‘people who go to therapy are not people with problems, they are the people with the courage to risk change’
Whether you are suffering from stress, depression, anxiety, grief, low self esteem or an unhappy relationship, the current pandemic may well add feelings of fear and despair.
Whatever you are struggling with, there is good news.
Research has shown that a good trusting relationship with a counsellor/therapist can really help us whatever our circumstances. Feeling connected to someone who understands you, respects you and does not judge you; to whom you can really open up to can be hugely relieving. When we get a chance to process our feelings safely in this way they become much more manageable. And if you are committed to change, and can work together with your counsellor towards your shared goals, a happier life is possible.
I know this from my own experience. I haven't forgotten what it's like to feel like a crazy person, or how terrified I was when meeting a counsellor for the first time. Working on myself with support has changed my life. Now I work with people from all walks of life, to feel good about themselves and live happier lives. But I still need and do get support to manage stressful life situations myself.
Needing and sourcing emotional support is not a sign of weakness but a wise acceptance of our vulnerable and beautiful humanity. It is through our vulnerabilities that we connect with others, and with our inner, innate wisdom enabling us to heal ourselves and be the best we can be.
I have recorded some short 2 minute videos on counselling, introducing myself, how to choose a counsellor, what is anxiety? and Top tips for bad days.
My passion is the human ‘psyche’ , the collection of experiences and beliefs and personality that makes every person so unique and so fascinating.
I used to be a research scientist in health, but it was too much about data and not enough about human beings so I retrained. But I still like to draw on the latest evidence to inform and update my practice.
I am a person-centred counsellor specialising in anxiety and self-esteem, but I also work with trauma, depression, panic and relationship issues.
Being person-centred means that I don’t work to a set method, rather I bring experience of a number of methods and we discover together what works for you. More about my approach below.
I also have a diploma in art foundation and an advanced diploma in yoga therapy which allow me to explore with clients how creative expression and the body (e.g breathing and movement) can help in healing the mind.
I work online, by email and telephone.
I can offer sessions face to face in my therapy room with restrictions. I'm happy to chat to you about which will work best for you.
I am a member of the British Association of Counsellors and Psychotherapists. https://www.bacp.co.uk/search/Therapists
VITAL ATTITUDES FOR HEALING AND WELLNESS
Curiosity and compassion are also vital attitudes to have towards oneself. Being genuinely willing to explore thoughts and feelings without judgement will allow you to discover your true potential and free yourself from the imprisonment of false beliefs and attitudes that do not serve your wellbeing. A compassionate attitude towards ourselves means we are curious about what we're feeling in order to transform it. It doesn't mean we don't challenge ourselves and it doesn't mean becoming more selfish. People who have a good relationship with themselves find it easier to have good relationships with others.
What most of us don't realise is that learning to be compassionate towards ourselves is a deep and powerful pathway to positive change. It sounds simple but requires patience and consistent practise to achieve and is much, much easier to do with a skilful companion. My job is to bring my best compassionate, professional and human self forward to be a skilful companion for you as you make this change.
CURIOSITY AND COMPASSION
I believe these are the most important qualities in a counselling relationship, allowing us to build a trusting relationship that is vital to change and growth.
In this safe container we can explore unhelpful beliefs and fears that limit your life and cause unwelcome feelings such as anxiety and low mood. It takes courage but by untying 'the knots that bind you' brings a freedom and ease that is worth it.
HOW WE GET STUCK
When we are not kind to ourselves because we feel 'not good enough' we can find ourselves blocked and frustrated, we are afraid of being selfish or rejected and can get stuck in patterns of feeling and behaving we don't like and a viscous circle is created.
To make a first appointment call, text or email.
You are offered a 20 minute free chat before committing to counselling.
You can choose online video meeting, or by telephone or email counselling before we start. I can help you choose if you are not sure.
Weekly sessions last one hour.
For the first session 90 minutes give us time to get to know you.
People usually commit to counselling for between 6 weeks and up to 2 years.
Single 'one off' sessions also available
STANDARD FEE PER SESSION
My standard fee is £50.00 per session.
Payment is by bank transfer in advance.
Sometimes we just want a one stop session to address an issue that is on our mind. I aim to fit you in within a week.
I offer a number of places at a reduced rate.
Sorry none available at this time
WHAT HAPPENS IN A COUNSELLING SESSION?
At our first session
I will to ask you some basic questions about your life, your circumstances and your history and establish what the issue is you want to address and what you want to change. I will explain confidentiality, privacy, boundaries, payment etc. I will invite you to choose a focus which we will explore in a way most enjoyable to you. This will give you a taster and help you decide if you'd like to continue with weekly sessions.
These are some of things we might talk about in following sessions.
What makes you feel better?
From here will we start exploring the issue in greater depth in various ways. We will discover what ways of working together help you most. For example, it can be that a simple mindfulness practise at the start of the session leads you to adopt meditation which can (and has) become life changing. For others making a drawing of what if feels like in their inner world is like shining a light on themselves that really helps identify what needs to change. For some just a chance to talk through and unload all the intense experiences of their week is enough to enable them to clear their heads and identify what, if any action is needed. You are unique and we will get to know your needs and ways of working together.
What do you want to change?
Early on we will do some simple exercises together to clarify what you want to change. We will come back to these every now and then, both to affirm the gains you have made and identify what adjustments need to be made either in how we work together or in your life.
How your past may affect your life now
We will pay attention to what is going in your life now but we will also be aware of how current experiences may have their roots in the past. Our past experience, particularly early life can set patterns of being and relating that no longer serve us as we mature: understanding these can be particularly liberating.
