Hello and Welcome
'You have taken the first step; now I challenge you to take another ...' (Dan Poynter)
My name is Suzy Carter and I am a BACP accredited psychotherapeutic counsellor.
I also hold a current (19/3/2020) enhanced DBS certificate.
The world feels a rather scary place to be in right now. Probably like you, although I am well, I am in isolation at the moment. But that doesn't have to mean being isolated. For the next few weeks and with a little help from technology, I will be continuing to work as usual.
I will also be available for free 20 minute emotional support sessions via my landline, between 9.30 and 10.30 each weekday morning - 'the listening hour'.
And whatever you're going through, you can call the Samaritans free any time, from any phone on 116 123, from anywhere in the UK or the Republic of Ireland.
They are there round the clock, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
You don't have to be suicidal to get in touch.
The Listening Hour
The Listening Hour is a time each day set aside for connecting attentively with others: so-called 'active listening'.
I am offering free emotional support sessions every weekday, between 9.30 and 10.30am in support of this movement.
We all need to connect with other people, especially in times like these.
Technology is a great way to do this but too much screen and impersonal social media time can be detrimental too.
Hearing the voice of another human being is so important, the next best thing to actually being together. But even when we are together, like the many who are isolating in family groups, we don't always really pay attention to what is being said and pick up on the clues that tell us how the other person really is ...
The idea of The Listening Hour is to spend time connecting with one another in a more focussed, attentive and intentional way, every day - in a phone call or face-to-face, if you are already living with others. No other distractions.
Morning or evening - it's up to you! An hour in the morning works for me but maybe it wouldn't fit in with your routine.
And it doesn't need to be for the whole hour - that might feel too much. Active listening may use a surprising amount of energy!
Once you have made this focussed connecting time a part of your routine, you might like to gradually incorporate the other daily essentials for personal well-being:
Time in - a good way to begin the day. Let your mind turn inwards in reflection, meditation, journalling
Eating time - make your meals as nutritious as possible, even with limited availability and drink plenty of fresh water
Exercise time - move regularly and as much as you are able, walking/running + some strengthening exercises every day
Concentrating time - do something that requires your complete attention - work, write that novel, do some research, crosswords, puzzles
Playtime/Creative time - draw, paint, make, bake, craft, garden, fun, games and, very important: laughter
Down time - chill out! Maybe listen to music, watch a film, hear the birds sing or stare into space
Sleep time - bed at the same time and up at the same time, no screens in the bedroom, room as dark as you can make it
If you are still thinking about talking therapy or looking for a psychological therapist, here I am ...
Is there something on your mind - a worry or a sense of dissatisfaction, some confusion or uncertainty? Maybe you are feeling low or anxious, overwhelmed or lonely? Are you sad or grieving?
Sometimes it is easier to talk to someone who is independent of friends and family - someone who will be objective and non-judgemental.
I will listen to anything that you would like to share, no matter how serious, sensitive or even trivial you fear it may sound.
Working together, we would create the conditions you need to enable you to move towards a way of being and living that feels more comfortable.
A short, complimentary introductory session would allow you to talk to me before making a commitment to therapy and help you to decide if you would like to work with me.
Email or landline is the quickest way to contact me initially, as mobile reception here is poor. WhatsApp video or voice calls can be used for therapy sessions, once we have agreed to work together
I work mainly with people aged 18yr and over - and I would welcome your enquiry, whoever you are and whatever your background.
Therapy for young people aged between 12 and 18yr is offered in collaboration with The Family Counselling Trust in Hampshire. This is short term work, incorporating a systems-based approach in which family patterns of relating are explored to see if different patterns might be formed, within which young people and their families might thrive.
I have experience of working with a range of issues, such as stress, anxiety, depression, panic attacks, relationship problems, attachment issues, perinatal mental illness, abuse, adverse childhood events and trauma - I have a post graduate diploma in contemporary trauma practice.
Coping with illness and the pressures of caring, bereavement, grief and loss are areas of particular interest to me as I have also worked with a bereavement counselling charity for a number of years and, until recently, an organisation that supports carers.
This beautiful short film describes how helpful talking therapy can be ...
I use a humanistic and integrative approach and my personal philosophy is rooted in humanistic principles: I believe we have only one life and that we should each be able to have the personal responsibility and autonomy to live ethically and well, albeit within our own personal limitations - and to empathically support others to do the same.
My training has been a good fit with my philosophy and the overarching aim of my work is to empower clients and encourage their autonomy and agency in shaping their own lives, ultimately in ways that feel satisfactory to them ...
I can't wave a magic wand but, working collaboratively, I can help you to live your best life.
Person-Centred roots support me in approaching clients with sensitive understanding - as equals yet as unique individuals, who are essentially OK, self-determining and with an innate ability to change and grow, at any age and stage of life.
My broad-based early training, further studies and ongoing continuing professional development allow me to integrate other approaches and techniques, as appropriate.
As a humanistic and integrative counsellor, with my work underpinned by Person-Centred theory, we would work with the issues you choose to bring - whatever matters most to you, right now.
