Please see the Free Resources section for anyone affected by anxiety due to the current Covid-19 climate. I am currently offering counselling at reduced fees via online platforms.
Hi, I'm Monica, a professionally trained and qualified counsellor and registered Member of the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (MBACP), offering short term and long term, one to one talking therapy in the Bournemouth area.
I’m passionate about my work and the benefits of counselling. I offer an integrative humanistic counselling approach. This means that your needs are at the forefront of our work together, and I will adapt my approach to benefit you.
I offer a safe space for you to talk openly in confidence and without judgement. I will always treat you with respect, care and dignity.
Life is very much an up-and-down hill journey with bumpy rides that we just don’t foresee. Clients that I work with often feel that life is getting on top of them – they are not living the life they want. I am here to provide a safe, confidential and creative environment in which we work together to open the door to new beginnings. I apply my training and expertise to work alongside you to help you find solutions to your issues and achieve your goals for counselling.
CPCAB Counselling Skills
CPCAB Counselling Studies
CPCAB Diploma in Therapeutic Counselling
CBT CPCAB L5
Trauma model training completed
The Neuroscience of Early Relational trauma and its Relevance to Clinical Work
Working with Survivors of Childhood Abuse
BACP Certificate of Proficiency
DRBS enhanced check current
Registered Member of BACP-MBACP-374222
I am a registered member of The British Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP) and abide by The Ethical Framework for Good Practice in Counselling and Psychotherapy. That also means that I am fully insured and committed to continuing professional development. I have a Supervisor, who I see on a monthly basis.
I have worked within primary care for the NHS, counselling settings, the voluntary sector and a crisis agency.
In addition to my private practice, I have extensive experience working in a variety of settings, as well as undertaken training in Trauma and PTSD, anxiety and depression.
Depression, fear, and anxiety are some of the most common and uncomfortable emotions that we can experience at some point in our lives. Through counseling and treatment, we are able to help you recover motivation, perspective, and joy that you once had in your life.
Many individuals can experience symptoms associated with painful and traumatic circumstances. Anxiety, fear, and hopelessness are a few emotions that can linger post traumatic events. We can help you overcome these symptoms and guide you through the process of grief and healing.
Communicating with a family member, loved one, friend or work colleague can be difficult, sometimes leaving us feeling unheard or misunderstood. Through counselling we are able to help you explore relationships, develop a new level of self awareness and learn communication techniques that will help you and your loved ones.
The Therapy for you website is currently offering free online courses for anxiety.
Closeness / Connection
When we are struggling with anxiety and worry, we can lose touch with things that used to give us pleasure. Plan to do some activities each day that are pleasurable and make you feel joyful. For example, reading a good book, watching a comedy, dancing or singing to your favourite songs, taking a relaxing bath, or eating your favourite food.
We feel good when we have achieved or accomplished something, so it’s helpful to include activities each day that give you a sense of achievement. For example, doing some housework, decorating, gardening, a work task, cooking a new recipe, completing an exercise routine, or completing ‘life admin’ such as paying a bill.
We are social animals, so we need and naturally crave closeness and connection with other people. With the current health crisis many of us may be physically isolated or distant from others, so it’s important that we consider creative ways to connect in order that we don’t become socially isolated and lonely. How can you continue to connect with family and friends and have social time in a virtual way? Perhaps using social media, phone and video calls you could set up shared online activities e.g. a virtual book or ﬁlm club. You could also explore local online neighbourhood groups, and see if there are ways to be involved in helping your local community.
Living with worry and anxiety amidst global uncertainty
What is worry? Human beings have the amazing ability to think about future events. 'Thinking ahead’ means that we can anticipate obstacles or problems, and gives us the opportunity to plan solutions. When it helps us to achieve our goals, ‘thinking ahead’ can be helpful. For example, hand washing and social distancing are helpful things that we can decide to do in order to prevent the spread of the virus. However, worrying is a way of 'thinking ahead' that often leaves us feeling anxious or apprehensive. When we worry excessively, we often think about worst case scenarios and feel that we won't be able to cope.
What does worry feel like?
When we worry it can feel like a chain of thoughts and images, which can progress in increasingly catastrophic and unlikely directions. Some people experience worry as uncontrollable – it seems to take on a life of its own. It is natural that many of us may have recently noticed ourselves thinking about worst-case scenarios. The example below illustrates how worries can escalate quickly even from something relatively minor. Have you noticed any thoughts like this? (confession: we both have!)
I have a headache
What if it is coronavirus?
Maybe I passed it on to everyone at work yesterday
Everyone will pass it on and die
Imagining an apocalypse and losing everyone who I know and love.
