Growing Wings

COUNSELLING IN SWANSEA & ONLINE

Working With Me

At Growing Wings, I offer a range of therapeutic services tailored to meet your unique needs. Whether you're an adult seeking support, a parent concerned about your child's well-being, or a young person navigating the complexities of life, I'm here to provide guidance and healing.

Explore my services below to find the right path for you:


Initial Consultation

This is your first step towards healing and personal growth. I offer a complimentary 15-20 minute phone call or online consultation where we can introduce ourselves, discuss any questions you may have, and decide if we're the right fit to work together.

Parent Consultation

As a parent, your child's well-being is a top priority. My therapy approach is tailored to your individual needs, whether it's short or long term. Grounded in the Humanistic modality, including Person-Centred, Emotion-Focused Therapy, and Gestalt, I create a welcoming and safe space for your story to be told. Let's explore your feelings, emotions, and embark on the path to recovery together.


Adult Therapy

For adults seeking support, I provide a warm and supportive environment where we can explore your feelings and emotions, helping you find your path to recovery and personal growth. Whether you're dealing with anxiety, depression, or the weight of past traumas, I'm here to support you on your journey.

Therapy for Young People

Is your teenager grappling with emotional difficulties or behavioural challenges? I offer counselling sessions for young people, using creative and gentle approaches to address issues like anxiety, depression, school refusal, and more. Together, we'll enhance their self-confidence, emotional well-being, and communication skills, enabling them to live a happier life.

Child Therapy

Children's therapy at Growing Wings is designed to provide a nurturing and creative space where children, aged 4+, can explore and address their unique challenges. From anxiety and school-related issues to sleep difficulties and changing life events, we work together to improve their self-confidence and emotional well-being.


Trauma Therapy

Have you experienced or witnessed a traumatic event that is affecting your everyday life? Trauma therapy can provide a path towards healing and recovery. At Growing Wings, I offer a systematic, trauma-informed approach designed to help you or your child regain a sense of control and well-being.

Trauma therapy begins with a comprehensive psychological assessment, where we explore your background, symptoms, and trauma history in a safe and supportive environment. This assessment serves as the foundation for creating a personalised treatment plan that addresses your unique needs and experiences.

What is Trauma?

"Psychological trauma is the experience and psychological impact of events that are life-threatening or include a danger of injury so severe that the person is horrified, feels helpless, and experiences a psychological alarm response during and shortly following the experience" - (Schauer, Neuner and Elbert, 2005).

Throughout our lives, most of us will experience at least one traumatic event such as the loss of a loved one, a natural disaster or an act of violence. Trauma is defined as an unresolved emotional experience leaving those affected in an altered psychological, emotional and physiological state. This can result in feeling afraid, angry or confused which are all normal responses to an abnormal experience. When a situation is perceived as threatening, the fight, flight and freeze response is activated and stress hormones called cortisol and adrenaline flood the body. Trauma symptoms can include increased anxiety, depression, panic attacks, irritability, anger, guilt or shame. When the trauma is over, the traumatic material is usually processed over the subsequent weeks and these symptoms will ease off. However, approximately 10-20% of people exposed to a traumatic event will go on to develop Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and the traumatic material is not processed. Their body and mind can become overwhelmed by the trauma and symptoms can sometimes occur years after the event.

What does PTSD look like?

PTSD arises from a single incident such as a road traffic accident and its symptoms include:

  • Re-experiencing the event through flashbacks and intrusive memories accompanied by strong emotions or sensations
  • Avoidance symptoms such as avoiding any stimuli associated with the trauma
  • Hypervigilance symptoms such as feeling startled easily, unable to relax and constantly feeling on edge.
Complex PTSD (C-PTSD)

This can occur as a result of repeated traumas such as childhood abuse or domestic violence. CPTSD symptoms include all of PTSD symptoms as well as three additional categories:

  • Emotional regulation difficulties
  • Negative self-concept such as feelings of worthlessness
  • Relationship difficulties

The trauma therapy process unfolds in three essential phases:

Phase One - Psychoeducation and Stabilisation

During this phase, we focus on building a strong foundation for healing. I employ body-based awareness, emotional regulation techniques, and mindfulness practices based on the STAIR Protocol (Skills Training in Affect and Interpersonal Regulation). These tools help you manage symptoms and regulate your emotions, providing a sense of safety and grounding. The length of this phase is entirely individualised and varies according to each client's resources and progress.

What is STAIR?

Treatment Overview: (Cloitre et al., 2020)

Skills Training in Affective and Interpersonal Regulation (STAIR) is a manualised, evidence-based cognitive behavioural therapy which was originally designed for adults with a history of childhood abuse who suffer from posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms and experience difficulties with emotion management and interpersonal relationships. Over time, it was broadened to apply to people with a range of traumatic experiences and symptoms. Traumatic experiences overwhelm the emotional system, creating both emotional chaos and numbing, undermining our ability to think and act effectively, and disturbing our sense of self and our relationships. Research has shown that children growing up with repeated exposure to trauma often have difficulties in managing emotions and relationships as adults. The coping and interpersonal skills developed in childhood might have been adaptive and necessary to survival at the time but may no longer be adaptive in adult life. The skills training and practice introduced in this treatment are designed to help individuals leave behind old patterns and develop new interpersonal behaviours and emotion management skills more consistent with their current life goals.

Emotional and social skills are not innate, they are learned. Survivors of childhood abuse are therefore at risk of developing patterns such as substance abuse, angry outbursts, avoidance and prevent themselves from achieving success in other areas of their lives such as employment or relationships. It is important to note that avoidant strategies only make the world smaller. STAIR provides skills to fill these deficits and helps individuals reach their goals.

