Hi, my name is Caroline. I'm a BACP registered Integrative Psychotherapist, and I hope you find here lots of information which you may find helpful, as you consider and begin upon your journey to finding the right therapist for you.
Embarking upon and partaking in therapy can be empowering and life changing to say the least, but it can also be tough mentally and emotionally at times too, potentially requiring courage and commitment from you. This is why it has to be the right time for you to start this journey. And only you can decide when that is.
I know and understand completely that finding a therapist that you would like to feel comfortable and safe with, so you can explore and make sense of all you want and need to, (whether it be something from your past, or something going on for you currently), can seem like an incredibly daunting prospect, and in order for you, as a client, to get the most from your therapy, it is essential that you feel safe, supported, heard, not at all judged, and accepted. This is exactly what I aim to do.
Choosing a therapist is a very personal and subjective experience. So with this in mind we can discuss your requirements initially and then decide if we want to work together, there's no obligation to commit to sessions after our initial discussions, or a minimum contract in terms of number of sessions. Our work together is guided completely by you and open ended, you can cease sessions whenever you wish, and our time together can be short or long-term.
"I do my thing and you do your thing.
I am not in this world to live up to your expectations,
And you are not in this world to live up to mine.
You are you, and I am I,
and if by chance we find each other, it's beautiful.
If not, it can't be helped".
(Fritz Perls, "Gestalt Therapy Verbatim", 1969) .
Being an integrative psychotherapist means that I am able to draw upon a range of therapeutic approaches in order to best support my clients. No two clients will ever be the same, even if what they are bringing to therapy may on the surface be perceived as similar. The way we feel, think, and react to life's events and stressors, even everyday life, will be done in very personal and individual ways. So my approach and response to my clients, mirrors and respects their individuality, and being an integrative practitioner equips me to do that.
My approach is 'relational' and includes: person-centred, humanistic, gestalt, existential, and psychodynamic approaches. I draw on these because I have consistently found them to be insightful and helpful for clients.
I've been told on many occasions that I have a very calming, supportive, empathetic, and non-judgemental presence, and I strive to be open, genuine, and empathic towards my clients. I feel passionately about supporting clients to seek empowerment from within, on a journey to becoming more personally aware, authentic and self-valuing, aiming to build/enhance client’s own resources, hopefully enabling them to be better equipped when dealing with everyday life, as well as life's more challenging moments. If desired, I will support clients to seek new perspectives, or reframe existing ones, and identify possible choices or changes within their lives, which they would potentially like to make, however big or small. How would you like the next chapter of your life to be?
" It is astonishing how elements that seem insoluble become soluble when someone listens". (Carl Rogers, "A Way of Being", 1995)
As a qualified Integrative counsellor registered with the BACP, it means I endorse and adhere to their high standards of practice, and ethical framework for 'Good Practice' for counselling and psychotherapy. I also undertake CPD and have regular supervision (both BACP membership requirements), to ensure I am practising in the best possible, most informed way, for my clients.
I became a psychotherapist because I truly believe in the benefits and power of counselling, and I feel very honoured to be trusted and support clients on their very personal, individual, journeys.
I have experience of dealing with a whole range of different issues from my time in third sector and local authority settings, and worked with many different people, who have sought counselling for many different reasons. I approach each new client acknowledging and respecting their uniqueness, so look to avoid attaching 'presenting issues' or labels to clients, and endeavour to 'meet' the person as a whole, who is in the room with me.
I currently only see individual adults, and have experience of working with depression, anxiety, eating disorders/food issues, suicide, adult or childhood trauma, loss, grief, bereavement, relationship issues, stress (work related or other), illness, other struggles, confidence/self-esteem, addiction, to name but a few. My areas of interest include: anxiety, eating disorders, pre/post-natal depression, equine facilitated psychotherapy, and eco-therapy.
I offer face to face sessions, together with telephone and Skype/Zoom counselling sessions.
"Therapy is an adventure that client and therapist embark upon together, both will be transformed, as they let themselves be touched by life" (Dryden, "Handbook of Individual Therapy", 1996).
Registered member of BACP (British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy) - M375681.
Post Graduate Diploma in Integrative Counselling and Psychotherapy (Level 7 - BACP accredited).
Post Graduate Certificate in Counselling Skills.
BSc (hons) Psychology (BPS accredited).
I can offer discounted rates for counselling students during your studies. Not only for meeting course requirements in terms of hours, but also as an opportunity for extra support during your training, which has the potential to require you to acknowledge and process difficult things during this time.
