Life has its ups and downs as it ebbs and flows, and usually we find we can manage these challenges.

Sometimes too many “things” come at once which makes it a real struggle to get by each day, and sometimes something “big” comes along and stops us in our tracks.

This is where counselling may be helpful, to provide a safe, confidential, and secure space outside of our difficulties to explore them and find a way forward. Counsellors help you to explore your thoughts, feelings and behaviours so that you know and understand yourself and others better. Counsellors do not tell you what you should do, offer their opinions, or prescribe medication because one of the goals of counselling is to help you rediscover your own inner resources, to find your own solutions and make changes that work for you.

There are many reasons why individuals might choose a counsellor to talk through their difficulties and concerns. Most importantly, counsellors will not tell you what you ‘should’ do. They will be alongside you, listening to what you say, asking questions and checking their understanding of what ever topic/topics you choose to bring to each session. In this way you are able to unpick and gain more clarity around your concerns and with a different perspective you are often able to find your own solutions or way forward.

As lovely and as helpful as having a chat with a friend or family member is, in my experience at least, they often offer solutions to your problems: telling you what to do, and these solutions might work for them, but only you know what is right for you.

Usually, we care about our friends and family, and they care about us and this means that they are unable to be objective in the same way as someone outside of our friendship circles. Also, if you are experiencing persisting
difficulties over a long time, you might be feeling guilty for repeatedly ‘offloading’ onto your family and friends or burdening them when with your troubles they have their own. Counsellors do not know anything about you other than what you choose to share with them which means we are more objective and as trained professionals, we have strategies in place so that we do not become overburdened by what we might be hearing.

The first session, like all sessions, usually lasts 50 minutes and is an opportunity for us to meet and to decide if we could work together. There is no obligation for you to continue to work with me!

We can discuss a bit more about what counselling is and how it works as well as talk through your concern/s. I will provide you with a written document which states housekeeping type items such as how to contact me, how and when to make payment and how I ensure that the quality service I provide is safe, secure and reliable.

My governing body the British Association for counselling And Psychotherapy (BACP) has produced an ethical framework which I use to guide and inform my practice. You can be assured that the way I work is safe, transparent and accountable.

Counselling provides a safe, secure and (mostly) confidential environment for you to talk about your concerns in an atmosphere of trust and acceptance.  There are limits to the confidentiality that I or any counsellor can offer some of which are laid down here and outlined in the BACP guidelines on confidentiality:

  •  Money laundering
  •  Drug trafficking
  •  Where there is risk of harm to yourself or others (which includes issues related to child protection)
  •  Under the Prevention of Terrorism Act (2005)
  •  If I am subpoenaed or summoned as a witness in a Court of Law. I would initially speak to you about my concerns and then may speak to the relevant parties with (hopefully) your consent.

I do not collect your GP details routinely, and so I cannot contact them without your consent. If you choose to share with your GP what we talk about that is fine and usually I will not have any contact with your GP. I may ask for your GP contact details if we decide together that I need to inform them of something you bring to the session.

Not usually. Sometimes employers will pay for the counselling sessions of their employees, so they will receive an invoice from me with the date of our meeting. The content of our sessions is between us and I am ethically and morally obligated to not share the content of our meetings with your employer.

Sometimes, however, I am required to write a ‘report’ for insurance companies and to administer measures of depression or anxiety for example. These reports are very broad and will usually detail the number and frequency of sessions and if there is any change in scores from the beginning to the end of our work together, rather than specific details of what has been discussed.

Firstly, that they are members of a governing body like BACP (there are others) as this ensures that their training has reached or surpassed a minimum standard.

With BACP members they may be a ‘registered’ member or ‘accredited’. Accreditation shows that the practitioner is highly experienced and has a safe, independent, ethical and competent practice. The logo on their website or profile page should state their membership status. I am an accredited member of the BACP.

