Soulful, Compassionate Counselling and Psychotherapy
With Alex Moseley in Shropshire, Birmingham and Devon
Have you ever wondered how we do this 'being human' thing when there is so much uncertainty and confusion, and as our thoughts and emotions can be so complex?
I have. Life seems to offer us challenges, again and again, that are sometimes unexpected. I believe it is a part of the human experience that at different times in our lives, we all face loss, bereavement, feeling stuck, and/or a crisis of meaning and purpose.
I believe that therapy can be helpful particularly at times of transition, when our old certainties start to dissolve. Someone once said to me that therapy is a grieving process, that we need to grieve our losses and disappointments and yet I hope we might also re-discover our strengths and gifts.
I hope to offer a space in counselling and therapy in which you can, over time, feel safe enough to explore your thoughts, feelings, worries and gifts. You are welcome just as you are, however dark, difficult or unclear things seem to be; however lost, sad, confused, anxious or vulnerable you might feel.
Some key points about how we could work together:
I work with adults and young people above the age of twelve years old
I am particularly experienced in working with people around anxiety, feelings of sadness / depression, bereavement, uncertainty, feeling lost, seeking purpose and direction, and facing life 'transitions'
I work both short-term with clients (6-12 sessions) and long-term
I offer evening and Saturday sessions, subject to availability
I offer face-to-face sessions inside in a beautiful therapy room near the river in Ironbridge, and in Shrewsbury. I also offer face-to-face sessions outside in woodland and parkland, 'walk and talk therapy' in parks, and sessions online via Zoom. Do take a look at the photos below for an idea of where we could meet.
I aim to support you to have the skills to self-soothe and to develop a sense of stability and safety within yourself. This can then support our work as we turn towards challenging emotions, thoughts and situations.
I seek to offer a practice that is trauma-informed. Society and our upbringing may have taught us to ask what is wrong with us, or to blame ourselves, and to ignore the signs of trauma. A trauma-informed approach moves away from this towards compassion, curiosity, and establishing enough safety so that we can explore a different question: 'what happened to you?'
A bit about me...
I was born and bred in Shropshire, and have lived at different times in the big city of Birmingham and by the sea in Devon.
As a teenager and into my twenties, I felt very much on the outside. I used to wonder why this was the case. I also wondered how on earth I was supposed to do this 'being human' thing, and how to heal my own emotional wounds.
I have had my own experiences of anxiety, bereavement and loss. From my mid-teens onwards, I was curious about philosophy, spirituality and what the meaning and point of my life was.
I sought to find my own answers in different jobs and relationships. I worked in Higher Education and for a sexual health charity for young people, and explored complementary therapies (such as Reiki), mindfulness and nature-based approaches to healing. Coming to therapy was a key part of the process which challenged me to explore who I am in relationship with others, how I relate to the land I lived on, and how I could live a life that was more aligned with my values.
I believe it is a feature of being human that we have times of feeling lost, and purposeless. One of the images that I relate to is that of the phoenix, the mythical firebird that rises from the ashes. I believe that we can ‘rise from the ashes’ of our broken relationships, of the difficulties, of the failures and disappointments, but that we also need to be able to revise our relationship with uncertainty, with anxiety and our desire to manage and control it all. Maybe in our difficulties, something is being called to be heard.
I have come to believe that we need to grieve for our losses, for the things we wanted and needed and didn't receive, and for the unmet hopes that we have held. I also believe it is important we recognise our own strengths and gifts.
My training and what I offer
I graduated as a counsellor in 2016 and as a Psychotherapist in 2022 from Re-vision, a training college in London that specialises in offering 'soulful' therapy. For clients in Shropshire, I offer sessions in a counselling room; online; by 'walk and talk'; and outside in woodland and parkland. For clients in Devon, I offer online sessions with the option of meeting face-to-face once a month. Read on to find out more, or do get in touch for a free initial exploratory session.
I believe that therapy can be helpful particularly at times of transition, when our old certainties start to become less… certain. I have long been interested in how we navigate our lives when things can change so quickly, when challenges can appear out of the blue and seemingly pull the carpet out from under us.
Someone once said to me that therapy is a grieving process, and I believe that to be partly true. We might explore who and what you have lost, the roads not taken, and what you didn’t get and needed. We might explore the problems and difficulties. We might spend time exploring how to soothe oneself, or to develop a sense of safety within.
I seek to offer a 'trauma-informed' approach which recognises the prevalence of trauma, its impact on the emotional, psychological and social wellbeing of people, and emphasises developing a sense of safety at these different levels of wellbeing. Part of our work would also be to connect to your own strengths and resources, even if they feel invisible to you right now.
However, we might also make space for other influences beyond our attempts to manage and make happen. Some people might say that this relates to the unconscious, to that which is influencing us that we aren't aware of. It might also involve making space for what is happening collectively - the climate crisis, the pandemic, social and political structures - and wondering about how we are being affected by such phenomena.