Many people have experienced trauma in their lives, whether through abuse or neglect and often sadly as children or young people. A basic understanding of the neuroscience of trauma and the well documented ways in which trauma can be healed is something we will explore together if this is your experience.
How do you know what you are feeling?
Sometimes people don’t know what is ‘wrong’ all they know is that they are not happy and don’t know how to feel better. For some people simply identifying what they are feeling – something we call emotional granularity – is vital to understanding themselves and being able to relate to those they love. In this case we will explore what your experience is, what thoughts occur in your mind, what sensations do you experience in your body? My job is to help you find the 'language of self' whether that's through finding the right words or finding the right images, symbols or even sounds for your experience that make sense to you.
Who are you?
Understanding our personal preferences and experiences helps us access a clear sense of how it feels to be us. This is vital self knowledge if we want to build a life including relationships that feel good to us. Who we are is also very significantly shaped by our culture. We understand now that however you identify yourself outwardly in terms of your skin colour, class, sexuality and gender will also have big impact on how you have experienced the world. If you are sensitive, empathic man and you have grown up in a culture where masculine stereotype of emotional distance and physical strength have been highly valued, you might feel 'it's not OK to be you'. Equally women who have grown up in a culture that values physical beauty in women above all else, might also carry a feeling of 'not attractive enough.' Understanding how our culture has shaped us can help us find the courage to be more of who we truly are in the world.
How to handle situations in your life
We will also pay attention to those situations in your life that challenge you most and trigger difficult feelings or unwanted thoughts. We will explore and identify what methods, or tools, work for best for you in these moments. We will borrow the best from Cognitive Behavioural Therapy approach and adapt it to you. Gradually you will find that you are able to ‘master’ these trigger moments so that you are no longer overwhelmed by the emotions they set off.
When we finish
Gradually we will identify where the stuckness is and how to unstuck you so that until you feel empowered to understand and manage your experiences without further help from me. This is always a deeply satisfying moment.
Henri helped me to love and like me even with all my traumas
Coming to see Henri was a realy good for me . Help me relize that i can achieve my goals in life and I have started to. And made me a stronger person. She shared my tears and my laughter which i think is lovely in a counsellor.i would recommend coming to see Henri”
Difficult times all of my adult life kept coming back to me. henri took me back to these times and enabled me to understand that I was not the cause. The resulting peace of mind is truly life affirming. Henri is gentle, articulate and understanding.
Talking things through with henri helped things to make sense and allowed me to make positive adjustments. I felt safe to talk without being judged. Counselling helped me realise what is really important to me and gave me some tools for when anxious thoughts or negative spiral creeps in.
Henrietta worked for New Dawn Therapies for 2 years. Demonstrating a genuine desire to help improve the quality of life for her clients, she combined this with highly professional and ethical approach to the work.
Dealing with a wide range of complex issues, Henrietta was steadfast and determined to elicit positive results even in the most challenging of situations.
Claire Wakefield, Manager, New Dawn Counselling Service
I chose Henri as a counsellor as I felt that as she had suffered from anxiety herself she would understand. This proved to be correct and I would be happy to come back if I needed to.
A traumatic event in my life meant I was off work (teaching) with stress. I needed clarity and help organising my thoughts and feelings. Henri helped me become aware of my vulnerabilities and reasons why I was feeling that way. I came away with a much clearer understanding of myself and my situation. Henri has a perfect balance of being a good listener who also challenged me to make progress.
I came for counselling as I felt I that I needed someone to talk to during the difficult time I was going through. Henri di that and more. She was always empathic and non-judgemental. Without her I would have been more lonely and lost and wouldn't have become the more confident person I am today.
Hazel aged 17
WHERE I WORK
I work from home in a separate annexe where I can ensure complete privacy and confidentiality.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
WHAT ARE YOUR FEES?
My standard fee is £50.00 for a 50 minute session. I do have some concession spaces please confirm I have one available before booking if you need a lower rate.
I AM HAVING SUICIDAL THOUGHTS
If you are having thoughts of ending your life this is a natural extension of an overwhelming desire to stop the feelings you are experiencing. Talking to someone who understands is the best immediate action. Call Samaritans on 116123. However if you are or someone you know is immediate danger of self harm the advice is to call 999.
WHERE CAN I GET HELP QUICKLY?
Please call Samaritans on 116 123 for free at any time of day or night. Papyrus is a confidential support and advice service for people under 35. Their Hopeline is open from 9am – 10pm weekdays, 2pm – 10pm weekends, 2pm – 10pm bank holidays. They also have useful advice for worried friends and family https://papyrus-uk.org/help-advice-2
CAN I MAKE A BOOKING FOR SOMEONE ELSE?
Sometimes we are really worried about someone we love and really want them to reach out for support. However I can only make an appointment if the person themselves contacts me.
HOW LONG DOES COUNSELLING TAKE?
Most people come to see me for between 4 and 24 months, with the average being 6-9 months.
I WORK FOR THE NHS AND AM LOOKING FOR SUPPORT DURING THE PANDEMIC
I am offering discounted short sessions for NHS staff and free sessions for ITU staff. See Covid 19 statement at the top of this page.
DO YOU OFFER CBT?
I am not a CBT trained therapist although I do use some of the very useful techniques such as identifying unhelpful thought patterns. I believe that transformation comes from discovering the hidden parts of ourselves: the beliefs and feelings that stay just below the surface of our awareness but can have a huge impact on our experience of life. That said I do also try to equip my clients with practical tools that can be used in the stressful circumstances.