Counsellors can work with a broad general range of difficulties and some might be very specialised. I specialise in persistent pain and continuing health conditions like Long Covid, fibromyalgia, ME/chronic fatigue syndrome, and back pain. I also work with more general concerns and difficulties from anxiety and depression, to bereavement, stress anger and trauma, and many other difficulties.

Please feel able to contact me to arrange a free 15 minute chat to discuss your needs.

Mindfulness is the deliberate intention to pay attention to our thoughts, feelings and sensations in the present moment without judgement or criticism.

Although its origins are within Buddhism, Mindfulness is not a religion and it is not a passive, hippy, tree-hugging or fluffy way to escape our difficulties.  It is a challenging practice involving an exploration of ourselves - since it is only with awareness that we can choose how to respond to situations rather than react with knee-jerk or habitual responses.

There is a huge amount of scientific research supporting the use of Mindfulness in pain, anxiety, and depression relapse (among others) and is suitable for all ages.

Mindfulness and meditation can help you to feel happier, calmer, have more clarity and reduce stress, pain and improve your wellbeing.

Ideally, you should wear comfortable clothing that allows your body to breathe fully and move with ease.

Jeans and other items of clothing can be really restricting around the waist and tummy. I suggest wearing jogging pants or leggings with some kind of sweatshirt or jumper. Many people prefer to meditate without their shoes on, so an extra pair of socks might be helpful.

Your body temperature might naturally drop whilst meditating so it’s really nice to have a blanket or two to wrap yourself up in and an extra pair of socks.

You can meditate sitting in a chair or if you want to explore meditating laying down or sitting on the floor, please bring a yoga type mat. If laying down you would probably be more comfortable with a cushion for under your head and perhaps a cushion or two under your knees.

If you want to explore meditating whilst seated on the floor, bring a cushion with you and if you have some yoga blocks (to prop your bottom higher than your knees) that would be helpful. I do bring limited supplies of yoga mats, blankets and cushions.

I hear this a lot! The human mind can be a chaotic jumble of thoughts for even the most seasoned meditator. We are not trying to empty our mind or not think, instead we are attempting to step back from the thoughts themselves and notice the types of thoughts we are having.

If your mind is a motorway, your thoughts are like the cars, trucks and lorries that travel along it. Very often we find ourselves caught up in thoughts (it’s like being in the car) instead we are attempting to be on the bridge over the motorway looking down at all the vehicles below us. We can see that we are having different types of thoughts (there are different types of cars truck and lorry) but we are certainly not passengers or even driving them!

To help us from getting sucked up into the content of our thoughts we might use something to focus our attention on instead like the sensations of the breath in the body, a sound or sounds or even a candle flame recognising that we might wander off into thinking and then we can choose to come back to focusing our attention on whatever we are focusing on.

Meditation and mindfulness have been widely researched and the effects of mindfulness meditation can be seen on MRI scans of the brains of even relatively new meditators.

Meditation improves attention and concentration, helps individuals manage their anxiety, stress, high blood pressure, depression, bodily pain and have even been used to help those withdrawing from nicotine, alcohol or opiates.

Mindfulness and meditation can also help with weight control and sleep quality.

Mindfulness and meditation can be seen within health and social care, prisons, the Armed Forces and schools. If nothing else, you might feel all warm and fuzzy and perhaps even chilled out and sleepy following a mindfulness meditation.

It’s always helpful to have the guidance and support of a properly qualified and experienced mindfulness meditation teacher. To give it a go without any ongoing commitment, I would suggest coming along to the monthly Breathe, Move, Meditate group. We meet on the 4th Wednesday of the month,7-9pm in the back room at

Rossett Village Hall, Station Road,

DATES IN 2024: January 24; February 28; March 27 IS CANCELLED; April 24; May 22; June 26; July 24; August
28; September 25; October 23; November 27 and no meeting in December. Please note summer dates may change as annual leave is not yet booked.