We would work together, to create a secure, warm and professional relationship in which you could feel able to explore your concerns, whilst being supported in your process of increasing self-awareness, personal growth and development. At times, this may feel like hard and challenging work and it would require your commitment.
Regular reviews would help to ensure that the focus of our work remains relevant to your needs.
My practice is halfway between Petersfield and Liphook, on the Hampshire and West Sussex county border.
Click here or see below for further information about counselling and how it may help you ...
Counselling usually takes place weekly, over several weeks or longer, depending on individual requirements.
Regular sessions are the most beneficial, although a single session may occasionally prove helpful, especially when we have worked together before.
Sessions last for 50 min.
My entire career has been spent in the health and wellness sector: I was formerly a clinical physiologist, specialising in cardiology and have also been a complementary therapist for a number of years, with a particular interest in reflexology, essential oils and the benefits of far infra red sauna use.
Complementary therapy still forms a small but important part of my work and I am always delighted to meet new clients for complementary therapy, as well as for counselling.
A sense of wellbeing springs from the union of a well-balanced mind within a well-balanced body. Physical issues may affect mental health and vice versa. Emotions are felt and held in the body as well as in the mind, so I will be just as interested in exploring how you feel physically, as how you feel emotionally.
Clients who come for reflexology find the deep relaxation, often encouraged by the treatment, to be profoundly therapeutic. Foot reflexology has been shown to increase vagal tone and heart rate variability, as well as decreasing sympathetic activation and blood pressure. These parameters are key indicators of general health. See this abstract ... for more information.
Occasionally, people who come for counselling find that combining it with reflexology is helpful, for these reasons. For more information on this way of working, click here.
More specifically, I am able to use the reflexology lymphatic drainage (RLD) technique to support those with primary or secondary lymphoedema. This technique may also support those with autoimmune disorders and chronic fatigue syndrome.
Email or landline is the quickest way to contact me, as mobile reception here is poor
March/April 2020 - the silent spring?
Whatever has brought you to this page I am pleased to welcome you and hope that you find something useful to take away.
Irish poet, author, priest and philosopher John O’Donohue wrote:
May I have the courage today
To live the life that I would love,
To postpone my dream no longer,
But do at last what I came here for
And waste my heart on fear no more.
These are powerful words. But it is often very difficult to find the courage to face and create change alone. This is when talking to someone may be helpful ...
In his poem, The Road Not Taken, Robert Frost wrote:
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I,
I took the one less travelled by,
And that has made all the difference.
There is always a choice.
Maybe now is the right time for you to speak and to be really heard; maybe you would like to have someone alongside you on your journey ... As Oprah Winfrey said, in her inspiring acceptance speech for the Cecil B DeMille Lifetime Achievement Award at the Golden Globes in 2018, 'Speaking your truth is the most powerful tool ...' It has the power to create change, in you and in others too.
For further encouragement, listen to Elizabeth Day speaking on authenticity as well as on connecting with others and how to fail via the BBC Sounds App.
If you are looking for a counsellor near to Petersfield, Liphook or Midhurst, do get in touch - my contact details are at the top of every page of this website and you can email me directly and in complete confidence.
You might also like to visit the Counselling Directory, the British Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP) or the Hampshire Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (HACP) websites to search for therapists.
And your GP may be able to help too ...
A further option is to call helplines like The Samaritans (for anyone) or The Silver Line (for older people). Or text to 85258, to reach Shout, a crisis text line. These helplines are open 24 hours a day, every day.
Whatever you're going through, you can call the Samaritans free any time, from any phone on 116 123 (from anywhere in the UK or the Republic of Ireland).
They are there round the clock, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
If you need a response immediately, it's best to phone. You don't have to be suicidal to get in touch.
The Samaritans is a registered charity, which provides a confidential, off the record listening service, 24/7. Their aim is to offer support to anyone in emotional distress, struggling to cope or at risk of suicide. Contact them by following this link: Samaritans
(Some simple tips on how to improve your own listening skills, to better support a friend or relative who is struggling, can also be found here.)
You can email, write or visit a local branch, if you prefer. The nearest branch to Petersfield is in Portsmouth at 296 London Rd, PO2 9JN. Phone: 023 9269 1313
Visit the Samaritans for more information and alternative ways to make contact.
You can reach The Silver Line on 0800 470 8090. Listen to CEO of The Silver Line, Sophie Andrews' compelling and informative TED talk here or visit their website here.
Shout is the UK's first 24/7 text service, free on all major mobile networks, for anyone in crisis anytime, anywhere. It’s a place to go if you’re struggling to cope and you need immediate help. For support in a crisis, text Shout to 85258
HOPELineUK is for young people under the age of 35 who may be having thoughts about taking their own life and anyone who is concerned that a young person may be having thoughts of taking their own life. Contact them on 0800 068 41 41, text to 07786209697 or email [email protected] They are open 10am to 10pm on weekdays and 2pm to 10pm on weekends and bank holidays.
Counselling - sometimes it's just good to talk ...
As a counsellor, I work on a 1:1, face-to-face basis with adults and young people, aged 12 and over.