What can I do about worry? It is natural for you to worry at the moment, but if you feel that it's becoming excessive and taking over your life – for example if it's making you anxious, or if you're struggling to sleep – then it might be worth trying to find ways to limit the time you spend worrying, and taking steps to manage your well-being. Psychologists think that well-being comes from living a life with a balance of activities that give you feelings of pleasure, achievement, and closeness. Practice identifying whether your worry is 'real problem' worry, or 'hypothetical worry'. The Worry Decision Tree is a useful tool for helping you to decide what type your worry is.
https://www.psychologytools.com/resource/worry-decision-tree/ If you're experiencing lots of hypothetical worry, remind yourself that your mind is not focusing on a problem that you can solve right now, and then to find ways to let the worry go and focus on something else. You might also use this tool with children if they are struggling to cope.
Practice postponing your worry. Worry is insistent – it can make you feel as though you have to engage with it right now. But you can experiment with postponing hypothetical worry, and many people find that this allows them to have a different relationship with their worries. In practice, this means deliberately setting aside time each day to let yourself worry (e.g. 30 minutes at the end of each day). It can feel like an odd thing to do at first! It also means that for the other 23.5 hours in the day you try to let go of the worry until you get to your 'worry time'. Our Worry Postponement exercise https://www.cci.health.wa.gov.au/~/media/CCI/Mental%20Health%20Professionals/Generalised%20Anxiety/Generalised%20Anxiety%20-%20Worksheets/Generalised%20Anxiety%20Worksheet%20-%2001%20-%20Postpone%20your%20Worry.pdf
will guide you through the steps you need to give it a try. • Speak to yourself with compassion. Worry can come from a place of concern - we worry about others when we care for them. A traditional cognitive behavioural therapy technique for working with negative, anxious, or upsetting thoughts is to write them down and find a different way of responding to them. Using the Challenging Your Thoughts With Compassion worksheet https://www.cci.health.wa.gov.au/~/media/CCI/Mental%20Health%20Professionals/Self%20Compassion/Information%20Sheets/Info%20What%20is%20Self%20Compassion.pdf
you can practice responding to your anxious or worrying thoughts with kindness and compassion. Practice mindfulness. Learning and practicing mindfulness can help us to let go of worries and bring ourselves back to the present moment. For example focusing on the gentle movement of your breath or the sounds you hear around you, can serve as helpful 'anchors' to come back to the present moment and let go of worries.
Some final tips
Set a routine. If you are spending more time at home it is important to continue with a regular routine. Maintain a regular time for waking up and going to bed, eating at regular times, and getting ready and dressed each morning. You could use a timetable to give structure to your day. • Stay mentally and physically active. When you plan your daily timetable, have a go at including activities that keep both your mind and body active. For example, you could try learning something new with an online course, or challenge yourself to learn a new language. It’s also important to keep physically active. For example doing rigorous housework for 30 minutes, or an online exercise video. • Practice gratitude. At times of uncertainty, developing a gratitude practice can help you to connect with moments of joy, aliveness, and pleasure. At the end of each day, take time to reflect on what you are thankful for today. Try and be specific and notice new things each day, for example ‘I am grateful that it was sunny at lunchtime so I could sit in the garden’. You could start a gratitude journal, or keep notes in a gratitude jar. Encourage other people in your home to get involved too. • Notice and limit worry triggers. As the health situation develops it can feel like we need to constantly follow the news or check social media for updates. However, you might notice this also triggers your worry and anxiety. Try to notice what triggers your worry. For example, is it watching the news for more than 30 minutes? Checking social media every hour? Try to limit the time that you are exposed to worry triggers each day. You might choose to listen to the news at a set time each day, or you could limit the amount of time you spend on social media for news checking. • Rely on reputable news sources. It can also help to be mindful of where you are obtaining news and information.
I offer a free 30 minute telephone or face to face initial no obligation consultation to ensure you get the best fit for you.
The next step is to attend an assessment session. This lasts 50 minutes and will enable us to explore your reasons for undertaking counselling, and determine how we might work together going forward.
Full session, 50 mins - £40
Concessionary rates are available for those on lower incomes and students completing their personal therapy. This can be discussed at the assessment session.
Appointments are currently available at various times during the day and evening, Monday-Saturday.
What are Humanistic therapies?
This approach focuses on the individual as a whole. It encourages people to think about their feelings and take responsibility for their thoughts and actions. The emphasis is on self-development and achieving your highest potential rather than on problematic behaviour. Gestalt therapy, person-centred therapy, transactional analysis and transpersonal therapy are all humanistic approaches.
How does CBT work?
CBT aims to help you change the way you think (cognitive) and what you do (behaviour). Rather than looking at past causes, it focuses on current problems and practical solutions to help you feel better now.
The way we think about situations affects the way we feel and behave.
CBT can be helpful for depression, anxiety, stress, phobias, obsessions, eating disorders and managing long term conditions.