- Phone number
- 07470 082-030
- Flexible hours available
- Concessionary rates
About me and my therapy practice
At its most simple counselling provides someone to think with you, about you. Counselling provides a regular time and space in a confidential, non-judgemental environment that is exclusively yours. You can bring any aspect of your life that you may be struggling with and work with someone who is trained to actively listen and understand how you are feeling, the effect those feelings are having on you and on other people in your life.
Telling your story in a safe, non-judgmental environment, being heard and understood may be enough. Having a neutral person to think with you should help you gain insight into yourself. Once you have increased self-awareness you are able to think about alternatives and make choices that work for you.
My name is Paula Cottle.
I am a psychodynamic counsellor / psychotherapist with a Post Graduate Diploma in Contemporary Therapeutic Counselling and a Master of Science Degree in the Psychodynamics of Human Development. I have 12 years’ experience working with clients from diverse ethnic backgrounds on a wide range of issues. In addition to my private practice I volunteer in a setting working exclusively with men.
Counselling allows you to explore past and present thoughts and feelings about yourself and significant others without judgement and the fear of rejection. I provide an environment based on acceptance, empathy and understanding in order to restore balance to your life. The aim of my approach is to facilitate a greater self awareness, which will better equip you to make sound decisions, find your own solutions and resolve issues.
My primary approach is psychodynamic; however I may include more cognitive aspects into our work for immediate issues or introduce you to mindfulness and meditation if this will benefit you. I am very much interested in the mind / body connection, which means that your thoughts and feelings can physically affect your body and health, and physical symptoms can have an effect on what you think, how you feel and what you do.
The counselling session is your time to think exclusively about you; therefore I will not talk about myself and my experiences. For change to be effective it has to come from within, so I will not offer you advice, a quick fix or a cure.
Please visit my website www.sanctuaryofmind.co.uk for additional information.
I look forward to hearing from you.
My first session
I offer an initial assessment that lasts up to 90 minutes. Apart from our initial contact we are total strangers meeting for the first time and this session provides an opportunity to decide together if further counselling will help you and if you would like to enter into a counselling relationship with me.
The best metaphor I have been given about an initial assessment is that it is like a play. First you have to be introduced to all the actors, then you see how they relate to each other in order to understand the story of the play.
During this session I am interested in hearing your story, in your words, although I may ask questions to clarify anything I don’t understand. I will ask if you have had counselling before, why you have come to see me and what you hope to achieve. I may also ask questions in order to learn about your family, schooling, work, relationships and health.
I will explain client confidentiality and when I am legally bound by a court of law to disclose certain information.
About 10 to 15 minutes prior to ending we will discuss how you have found your first session. You will also have the opportunity to raise any questions you might have. If we agree to continue we will discuss how often and at what time we will meet, the expected duration of our work, notification of cancelled sessions, fees and payment options. If we decide not to work together we can explore alternative options that you may find more suitable.
Because there is a lot to take in during a first session, I can put our agreement in writing for you to refer to as needed.
What I can help with
Abuse, Addictions, Anger management, Anxiety, Bereavement, Cultural issues, Depression, Health related issues, Identity issues, Infertility, Loss, Men's issues, Redundancy, Relationships, Self esteem, Self-harm, Sexual identity, Sexuality, Spirituality, Trauma, Women's issues, Work related issues
Types of therapy
Cognitive, Person centred, Psychodynamic
Clients I work with
Adults, Older adults, Young people
How I deliver therapy
Long-term face-to-face work, Online counselling, Short-term face-to-face work, Time-limited