Welcome and thank you for taking the time to visit my website.
My name is Sharon and I am a Psychotherapeutic Counsellor providing both short and long term in person therapy to adults in Brighton. I offer counselling online, using a secure platform, and can reach clients nationwide across the UK.
We all experience times of difficulty in our lives, when events or relationships feel overwhelming or we can feel a loss of direction and purpose. Talking to someone who is sensitive and offers empathy can help us make sense of these challenging times and offers a way through, moving towards a better understanding of ourselves and our feelings.
It's important to find a Counsellor that feels like the right fit for you. I work with a diverse client group wanting to work through a range of challenges they have faced in life including developing an understanding of identity, experiencing grief and loss or examining relationships.
As a fully-qualified counsellor I am a member of the British Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy and abide by their Ethical Framework for the Counselling Professions.
I am trained in Humanistic Psychotherapeutic Counselling and hold a Post Graduate Diploma. I work within a Person Centred approach which means my aim is to be alongside you as you explore the areas of your life you would like to see more clearly. The person centred approach is underpinned by the belief that you are the expert on your life and so hold the answers. My role of the counsellor is to help you unlock this knowledge and find ways forward from within yourself. I offer a compassionate and empathic space to explore experiences, thoughts and feelings. To reflect on life so that you can move towards making decisions about how you want to live and to achieve goals we might identify together or you may already have in mind.
My counselling style is client led which means we will work in a way we create together. I will offer a warm, supportive environment where you can feel safe to feel vulnerable and be enabled to find the courage to work toward changes you would like to make in your life.
I have experience working with loss and bereavement through a national charity. I have also worked with an LGBTQ+ affirmative charity offering adults a space to explore their sexuality and gender identity.
I am passionate about supporting you to explore what you need and think with you about constructive ways to have your needs met.
Our first session is an opportunity for us to get to know each other and think about how we might work together. I will ask a few questions to get a sense of what you hope to achieve from counselling. It is also your opportunity to ask for any information you may need to help you decide if I can offer the right support for you.
You might be experiencing trouble with a relationship; anxiety or panic attacks; mood swings or depression. Many people face difficulties in their everyday lives that can feel hard to get on top of. Counselling offers us space to think about how we can gain a better understanding of what’s causing us to feel this way.
Working together we can gain greater insight into what you are facing and how you might like this to feel differently. We will explore and challenges some of your actions and reactions that do not serve you in a positive way. Together we will work toward making choices that feel healthier in your life as you move forward.
I have over 20 years experience working across a range of social care settings with vulnerable children and young people as well as the adults who care for them.
My work has included helping adults to explore and process their feelings around having a birth child which might have led them to create their family in alternative ways.
I currently work with a charity offering intermediary services and support to adults whose lives have been impacted by adoption. I have completed post adoption support counselling training which equips me with the knowledge to work with adoption issues for adults.
I have experience of working with adults who have experienced bereavement, offering space for them to bring their grief and witnessing their feelings of loss.
My practice is LGTBQ+ affirmative and as a Black, cis female I hold an awareness of how different aspects of my identity intersect and inform my perspective of the world. I draw on this to enable me to value and to uplift those voices which might not otherwise be heard. I cannot help but bring these experiences into my counselling practice.
My practice is based in Brighton, East Sussex and I see clients from the greater Sussex area.
I offer online counselling which allows me to see clients from across the UK.
I offer 50 minutes sessions which can be booked weekly or fortnightly. Session cost £50 payable in advance of the session.
Cancellations made with 24 hours notice will not be charged.
I offer short or long term counselling.
Sessions can be offered in person in Brighton or online via a secured platform.
Counselling is usually a good way to help with a current problem; something that can be discussed and - hopefully - resolved within a limited number of sessions. Over a certain number of weeks the understanding of the problem improves and away forward becomes clear. Therapy often describes work that goes a bit deeper, towards more substantial life issues and problems having a deeper effect on the client’s life. Therapy often requires a long-term approach, so the number of sessions can be open-ended.
Which option is most suitable depends on the client and the difficulties they are facing. In some cases counselling works well as an ongoing, longer-term option - or therapy can manage to resolve an issue in just a few sessions.
How long a period of counselling lasts will vary from person to person and depend on the depth of the issues they are facing. For some people a couple of sessions helps to bring their problems into focus, and they feel ready to move forward; other problems may require more of an open-ended approach.
Before we begin any work we will agree on the number of sessions we’ll undertake, and at the end of that number review our progress. As long as we both agree further therapy will be of benefit to you, sessions can continue.
My aim is to offer a first appointment - known as an initial assessment - within 1-2 weeks. Then we would arrange a set number of counselling sessions to take place at the same time every week, that is convenient for you and where I have availabity. How quickly these sessions can begin will depend on the availabity of that free ‘slot’.
Everything that is said within the counselling room is private - this is one of the main ways counselling and therapy differ from talking to a friend or relative. Once you are comfortable with the format of weekly sessions and the safe space they provide, you will find the freedom to speak in confidence is of great value.
Note that there are some situations where you may be a risk to yourself or others, and there the law requires that I notify an authority; in these cases I may not be able to keep total confidentiality. Breaking confidentiality is very rare though, and only happens after the person concerned has been informed.
Usually I am asked this question by people who are nervous about entering into counselling, or when they are looking for support in coming to see a therapist. This anxiety is understandable, but a key aspect of therapy is that you should feel free to talk about any issues you feel are important to you. Having someone else with you who can be connected those issues makes this opening-up more difficult, so for this reason I do not see clients accompanied by friends or family.
© Sharon Lake Counselling
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