Individual Counselling

Why Choose Individual Counselling?

Sometimes it may feel as if life isn’t making any sense.  You may feel stuck or confused, lost or powerless and disengaged from yourself or those around you.  Talking to friends and family may not always be an option and you can find yourself feeling very much alone with how you are feeling.  You may find that you are constantly going over and over the same thing and it feels really hard to get out of the cycle you are caught in.

Finding a safe space to talk to someone who won’t judge you can help you to begin to make sense of your world again.  You can begin to feel connected again both to yourself and to those around you.  As your mind becomes clearer you can begin to feel a renewed sense of purpose, where maybe none existed.

As your Counsellor I won’t be giving you advice, but I can help you to find your own answers which can empower you to find the best way forward for yourself.

Counselling can help you to…

  • Clarify things
  • Feel empowered
  • See that you have choices
  • Increase your self-awareness
  • Gain greater insight into your world
  • See things from a different perspective
  • Challenge the way you see yourself and your world
  • Find your resources, strengths and coping strategies
  • Decide if you want to make changes in your life & enable you to make them

How I work

I believe the relationship between us lies at the heart of the work we will do together. My aim is to offer you a relationship free from the experiences of the past, which at the same time allows you to explore your past experiences and relationships within the safety of our counselling sessions. By working in an open and respectful way I aim to create a space for you that feels safe, and where you will feel held and heard.  The most important thing is for you to feel comfortable working with me.

Please visit the following pages for more information on FAQs Confidentiality & my Counselling Contract for Individuals.

Counselling Model

My work is based on the Humanistic Counselling model which focuses on, & honours your individuality & uniqueness. Your past experiences can impact you in the present day, leaving you feeling stuck & powerless and repeating the same patterns of behaviour. With greater understanding & self-awareness you can begin to see the choices available and feel better equipped to make changes in your life.  I believe that every individual has the ability to change, grow and heal when they are given the right circumstances and a safe, confidential counselling space can enable this to happen.

Sometimes it will be appropriate to integrate other approaches within my core model.  This could range from structured approaches such as Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP), Motiviational Interviewing (MI) or through to creative expression using art, poetry or imagery. What is important in our work together is to find a way that works best for you and is best for the issues that you are bringing to counselling, this includes working at a pace that feels comfortable for you.

I also offer Acceptance & Committment Therapy (ACT), for clients wishing to work in this model please visit my ACT Page.

What Type of Counselling is Best for Me?

Both Short Term and Open Ended Counselling work very well, the type of counselling we decide to undertake will depend on a number of things including

  • What you want to talk about in the sessions and also what you want to get from those sessions.
  • Whether you have a budget or time constraint.
  • How quickly you work, some people process things faster than others, it’s important to work at a pace that suits you.

During the Assessment we will talk about what is best for you, taking all factors into consideration.

Why Choose Short Term (Brief Solutions Focused) Therapy

Not all counselling needs to be Open-Ended (Long-Term) in fact Brief Therapy can work very well for many issues.  Brief therapy would range from minimum 4 to maximum 12 sessions.

The emphasis on Brief therapy will be to set some clear therapeutic goals – what do you hope to get from the sessions and how do you hope to feel at the end of the counselling.  This help us to ensure we are keeping on track with what you hope to achieve.

Short Term (Brief Solution Focused) Therapy can be helpful if….

  • You are looking to make some specific changes and are unsure how or where to begin
    • Solution Focused Therapy can help you to focus on the goals you want to achieve and can assist you in exploring what might be causing you to feel stuck as well as thinking about what steps you need to take in order to get there.
  • You are a client who has previously had counselling but you are experiencing a blip.
    • Brief  Therapy could help you to top up your coping strategies and re-acquaint you with your strengths and resources.
  • You are concerned about finances and have a fixed budget or have a time constraint to consider.
    • Brief (Solution Focused) Therapy can be helpful by focusing on the most immediate issue that is concerning you.
  • You think you might need longer term counselling in the future, but need to first put some strategies in place to cope with the your immediate feelings.
    • The short term counselling would give you an indication of what it is you want to focus on in the longer term work, the things you want to address in greater depth.
    • It might be that during your short term counselling you would like to continue this work with me, in which case we would continue to work on a longer term (open ended) basis.

Why Choose Open-Ended (Long Term) Counselling

  • There may be times in your life when you notice that you keep repeating patterns, this could be in your relationships or in other aspects of your life, this may leave you feel puzzled and wondering why this is so.
  • You may have some unresolved issues from your past which are impacting your daily life.  These could include losses you have experienced or a trauma, childhood or otherwise.
  • You may be stuck in a cycle of grief and finding it difficult to move forward with your life.
  • You are experiencing long term depression and find it a struggle to cope.
  • You are looking to undertake some personal development.

Embarking on some open-ended Counselling means that we do not fix the number of sessions at the start of the counselling, you start on the premise that you need some support to resolve an issue and the work will end when you feel you have achieved this.  That is not to say that the work won’t finish in 8 or 12 sessions, what it means is that we allow the work to develop organically and see where it takes us.  We would review regularly to ensure that we are continuing along the right track for you.






BACP Shirley Baxter Counselling
ACBS Shirley Baxter Counselling

“When  I let go of what I am, I become what I might be.”

Lao Tzu

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