I began my career working as a Psychiatric Auxiliary Nurse at the age of 17 years. This experience along with my studies in Philosophy and Psychology created a solid platform for further personal and professional development over seeking ways to help People with Mental Health Difficulties. I went on to work in day and residential services for People with Intellectual Disabilities while training in Psychotherapy. I gained invaluable practical knowledge and experience which I believe distinguishes my current practise in that I have "seen" what kind of support may be needed by people who are more vulnerable and dependant on others. I have found that many people who ask for help from statutory and health services express a sense that they have not been heard or understood. As a Therapist I therefore feel that it is important to listen actively and so empower the individual who is at the centre of the Therapy. I believe that a Therapist is able to work in relational depth when they themselves have had life training at a "grassroots" level and that this informs empathy which is a fundamental therapeutic tool.
I learned and understood about the human condition from an early age through experience. This prepared me for later life. Caring for a closely related family member with HIV and AIDS in the 1980's showed me how devastating and frightening a new unknown disease can be. This prepared me emotionaly for working within the are of trauma learning the skills required for effective counselling how. Significant life events and my own personal therapy have helped me see and know that it is possible to go beyond emotional and psychological pain and feel fulfilled and liberated. I have gained in understanding that a good therapist has emotional wisdom, resilience and a high level of motivation in their commitment for providing therapy that enables an individual to heal in the most difficult circimstances.
About Counselling and Psychotherapy
There has been a large increase in self help material advertised in the media over the past 20 years. We are encouraged to find inner solutions for anxiety and stress, self confidence and now managing the uncertainty of the future with the introduction of Pandemics such as COVID 19. Living now requires us to manage our own mental health as well as fulfill the usual basic practical necessities for survival. Seeking solutions to leading a happier life through "surfing the net" can be confusing because there are so many ideas being promoted and this in itself can be a stressful exercise.
As a Psychotherapist I have found that people want to be able to talk about their own personal story and be heard and understood and seen as an individual. A person may become ill through psychological disturbance and distress and become a patient while receiving medical treatment, but their recovery is also based on emotional and psychological growth which happens through individual motivation. As a therapist I believe that it is possible to help a person activate their own inner healing resources. It is the job of the therapist to create a safe and nurturing environment for this process to happen.
I have been providing Clinical Supervision to Trainee Counsellors, Assistant and Trainee Psychologists while working for the Neurodevelopmental Service. I have a Certificate in Clinical Supervision approved by the British Psychological Society. I presently provide supervision for practising Counsellors and am able to support Trainee Counsellors through to Accreditation. I offer my Supervisees the same gentle compassionate approach as I do my clients and am aware that as a role model I need to provide the guidance necessary so that Supervisees are enabled in reaching professional excellence in their practise.
Testimonials. These testimonials can be provided if required by the British Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy.
Please read some testimonials as these can give the reader useful information about my approach to Therapy:
" Alexandra helped me process lots of old events and stored emotions from childhood which were still affecting me as an adult. She has a compassionate approach which allowed me to open up about these things and get to the root of what was bothering me. She remebered details I had mentioned which made sessions run smoothly and also made me feel heard and valued. We discussed topics on an on going basis, but with the right amount of freedom to use sessions to discuss week to week problems too. She also offered sessions remotely when I had exams which really helped alleviate the immediate stress. Going to therapy with Alexandra helped me to achieve my personal goals of growth and healing and I feel so much stronger now and able to navigate the difficulties of life with confidence. She helped me to make sense of my issues and rationalise them with compassion and kindness." Heidi C. (October 2023)
" Alexandra has helped me recently with the death of my daughter through Victim Support. I had reservations having counselling as I couldn't see how I could feel any different, better. I had heard from friends that counselling doesn't work. After 12 sessions I feel I have started to get my life back and can start to think about the things I like again. This has been after a lot of work in talking and understanding what happened to my daughter who was, and is everything to me. Alexandra also helped me rediscover an activity I enjoyed as a child and made contact with people to get me started. I found that talking about my personal situation really helpful as well and was surprised about the way counselling works. Things just start to make sense and this really helps. I would really recommend counselling to anyone who is in doubt. Alexandra has a way of making you feel comfortable enough to talk and understand the circumstances you have and I don't think there is anything more difficult than your child being murdered suddenly. It is difficult talking about this with family and friends whereas in counselling you can say exactly how you feel and this is very helpful. Thank you very much Alexandra." Julie; Victim Support Homicide.
