When things fall apart (Chodron. P, 1997)

Let the self become still, let the breath become slow, energies that were moving about can go inward now, can come to rest in the stillness of our quiet being. Not breathing by the tempo of outer things but by an inner tempo, the breath, carried by its own rhythm, adjusting itself to itself, the breath is free to come and go. Restless thoughts become still and quiet, no longer dissipating energies. Spaciousness appears inside you and outside of you. Space to breathe and listen, to come to know the heart of the elusive knowingness, the place of inward visioning. (Adapted: 1981, Progoff)

Healing from the inside out

Therapy offers a private and sacred space to think, feel and experience your true self, it explores alternative views, it processes feelings, and from this comes a new clarity, and you may feel different, clearer. I sometimes think of it as coming out of the dark woods and into the light.  This transforming of the self takes place at first within the therapeutic relationship. Being listened to unfolds a discovery of new intuitive insights, which activates the development of inner strength, resilience, resolve, and purpose, as it gradually releases you from the felt wounds you have been carrying, such as; anger, sadness, grief, regret, confusion, loss, shame, abuse or broken relationships. Whichever form of difficulty your personal experiences have left you to bear, which has been holding you an emotional prisoner. I work holistically, safely, compassionately, non-judgmentally and confidentially at your pace to explore the unspoken. 

Press your internal pause button, be still, and begin to breathe, to notice the experience; on the in-breath, feel your life, on the out-breath, slow down and feel the relief...and know that you are strong enough to handle your challenges, wise enough to find the solutions and capable enough to do whatever needs to be done..

MBACP / Integrative Buddhist Mindfulness and Psychosynthesis informed Counsellor  

CPCAB  L5 Advanced Diploma in Psychotherapeutic Counselling 

Transpersonal Healing. Practical Psychotherapy with Soul

Individuals and Couples Counselling

Often it is from the deepest pain, which empowers you to grow into your highest self because it awakens you to your own truth and re-connects you to your authentic feelings.

We carry unseen layers of our life history with us every day, perhaps experienced as a vague feeling or an-uneasy sensing which repeatedly affects and troubles us at unexpected moments, distorting our judgments, decisions and responses, affecting relationships, and perhaps leading you to question, who are you at heart. 

The burden of not looking inward becomes so great that the buried stories and feelings start to pull you down into episodes of despair. Sometimes you may find yourself crying for no apparent reason or struggling to stifle an uncontrolled rage or feeling a niggling sense of continuous vague self-doubt and uncertainty, with ever-deepening unhappiness. You may find yourself acting out of character and deep down have a need to talk about it, be truly heard and listened to, but do not know how to say or describe or explore your emotions or a particular life-changing event, even to those closest to you. 

Often the fear of bringing these difficulties to the surface will hold you back from life itself. Your symptoms want to be acknowledged fully, therefore these feelings will continue to trouble you until they are heard. All emotions want to be acknowledged or visualised, resolved, and for you to understand the source of suffering or pain, only then will you be free.

 "The meaning of your life in these moments is the symptom of the pain or emotion itself." "It is not that life has no meaning because you are experiencing suffering". This is an important distinction, especially if you are in a very dark place and asking if life is worth living. 

You will discover, it is ultimately less painful to step into courage, even if afraid at first and work on yourself, your history and then be ready to work with any relational difficulties. Avoiding the experience of looking at yourself and your life and how this fits with others will prevent you from living your true life which stunts natural human growth and spiritual maturity. I work with this in mind, both from the perspective of coming from a grounded plane of the reality of our daily existence and in acknowledgement that we are inherently born with the capacity to experience, be informed by and to take reflective refuge within an inner spiritual dimension. 

Working with Psychotherapeutic support, with a trained professional, who will hold you safely, non-judgmentally and to support the safe release of the wisdom of your psyche. This is undertaken ethically. Being with someone who will listen attentively, as you unpack your stories and patiently wait as we explore what arises, until the right words come forth, which supports you to come into attunement with your personal intuition, helping you ask the right questions for this depth of work, and when you need to hold thoughts or feelings privately for yourself this will be respected. 

Working with this approach, wounds naturally dissolve...you are then made free. Enabled to create a new chapter of a new life, one page at a time. You author your life from 'conscious' decision making, and not from a place of being unconsciously controlled by the past, or distractions in the present or from the pull of others intentions. 

Telling our story

Our psyche has hidden much of our life story from us, this is in addition to what we are consciously aware of as causing our suffering.  We also cannot quite recall or reason out why we feel the way we do in all areas of our feelings or emotional experiencing. Paying careful attention to details normally lost in ordinary conversation can be seen clearly in therapeutic dialogue which is quite a different experience from having a chat with a friend. 

 A vast spectrum of shared human worldwide experiences and history are expressed through story, art, music, poetry and meditations, aimed at soothing the mind and soul. To ease agitations, to make space in the mind and in the moment, for calm responding to difficult choices, to self-manage our behaviours, to consider our values and ethics. 

