Alice Cook Counselling in Stroud

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Counselling and Psychotherapy

Underlying all counselling and psychotherapy is your sense of being deeply listened to and heard, whatever you want to bring and say, within the trusting relationship that develops between you and your counsellor.

People seek counselling and psychotherapy for many different reasons. Some want help with specific emotional problems such as depression, loneliness or anxiety. Some may have difficulty coming to terms with a traumatic or painful personal history. Other people may feel stuck in recurring patterns that prevent them from feeling fulfilled, from making rewarding relationships with others, or from finding meaning in their lives.

Sometimes people turn to a counsellor for help during a crisis, such as the end of a relationship, bereavement, divorce, health problems or work issues.

You may value the opportunity for you to explore your own story – at length and in depth – in the context of a therapeutic relationship. This may be the story of a particular issue as in short term counselling or the story of your life.

What’s the difference between counselling and psychotherapy?

I see counselling as usually short term and concerned with a particular issue. In counselling, we will use a focused approach so that you feel you are working towards a goal. Whatever the reason for seeking counselling, we will explore the issues that are important for you in a safe, confidential and non-judgemental way as we focus on your current concerns.

I see psychotherapy as usually longer term and concerned with underlying issues and patterns. Many people are drawn to therapy because they can see themselves repeating unhealthy patterns or because they have a difficult relationship within themselves. Unpicking long term issues that may stretch back many years takes time. In psychotherapy we will look at the patterns that are causing you distress and also work towards you having a greater understanding of your emotions by looking at your past. The aim is to find out more about the root and beginnings of your issues and challenges, not just to manage them.

My approach

I am an integrative therapist. This means that I draw from different disciplines and can adapt my way of working to suit you.

Successful counselling and psychotherapy is a two-way process because therapy is built on a partnership between two active participants. It depends on you feeling you have the time and space to tell your story.

We are not just our ‘symptoms’ although they may be what leads people into therapy. My aim is for us to look together at you, the whole person, and that might mean physical, mental, emotional or spiritual aspects, since all these aspects work together to build up our sense of identity and meaning in life. The work of feeling whole is so much more than relief from our symptoms.

Whether you want a brief series of sessions to unpick a particular problem or you are seeking more exploratory work on yourself, these principles remain the same:

Making a connection: It’s important that you have the right environment to get clear on what exactly you want to work on. I have worked with many people from different backgrounds, cultures and ways of thinking. I am skilled at making a connection quickly and in establishing a safe and shared understanding about what is important to you on your terms.

Making a plan: Together we will identify the form of counselling or psychotherapy which you feel most comfortable with and the time frame which is realistic for you. I will outline the options, explain how we might work together and we will agree a date to review progress.

Keeping flexible: As we start to work together, it might be that different issues and questions arise. I am a flexible practitioner and will work on what is most pressing for you and in the style that feels right for you. I will give you feedback and thoughts and encourage you to do the same.

Contact Me

If you would like to contact me please call or leave a message on 07733 276854, or get in touch by email using my secure online contact form.

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