This group is open to anyone, whether you are an experienced meditator or yogi, or not.  Prior attendance at a Mindfulness 8 week course is not necessary to be able to join us, nor is it an expectation.

The evening format usually includes two meditations with a Mindful Movement practice and breath work or Pranayama. There is space to discuss our practice or whatever arises from the breath work, meditation or movement.  Please bring your own drink as we usually only have a small 'bio' break.

If you have a yoga type mat, cushions, yoga blocks, and blanket, please bring along as I only have limited supplies, and it might be useful to bring an extra pair of socks!

This is a very warm and welcoming group and you would soon feel at your ease.  Mindful Movements are suitable for all bodies and every body and modifications and adjustments are part of the process.

Please contact me for your FREE 15min Discovery Call!

I teach the highly respected Breathworks 8-week Mindfulness for Stress course for those with stress and/or anxiety.  We explore how our thoughts affect our mood and body and how we can manage them. We also explore how to move out of our heads into our sensory experience to reduce stress and anxiety.

The importance of kindness and self-compassion to our total health and well-being is explored and we start moving towards acceptance of difficult experiences. This course includes Mindful Movements, which are very gentle movements based on Tai Chi, Qigong, Yoga and Pilates as a moving meditation.

We also explore simple neuroscience and physiology that underpin some of the concepts we discuss.

Please contact me for your FREE 15min Discovery Call!

I teach the highly respected Breathworks 8-week Mindfulness for Health course for those with persistent pain and continuing or long-term health conditions.

We explore primary and secondary sources of suffering, and learn that we have the potential to reduce the secondary suffering through mindfulness and thereby turn down the pain volume.

We also look at acceptance, pacing activities and how to set baselines in activity to avoid cycles of boom and bust.

Participants regularly report reductions in their pain medications on this course.

This course includes Mindful Movements, which are very gentle movements based on Tai Chi, Qigong, Yoga and Pilates as a moving meditation.

We also explore simple neuroscience and physiology that underpin some of the concepts we discuss.

Please contact me for your FREE 15min Discovery Call!

An app can be a great way to start exploring mindfulness meditation as part of a regular practice.

Over the years however, I have observed that individuals can become fixated on maintaining a consistent practice purely to hit a goal (which is publicly visible). The practice of mindfulness meditation then becomes more about goal attainment and hoping to be seen in a particular way by others rather than an internal exploration of oneself. I have also noticed that individuals want to attend face-to-face classes with me because they don’t know if they are doing meditation correctly when using an app as there is no feedback, no way to ask for guidance or to troubleshoot difficulties you might be having in your practice like feeling sleepy.

Undoubtedly, you will probably be mostly Meditating on your own, however, it feels very different meditating with a group and so joining a group can help you to maintain and sustain your mindfulness meditation practice, it can offer you new insights and invigorate or change up what you do at home by yourself.

Your teacher must have their own regular mindfulness meditation practice so they can, with authenticity, 'walk the walk' and 'talk the talk' because mindfulness meditation is an embodied practice.

Your teacher must have received some kind of recognised training which adheres to an ethical framework and be having regular supervision of their mindfulness meditation work, so they can show you that they are working in a safe, competent and ethical manner.

I am an accredited Breathworks Mindfulness teacher and registered with the British Association for Mindfulness Based Approaches (BAMBA https://bamba.org.uk/). Both organisations require that I work to and adhere to specific guidelines to ensure that the services I offer are of a high quality, are honest and trustworthy.

No! You do not need to eat lentils or wear socks with your sandals to practice mindfulness meditation.

Mindfulness meditation makes up part of the practice and lifestyle associated with Buddhism. In the 1980s Jon Kabat-Zinn brought mindfulness meditation outside of Buddhism and developed the secular and nonreligious mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) courses.

I too present yoga, mindfulness and meditation in a secular way regardless of any spiritual or religious orientation that you may or may not hold. Mindfulness meditation is concerned with being more open to the reality of what we can see, hear, feel, taste, smell and experience rather than the unreality and unreliability of our thoughts which predominantly direct our actions and feelings in this fast paced Western world we live in.

