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Merivale Psychotherapy and Counselling is a boutique psychotherapy and counselling practice in Merivale Christchurch specialising in both short-term counselling and psychotherapy, longer-term psychotherapy and lifestyle interventions to support and enhance Wellbeing.
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Maintaining a healthy emotional life is important for overall health and happiness. Good emotional wellbeing can contribute to increased self-esteem, an increased sense of self, increased energy and better relationships with ourselves and those around us. Wellness is promoted through self-care, having an understanding of our feelings and emotions, dealing with stress in a healthy way and cultivating a sense of compassion towards ourselves. Self-care is about paying attention, listening to what we are feeling and what our body needs to be well. Ignoring our own needs leaves us depleted but self-care will energise and recharge us.
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Seeing a Psychotherapist supports our emotional wellbeing in terms of getting to know and understand ourselves; our emotions, thoughts, feelings and behaviours. Psychotherapy is a clinically proven, research based model with demonstrated effectiveness. PBANZ Registered Psychotherapists are trained to Masters level. The aim is to support the growth of a sense of ‘self’, increased self-awareness and the ability to integrate and process difficult emotions and feelings, distress and/or trauma while also recognising our own implicit strength. We may be facing multiple difficulties, stressors, trauma or loss in our current environment or our difficulties may have their origins in previous experiences and/or relationships which have gone unresolved. At times in our lives these feelings or thoughts may feel overwhelming or self-limiting, and we may understandably be motivated to avoid, dismiss or deny these feelings or thoughts in the hope they will go away. Or we may have developed ways of coping with these feelings which were once protective and adaptive that are now no longer useful to us, driving the difficult feelings underground and potentially increasing suffering such as depression or anxiety. Modern psychology and neuroscience research suggests that avoiding unwanted thoughts, feelings and memories actually increases suffering, symptoms and distress – whereas engaging with distress (when it feels safe and appropriate to do so), allows cognitive and emotional processing to support our wellbeing. “There is no letting go without first allowing honest space for what we feel” Yung Pueblo.
Psychotherapy provides a therapeutic frame from which you can begin to explore your internal and interpersonal experiences and environment. The human brain is a social organ, safe and supportive relationships are the optimal environment for social and emotional learning. Talking within a context of professional, sustained and reliable support and acceptance promotes self-understanding, self-acceptance, a sense of ‘self’ and agency. The aim of psychotherapy is to foster a safe space and a therapeutic relationship where you can begin to attune to what is difficult. Psychotherapy supports the identification and expression of difficult and/or painful feelings, thoughts, beliefs and behaviours to promote understanding, an increased ability to experience and tolerate thoughts and emotions previously inhibited, dissociated or defended against and a better relationship with ourselves and those around us.
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Counselling provides a safe therapeutic frame from which you can begin to attune to and explore your internal and interpersonal experiences to support understanding and healing. My counselling practice is guided by Roger’s Person Centred Model which is an optimistic and empathic approach which believes in the unique potential of each client. By providing the necessary therapeutic conditions of acceptance, genuineness, empathic understanding and attunement counselling can assist with personal growth. I offer support, guidance, and structure so that you as the client can discover personalised solutions within yourself.