And at another level, we might listen for the whispers of our deepest self in images, dreams, stories and myths, and our body’s movements. What if the symptoms that feel so painful are also communicating something important for us to pay attention to? This is what 'soulful' means to me - paying attention to what touches and moves us, and holding the possibility that being touched and moved emotionally has some value by itself.
We are relational beings and I believe that healing can come from relationship. A key part of our work would be to pay attention to what we think of, feel and imagine when we meet together.
Here is one explanation from the UKCP website:
There’s no single explanation for how psychotherapy works because each therapeutic relationship is unique and tailored to individual needs. But, at the heart of life-changing and life-saving psychotherapy is a strong therapeutic relationship.
Psychotherapy works. Thanks to numerous studies, we know that it can treat everything from depression to obsessive-compulsive behaviour, eating disorders to post-traumatic stress.
But it’s harder to show exactly how psychotherapy has this impact. Just what is it about psychotherapy that can be so transformative?
Psychotherapists from different approaches would give you different answers. But there are common reasons why psychotherapy can help you to heal from trauma, find better ways to cope, and gain deeper insight into the issues and challenges you face.
A strong relationship
Research shows that one of the most important aspects of psychotherapy is the relationship you form with your therapist. It’s a non-judgemental, confidential relationship that is tailored to be entirely unique to you. Your relationship with your therapist forms a new blueprint for your relationships with other people. It’s one in which you can feel heard, acknowledged and seen for who you really are. You can take this way of relating forwards into your other relationships so that they are healthier and more fulfilling.
The right therapist
To form a strong therapeutic relationship, it’s really important that you find the right therapist for you. There are thousands of psychotherapists and psychotherapeutic counsellors in our Find a Therapist directory. You can search by location, whether you’d like to meet in person or online, and the issue you want to work on. Arranging a first session to assess how you feel when you’re with the therapist can be really helpful.
A safe space
Boundaries are really important in psychotherapy as they help to create a safe space for you to explore your thoughts and feelings. An example of a boundary is that you have your session at the same time each week.
Another could be the fact that your psychotherapist may not reveal much about themselves.
By providing consistency, they help to build trust – essential for the success of psychotherapy. Boundaries are especially important when other relationships in your life have lacked them.
Our psychotherapists and psychotherapeutic counsellors sign up to rigorous ethical standards which help set these boundaries and the foundation for your relationship with your therapist.
Psychotherapy allows you to process trauma. This is when stressful events that you experience or witness make you feel unsafe, helpless or vulnerable. Your therapist will work with you to reflect on what has happened to you and how it might be affecting your life today. The focus is on compassion, listening and understanding, rather than making a diagnosis. This can help you to process trauma so it has a less negative impact on your mind and body.
You will talk about your deepest thoughts and feelings with someone who is trained to help you make sense of them – and can support you while you do it. This can allow you to see situations, relationships and yourself more clearly. It can open up new ways of thinking, feeling and behaving. You become more conscious of things that have held you back, giving you the opportunity to make different choices and stop damaging patterns of behaviour. You can also find better ways to cope with feelings and fears.
Space to reflect
Your relationship with your therapist can put a magnifying glass on your life outside the therapy room. Your feelings, how you behave and what you say in therapy can help you to reflect on important relationships in your life. You can discover how your expectations of other people are influenced by your past. This can help you to see situations and people more objectively and change the way you think and behave to improve your mental and emotional wellbeing.
what to expect
Initial contact and free introductory session
Please do contact me if you wish to ask about counselling in general, or have specific questions about working with me.
If you decide to meet for an exploratory session, we will set a date and time for this meeting which will usually be within a week or two. This session will be free of charge and will take approximately 30-45 minutes.
The aim of the first session will be for us to get a sense of one another and work out if we both feel we will be able to work together. At this session, we would explore any questions that you may have, what your hopes would be for working together and a bit about what has brought you to make contact. At the end of the session, you are very welcome to take some time afterwards to reflect on whether you would like to continue the sessions.
If you decide to continue, we will then establish a contract for working together that will establish boundaries to support our work together, for example, relating to fees, cancellations and confidentiality.
GDPR and Confidentiality
All counsellors and psychotherapists are required to have what is known as supervision. This is a process designed to support our work together by giving me the opportunity to ask questions, reflect and be challenged by a more experienced practitioner. The sessions have strict confidentiality guidelines.
Sessions will be charged at £50 per session. I ask for payment by the start of each session by bank transfer. I have a few places that I offer on a reduced fee basis of £45 - please do ask if you are interested.
Ethics and code of conduct
I am a registered member of the BACP (British Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy) and work within the BACP ethical framework for good practice in Counselling and Psychotherapy. As a psychotherapist, I abide by the UKCP (UK Council for Psychotherapy) ethical principles and code of professional conduct.
Ideally we would explore any problems during our sessions together, but complaints can be made to the BACP, the body responsible for issues of professional conduct regarding counsellors. For further information, visit www.bacp.co.uk, or call 01455 883300