Counsellor and supervisor based near Hebden Bridge, Halifax.
Are you struggling with anxiety, low mood, depression or anger? Maybe some areas of your life are not working, and you don’t know how to change them or how to have a more fulfilling life. My name is Amelie Lavan and I am a qualified, experienced counsellor offering counselling to individuals. My private practice is near Mytholmroyd, in West Yorkshire. It is also within easy reach of Halifax, Hebden Bridge or Huddersfield, - just off the main A646 road from Halifax to Burnley.
What is counselling?
All of us have largely unconscious ways of behaving and responding to events, which are unique to us. This is a result of our life’s experiences, especially our early childhood ones and how we interpreted or made sense of them at the time. Some parts of us are healthy and respond appropriately to whatever is going on inside and outside ourselves. However, all of us have aspects which do not respond in appropriate ways. They come to the fore when we feel stressed or are experiencing difficult events. Inevitably, our relationship both to ourselves and to others is affected. Counselling is a process where we increase our awareness of our own patterns of behaviour and identify which ones are limiting us in some way. We start noticing things which we haven’t seen before, and start to see how they are holding us back. The more self aware we become of our patterns, the more we are able to assess which ones need to be challenged or changed in some way. We also need to acknowledge our healthy aspects and give them space so they can be nurtured. If you’re reading this website, this process has already begun. You are on the first step to changing your awareness so that you can have a better, more rewarding life.
How can counselling help me?
Counselling is a subtle process and is probably unlike anything else you’ve ever done. If you feel relaxed and safe enough, you will share things which you may not have shared with anyone else. The work can be demanding and challenging at times, but it is deeply rewarding and the benefits can be positively life changing. You will not be alone as you go on this inward journey. I will be with you as your counsellor. The work will be done in a confidential, empathic and respectful way. We will also go at a pace and to a depth which feels right for you now.
You may want to look at issues such as
- panic attacks
- low self esteem
- anger and irritation
- relationship difficulties
- spiritual concerns
- sexuality issues
- sexual/emotional/physical abuse
How long will it take?
Counselling just takes the time it takes and it’s hard to predict how long that might be for you. You may find that you only need three or four sessions and that this is enough to relieve your current concerns. Some people, though, recognise that their patterns are deep seated and have built up over a long period of time. These patterns can’t be challenged or changed quickly because our defence systems kick in. We need to go slowly and with great respect for the self who really just wants to keep you safe. In this case, we need to work for a longer period of time. Whatever you decide, our work together will aim to support changes you want to make so that you are able to manage better all the challenges that life brings.
Post qualification, I have been counselling for seven years and in total, including voluntary work, I’ve been counselling for eleven years. My training is in integrative counselling (Leeds University 2008-2011). I have a counselling certificate and a post-graduate diploma in integrative counselling (Psychotherapy and Counselling). Before that I was in adult education, so I have a degree and other post graduate qualifications relevant to education and teaching.
For many years I was an accredited bereavement counsellor and supervisor with Cruse Bereavement Care, in York and Huddersfield. Cruse is a national bereavement charity.
I am a supervisor which means I offer supervision to other counsellors. All counsellors (in recognised counselling bodies in the U.K.) agree to be supervised as it is a mandatory requirement if we want to be accepted into a professional body. My supervisees come from a variety of counselling modalities and work settings.
I am a member of The British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy and I use the BACP’s ethical framework to guide my working practice. This framework includes aspects of working such as confidentiality, working within my qualifications and experience and having regular supervision.
Thoughts for September 2018
This month’s thought
Benjamin Zander is the inspirational conductor of the Boston Philharmonic Orchestra. He also leads a youth orchestra and teaches students. He has co- written a book called ‘The Art of Possibility’ which gives tools on how to have an amazingly good life and this, along with his youtube videos, describes his approach to himself and his students. What he writes can be applied to all of us as we struggle with self-acceptance and our perception that inherently we are not good enough in some way. The first thing he does is to give all his students an A grade BEFORE they finish their studies. The one condition is that they must write a letter to him describing the person they have become by this time next year. The letter lists the insights they have acquired and the milestones they attained during the year. He tells them he wants them to fall passionately in love with the person they are describing. Mistakes are seen as ‘fascinating’. The giving of an A takes away competition with others, and stress about performance. ‘We give the A to finesse the stranglehold of judgment that grades have over our consciousness from our earliest days’, (p.33). I recommend this book or any of his youtube clips. His ideas help us to pose this question ‘What grade did you give yourself this morning when you got out of bed?’ Imagine how your day would be if you could give yourself an A. It is all a matter of what we tell ourselves and where we put our attention. Labels are human inventions and you have the power to change the label.
On a similar theme, Carol Dweck explores the power of believing that we can improve. Her Ted talk looks at brain activity with students who have the belief that they can grow and learn and that they just haven’t got to where they want to go ‘YET”. She compares this with the brain activity of those children who have given up and don’t believe they can achieve anything other than what is in front of them. Her work seems to back up what Zander is describing. We have the power to change and to have the life we want. If we are open to this as a possibility, then I hear you say ‘Yes, but..’. If you are not having the life you want, then something is blocking it. Counselling can help us to understand what blocks our way and how we can navigate through the blocks to a happier life.
I hope you have found this information helpful. Please get in touch if you have any questions or would like a no obligation initial session to see if counselling with me can help you. Click here to email me
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