Unchanged spiritual wisdom and faiths, older than religion itself, pre-dating religious doctrine, yet without excluding faith which has taken millennia and more to articulate and ritualise into our way of being. Modernity asks how can we move towards living not in pain, but in peace while appreciating and learning from what 'pain' teaches us. Allowing us to value aspects of living life according to a particular Faith, or a universal spiritual belief, or a blend of faiths, making room for combining modern psychospiritual-education, neuroscience of mind, philosophy, observing the continuous changes in culture and diversity, whilst being able to exist within a spiritual source. Jung stated that without ritual, we would all go mad. We need to see the beauty of life, the purpose of death and honour losses and take care of our gratitude, deepen our rituals. Going beyond secular minimalist efforts are needed more than we realise to stay anchored in the present.

We gain our perspective from fairly limited resources when growing up, and as our curiosity​ widens and our contact with others increases, we see that there is more to the world than we realised as children. Although we can observe this as truth, we often stay stuck in our conditioning.  I draw from many sources in this respect, choosing to have a faith in something spiritually tangible that supports mental health, and develops character. It is not reasonable to expect us to support ourselves based on a limited frame of life reference such as; go to school, college, University, get a job, meet someone, have children, some holidays, retire and die. Along the way, we will ALL encounter moments of doubt, realisations of life's truth beyond what we were led to understand life was and of course countless wounds and sadnesses which we were unprepared for. Modern secular life struggles in vain to support human crisis because it hides from the reality of death, behind material excess, debts, masks of appearance and appearing to do well. Hence, as a safe non-religion, Buddhism offers practical psychological life-support, and if useful and safe for the client, I may invite my client to experience meditation in various forms, including visual journeying. Within my work, not all meditation needs to be silent. This is not to suggest to clients that they become a Buddhist either, rather it is seen as a contemplative and mindful approach towards supporting growing personal awareness and identification of one's own experiencing of emotional difficulties and loosening the minds unhelpful habits and lost perspectives. This approach is blended with recognised therapeutic models under the umbrella of Humanistic and Transpersonal Therapies, including psychosynthesis, gestalt, person-centred, drawing from the work and ideas of Jung, Perls, Assagioli, Steiner, Rank and Rogers, to name a few. It offers a broad holistic approach to our individual life, which accepts that we have a spiritual nature, outside of religious doctrine, although for some this is profoundly experienced within it too. Being open to the possibility and potential of an 'interior life', a sense of something greater than ourselves, and in the context of the client's story and needs, this has been proven to be effective not only in the healing process of reducing stress, anxiety, depression and the repetition of thoughts, and letting go of patterns of behavior that no longer serve, but in re-discovering life and walking the right path for us.

Being listened to, is it enough?

Research has proven without argument, that a deeply connected professional therapeutic relationship where the client is heard and met with acceptance, understanding and without judgment is profoundly healing and supports the journey towards a new understanding of the life they have been living, and whether they wish to change it, or their way of being, or not. It is likened to crossing a bridge of our own psychology when we reach the other side, our story really begins to make sense. Often this will entail establishing new personal boundaries with the ability to recognise the signals of our inner compass and sensing that which no longer holds validity or truth for us or is known to cause us personal pain, we turn the dial to 'no' or 'yes', with informed judgment and choose freely to let go or we may realise we need to be more appreciative of what we have and that we might have taken much for granted allowing life to go by unnoticed and believing we had much less than was true.

Young people, adolescents and children

As a former Associate Volunteer Counsellor with Xenzone for three years I worked specifically with children and young people, either at their school or from a community venue and online as an Emotional Wellbeing Practitioner. Some children are referred to Xenzone by their doctor, parent, self-referral, their school or through CAMHS  (Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services). Under any of these circumstances, Xenzone are part of a regulated Government provision, and children are seen without charge at specific locations. There is, unfortunately, waiting time and some doctors recommend that a young person engages in private counselling whilst waiting.

I am unable to accept clients at 'Soul at Heart Counselling' without applying a fee and I am unable to speed up the process for a child to be seen via Xenzone. If there is an immediate urgency a young person can talk to an online counsellor for free via www.kooth.com under the Xenzone umbrella of services.

If you are a parent or carer who wishes to discuss their child being counselled privately please use the contact page and I will get back to you as soon as possible.

MBACP Registered Counsellor: Lorraine Anderson.

Soul at Heart Counselling

Happiness it is often said cannot be found by pursuing it externally, it is found naturally within and comes from acceptance of the self, changing our hearts, our inner life. This is not to suggest it is an easy journey, back to the self, if you have ventured far away from it already. 

Spiritual and Personal Development

Faith in self: That we have the wisdom to make the right choices

Faith in potential: That every situation has a potential for growth

Faith in the journey: That our lives have meaning

Faith in spirit: That we are more than our physical body