Counselling & Couples Counselling, CBT, Life Coaching and Clinical Supervision in Rugeley, between Stafford and Lichfield,
Face-to-Face, by phone and on-line
Welcome to my website
Who am I and what is my approach as a Psychotherapist, Counsellor, Supervisor and Coach?
I am a mother and grandmother. I was born and grew up in The Netherlands, fell in love and married an Englishman. Britain became my adopted and loved homeland. Once our children were at school, I worked as a teacher for many years then chose a career change and qualified in 1996 as a psychotherapist. My core training is based on the Psychology of Alfred Adler. To read more about my training, click on qualifications. I have a lot of experience in my work but every client is different and as much as each person comes to me for help, each provides me with the chance to further my knowledge and understanding of the complicities life deals us. We work together to develop strategies that give each client greater self awareness, different choices, opportunities for change and possible solutions.
"It is my deeply felt belief that we all have an essential drive towards growth, good communications and self-confidence. Counselling can help us develop this in our relationships, our work and in our life in general."
My clients come for counselling, coaching and supervision from Rugeley,Stafford, Stone, Abbots Bromley, Lichfield, Cannock and surrounding villages and also from across Staffordshire and the West Midlands.
Rugeley is very accessible by car, bus and train. If you are using public transport, please let me know to arrange transport if necessary.
My practice is situated near the edge of the town, overlooking the Trent and Mersey Canal and close to the beautiful Cannock Chase.
I provide counselling and/or Cognitive Behavioural Therapy for:
(Please click on each link for further information)
I offer face-to face, telephone and on-line appointments from 8 a.m. to 8 pm (last appointment) Monday to Friday. On request, I see clients in the weekend, but I charge an additional fee. Home visits can be arranged but, because of the travelling time and cost involved, I do charge accordingly.
Counsellors are all different....
Most people will ask their GP to see a counsellor. The NHS provides free Cognitive Behavioural Therapy and sometimes other forms of counselling but the demand is high and waiting lists are very long which results in long waits for an appointment. Others will seek help from counselling charities but current funding cuts have reduced the number of counselling charities and they, too, have many requests for help.
Therefore, more and more people will seek private therapists where they know they will get help very quickly, and at a time that suits them, from experienced and mostly accredited counsellors and psychotherapists.
If that is your choice, please check carefully if your counsellor has been accredited by recognised professional counselling organisations such as the British Association for Counsellors and Psychotherapists (BACP). If fees are worrying you, talk it through with the counsellor and some concessions may be available.
After that, the most important thing for you to consider is your relationship with the counsellor:
Do you like her/him? Do you feel you can trust him/her? Do you think that you could work with her/him to make a difference to your life today? Finding the right counsellor is really important.
There are some areas of our lives that we know we would like to improve but no matter how we try, we seem to go round in circles. Talking it through and discover how we can make some small or significant changes can lead to a much happier, more balanced and satisfying way of life.
We decide to see a counsellor because we are seeking answers to issues we have tried to deal with ourselves, often for quite some time, but we realise that we are stuck .
It becomes clear to us that certain situations and events are tough to deal with on your own and never mind how helpful family and friends are, it is not working for us. Clients often describe it as 'going round in circles'. . . . Read more on specialised therapeutic techniques
A counsellor has time to listen to your story, your side of things without judging you. As one client put it: "It was so good that I could pour out how I felt."
Some examples of why people seek counselling (please click on any for further information):
When you come for counselling, it is like starting a journey where you are the driver and I am the map reader. You can decide how long the journey will be and how often we will travel. You can make choices where to go, to follow my directions and suggestions or not, and at times you may decide to slow down, to reflect, pause or stop, decide that a different road suits you better. You may ask me to leave the car and go your own way. The choice is yours! However, the most effective journey is where we plan and travel together.
Counselling offers the opportunity to recognise and better manage or reconcile troublesome differences and repeating patterns of distress. We often think of relationship counselling as couple counselling but the relationship involved may be between members of a family or a couple as well as between employees or employee and employers in a workplace, or between a professional and a client.
