Kingsclere Counselling

Service

At some point

We all struggle and look for help

Sometimes things happen out the blue which can throw life into turmoil. Other times day-to-day life can become unbearable and it is hard to see a way forward.

Wherever you find yourself, Kingsclere Counselling Service is here to provide you with a welcoming safe space in which you can get professional support based on robust knowledge and strong ethics. Together we can explore what is happening and its impact on you, and work towards getting you where you want to be.

Read on to find out more about who we are and how we can help.

How can we help you?

If what you are struggling with is listed here, please click on it to see how we can help. This isn't an exhaustive list; we work in many areas. If you are are looking for help with something that isn't listed below please contact us to find out how we can support you

Addiction

Addictions can include compulsive behaviour and substances such as drugs, alcohol, gambling, smoking, food, sex and technology.

Having an addiction, of any kind, can feel overwhelming. It can feel as if you are caught in a trap, especially when your life suffers difficult consequences. You might feel that the addictive substance or behaviour is your only comfort, or that you are controlled by, or obsessed with it.

We can help you on your road to recovery from addiction, by understanding what “purpose” the addiction serves in your life. We will support you in understanding your needs and urges at a deep emotional level to create alternatives in how these needs can be met in a more positive way. Ultimately, the aim is to help you make lasting changes, learning along the way from any lapses. After treatment you will feel able to live your “best life” with a sense of pride and freedom, having overcome the addiction.

Affairs

Affairs and infidelity can take place at any stage of a relationship. It can be deeply shocking and traumatic for all parties involved. For many couples, the discovery of the infidelity can lead to further problems, such as sleep difficulties, anger, trust problems and low self worth. For the 'cheated on' partner, there can be an overwhelming need to ask multiple questions and seek the 'truth' about what happened, which can add to the relationship trauma. For the partner involved in the infidelity, feelings of guilt, shame and remorse can be unbearable.

Relationship therapy can be a good way to understand more about the circumstances and the relationship patterns which may have led to the infidelity occurring. We can support both partners with exploring these issues and deciding what the best next step should be.

Anxiety

Anxiety can manifest itself in many different ways: panic attacks; a general sense of being constantly on high alert; irritability; disturbed sleep; or a wish to avoid certain people or situations. Even seemingly small things may suddenly become very difficult.

In whatever way anxiety affects you, we will aim to help you to explore and understand where the anxiety comes from and what is at the root of it. We will look at ways to help you to minimise its impact on day-to-day life, but we will also aim to help you to explore and understand where the anxiety comes from and what is at the root of it.

Anger

Anger is a powerful emotion that can leave you feeling out of control. You probably don’t like the things it makes you do when you feel it, and therefore, you may feel ashamed of yourself, as a result.

It is important to find out what drives and feeds your anger, in order to have a better understanding of why it has such a powerful influence over you. Then, through therapy, we can look at the changes that can be made in order to live in a way in which it feels more manageable.

Break up & Divorce

Navigating the end of a relationship can be an upsetting experience for both partners. Whether the breakdown of the marriage or relationship has been a shock or a mutual decision, it can be difficult to work out what to do next. Telling children, other family members and friends can feel like a big step, and the partners often need time to discuss whether they will have a 'joint' story to tell the outside world, as well as having a safe space to mourn the end of the relationship.

Relationship counselling can support couples or individuals during this difficult period, as you come to terms with the end of this important stage of their life. The loss of an important relationship can still affect individuals for many years afterwards, so counselling can also be useful even a while after a relationship is over.

Caring for someone with an illness

It is very easy for your needs to get lost when looking after someone who is ill or has complex needs. Whilst your focus is understandably on taking care of your loved one, you can end up feeling bottom of the list of priorities. It is important that in order to give the care you wish to give, that you are supported too with what can be complex situations and emotions. We will give you the space to be yourself, explore what you are feeling and enable you to feel stronger in the role you hold.

Change & Decision Making

Whenever there are changes in life, it invariably involves a loss of some description. When these changes happen unexpectedly, it can leave you reeling. Even if you have a choice and the change is potentially positive – making those decisions can be remarkably difficult and your emotional reactions may surprise you.

When making decisions, as therapists, we will never tell you what to do – it is important that you reach the conclusion that is right for you yourself. However, we will help you to explore your options, potential outcomes, hopes and fears; and allow you to untangle the emotions around it – including evaluating the losses that will come from any change. We will help you to move forward with confidence in your decision.

Depression

Living with depression is hard, and different for everyone who has it. It can be incredibly difficult to see how things will get better or find the energy to move forward or make changes. With this in mind, we do not underestimate what it has taken for you to reach out to us.

We will be there to support you in this difficult time, to talk about how you are feeling and how it has affected your life. We will sit with you whilst you explore where your depression has come from and what things in your life have contributed to it. We will continue to be there to help you find hope and courage.

Exam Pressure

Feeling stressed and under pressure about exams can be a normal part of being a student, and feelings of anxiety can be difficult to manage. Common symptoms of this anxiety are sleep difficulties, racing thoughts, heart palpitations, feeling shaky and digestive problems. Understanding these feelings and learning ways to manage them can be very helpful for students feeling under pressure, but it can also be useful to talk to a counsellor about why you feel so under pressure. What do these exams mean to you? How do you interpret success in your life? Talking about the meaning behind exams can be a helpful way of making sense of the pressure and anxiety that you experience, and provide a safe opportunity to get these worries off your chest, so that you can face your exams more calmly

Fertility, