Lesley Braithwaite

Couple and Individual Counsellor


How do I work?

My approach is based in psychodynamic theory and I will wait to hear from you where you want to take the sessions. If we are working together in the longer term we can take time to explore what comes up and deal with issues as they arise. If you want to focus on a specific issue you might choose to come for a shorter, defined time and we would then use a more solution focused approach to deal with the particular matter on which you want to concentrate. Shorter term work will probably take up to 12 sessions. If there are longer term relationship issues I would expect us to work together for 6 months or a year. Many couples have found it useful to continue for longer. Individual work is often longer term and may take many months or years.

In my experience committing to a regular weekly session offers the best opportunity for us to develop the working relationship which forms the basis of our therapeutic work together. 

What is Psychodynamic Counselling?

The psychodynamic approach to counselling has at its heart the link between our conscious thoughts and actions, and the underlying processes governing them which sometimes seem beyond our conscious control.  The aim of counselling is to increase awareness and understanding of how the past has influenced the present by exploring these unconscious patterns and links between past and present.

The relationship between counsellor and client offers a confidential and safe space in which to explore problems and anxieties. It is probably the most important tool in the work they undertake together, acting as a mirror between the past and the present and opening up a route to better understanding.  This can make it easier to move away from unhelpful or unwanted responses and behaviour and to make different choices.

Both individuals and couples (irrespective of their marital state, gender or orientation) can be helped through an increased awareness of these hidden influences.  Couple counselling usually includes both partners, who can be helped to better understand and manage the complexities of their interactions. It is undoubtedly more effective to work with relationship difficulties when both partners are present and committed to the work. However it is not always the case that both are willing or able to attend and if this is your situation it is still worth considering counselling to think about your relationship issues.