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Meet Claire

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Hello!

I specialise in postnatal counselling because I’ve been there.

I’d just accepted my fog as my new reality in those first few months and didn’t know any different. I kept my thoughts to myself and tried my best to rationalise them, despite how they made me feel. Eventually I went back to work after maternity leave and it took just a few weeks before I broke down. I couldn’t keep going any longer.

I was anxious all the time, I was struggling to sleep and when I did, I’d wake up in the early hours in floods of tears. I was angry at my husband who only wanted to help me and work out what was going on. I felt nothing I did was good enough, as a mother, as a wife, as an employee, a friend.

 

It felt like I couldn’t breathe. I was in survival mode and it felt like barely that.

This is just part of my story and you will have your own. Counselling was a life line for me, it gave me space to offload so that I could start to breathe again, so that I could begin to feel the tension easing from my shoulders. I know how vulnerable it can feel to reach out for help, to put faith in that other person and this is why I share a bit of myself here, so you know I've been through my own stuff and come out of the other side. You can too. 

 When you’re pregnant you dream of the snuggles you’ll have with your little one, about walks with the pram and coffee dates with mum friends or perhaps about getting back to how things were and continuing as 'normal' and then suddenly your little one arrives, you go through one hell of a change hormonally, physically, emotionally, socially, in every way you can think of. And you’re expected to just keep going, to manage, to cope, because you’ve got this gorgeous bundle of joy, so you should be happy, right? So often we're programmed not to complain, to just keep going, and sometimes that means it catches up with us when we least expect it. Maybe you find yourself suddenly crying in the shower, or the smallest thing sets you off. 

It's not your fault, it’s not your baby’s fault, there’s so much more going on that we’re simply not prepped for. Right now, you might feel lost or overwhelmed but you don’t have to stay there. It is possible to find calm, balance your emotions, quieten those anxious or scary thoughts, to feel like yourself again.

 

You don’t have to do it alone, lets work through it together.

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How Does Postnatal Counselling
with Claire Work?

What postnatal counselling isn't

It isn't about just changing your thinking. Your thoughts are attached to your feelings and how you feel is always valid. We don't simply look to change your mindset so you can cope with something that really no one should be expected to cope with. 

It isn't about telling you that what you're experiencing is 'normal' because that would suggest no changes in society need to occur and let's face it, mums really aren't cared for enough after the birth of their child. It would also suggest that you just need to 'get on with it' and this is something you will never hear me say.

So what is postnatal counselling?

Postnatal counselling is about giving you space to air your thoughts and feelings.

It's about feeling seen and heard.

We are made up of so many different parts and sometimes we have conflicting voices as a result. We might know something is not logical or rational and yet part of us just keeps returning to it. Postnatal counselling is about exploring that, giving voice to those parts and working out the role they play. Every part of us is important and trying to shut the parts down we don't like only makes them louder.

As part of your counselling sessions we might delve into the past, look at the present or explore what you want the future to look like. Nothing is off the table. 

In some sessions it might feel like all you do is talk and that is great! Some sessions you might feel you're not sure what to say and that's important too, even having nothing to say or not knowing where to start tells us something. 

In some sessions we might explore things through creative work with stones, shells, or mark making (no artistic talent required!).

I always invite you to share what is on your mind, I ask you if I've understood things right, I aim to always be honest and open with you because our relationship is crucial to the therapeutic process.

Background & Qualifications

I firmly believe that the most important thing I offer in our sessions is my open and honest self, as well as a non-judgemental, human-to-human connection that allows you the space you need. Having said that, I have worked hard to achieve this, so here's a brief overview of my background and qualifications.

I have taught psychology for over 10 years and still continue to do so part-time alongside counselling. During this time, I have run workshops for anxiety, facilitated training on mental health, and supported students and teachers through mentoring programmes.

 

I have volunteered for Samaritans, Mind, Talking Spaces and Just B.

Qualifications:

  • PG Dip Counselling & Psychotherapy from Leeds Beckett University

  • Levels 1-3 in Counselling Skills from Guildford College

  • BSc Psychology from Lancaster University

CPD:

I am continuously learning so that I can provide the best support for mums. These are just some of the areas I have covered in this extra training:

  • Trauma, stress and anxiety

  • Perinatal Mental Health and Illness

  • Supporting those with birth trauma

  • Supporting clients through bereavement, including by bereavement by suicide

  • IDAS Domestic Abuse Awareness Training

  • Safeguarding children level 2

  • Safeguarding adults level 2

I am a registered BACP member, and you can find confirmation of this at https://www.bacp.co.uk/search/Register. This means my qualifications meet the approved standards, and I am bound by the BACP code of ethics.

If you have any questions, please feel free to book a free 15 minute discovery call here.

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