" Alexandra has been a fantastic Counsellor for the past year-she really helped me overcome a few significant challenges with my family, and also helped me get clarity on the areas of my life that I needed to prioritize more to avoid work burnout. She is incredibly kind, and every conversation with her was like a warm hug-step by step she helped me find my own answers and progress in my development areas: my family, relationships and work. Thank you so much Alexandra." Helen P.
"Following several years of difficulties with our son who is now 26 years old, we felt that he needed some extra help to understand and process the many issues he was facing, so we took the next step to find and fund a private Counsellor for him. He has moderate learning disability and is also autistic. . We were not expecting to find someone easily, or locally with whom he could relate to and who could give him the knowledge, skills and experience required to help him move forwards in life. Alexandra has fulfilled our expectations and more. She has an excellent background of working with the NHS, considerable experience,knowledge, skills and was local too which was great. The sessions were arranged at a convenient time, flexible, using video calls if necessary and constructive feedback provided if necessary. Invariably, our son would return after a session with her so much happier having felt that he had been understood, and that he had acquired some knowledge and skills to put into practise in making improvements to not just his daily life but for his future.
With Alexandra’s support we have been able to navigate a way through Social Services to enable our son to move from supported living accommodation to extra care supported living where he is receiving the right sort of support. He has made considerable progress in his emotional stability, understanding relationships and voicing his needs and for this we thank Alexandra. She has enabled our son to feel that he has a voice and has been listened to. She is calm and welcoming and has the skill in enabling our son to feel he can bring any problem to discuss with her.
We feel very fortunate to have found Alexandra, knowing her extensive background and interest in the fact that People with Learning Disability should be able to receive counselling. She is a wonderful advocate, kind, thoughtful, compassionate, caring, supportive and provides a great service.”Jill Meeaja.
“ Alexandra is very good. She is kind and listens to me. I can talk to her and she understands me. She has helped me a lot. She explains things to me in a way I can understand. She explained to me what help I should be having and the roles of people who were looking after me. She has helped understand people better and how I can be in charge of my life. I am in a much better place after her help. The staff did not understand me where I lived before and did not help me to become more independent. Now I am living in my own flat with the right sort of support and am very happy. I couldn’t have achieved this without Alexandra.” Adam Meeaja.
" I just wanted to say thank you so much for your help. After months of feeling very lost I have regained my life and things are looking up. Your words have stayed with me and helped me through tough times and I am very grateful. Life is good and with family and friends around I now never look back Take Care x." Sue O
" I worked with Alexandra for a few months and found the sessions invaluable for dissecting how past events had contributed to my present behaviour and anxiety symptoms. she is calm and empathic and this helped me refocus me towards the things in life that I want to pursue and that bring me joy! Thank you Alexandra" Alicia S
"I found Alex's approach reassuring which allowed me to take things at my own pace. Due to my situation being complex Alex provided me with the time and space to explain the situation and how I was feeling. I felt safe to open up and express my true feelings. Alex has a very calming nature and is able to express reassuring listening skills. Alex has played an important role in my recovery.
When I evaluate the work that we covered I was first able to deal with my acute anxiety, then go through a process to understand the current situation, develop strategies to help myself and then move on to believing in myself again. This has been very useful in my journey and I still try to be aware and apply some of the things explored in sessions. Many thanks and take care." Angela S
"I couldn't fault the counselling time I had with Alexandra. It was astonishing, the attention to detail she managed to take in and regurgitate at the appropriate times demonstrated her listening skills beautifully. In a warm and inviting space to confide and release feelings, it was extremely easy to open up, be heard and have Alexandra reflect and help me understand, interpret and seek solutions. With expert advise and coping mechanisms and a deeper understanding of my own circumstances, I could then move forward with life without the support of the counselling sessions. I will be forever grateful to her for propping me up and elevating me to a better place of clarity, confidence and strength. Sending lots of love". Mary C
"I worked with Alexandra for a few months and found the sessions invaluable for dissecting how the past events have contributed to my present behavior and anxiety symptoms. she is calm and empathetic and helped focus me towards the things in life that I want to pursue and that bring me joy!. Thank you Alexandra!" Kaye S
I have comfortable accommodation and clients comment on feelings of tranquility created by the general ambience present. I believe that it is important to provide a containing, secure and safe place for therapy. Hot and cold drinks can be provided. Sometimes "the small things in life" are comforting particularly after travelling or coming to therapy straight after work. i also have bathroom facilities if required.