Fees are to be paid at the end of each session, either by cash or cheque. For non face to face sessions, payment is by bank transfer prior to the session taking place.
Concessionary rates available for key workers.
I am able to offer non face to face sessions (either by telephone or Skype/Zoom), with flexible hours throughout the week.
I am also based at Abergavenny Complementary Practice on Tuesday mornings, with my last appointment being 12.30pm. I can also offer weekend appointments here.
The room here is light, spacious, comfortable, and private. It is on the ground floor of the building, with no steps to navigate when entering the building, so it is wheelchair accessible, or suitable for those with other disabilities. There are also client toilet facilities on the ground floor. There is plenty of parking nearby, together with various coffee shops to relax in before or after a session.
The room is used by a few different holistic therapists at different times throughout the week, which gives the space a lovely, nurturing feel.
Reception contact number: 01873 858020
Entering Abergavenny from the south – from the Heads of the Valleys road (A465), from Pontypool (A4042), or from Raglan.
Follow the main road into town past the Bus Station car park on your Right, and the Renault garage on your Left. After the zebra crossing the road turns Right (by the Angel Hotel), and you pass St Mary’s church on your Right. The Holistic Clinic is on the Left just after the next zebra crossing.
From Brecon – coming in on the Brecon road (A40), keep going to the T-junction traffic lights at the Esso station and turn Right there. The Holistic Clinic is on the Right, just after Lion Street, 200 yards (metres) along this road.
What we discuss during our time together, and what you choose to say to me, is highly confidential.
There are some exceptions to this however. As I have regular supervision (a BACP membership requirement), it means that I discuss my client work with my supervisor. This ensures that I am practising in the best interests of my clients, and maintaining a high standard of ethical practice. My supervisor is an experienced BACP accredited psychotherapist, who is also trained to supervise or oversee the practice of other psychotherapists and counsellors. During my supervision, no details are given which could potentially identify my clients, and the discussions are confidential. Very rarely I may want to consult another professional about our work together, (such as your Doctor), however this would usually be following discussion with you.
Harm/danger to self or others: if something is disclosed during our time together that could suggest somebody, (especially children or someone vulnerable), is in danger of serious harm, then I may be obligated to take matters further, however, if possible, this will be discussed fully with you beforehand.
The law may also require me to breach confidentiality if something is disclosed during a session that relates to money laundering, drug trafficking, or terrorism.
I may keep notes of our sessions, but this is only done if it will benefit my practice and our sessions together. These are handwritten only, never computerised, and completely anonymous. At the end of our time together they will be destroyed.
If by any chance we should meet outside of a session, I will not acknowledge you or greet you. I'm not being rude in any way, but this is because for some people therapy is a very private matter, and they do not wish others to know they are embarking upon it. However, if you choose to acknowledge me, I will always respond.
As a BACP member, I adhere to their Ethical Framework for Counselling Professions (2018). Please click the button below for more information.
I completely understand that sometimes sessions need to be cancelled or rescheduled. If you need to cancel a session, but are able to give more than 24 hours notice, then there is no charge. If you cancel a session but are not able to give 24 hours notice, or if you fail to attend an agreed appointment, you will be charged 50% of the session fee. This is because I still need to pay for the room and cover other expenses. If there is an emergency of some sort, so 24 hours notice is not possible, we can discuss this further.
If you attend a session late, then our session will finish at the usual finishing time, as I am likely to have another client booked in after you.
Being an integrative therapist means that I can draw upon different elements of various theoretical approaches, during my work with clients.
These theoretical influences include:
"When we succeed in feeling nothing we lose the only means we have of knowing what hurts us, and why." (Grosz, "The Examined Life. How We Lose and Find Ourselves", 2013).
If there is anything that I haven't answered or addressed for you, or if you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me.
You can contact me by either the email address or telephone number below. If you call me, please leave a message with your contact details and name, and any particular times/days that will not be convenient for me to call you back. I'll get back to you ASAP (usually within 24 hours), unless it's the weekend or I am on holiday.
Be with me (please)
Can I trust you with my pain?
To treat it with kindness and respect?
To listen to it,
So I can speak the unspoken?
Will you help me catch the tears
As the floodgates open?
Swim with me into the unknown?
Save me from drowning in my sorrow?
If I entrust you with my grief,
Will you help me take care of it?
Console it? Soothe it? Make it feel safe?
Will you accept it as a gift to be protected?
I feel my need and I fear it
As I fear all that I do not understand,
Yet I ask you to be with me,
For I am tired of walking alone.
Anon, printed in Sutton and Stewart, ‘Learning to Counsel’, (2008).