Sure you can, yoga is for everybody and every type of body.

Did you know that the physical practice of yoga (the shapes) were only the warmup before the real work of yoga which was meditation?

Yoga builds strength, increases your range of movement and mobility improves. Flexibility and getting into weird shapes is as much about how your bones fit together and move with each other and their length as much as anything else.

In my 1:1 and group classes, the pose is not the goal but your awareness within the practice. We shall be treating our bodies kindly and compassionately through the use of aids (e.g., blocks, cushions and chairs) to allow the pose to meet you, rather than pushing or pulling the body into a pose.

I kindly request that as best you can, you leave your ego at the door to participate in the classes through feeling into your own experience within your body rather than being in your head comparing yourself against others and judging yourself.

These classes promote safety of your joints and anatomy, and are open to all levels. The 1:1 classes/sessions can be built around what you feel you need and might include breath work (Pranayama) and meditation.

Sadly, most images of people doing yoga show young, skinny, white women (usually with long blonde hair) showing off an “instagram sexy” shape.

I am a white woman, but I am not young, or skinny and the blonde in my hair is out of the bottle! I totally understand your concerns because I have been there too and they stopped me going to group classes for many years. All I can say is that my classes are filled with lots of different types of body and my intention each and every one of those individuals is to help them to create bodily shapes that feel easeful and allow them to breathe.

I kindly request that as best you can, you leave your ego at the door to participate in the classes through feeling into your own experience within your body rather than being in your head comparing yourself against others and judging yourself.

No, the meditations are more aligned with mindfulness. I find yoga philosophy to be quite closely aligned to Buddhist psychology. And although I find the chakras (energy centres within the body) and the energetic body within a yogic tradition interesting, I do not preach it.

I’m happy to answer questions you may have or direct you to where you can find more information.

The short answer is whatever allows you to move freely and to breathe fully. This can range from jogging pants and T-shirts to leggings and fancy yoga tops. I often wear trousers that are designed for indoor wall climbing, because they are made of a stretchy material which does not inhibit my movement.

At the end of class, we have a laying down meditation (Savasana) and individuals often put on a jumper and socks. (the super organised bring a blanket and a cushion for your head), it’s important to be warm and comfortable because then you can be fully present in the meditation practice.

Yes please! Please bring a yoga mat, any yoga blocks you might have, a yoga strap or a neck tie (the type that usually worn with suits at the office), a blanket and cushion. It can be hard work so bottle of water might also be useful.

Yes, although it might not be advisable to do everything depending on the condition you have. You will be asked to complete a health form before participating in group or 1:1 classes with me.

I also ask at the beginning of each class if there is anything going on in your body that I need to know about because our bodies are always changing. It might be that you need to use yoga blocks or yoga straps more frequently than other people in the class, it might be that there are certain types of breath work you don’t do if you have high blood pressure or are menopausal, and some shapes/asanas will be out of bounds if you are pregnant.

I am a former nurse, and I have my own persistent pain (low back, and in both arms from elbow to finger tip). I do not expect everybody in class to be looking the same and doing the same shapes/asanas in the same way.

That they have their own regular practice and have received their training through an organisation whose trainings are affiliated to a recognised body.

The basic yoga teacher training is for 200 hours (YTT200) and this can be increased to advanced yoga teacher status (YTT500).

I am a Certified Yoga Teacher (500 hours) with Uplifted Yoga Teacher Training who are affiliated with Yoga alliance.

I am fully insured through Towergate and a member of Yoga Alliance. Yoga teachers aim to work in an ethical and safe way and I attend further trainings to evolve and invigorate the way I teach and practice yoga for my personal development and to maintain my membership with Yoga Alliance.

FAQs for Ebb & Flow Counselling, Mindfulness and Yoga