- Abuse Anger, Depression
- Anxiety, Low-Confidence and Stress
- Family Issues
- Loss, Crisis and Trauma
There are many ways to abuse. To expect too much, to denigrate, to ignore - are all modes of abuse. There is physical abuse, verbal abuse, psychological abuse, sexual abuse. It maintains power and control of one person over another. increasingly people suffer from ciber bullying, a form of abuse that is difficult to deal with because there is no face-to-face abuser and even if we know the abuser, we feel helpless.
We often find it difficult to open up about abuse. We blame ourselves, we allow ourselves to be manipulated, we lose confidence. Many people who are being abused suffer in silence and in fear.
Speaking in confidence to a counsellor is often helpful. There is help available and either the counsellor will provide you with techniques to deal with abusive behaviour or refer you to organisations that can help you.
Anger is a basic emotion, often brought about by frustration. Anger is a healthy emotion as long as we know how to manage it. Anger can be destructive when it is out of control and turns to aggression. Cognitive Behavioural Therapy can help people to manage their anger, to make changes so they express anger in the correct way and have their needs met.
Depression is a common condition that will affect one in three people at some time in their life. It is a complicated illness with many different symptoms and causes. It is often an interaction of genetic factors, body chemistry and life events. It spans from levels of feeling down to severe or clinical depression.
If a low mood has lasted for more than two weeks or is starting to interfere with your life it may be time to seek help. Unfortunately, even in today's society, there is a fear of mental illness, of being seen as a 'nutter' and therefore many people suffer with depression in silence, believing that by pushing the emotions aside, they will go away..
The earlier help is sought for depression the better. Counselling is effective in treating mild to moderate depression, and is often combined with medication in more severe cases, which is sometimes known as clinical depression. I always recommend a visit to your GP as a first point of call but if that is not the way you like to go, please seek help from a professional who will help you to get back on track.
Many people with low self-confidence aspire to be more self-confident, and the good news is that self-confidence is a skill that can often be developed. It is important to note, however, that the more pressure you (or others) put on yourself to live up to certain expectations, the more this could lead to anxiety and bruise confidence, so developing self-confidence at the right pace for you is important
Counselling and hypnotherapy are common therapies used to help those suffering with low self-confidence. Techniques and strategies can be developed to build your self confidence and change current negative thinking
Anxiety and stress are very much part of today's society and can be very uncomfortable. The first thing to do is to visit your GP and ask for advice. Counselling, particularly Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, often together with relaxation techniques and/or hypnotherapy, is for many people very effective.
Living with bereavement is the hardest challenge life can throw at us and it is never by our choosing, but we have to learn how to cope with loss, a challenge none of us want to face.
As a counsellor, I provide a supportive environment for a bereaved person to talk and express feelings that they may find difficult to express among family or friends from fear of upsetting others also suffering from the pain of loss.
behaviour, starting school, going up to high school, letting our children go, "empty nest" syndrome
Throughout life we experience loss. It begins with the loss of our perfect oneness with another person at the moment of our birth and ends with the loss of our own life. In between, humans suffer every kind and degree of loss, such as losses of a parent, loss of one's child, loss of one's childhood, of one's innocence, or losses of health, sight, freedom, safety, money, employment, home, friends. There is the loss of a spouse or life partner to death, divorce or separation. Times of emotional crisis and upset often involve some kind of loss.
The single most important factor in healing from loss is having the support of other people. There are times that we decide that professional help is needed. Counselling provides you with a listening ear and supports you while working through these intense emotions. There will be options open to you to choose from to help you overcome obstacles to accept and adjust to loss.
Being involved in a traumatic event can be very frightening and it is not surprising that most people will be upset for a few days afterwards. After a trauma, people may go though a wide range of physical and emotional responses.
Such reactions may be experienced not only by people who experienced the trauma first-hand, but by those who have witnessed or heard about the trauma, or been involved with those immediately affected. Many reactions can be triggered by persons, places, or things associated with the trauma. Some reactions may appear totally unrelated.
What is ‘Couple Counselling’?
(Also called 'Relationship Counselling' and sometimes 'Marriage Guidance')
I don't think anyone will say that having and keeping a healthy, happy relationship with your partner is easy.
