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A bit about how I work

If you have found yourself here you are probably thinking about finding someone to talk to about something that is troubling you. You may have  feelings of anxiety or depression, experienced an event in life either recently or in the past that has caused you distress, have difficulties in your relationships with others, or you might not know why you are feeling what you are feeling, all of it is welcome here.

I offer compassionate, non-judgemental, experienced counselling in the Bristol area at my practice in Horfield, just off Gloucester Road. 

I believe that making the decision to begin addressing things in your life that you are struggling with is an act of courage. You may have been finding things difficult for a while, hoping that things would get better, or the thought of coming to counselling and speaking to someone you don't know about very personal things, may feel daunting. 

Having someone outside of your family and friends can be really helpful to explore how you feel without worrying that what you are saying may upset them. 

Relationship is everything, when we feel disconnected from ourselves we feel disconnected from everyone around us. When we are experiencing distressing feelings and emotions with no where to safely process them, it can all become overwhelming, and we lose the ability to be able to cope with everyday life. You may even find yourself turning to other ways to cope, like drinking more than usual, excessive exercise, prescription and non-prescription drugs, or over/under-eating. 

We are constantly receiving information which helps us process our environment and the relationships contained within them. This information can become overwhelming when our lives become too busy to process it, and we teach ourselves to 'switch off' this vital intuitive part of us, especially if we have experienced traumatic events where being in touch with our body feels unsafe. 

This leaves us vulnerable as the messages our body is giving us is vital information that allows us to keep ourselves safe and harmonious with ourselves and others around us.

If we learn to listen to our intuitive selves, we can start to make sense of what is happening to us and why we are experiencing what we are feeling, and make the changes necessary to fulfil our potential and lead a more enjoyable life.

Counselling can help you rebuild the feeling of connection through the relationship with your therapist, helping you to navigate difficult emotions and have them heard in a non-judgmental space. Not being alone in those feelings can reduce the intensity of them and help you gain a new perspective, whilst helping you find a way forward.

There is no doubt that our past experiences has an effect on how we think, feel, and believe about ourselves. As we get older these beliefs can stay with us and this can often be unhelpful and difficult to be conscious of.  Patterns of thinking are like well worn paths in the circuitry of our brain, it can be hard to see that there are other paths we can take, especially as we are often not aware of them. This means that the way we see ourselves and the world can start to feel limited.

Each individual person is unique, so I use a different approach to therapy depending on the person, but at the heart of my work is the relationship, I get to know you first and foremost. I work mainly from an integration of Person-centred and Existential approaches, this means I use different types of counselling theory to help you make sense of things. 

Some of the issues I have helped people with:

  • depression

  • anxiety

  • abuse

  • autism

  • domestic violence

  • loneliness 

  • divorce 

  • suicidal thoughts

  • stress

  • relationships

  • polyamory/CNM

  • addiction

  • post-natel depression

  • life transitions

  • grief, loss, bereavement

I currently supervise the work of a variety of organisations and train other counsellors on the Level 4 Diploma in Therapeutic Counselling, as well as being in private practice.

Therapy is the most effective when attended weekly, this helps us to get to know each other and for you to feel comfortable talking about whatever is troubling you.

Therapy is best done face to face, but if you are outside of the Bristol area, I am able to provide Skype or Zoom sessions.

I am a registered member of the  British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy

I have professional indemnity insurance and I am the registered data controller for Hayley Rivers Counselling with the Information Commissioners Office.

If you would like to know to more please feel free to get in touch on my contact page to see if we might be a good 'fit' for one-another.  

Counselling: About Me
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