“Courage starts with showing up and letting ourselves be seen”
Brené Brown

Therapy is a very personal experience and the initial stage of engaging in the process can be an emotional, challenging and vulnerable time in our lives. This process can be a rollercoaster of thoughts, feelings and behaviours. Sometimes we need to call on all our inner strength to continue and trust in the process of emotional change. It is for this reason I am eternally grateful to clients who not only have benefitted and made positive life changes but have also taken the time to give their consent to share their experiences below. Content below has been anonymised to protect the client’s identity.

“Attending therapy has changed my outlook on my thoughts, feelings and behaviours with anxiety and how I can acknowledge it but focus and ground myself, when I feel anxious or during panic attacks. I am also able to communicate much better with family, friends and acquaintances. I can acknowledge and talk about my feelings, better than what I could have before. Valerie has been a life line in the middle of a really challenging time. I am able to cope really well with so many things and situations now, than what I could have before. The strategies Valerie has given me have been so helpful and I put them into practice daily. Valerie was down to earth, supportive and I felt I had a good connection in order to be able to talk to her. I have finally been able to grieve, get control back and be able to see my anxiety in a positive light, rather than negative. Therapy has been difficult and challenging, but ultimately has given me my life back and I am now a stronger version of myself.
I cannot thank Valerie enough for what she has done for me and given me the strategies to be able to cope with any situation life throws at me. Now the hard work begins”. 31 year old client

“I attended counselling for what I thought was just one particular issue but after talking through many things I realised that there were many things to consider about my own life. This was enlightening and very helpful. Through seeing and understanding this I have been able to adapt my behaviour slowly but surely. I also learned to recognise how unhelpful and damaging some of my own habits and action had been and adopted techniques that could help me intervene, preventing this repeated behaviour. I have always been a deep and busy thinker but working with Valerie helped me to understand that I don’t always need to buy into every thought and emotion, I can watch and be with them so much more now and that has really helped me on my own journey.  While I always believed that talking about things helped, even I was amazed at how much of a profound effect talking about elements of my past would have on my mindset. I now feel free of some many things I ruminated over constantly. Valerie provided a safe and non-judgemental space for me to feel comfortable to do that in. I am very grateful of this”. 38 year old client

“The therapy has given me the perspective and strategies that I had lost sight of. I have a greater understanding of my worth and I am looking forward to the future. I am looking forward to looking after me as well as others, I know looking after myself is important now and not me being selfish. I can think so much clearer now. Valerie has a great way with her and is an expert in her field. She made me feel comfortable in opening up and challenged my thinking. I can’t thank Valerie enough, our sessions were truly life changing”. 49 year old client

“My outlook certainly has changed a lot. I have been able to put many things into perspective and see the challenges they pose. With which I have an understanding of how to access each situation for what it is, as well as a method of how to deal with troubling situations. I felt at ease from the moment I walked in and from our opening conversation. 41 year old client

“I can see things clearer, I feel more positive I can use the tools I have learned to help my behaviours. Valerie made me feel very welcome and I felt so comfortable talking to her. I highly recommend her. Thank you for helping me”. 48 year old client

“Therapy has helped me to understand my thoughts, feelings and behaviours. I now feel as though I have more control over them and how they are manifested in my life. I think that being able to understand and process my past has helped me to cope better in the present, and I’m sure the future too.  I really enjoyed coming to these sessions (even when they were difficult!). I think that you are great at listening and have a fantastic way of helping me to understand what I was saying, even when I wasn’t completely sure of how I felt. I think that your use of metaphors are great for explaining and understanding things. I feel like I have grown a lot since starting these sessions and I am grateful for all your help. Thank you!” 23 year old client

“More positive about myself. Couldn’t have asked for anything better. Lovely lady thanks for listening and getting me talking” 58 year-old client

“My daughter (age 12) had weekly sessions with Valerie. My daughter finds talking to adults very difficult but Valerie was able to build a rapport with her very quickly and I was amazed by how much she engaged. Her sessions were a life line at a very difficult time in my daughters life. Our sessions have come to an end but I will have no hesitation in returning for further sessions in the future if needed.” Mother of 12 year old client

