The place where positive change occurs

Testimonials - ​Counselling

I am still so grateful for all of the help over the years, without you I would not have been able to cope with lockdown. Imagine if the gyms were closed 5 years ago (I honestly don’t know what I would have done).

All of the counselling I have received from you over the years has played an important part in my life and making me who I am today.

I often tell people of my experience with you and your flexible approach to my various different issues, encouraging them to seek counselling from you if they are struggling.

You not only helped me with the issues I brought to you but our work together also improved my confidence and general personal development.

Since our last session I have I studied a counselling and psychotherapy course as well as a life coaching diploma. Starting a new venture as a life coach in the hope to use my new found positive outlook, confidence and my own personal experience with mental health to help other people like you helped me when I needed it most.

Jess
Durham

Being a typical man, I had never considered counselling before but having done it, I would recommend it to anyone going through a tough time in life, especially blokes who tend to bottle up stuff and put on a brave face.

Once the appointment was made I was dreading it, but Julie made me feel at ease almost immediately and the first session was getting lots off my chest that had been hanging around for a long time… years in fact for some of it.

The sessions which lasted for a good 18 months [reducing in frequency over time] were always well structured and a good balance between my talking and Julie asking questions.

Nothing was difficult to discuss and some of the coaching Julie gave me, helped me to handle and react to situations in a different manner to my normal approach. It did not always go 100% to plan, but her tips and strategies certainly helped get me through a tough period.

I was soon able to move off prescription medication and fix a number of broken relationships and also, I became more pragmatic in my approach I had with people who I had previously struggled to tolerate.

Not everything in life is perfect, but the help that Julie has given me has brought me into a far better place than I was 18 months ago and I am very much looking forwards and not backwards.

Just having someone you can talk openly and honestly about anything that is going on, I found a great help.

Michael
Teeside

I was concerned about beginning counselling as I have attempted it in the past and had a bad experience.

However, this has been such a huge step forward and I actually feel listed to, simple things like remembering things I have said previously and not needing to explain things every session.

I have been helped to ground myself and to try and be kind to myself.

The counselling has made me realise that I needed the help and I came at the right time.

I feel that I am taking the right steps, however, I know that I need to take my time.

Julie has taught me that.

Kim
Sedgefield - Employment Assisted Program - Time Limited 12 Sessions

I was nervous about talking to a stranger about how I was feeling and what had happened to me.

Julie made me feel at ease straight away. She made me feel comfortable and I was able to talk to her openly and honestly.

The sessions have helped me to realise I have not done anything wrong and that the way I have been treated was out of my control and uncomfortable.

This has made me feel stronger and I am now able to rebuild my confidence and resilience. This in turn has helped me come to terms with my situation at work and challenge how things are managed.

It has been a positive impact on both work and home life and I feel positive that I can move forward.

Victoria
Durham - Employment Assisted Program - Time Limited 12 Sessions

I consider myself independent and strong, but the death of my dear husband sent me to a cold, dark, empty space.

I am not a very good talker but these sessions helped me immensely.

I felt very comfortable and at ease in talking to Julie and have began to come to terms with my loss.

I will never get over it [but] I am with Julie’s help, better able to deal with it.

My husband suffered from PD for 15 years, the last three were very stressful and difficult, I felt angry because this illness had deprived me of the person I had known over 45 years.

The counselling helped me identify and accept this.

Thanks.

Joan
Durham

I came to see Julie having seen another counsellor previously.

Prior to seeing Julie I was struggling with traumatic experiences which I felt unable to let go of, continuing depression and anxiety, and struggling with overwhelming negative emotions, low self esteem and lack of confidence in myself and my place in the world.

Throughout the process of working with Julie I began to let go of those things holding me back; there was a palpable difference between the counselling I received from Julie and the counselling I had previously had.

Those traumatic emotions and memories that I hadn’t been able to let go of were let go of within the first few sessions, and the nature of the counselling was wholly different.

From experiencing ‘bad’ counselling which was directive and created a co-dependency, my work with Julie was wholly collaborative and on an equal footing.

Working with Julie has enabled me to find my own strength and power within myself without ever feeling like I was dictated to or being told what to do.

As a result of my sessions with Julie I have found a new job and moved house – these steps I feel would have felt too scary if I had been on my own.

More importantly, I am now so much happier with who I am and have a far greater understanding of myself.

The confusion and angst I was feeling have gone and my inner emotions about myself are clean and straight-forward.

The negative self-image and self talk I had been experiencing has largely resolved.

