As an active member of COSCA, COSRT, and many other professional bodies, I follow a strict ethical policy of confidentiality.
This also means not using client quotes or identifiable features.
The examples I give here are blended together from my work over the years, to highlight a few of the major themes and issues that people bring, to simply give you a sense of the work we have done together and outcomes.
Many individuals, couples, gender, relationship, and sexually diverse people come along for different levels of support, for both long and shorter work, and for very different reasons.
You might recognise people like yourself here, it might be where you are today, how you feel, or some concerns that you are struggling with.
Perhaps you'll find a new hope here for how working together can help you get to a better place too.
Tom's relationship felt dead. He felt guilty, angry, and very alone. Sex and intimacy had become a real issue for him, and he wanted to find out why.
We gave Tom some space to just talk about all that - especially what sex and intimacy really meant to him - until he could make some sense out of it all, and move on to something new for him.
Patsy had ended up with what she described as a substance problem, which had snowballed in the past years.
She realised this came from her sense of loneliness and abandonment, and just wanted to be enough for herself.
I gave Patsy lots of time to get comfortable before we even talked about her substance use, and what was behind that for her.
She needed more frequent support at first, then weekly, then fortnightly, until she had found ways to make what she felt were balanced choices about taking care for herself again.
Tanya felt really close to a burn-out, but couldn't really admit it to herself. Her senior corporate role kept her busy from dusk to dawn, and there was no room for anything else in her life.
We talked that through Tanya's feelings of being constantly on the edge. She found a different perspective on what was happening, rooted in the past and her mother's expectations. Tanya learnt together how to make, and take, the time for herself she needed.
Jim's partner got made redundant and had counselling at work. Jim felt all over the place, trying to manage this transition for himself and also support his partner. He wasn't being very kind to himself, or others.
Jim used his time to think about his shame at not working himself, giving up a good career to move here for the family, and how to overcome the overall feelings of inadequacy that had left him carrying too.
Pete didn't have any friends and was really anxious about finding them. his work colleagues were ok, but he just couldn't settle into any meaningful friendships.
Working with Pete helped him get his social confidence back and make a fresh start, doing what he loved to do for himself, and finding the joy with others who did too.
Sarah came along as a displaced person.
She felt very lone and couldn't really talk about her needs, worries, and dreams for the future to anyone.
Sarah found a new confidence in our work, an identity that could support her in making new friends, taking on getting started in new relationships, and talking about her feelings in a strange and different culture.
Sabine and Lou were having a wobble.
The arguments between them, mostly triggered by their parents, friends, and family, were becoming harder to bear for both of them. Bombarded by gifts of relationship self-help books and judgement, they needed a calm space each week to talk and reflect together on their future.
We talked a lot together about families, what they meant to them both, what their experiences were of different ways that love and support can be given and felt. And how arguments were dealt with.
After a while, Sabine and Lou were able to find their own way to stand firm in their values together and, regardless of what input came from outside their relationship, process some difficult times and make their own choices.
Linda wanted children, Jamie didn't.
Jamie wanted sex every day, Linda didn't.
They didn't know if they wanted each other.
Linda and Jamie both worked hard on this for many months; openly, respectfully, and honestly. They were able to explore and find what they both needed in life, eventually choosing to remain friends, but not to stay together.
Sam didn't know how to tell anyone that they felt their sexuality was becoming kind of fluid - including their partner.
They described feeling really silenced, voiceless, unheard, and confused.
It was a very tough time for Sam. They experimented with many different ways of talking about sexuality, sex, and gender until they found the way that felt right for them.
A way to express what they needed to say, and to be heard by those who mattered.
Get in touch, and tell me about what's happening for you.
Together, we'll find a way through for you.