Lesley Braithwaite

Couple and Individual Counsellor

Why Counselling?

I work with couples in the short term or over longer periods and together we try to find ways that work for you, to deal with whatever issues you bring to the sessions. I also work with individuals, usually in the longer term, who want to explore their past and their present and to find a more effective equilibrium. I aim to offer a safe and confidential space within which to explore whatever you want to share. I have an acute awareness that we are all different and unique, that all your particular needs, (including ethnicity, disability, gender, sexuality, age) should be respected and treated with seriousness. I believe that asking for help is a courageous move towards feeling in charge of your life and finding solutions.

Couples Work

Very often people come to see a couple therapist because they feel they are stuck in a way of relating, an argument or a behaviour pattern that they can't seem to escape. Whether married or not, or in a same sex relationship, it can feel as though they are constantly hitting the same buffers, regularly having the same argument and no-one seems  able to stop. Both partners are left feeling frustrated, lonely and miserable - and often that it is someone's fault - usually the other partner. Couple counselling does not provide instant answers, but by working together and focusing on the relationship, it is possible for therapist and couple to start to identify some of the underlying issues being played out in these habitual and seemingly endless circles. Having an opportunity to take time to listen to each other and try to see the situation from the other point of view can begin to help. Opening up lines of communication that existed before but seem to have silted up can identify some of the misunderstandings and assumptions about each other that have built up over the years and begin to clear them away. Beginning to recognise that there are unconscious connections with past relationships can help you understand your relationship more deeply and think together about how to notice and talk about difficulties before they become too entrenched.  

Individual Work

People often experieince anxiety, distress and painful feelings which are difficult to understand and seem outside of their control. Psychodynamic therapies are based on a belief that our present behaviour is linked with our past experience and, often at an unconcious level, our feelings and behaviour are influenced by these past experiences. The work of the therapy is to try to uncover the connections and rediscover and think about in the present some of those past experiences. This can help to de-toxify them and better enable us to put them in their place and manage them in the present This can take time and is usually best done in an open-ended, therapeutic relationship which can expore and reflect in the present on what is happening between client and therapist as well as link those experiences with the past. It is a vibrant, energetic process that can be distressing, painful, interesting, exciting and ultimately rewarding.