That said, the biggest piece of learning from the sessions has been to learn how to manage life itself – especially the ups and downs and the anxieties that come with normal life.

The biggest take-away from counselling with Julie has been to learn and understand my own strength and resilience to overcome any difficulty without compromising my own self-worth and esteem.

TA
Durham

I thought [counselling] would be lots of me talking and trying to analyse why I thought the way I did. I was expecting it to be challenging and emotional.

Prior to getting in touch with Julie, I was nervous and quite vulnerable. I suppose I was worried about opening up but as I researched which counsellor to approach, Julie’s website was reassuring and common sense.

Julie’s non confrontational way of managing first contact also helped – text, message left on answer phone, email.

Julie’s counselling helped me move through a difficult time in my life. I was stuck in an endless negative emotional loop.

What I wasn’t expecting was the positive knock on effects of the counselling in other aspects of my life.

The techniques I use and the understanding I have gained spill over to other relationships and aspect of my life – work is easier, family life easier, I am much less stressed about stress and demands.

I found the Transactional Analysis insights the Neurolinguistic Programming helpful and I still use NPL for demanding times and use it to support my kids.

The TA again, if I am stuck in a difficult communication loop I’ll look at my response.

I feel more or less like a whole person again, different but whole.

Life is calmer, I am kinder and more gentle with myself.

Similarly, professionally what used to stress and worry me no longer does – still not enough hours in the day but only one me with one pair of hands [and] I enjoy work more.

Working with Julie was a massively positive experience. Some cathartic moments, some understanding, some practical skills.

The challenge happened but in a controlled safe way.

Julie has guided me through the hardest most difficult experience of my life. I was stuck in an endless loop of negative emotions.

Julie’s therapy combined several counselling techniques gently leading and challenging my emotional thinking. Lots of practical techniques taken on board.

I was surprised at how much I learnt and the skills I developed and how this spilled over positively into all aspects of my life, my relationship with my children, work and friendships.

I feel good, positive about life now and comfortable with my wobbles and my feelings.

J
Stockton

To say that my initial thoughts regarding attending counselling were negative is an understatement.

I did not believe it would help as I thought I was too far gone for counselling to work.

Before coming to see Julie I was at the lowest point I have ever been in and was plagued constantly by negative and suicidal thoughts.

However, I can confidently say after counselling with Julie, I feel like a new and better person.

I am much happier, confident and healthier after my time with Julie.

[Looking back] I would never have believed I would be in such a great position now and that is largely due to Julie and the amazing work she does.

As well as feeling massively better in myself, counselling has massively improved the relationship I have with my family and friends, many of which were negatively affected when I was at my lowest.

Despite not initially wanting to attend counselling, the relationship I formed with Julie was amazing.

I felt I could discuss anything with her and not be judged she always listened attentively and never failed to help me find solutions and coping mechanisms.

Overall, Julie was professional, approachable and unfailingly kind and compassionate, exactly the person I wanted to work with.

I honestly couldn’t praise Julie enough, she was quite simply amazing.

Now I feel happy in myself. I am more confident and my university life has improved dramatically.

My relationships with family and friends are better than ever and I feel like I am now in the place I want to be.

So thank you Julie, I cannot praise you enough!

Bethan
Consett

My initial expectations were that I would have someone to talk through the feelings I was having and to be able to deal with them better.

Prior to counselling, I was feeling disconnected, lost and unable to deal with my feelings.

Counselling has enabled me to talk through my feelings and to realise that I needed to speak out how I felt to family, friends and colleagues and not to take on board their feelings.

The tools that I have found useful [in addition to] what I have been doing daily [such as] meditation. Journaling has it’s rewards to see how far you have come and to look back as to how you have dealt with previous situations.

I feel more positive and feel connected to family, friends and that I now have the tools to keep me on track and if I do slip back again, I can look back at what I did and it won’t be as far back as I was in the beginning.

With one friend in particular, we seem to get on better than before.

Family wise, I am better informed but still learning through this process as this will take time to come to terms with large family gatherings.

I have told my daughter how I feel and that I need time to adjust to family do’s.

Julie is a good listener and helps you work through issues and how I can approach things differently.

Today I am feeling more positive. I have learnt a lot about myself and not be so hard on myself.

I have learnt how things that have happened to me in the past have affected me and that I can make changes to progress.

Genevieve
Hartlepool

I just want to thank you for helping me see there are ways and strategies to get over periods of great stress and anxiety.

I feel more equipped to deal with the stress at work.

My husband commented I seem much happier.

Natalie
Durham

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