To address emotion regulation difficulties, STAIR focuses on:

  • Emotional Awareness which includes identifying feelings, self- monitoring of emotions and learning the skill of Focused Breathing.
  • Emotion Regulation which includes psychoeducation on how we respond to physiological, cognitive, and behavioural channels. Thought Shifting, Positive Imagery and working with fear and anger.
  • Emotionally Engaged Living which includes identifying goals, distress tolerance and acceptance of negative emotions.

To address changing relationship patterns, STAIR focuses on:

  • Assertiveness and agency in relationships and changing relationship models.
  • Maintaining respect for self and others irrespective of power balances.
  • Increasing the ability to be close to others despite conflicts.
  • The importance of self-compassion.
  • Revising interpersonal expectations.
  • Understanding the self-fulfilling nature of trauma-based relationship models.
Phase Two – Trauma Processing

In this phase, there is an option to safely process traumatic memories if you choose to do so. My trauma processing therapies include:

Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT): This evidence-based approach is a Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT) that aligns with the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) guidelines.

Emotional Freedom Techniques (Tapping): Tapping is a powerful method for addressing trauma and its associated emotions.

Imagery Reprocessing and Rescripting Technique (IRRT): This technique helps individuals reprocess traumatic memories and create healthier narratives.

Brainspotting: Brainspotting is a non verbal therapeutic approach that identifies and targets areas of the brain related to trauma processing which complements traditional talk therapy. Please see https://bspuk.co.uk/ for more details.

Dream Completion Technique: Dreams can hold valuable insights and emotions related to trauma, and this technique allows us to explore and process these experiences.

NET Narrative Exposure Therapy: NET is an evidence based psychotherapeutic intervention designed for survivors of multiple and complex trauma. Through chronological narration, fragmented traumatic memories can be integrated into an autobiographical life story. This document will be given to the client and can be used for human rights advocacy. For more information please see https://www.net-institute.org/whatisnet

Phase Three – Integration and Recovery

The final phase is dedicated to post-traumatic growth. As we reduce symptoms and improve your emotional well-being, you can look forward to a future where you feel more resourced and informed. You'll gain the tools and insights necessary to manage your emotions and achieve a greater sense of calm in your everyday life.


How Trauma Therapy Can Help

Trauma therapy is an individualised experience that can help you regain personal power, become more aware of symptoms, triggers, and reactions, and develop a deeper understanding of how your body responds to traumatic experiences. We cannot delete the past, but we can change the way in which it affects the body and the mind in the here and now. Trauma therapy can:

  • Reduce fear, anxiety, and panic attacks
  • Alleviate nightmares and flashbacks
  • Address avoidance behaviours
  • Decrease hypervigilance and mistrust
  • Mitigate depression and emotional overwhelm
  • Enhance feelings of self-worth and self-compassion

"The first goal of trauma recovery should and must be to improve your quality of life on a daily basis" - (Rothschild)


Therapy helps you recognise that your body's responses to trauma are normal reactions to abnormal experiences. Through trauma-informed therapy, you can find the strength and resilience within yourself to move towards a brighter future.

If you're ready to embark on a journey towards healing and personal growth, please don't hesitate to reach out. Together, we can work towards post-traumatic growth and a greater sense of well-being.


ADHD

ADHD stands for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. It is a neuro-biological developmental disorder of the brain’s Executive Functioning (EF) which first presents itself in childhood with symptoms continuing into adulthood. ADHD is one of the most common neurodevelopmental disorders of childhood


The EF system allows a child to learn how to manage their own behaviour, self-regulate and organise self-directed actions for goal directed activities. Deficits in EF development is what causes ADHD symptoms.

There are 3 types of ADHD as described in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5).


⦁ Predominantly inattentive presentation

⦁ Predominantly Hyperactive-Impulsive Presentation

⦁ Combined Presentation


What Does ADHD Look Like?

Hyperactive Impulsive Type

Someone with this type can be fidgety, find it difficult to sit still and have a constant need to move. They have a need to interrupt others and be intensely talkative. They also have difficulties with carrying out ‘quiet’ tasks. These symptoms are presented for the last 6 months. They do not present symptoms of inattentiveness.

Inattentive Type

Someone with this type can display difficulties in staying focused on a task, struggle to follow detailed instructions, and organise activities. They can be easily distracted by different stimuli and often lose things. They can forget arranged appointments easily, make careless mistakes and miss small details. These symptoms will exist for the last 6 months, and they will not display symptoms of hyperactivity and impulsivity.

Combined Type

This is the most common type, where the patient has symptoms of both inattentive and hyperactivity-impulsivity for the past six months.


Just to recap, someone with ADHD can have difficulties with

Carelessness

Emotional Regulation

Daydreaming

Excessive Talking

Fidgeting

Disorganisation

Risky Behaviour

Forgetfulness

You may recognise some of these symptoms in your child or maybe in yourself. It is important to remember that ADHD can look differently in each person, and it is not caused by anything you have done.

How to Help

Seek professional help

Regular exercise

Eat a balanced diet

Sleep well (at least 8 hours per night)

Be organised with everything in the right place

Remove distractions

Time management, such as phone reminders and consistent routine.


Your Superpower

Dr Edward Hallowell states “Your brain is like a Ferrari race-car engine. It is very powerful. But there is one problem. You have bicycle brakes. Your brakes are not strong enough to control the powerful brain you’ve got”.


Dr. Hallowell’s analogy refers to some of the strengths that come from having ADHD. When the ADHD brain is nurtured and controlled in a beneficial way, its abilities can lead to superpowers.

Some superpowers include:

⦁ Hyper-Focus

⦁ Curiosity

⦁ Resourcefulness

⦁ Intelligence

⦁ Humour

⦁ Creativity

⦁ Energy and much more…

What's Your Superpower?


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