Catherine Cook Counselling

How can I help?

I can offer adults - individuals and couples or intimate partners - a confidential space to talk about your situation, whoever you are*.
It can feel a big step to ask for help, but people usually find it a relief to be able to talk freely to someone who will listen deeply, take their problems seriously and help them reflect on their situation in a respectful and kind way. I will see you as an individual, or as partners, with a complex, unique history and context.

* I take an anti-racist and LGBTQ+ affirmative stance. I also understand there are many other ways that we can find ourselves in a minority, or feeling like an outsider. My practice is on the ground floor, and if you have physical disabilities, I’m happy to work with you to ensure accessibility.

What are counselling and psychotherapy?
Counselling is a very personal, honest conversation about whatever you need to talk about; as a counsellor I will respond with respect and compassion - to help you feel emotionally safe. Over time, a unique partnership can develop which facilitates changes at a pace and level that feels right for you.

Psychotherapy is similar, but psychotherapists have to do a lot more training, personal therapy and practice sessions before they qualify. This initially gives us a deeper understanding of what might be going on - perhaps to help you work through traumatic, painful experiences if you need to.

Through feeling deeply understood, and accepted, you can create the conditions for healing, and allow space for positive changes to the way you think and feel about yourself, your relationships and what matters to you. You will also develop new capacities and skills - a toolkit for looking after yourself and relating to others.

What is an integrative approach?
Integrative counselling and psychotherapy integrate a wide range of research and ideas about who we are as humans in a changing world, and what we need. I will often share some of these ideas, if I think they will help.

This means, for example, that when I’m listening to you, I will consider how your family life and culture might have shaped you, as well as how well your nervous system can tolerate stressful experiences, such as relationship breakdowns, redundancy, health problems, or perhaps the impact of minority stress.

However, you might not feel your difficulties are dramatic or traumatic - you may not be able to pinpoint what’s wrong. Perhaps you’re reaching a point of transition in your life, or simply lacking in direction and feeling there’s nobody who you can talk to about things.

I work in line with the ethics of the UKCP - the UK Council for Psychotherapy and BACP - the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy, of which I’m a registered member.