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If your life has come under personal or professional strain (depression, anxiety, stress, redundancy, relationship breakdown, bereavement…) and you’ve taken the brave step of looking for someone to help and support you, you’ll need to know what to expect from that person. The theory says you should receive genuineness, non-judgmental acceptance and empathy, and this is just as true as when it was written in the early 1950s.

On top of this, most people want caring support in coming to an understanding of what caused the strain, and confidence that their counsellor will be able to help them decide what to do about it. They want as few sessions as possible to achieve their goals and they want the impact of the work to be long-lasting not short term. Couples want to know that I won’t take sides and will tell is straight. You don’t need to like me all the time (part of my job is to challenge your thoughts), but you do need to know you can trust me and be absolutely certain that I’ve got your back.

I work in face to face (currently suspended) and online hourly sessions, 4 session decision-making blocks and 2 day intensive programs – we can discuss the right option for you. 

To help you decide if I’m a good choice for you, here are a few quick facts about my clients, my work and me…

Over the last 10 years my clients have been 53% women, 47% men, aged 16 to 73. They have often had counselling before, and return to get to the bottom of what has troubled them. Some clients have a couple of sessions, others work for a lot longer. Clients sometimes come back years later for a few sessions if something challenging has arisen in their lives. Some clients say they chose me because my face looked friendly, others because they hoped I would also understand business, academia or family breakdown. Most say they were looking for someone they thought would be straight-forward, one said his partner chose me because she felt sure he wouldn’t find me attractive. If you’d like to see what clients say please see some of their feedback and case studies.

My approach to counselling is very straight-forward: I support my clients to move beyond difficulty to a way of life that feels better than they imagined.  I don’t do the hard work, you do, which might be frustrating at times but ultimately makes the work yours, not mine – making me, unnecessary. I know that counselling works (that’s why it’s such a brilliant job) – my aim is for you to discover this too, and to see the results in your life, relationships, studies, work or retirement. All too frequently I am told things that people (especially men) have never shared with their loved ones, things that they have held on to for decades. Breaking that silence can be very scary, but clients say it was worth the risk and they feel so much lighter when the load is shared.

I have been a counsellor for over 10 years. I have lectured in counselling and marketing and have a business background. I live in a large blended family and have spent many years as a lone parent and co-parent. I am an atheist who believes in people and an optimist who knows there are difficult times. I am from Sheffield and live in Brighton. I sometimes swear or shed a tear when I’m counselling. Clients say we often laugh. I developed the Garden Gate Program of intensive therapy as my way of mixing all I have learnt from clients and theory into a format that covers as much as possible, as quickly as possible, to maximum effect.

I work Monday to Wednesday 10am to 4pm in regular sessions and Thursday and Friday in intensive programs. If you would like to set up a short call to see if you like the sound of me in real life please call or message me on 07961190749, email me on anne@gardengate.org.uk or fill in the contact form. I’ll get back to you as quickly as I can – I know it’s nerve-wracking.

If you’d prefer to make an appointment rather than chat first, please get in touch in the same way. If you are looking for regular sessions I will make a diary commitment to you from the first session – but at the end of that session you will know if I am the right person for you and you will decide to book further sessions or to look for someone else – either option will be fine with me. You need to find the right person for you.

I sometimes have a waiting list. If this is the case I will try my best to estimate the waiting time and get back to you in strict rotation when a slot becomes free.

 

Counselling provides you with the time, space and ongoing support to fundamentally improve your well-being. Some clients know what they want to work on – tackling depression, anxiety, stress, burnout, relationship breakdown, professional difficulty, addiction, abuse, complex emotions… Others can’t put their finger on it but know the quality of their life has dipped too low. Clients choose the number of sessions they want – from 1 to 100.

“The things you have helped me to come to terms with are too many to mention. You have helped my life back on track after losing all those years.”

4 session decision-makers are focused blocks of extended sessions for people who require a decisive sounding board for personal or professional choices.  Sessions can be weekly, monthly or quarterly and exercises from the Garden Gate® program will be incorporated to suit your purpose.

“It’s really changed my life for the better, I can’t believe how much progress I made with Anne in such a short time!”

2 day Garden Gate® high impact self-optimisation programs are for people who want to achieve a lot in a short space of time. In a 10 part structured program of one to one therapy and focused exercises you will explore your relationship with yourself and those around you, define priorities and communicate them successfully. In two days you will understand yourself better, plan what you want, create a toolkit for change and a monitoring system to maintain it over time.

1 Year Later – Individual 2 Day Program Case Study Update:Before Anne, I had counselling with other practitioners. I found that it made me feel better for a short while, but that the improvement didn’t last.  Within a few weeks of finishing, I’d be right back where I started.  I was a bit apprehensive that the same thing might happen with the Garden Gate: that I would experience a temporary improvement, but that it wouldn’t endure.

Actually, the opposite has been true.  I’ve gained in confidence and strength over the year since my session.  It sounds strange, but it has taken quite some time to get used to being emotionally free of the thoughts and feelings of inadequacy and low self-worth that used to plague me.  It’s like learning to ice skate: at first I was very tentative and wobbly, and gradually I’ve learned to glide.  It’s not just how I feel inside, either.  In the year since I completely the intensive session, I’ve managed to publish my first piece of writing, and I have several more in the pipeline.  This was unthinkable for me previously.

I have also grown my own business and am starting to put together a five year plan that will hopefully allow me to achieve more of the things I want to do in life. I’m also living a much healthier lifestyle, and spending time with people who make me feel good about myself.  Even my relationships with my family, which were previously difficult, have improved. Anne didn’t just make me feel happier about myself: she gave me back my future.”