Happy Bank Holiday weekend
A warm hello to you if you have come across my website, or Facebook page for the first time.
My name is Mary - I am a qualified Person-Centred Counsellor and Flourishing MK is my private counselling practice. I wanted to wish everyone a happy Bank Holiday weekend and give you a bit of background about my experience and an update of what has been happening with me in recent months.
Here I am outside enjoying the beautiful sunshine that we have had today. I enjoy being outside in nature and find it very beneficial for my own mental health and wellbeing.
I have been a qualified Counsellor since 2018 and have worked in many voluntary counselling settings, including:
* Cruse Bereavement Care
* Carers MK
* Hitchin Counselling Service
I started my Private Practice at the end of 2019 and as well as doing this I now work for the NHS. I started as an Assistant Psychological Wellbeing Practitioner (PWP) supporting the qualified PWPs to do their role. This year I have started training to become a qualified PWP - attending University for two days a week and learning how to deliver low-intensity Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT) at step 2 in a local IAPT service.
I really enjoy this role as it is a fast-paced environment with a lot of variety - you get to help lot's of people who are experiencing various common mental health difficulties, such as anxiety and depression. I have been working individually with people and have also been learning how to deliver group based sessions for low mood and for worry management.
CBT seems to fit really well with my Person-Centred counselling background - as both modalities place value on the autonomy of the client, the client is seen as the expert in what is 'wrong' with them and they are encouraged to take an active part in their therapy. With CBT there is an emphasis in home-based tasks, so you will talk about a particular technique in the session, you practice it in the week by yourself and then go back to your next session to tell the therapist how it went and trouble shoot any difficulties that you have had. I have a lot of experience in working with people with chronic pain and other long-term illnesses and I feel that this approach could help to give you some sense of control back other your life as you are playing an active part in trying to manage your pain and life in a better way.
I will write more about the different types of techniques in more detail as I get further on into my training and share my experiences of this via my blog.
Another good fit between what I am learning at University and my private practice is the value of guided self-help material. I have always been an advocate of self-help leaflets and books in my private practice, as I believe that knowledge is power and the more informed you are about what particular issue you are dealing with, be that chronic pain, anxiety, depression, grief etc...the more it normalises your experience so that you know you are not the only one that is feeling this way and you are not going mad. It also gives you a shared language and ideas that you can use to communicate with others, be that your friends and family, but also the medical professionals who are involved in your care.
I can give you an example from my own personal experience to illustrate what I mean here. I have suffered from a chronic pain condition since 2010. When I first developed chronic pain after an operation I was dismissed by my GP and by the other medical professionals involved in my care and sent away with painkillers. It took many years of reading about chronic pain and educating myself about it so that I could get myself the correct medical and psychological treatments necessary to heal and to manage life in a better way. Self help materials formed a large part in this journey towards wellness.
Here are the links to a few helpful resources:
I hope that you find some of these resources useful and I look forward to writing again soon.