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I am a Registered Psychotherapist and qualified Counsellor having spent seven years studying and qualifying in both. I have over 10 years of experience working with individual clients in navigating difficulties, trauma and mental illness, and have a particular interest in and experience of working with women. I view Psychotherapy and Counselling as an integral part of self-care, knowing ourselves and of giving value to ourselves. I am passionate about people and their wellbeing and is why I am passionate about Psychotherapy and Counselling because of it’s ability to enhance and restore a sense of wellbeing within a person. You might come to Counselling or Psychotherapy not knowing why you are there but recognising something is wrong. You may have identified patterns that are not supporting your Wellness i.e. avoiding, dismissing or denying your own feelings or accomodating to others. You may be managing symtoms such as anxiety, low mood, stress. You may be dealing with a major adjustment; change of career, a new baby, the loss of a relationship, a traumatic event or your difficulties may have their origins in your early environment …or it may be that things have got out of balance. The focus of Psychotherapy and Counselling is our emotions and feelings as they are one of our greatest resources, they inform us. When we are able to talk about our feelings we have access to rich insights, learnings and opportunities for understanding, healing and growth. Talking within a therapeutic relationship offers opportunities for new understandings about ourselves and access to experiences that can be talked about in a safe therapeutic space to support cognitive and emotional integration and processing. ‘Leaning into’ what is difficult, being vulnerable promotes understanding and an opportunity for processing and enables a more authentic relationship with ourselves and others, allowing us to live in more confident and compassionate ways. My approach is collaborative, professional, non-judgemental, theory based, understanding and holistic. I create a warm, safe, supportive and accepting space that supports personal growth, exploration and Wellness. A space where you can feel safe to attune to what is difficult to increase your understanding of yourself and promote a sense of wellbeing. My experience of working as a Counsellor at the University of Otago and Psychotherapist and Counsellor at the University of Canterbury Health Centres and in many schools throughout the Canterbury region, allow me confidently support clients with authenticity, understanding and knowledge. My work is underpinned and informed by clinically proven psychotherapy and counselling theories and I am committed to ongoing professional development. I am qualified in The Conversational Model of Psychotherapy which is among one of the best clinically validated of the relational psychotherapies, and am also qualified in Person-Centred Model of Counselling with training and experience in the use of Short-Term Dynamic Interpersonal Psychotherapy (STDIP) and PIT-Lite modalities. I am also a qualified Registered Nurse and take a holistic approach to Wellness, taking into consideration the balance of all the different aspects of your life in particular your relationships, daily rituals, habits and practices and how these may impact.
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how psychotherapy and
counselling can help you.
Life and relationships can bring feelings and experiences that we are not always prepared for or equipped to manage. Difficult or painful feelings, thoughts, beliefs and behaviours. Psychotherapy and Counselling can support your self-awareness, self esteem, healing and wellbeing via talking in a therapeutic setting. Psychotherapy and Counselling will provide you with professional support to navigate your feeling states, increase self-awareness, understanding and self-compassion. Further, my knowledge and understanding of strategies to support and enhance Wellness will support you to care for yourself in times of stress or discomfort. Psychotherapy and Counselling can help deal with difficulties and/or traumatic events and challenges to enable you to build or restore a sense of balance.
Some of the emotional difficulties clients may bring include:
- Anxiety and panic attacks
- Trauma – emotional abuse and/or neglect, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Low self-esteem
- Body image difficulties
- Difficult relationship with food
- Grief and loss
- Relationship difficulties
- Pregnancy / motherhood / parenting
- Managing life transitions and change
- Abortion and miscarriage
- Work/life balance
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what you can expect.
I understand that making contact with a Psychotherapist or Counsellor can be an intimidating and potentially a vulnerable experience and so am very aware of making it a welcoming, safe, compassionate space so that it is as easy for you as possible. I am also aware of the demands of a busy schedule; busy students, busy mums and dads, a busy career or job and therefore am able to accommodate to specific needs with some flexibility around appointment times.
Together we explore what has bought you to counselling or psychotherapy and current difficulties, then using clinically validated therapeutic principles will look at your specific and unique needs. I will also explain more about how I work and you will have an opportunity to ask questions… remember this is a collaborative process. We will discuss treatment options available to you, from short term counselling and psychotherapy interventions to longer term psychotherapy.
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costs and fees.
Interested in working together, or have further inquiries about my practice or approach? I offer a complimentary 15 minute phone consultation to discuss what you are looking for in therapy and the support my practice provides. Schedule with me below or via phone. Sessions are 50 minutes long and I charge $100 per session + GST. There is eftpos onsite. There is also support available via WINZ and ACC – just ask.