-Saharan Africa, advocating for refugees, and facilitating groups for new mothers. I also am also mother to two children.
Professionally, I am committed to a humanistic, integrative approach. I offer my clients warmth, active listening, deep empathy, humour and non-judgemental understanding. My training has equipped me to draw on different theories and approaches. I frequently take part in workshops and seminars to keep my practice up-to-date and foster my professional learning and development.
* Certificate in Perinatal Mental Health, Tavistock Clinic, 2021.
* Certificate in Perinatal Mood Disorders, Seleni Institute, 2021.
* Certificate in Perinatal Loss and Grief, Seleni Institute, 2021.
* Diploma in Humanistic and Integrative Counselling, Bath Centre for Psychotherapy and Counselling, 2015.
* CPD trainings include: Coaching Techniques for Counsellors, Mental Health First Aid, Working with Suicidality, Short-Term Counselling, Trauma and Attachment-Avoidant Clients, Infertility Counselling and Working with Shame.
* Certificate in Community Mediation, Open College Network, 2010.
* Doctoral-level research, International Relations, London School of Economics, 2003 - 2005.
* MA African Studies, School of Oriental and African Studies, 2002.
* BA Religion, Smith College, 1998.
I am a member of the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP), which has a strict code of ethics and an established complaints procedure. In accordance with the BACP policies, I adhere to the GDPR guidelines with regard to privacy of information. I also undertake regular supervision.