I'm Helena Hodgson and I'm a qualified therapeutic counsellor and a clinical supervisor. I work with families, couples and individuals aged 5 and upwards. After working for 20 plus years within public services, education and the charity sector, often in roles requiring good listening and problem-solving skills, I decided to train as a counsellor.
The main theme that runs through all of my work is that of loss and change. Any change in your life will bring loss because things have moved on from the way they were. Some change is exciting, bringing new opportunities whilst some change is scary because of the unknowns and the fact you may have lost something or someone that feels essential to your life or way of living.
What is evident though, is that we each have different views on change and that is where relationship comes into play. A simple example for you is that of a child becoming more independent. The child may want to embrace the idea of growing up whilst a parent/carer may fear for their safety, their decision-making skills and their future prosperity in life. Different views of the same situation arise and this is where my years of working with relationship can help you.
With opposing views, there may often come misunderstanding, heightened emotions and sometimes conflict. I can help you unpick the details of what is happening for you and how to consider new, healthier ways of dealing with it.
I always believe in simplicity and small steps helping enormously for positive change in your life.
As a police officer (working specifically with children and young people and families) I created, trialled and promoted a simple safety message which provided a clear and easy positive message in relation to keeping children safe.
I was asked to take part in a safety video for children looking at people who help us.
In the video, I shared the message I'd been using for several years whilst working with school children in local schools. For me, stranger danger, was a scary message and didn't properly distinguish between those who we can trust and those who we can't. After some thought, I decided children need to know where they can get help and it made sense that they can recognise safer buildings in their local community, within which there are usually people who they can trust – 'safer strangers'.
With that in mind I'd been sharing my 'safer strangers and safer buildings' message so that children could have an idea where they could access help if they needed it.
In sharing my message in the video, Katy Jones, top investigative producer/journalist, who was producing the video said she'd had a 'lightbulb moment' with my message and she'd not heard anything like it before. Katy and Linda Mort (child education specialist) of Child's Eye Media created a safety campaign around it and it was launched on 7 May 2008 by me, at the Houses of Parliament with many UK charities in attendance, and shared around the world for free. It has won many awards over the years. It is especially helpful for children and young people with additional needs because of its simplicity.
I'm sharing this to show how I feel there is always hope and another way to look at the current situation and it is often the most simple new perspective that can make a huge change in our lives.
I believe in helping and empowering you to find your own relevant solutions/coping strategies, and I decided to work with children/young people and families looking at relational issues as a healthy way to do that. You don't live in isolation, you are linked to others around you, partners, friends, families, colleagues and any change in one of you will affect all of you. This is because we are a family system or unit and interrelated.
If you are looking for understanding and hope, I can help you in finding that hope within your life and your situation, I can be alongside you in guiding you in that process.
Between 2015 and 2021 I created and delivered a family counselling service in a Trafford counselling charity, supporting people who experienced common family themed difficulties such as:
The list is endless. Having worked for over five years within the Altrincham family counselling service I decided to offer my service privately. Previously I've worked with families referred by social care, many families were referred by Manchester and Trafford GPs and many self-referred. I also deliver training to other professionals around counselling and supporting families.
I help couples, family groups and individuals who are experiencing relationship problems to consider a better future together. I would guide you in exploring possible solutions or coping tools to help you to relate more calmly and to give everyone a voice within your family unit. The ultimate goal being that of feeling understood and valued.
After seeing me, many people have provided feedback that they have improved family communication and are relating to each other in more fulfilling and compassionate ways where their issues are clearer and they have better coping strategies to deal with them (there are some testimonials on this site).
In addition to my family work, I've also helped children and young people for several years. I counselled for the national charity Place2Be supporting children between 5 and 11 for three years. I then managed a service in another primary school for almost two years, providing clinical supervision for the counsellors, delivering short term therapy via a lunch time service for children.
I also supported school staff and the parents of the children, even if the children weren't accessing the counselling support.
If you are experiencing difficulties with parenting, you are not failing in any way. No-one has all of the answers. You may need support looking at your strengths and how to develop those areas you don't feel comfortable with.
I have experience, training and qualifications to help you.
If your children need help, I have years of experience in schools, in a medical pupil referral centre and in working within projects with young people when I was in the police.
It can be so healthy for a child to feel empowered to look at their difficulties, feel heard, take control of how they approach their difficulties and to see their achievements.
Because of my work with families, I can work with a child or young person alone and act as an advocate helping them to share what they've been focusing on with other family members, if that is what the child wishes to do.
I offer a free 20 min consultation, you can contact me to outline what is happening and we can consider how I can help you.
Currently, regarding Covid restrictions I'm only working online or via walk and talk therapy in the Wilmslow area. We would need to consider whether working on line is appropriate for you, especially if you are a family group. Please contact me to discuss further.
Contact me if you feel I can support you or your family. Share your details and I shall get back to you.
Trauma – Carolyn Spring, PODS (Positive outcomes for Dissociative Survivors) training around: trauma and the body, mental health and the body, working with shame, dealing with distress:working with suicide and self-harm, working with dissociative disorders in clinical practice, working with relational trauma, dissociation and DID. CPD undertaken throughout 2020.
BACP training – Nov 2020 – Training in relation to the new research – A guide to what every psychological therapist should know about working with psychiatric drugs. This means I understand the support a person will need when withdrawing safely from psychiatric drugs. I am trained to help support at that time.