lindow

counselling.co.uk

nurturing, understanding, facilitating growth

For when you're feeling stuck in the midst of life...    

About Me

 

You may be wondering what makes me suitable to be your counsellor?  I will share a little of my life experience and also my qualifications.

 

I consider myself to be a genuine and caring person and I wanted to work in a way that can help other people.  Initially I worked in accountancy for several years as an auditor which honed my listening skills.   I then embarked on a career with the police spanning thirteen years, working with victims of crime, people in very difficult situations and often with long term relational trauma in their lives.  I worked in South Manchester with a wide variety of communities and this wealth of diversity has benefited my understanding and helped build my non-judgemental attitude towards others.

 

For nine years of my police career I specifically worked with children, young people and their families.  I worked delivering education, restorative justice and also signposting people to further support.  I enjoyed working in this way, helping people to work through their problems and this naturally evolved into my becoming a counsellor.

 

For the next 4 years I worked with vulnerable young people in a medical pupil referral unit, offering pastoral support to those that need it.  I experienced young people who self-harmed, sometimes with suicidal tendencies, many with high levels of anxiety and young people with depression and often low self-worth and a whole myriad of reasons for being unable to cope in mainstream education.  This work evolved into my working with family members and specifically focusing on relational trauma within families.

 

I was a counsellor for Macmillan Cancer Support for around 5 years.  I thoroughly enjoyed this role and I worked with carers, survivors and patients.  I also worked with clients receiving palliative care with life limiting conditions.  Although my clients came to see me as a cancer service provider, their concerns often centred around a whole array of relational difficulties usually spanning many years in their earlier lives.  With their mortality clearer in focus the major issue troubling many of my clients was the disconnection from the loved ones in their lives.

 

I began working with primary aged children within a school setting in Moss Side, working for a national charity.  After two years of counselling the children I later became a counselling service manager within an Oldham Primary for the same charity, managing the service for 2 years, supporting the children, parents, staff and also providing clinical supervision for the counsellors.


More recently, since 2015, I've been counselling families within a local charity, the Counselling and Family Centre (The CFC) and I've been helping families to work with issues such as disconnection, poor communication, anxiety, loss, parenting styles, family break up, blended family issues....  I was the initial family counsellor at the service and provided training for a wide range of professionals including delegates from the Isle of Man Govt, Young Minds, Housing organisations and private practitioners.


In my private practice I also have a special interest in companion animal bereavement, grounded in my work with loss with Macmillan and also my love of animals and my understanding of the special bond we can have with our animals.  I'm currently undergoing further study around companion animal loss.


Put simply, I am interested in my clients.  I deeply believe in the benefit of personal awareness and our propensity to change in life.  That change can and often does help us to lead more fulfilling and rewarding lives and I feel I am a safe counsellor to be alongside you in your journey of change.  I shall look forward to hearing from you....

 

Counselling Experience


It is hard to write an exhaustive list, as one difficulty shared by a client can be linked to several further areas of their life which actually underpin their presenting difficulty.  This highlights the complexities in unravelling our concerns and trying to make sense of them.


I can give a flavour of some of the experiences my clients have shared with me:


Domestic Abuse

Alcoholism

Sexual Abuse

Marital Difficulties

Relationship issues

Bereavement and Loss

Lack of self esteem/low self-worth

Depression

Body image after cancer treatment and body dysmorphia

Experiencing cancer treatment

Approaching end of life

Loss of sense of self

Caring for an ill loved one

Relational trauma throughout life

Managing shame and guilt

Health anxiety

Parenting difficulties

Dysregulated behaviour - issues around self-regulation and co-regulation

Blended families

Disconnection within families

Conflict within families

Improving communication within families

General anxiety

Anticipatory grief

Grief specific to loss of companion animal (euthanasia, loss/theft of an animal, death of an animal in traumatic circumstances, disenfranchised grief)

 

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‘Initially I came to Helena as I was struggling with the death of my little dog.  Helena was the only person who understood and validated the extent of my loss.  Over time she helped me to work through my grief and eventually I felt able to bring a new puppy into my life.

During the time I was seeing Helena I was also faced with numerous other life challenges and I don't think that I could have got through them without her support and guidance.  Helena has great skill, understanding, and compassion and I can whole-heartedly recommend her services.'G, animal bereavement client


'Family counselling for me was a daunting prospect, as with life's challenges who wants to admit they need a little help?

When we have visited Helena it warmed my heart, put me at ease and gave me confidence to grow.  That was also how my children felt too.

No one wants to be in a family that is disagreeing and arguing as it makes you sad.  We were able to explore emotions in a healthy way, recognise fear, we have been able to learn to accept anger, normalise our feelings and self regulate our responses.

We played games, we drew pictures, we were engaged in every session and had fun taking little challenges away.

We have had fun at family counselling sessions getting to know each other better and taking time to listen more to one another.'C, parent in family counselling


‘The benefits I experienced from counselling with Helena touched every part of my life.  I feel like I am looking out of the window for the first time, I am free to say, feel, discover and explore my thoughts and feelings in an environment of complete trust, safety and support.  Helena is professional, knowledgeable, intuitive and empathetic.  Thank you.

I had no experience of counselling when I first came to Helena.  I was anxious and uncertain.  Within a few minutes Helena's professional, clear and caring approach meant I could relax and fully benefit from the counselling experience.'J, adult client


'These sessions have allowed us to move forward again as a family and I had the realisation that I need to allocate more time to my children.'Anon, CFC family client


'Helena did not shy away from some challenging topics and she was also very supportive to my daughter.'J, parent in family CFC clients

'

Helena helped us all to appreciate the good aspects of our relationships.'


'Helena gave me new ways and ideas on how to cope with family tensions.'


'Helena helped to facilitate and fostered an understanding of our situation helping us to work through our differences and to feel more love for each other again.  Thank you so much.'


'Helena was very adept at helping me and my dad to talk through some of the hurt and  pain we'd experienced and as a result me and my dad to grow so much closer and heal old wounds that may have taken years or been impossible without her.  Helena - the best!' A, family client


‘Counselling with Helena has enabled so much positive change within me and my life.  It is truly incredible to start to understand myself, my beliefs and feelings and to start to value myself.’


‘Counselling with Helena is focused but flexible to respond to my needs.  She skilfully introduces a mix of appropriate theories professional knowledge and suitable challenges to help with difficulties and to facilitiate growth.’


‘From introduction to ending the process was unhurried, transparent and comfortable.  I was able to explore and challenge my feelings, thoughts and behaviours in a safe and supportive environment.  I was kept on track and so could make the most of my time in counselling. The counselling experience has enabled me to be calmer and more confident.    I now have more equal and fulfilling relationships with others.  It was hard to be open, feel challenged and move away from how I had been previously - but so worthwhile.  Thank you.’



‘Thank you for all your hard work listening’young person in medical PRU, card




These are comments freely given to me by clients I have worked with.  Some are via cards, some verbal and some via email or in response to feedback sheets anonymously at the counselling and family centre - the CFC or to Macmillan cancer.