The sorts of issues that counselling may help with include:
- Stress, inc. work, parenting or caring-related
- Low self-esteem
- Bereavement, loss and change
- Coping with illness
- Self harm
- Suicidal thoughts
In counselling jargon, I use a humanistic and integrative approach, sometimes incorporating creative, Mindful and CBT-based interventions if appropriate - but only if these ways of working appeal and seem relevant.
In plain language, counselling can provide you with an opportunity for self-exploration and examination of troubling issues and feelings in a confidential, non-judgmental and honest yet empathic environment.
My counselling framework is underpinned by Person Centred theory so my work is client-led and non-directive; in other words, we would work on the concerns that you bring and I would not tell you what to think or do; rather, I would encourage you to discover your own ways to achieve greater contentment.
The human brain is extraordinarily malleable and change is possible at any time of life. My aim is always to empower clients to bring about the changes that seem important for them, through my listening and enquiring skills as well as the power of a strong therapeutic relationship - something that is key to the success of any therapeutic encounter, whether in counselling or in complementary or conventional medicine. Carl Jung, the father of analytical psychology, said that:
People new to counselling are often mystified as to how it might work for them. There is much evidence to suggest that it is the quality of the relationship between therapist and client, whatever their modality (e.g. integrative, Person-Centred, Psychodynamic, CBT), that is the key to a successful outcome in the eyes of the client (see this article and others):
The idea is that a person can begin to see how their mind works in the unique relationship with the therapist, a relationship that is purposefully structured to make the person's psychology more apparent and a topic of exploration. Noticing, exploring and working through these emotional experiences in relationship with the therapist is a powerful mechanism of growth in therapy.
People who get the most out of therapy are those who are:
- willing to try to discern within themselves their feelings and reactions in talking with their therapist
- willing to share and explore those feelings and reactions with their therapist
Exploring these responses in the immediacy of the relationship with the therapist is considered a powerful mediator of change in therapy.
(The above is quoted from this paper: Self-Awareness, Transference & Counter-Transference by Michael E. Makekau, University of Hawaii - and is equally applicable to all counselling and psychotherapeutic approaches.)
As a practicing counsellor, I am an accredited member of the British Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP).
I am a member of The Association of Reflexologists (AoR). As such, I work according to a strict code of practice and ethics requiring the highest level of professionalism and giving client well being the highest priority.
Please get in touch if you are interested in either counselling or complementary therapy.
Autumndale Therapies provides:
- Short, free of charge 'meet the therapist' sessions for prospective clients
- Integrated counselling and reflexology sessions
- Reflexology Lymphatic Drainage
- Vertical Reflex Therapy (visit this other page for more information on VRT)
- Essential oil products to support and enhance reflexology treatments
- Essential oil products, tailored to individual needs, for use at home
- Reflexology taster sessions
- Foot/ hand massage
- Sauna suite with private shower and space to relax
- Dedicated and comfortable ground floor treatment rooms (3 steps to front door)
- Cloakroom, also on the ground floor
- Tranquil, discrete location, convenient from West Sussex, Surrey or East Hampshire,
including Petersfield, Liss, Liphook, Haslemere and Midhurst and Waterlooville
- On-site parking
- Vouchers for complementary therapies
As a counsellor, I use a humanistic and integrative approach.
Humanistic psychology has been called the 'Third Way' in relation to psychotherapeutic work because it does not focus on past events and unconscious processes, as in psychoanalysis or psychodynamic therapy; or on how thoughts might influence behaviour, as in CBT - cognitive-behavioural therapy; it focuses on the unique experience of each individual and is underpinned by the belief that everybody, no matter what their circumstances or stage in life, has an innate tendency towards growth and development.
Carl Rogers was a well-known figure in the field of humanistic psychology and developed the Person-Centred approach, which underpins my way of working.
Carl Jung also focused on the uniqueness of the individual; he believed, among many other things, that crisis and breakdown were essential precursors to transformation and healing. His sense of the need for the individual to achieve 'wholeness' for their wellbeing sits comfortably with the view - my view - of the holistic nature of complementary therapies, such as reflexology. I believe that counselling too, should be holistic.
The humanistic counsellor aims to support clients along their personal development journey by offering a safe, non-judgemental relationship where they may explore any issues - thoughts, feelings, circumstances - that are of concern to them.
Humanistic counsellors are generally non-directive and client-led, encouraging autonomy and personal choice.
My integrative training allows me to utilise aspects of other approaches where appropriate and if they appeal to the client - and of course if it seems that they may benefit the therapeutic process and do no harm.
If you think you might like to make an exploratory appointment, please get in touch.
My practice is easily accessible, whilst being tucked away in a peaceful corner of the South Downs National Park, in a small village near Liss. It is less than 4 miles from Petersfield and Liphook. It is also within easy reach of Farnham, Guildford and Haslemere in Surrey, Midhurst, Fernhurst and Chichester in West Sussex and Portsmouth, Bordon and Alton in East Hampshire.
(Find me on Google by searching for counsellor Petersfield, counselling Midhurst or reflexology Liphook.)
Personal Health Budget holders - you may choose to use some of your funding for complementary therapies.
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