“Each session has provided positive feelings and helped me change my inner thoughts and self belief. I am so glad I attended here for this therapy. Thank you so much.” 56 year old client

“In the sessions Valerie steered me towards an awareness of precipitations in my self that provoke flare ups and outbursts of anger. Once I have the capability of recognizing the advent of these then hopefully I will have the foresight and strength to manage such episodes. Valerie is a tremendous and sympathetic listener. Never judgmental in word or body language. Subtly and consistently she demonstrated her skill to coax the unwilling client to identify situations in early and later life and then very professionally to probe how such experiences may shape current characteristics.I very much value the time spent with her”. 75 year old client

“I think my daughter has benefited from reflection time. I feel that she has been able to share and succeed with this supportive input. A good memory has been seeing a smile from my daughter at the thought of a challenge instead of a negative reaction” Mother of 15 year old client

“The process of counselling has without a doubt been the best thing I  have ever chosen to do. It helped me rationalise my thoughts to get my feelings under control and not spiral. If you put the work in counselling is 100% worth it! Valerie made everything manageable and feel safe. Thank you” 25 year old client

“It has been fantastic. When I started I felt so low and down. The strategies have helped me think more positively which I didn’t feel would happen again. The guidance has been positive but challenging to make me really think about everything instead of making excuses to stop myself moving forward. Thank you so so much” 38 year client

“I was in a very dark place when I came to see Valerie. I felt lost and unsure what to do to get myself out of where I was. I am now much more content and at peace. I have new ways of talking to myself and new ways of managing my emotions. I feel much more hopeful about the future.
I used food as a way to soothe myself and this had become unhealthy. I now no longer need to do that. I have lost weight just by understanding my emotions and how to manage them without eating them. I feel more in control of me and my emotions for the first time in my life. Valerie was amazing she was kind, understanding and so supportive. The working relationship we developed was crucial to me being able to change. If there had been no connection with Valerie I doubt therapy would have been as effective. She helped me change my life for the better.” 39 year old client

“I feel like my time with Valerie has made a big impact on me. I am used to waiting for the next wave of worry to come and because she has helped me in understanding and analysisng my thoughts, feelings and behavours that relate to this I find myself experience anxiety less. Along with the usual process of CBT, Valerie encouraged me to do the things that I know have a positive impact on my mental health and well-being. With my new tools I am able to indentify the feelings I experience when I haven’t spent time reading/ running or looking after myself, which makes it even more obvious to me this is something I have to focus on going forward!” 23 year old client

“I have a greater understanding of my life experiences and how this may be impacting on my behaviour and thought process. I have more information about ways to cope with my anxious thoughts” 48 year old client

“It helped me through a very anxious difficult time. Identified triggers, explored strategies to help me cope. I feel more able to cope, less anxious and more positive. We connected very quickly on a personal level which I feel was therapeutic.Thanks” 57 year old client

“Very positive. It has helped me put a different perspective on my feelings and behaviour. During this process , on Valerie’s advice , I have purchased a fitbit , which allows me to record my activity and sleeping data. This is and will continue to be a motivation tool , something I realise I was in need of , as I tend to be a bit analytical in my behaviour. It has helped me to be aware that you are always a work in process as a person , and that you still need to put physical and mental effort into your daily life. In my case , I was a bit lost for direction when I completely retired from working last .June . You cannot just sit about saying you have worked for 50 years , and it’s time to take it easy. It’s ok to have the odd day like this though ! Acceptance has been a valuable experience for me in this process. I am more aware that I am quite normal in that I have some mental challenges, and normal human flaws, although mines pale into insignificance compared to some other people, and I really feel sorry for them. I still have , and will always have work to do on what are my personal challenges, but due to having the therapy course , I am now better prepared for the future, and for that I say many thanks to Valerie for her support in this process.” 72 year old client

“Attending therapy has helped me to become more aware of my thoughts and feelings. It has made me conscious of my own behaviours and how I react to the behaviour of others. Overall, it has improved my own emotional wellbeing and I will continue to take all the practices I have learned with me in the future and build on them” 25 year old client

“Fantastic really made a difference. Valerie is exceptional at what she does and helped me believe in myself and change over my behaviours” 29 year old client