We have our dreams when we first meet and when we commit ourselves setting up home together but pressure from the normal things in life such as money worries, extended families, trying to conceive and the changing dynamics with the arrival of a baby in the family can cause stress we are not always prepared for. Unexpected personal or family member's health issues, redundancy or demands from the workplace often create anxiety and depression. Couples like to protect each other by not sharing their feelings and concerns. This is so often misunderstood by the partner and can lead to a negative atmosphere in the relationship and in the home.
As a couple counsellor, I know how important it is for each partner that they feel they are being listened to, acknowledged and valued as an individual and as a partner/spouse.
My counselling room provides a private, confidential place to talk and I appreciate that both of you are taking time out from normal life to reflect on your problems and plan different ways forward. Together, we will be working towards your shared goals and I support you in making decisions that you feel are best for you. Couples counselling aims to reflect on all options, from staying together to going your separate ways.
As your counsellor, I accepted your type of relationship and how you describe yourself for example whether married or co-habiting, straight or gay etc.
Specialised therapeutic techniques have been developed which have the potential to change your life, even when you have deep and persistent problems. This includes the practice of counselling and psychotherapy, the intervention of a human being who has the specialised knowledge, training, skill and experience to help.
The assistance of a professional can help you identify your needs, enabling you to deal with them faster and more reliably through such techniques.
If you needed an antibiotic for an infection, you wouldn’t hesitate to go to your doctor for the right treatment. Why deny yourself proper care for your emotional health?
Counselling makes you aware of yourself: Throughout the sessions, the focus is on you, acknowledging your feelings, experience and behaviour. You are given techniques to develop healthy decision making skills. As a counsellor I will challenge and confront you sometimes to motivate you to take appropriate action. If you put in the work and take on the challenge, counselling can help you feeling more fulfilled and in charge of yourself, personally as well as socially.
The family is a group of people who care about each other, depend on each other and consider themselves as such. Single parent families, same sex families are as much a family as the traditional concept of families with a father and mother. Blended families where each parent brings his/her own siblings to a newly created family unit are now very much part of our society. Step-parents, step-children and half-siblings are learning to live together and in many of such families there are often more than the standard two sets of grandparents in the family.
Ideally, family life is a place of refuge and security but, unfortunately, that is not always the case. Family life is then a source of pain and disillusionment. Families by nature absorb many of the stresses and strains from the outside world of work, school and expectations held by extended families and society as a whole. Sometimes a personal problem, particularly in an adolescent, can overwhelm a family and there seems to be no clear way forward. At other times changes within the family leave other members confused and angry or hurt. When a crisis or disappointment happens for one member the family group absorbs the impact, sometimes helping and sometimes hindering. Sometimes the help comes at a high price to one or more members and the pressures can boil over.
A family is a ‘system’ or an organisation, such as a social club or a workplace, but the rules and expectations of each one are unique and complex and often seen differently by each member. It is through examining what the explicit and hidden ‘rules’ might be in each family and how they are seen and interpreted by each member that the work might begin. One of the dilemmas of modern family life is the conflict of being an individual and remaining within the group, too.
Many people avoid family therapy because they see it as having 'failed'. Government agencies as well as the media highlight 'problem' families as 'dysfunctional' and parents are blamed for their children's misbehaviour. As a consequence, many families suffer in silence, scared to admit they need help. However, I have noticed that there is a change taking place and increasingly families ask me for help with the extreme behaviour of one member or to adapt to a shift or change.
It may be that you feel your teen needs counselling, that the problems they have are beyond your ability, and that you need the help of a professional in dealing with them.
There’s nothing to be ashamed of in that. In fact, quite the opposite. You’re making a step in the right direction, and quite possibly doing the best thing for your teen. If you think of counselling as a bad thing, an admission of defeat or mental problems, don’t.
Seeking help is a good thing, and there really are problems we can’t manage alone. Counsellors are trained, qualified professionals. The odds are that they’ll have dealt with situations like yours before, and in the vast majority of cases, they can help.
In fact, more than any other group, teens may benefit from counselling, because during such a transitional stage there are so many issues that bother them, and they may well find it easier to open up to someone who’s not a part of their life or social circle, but who can still understand.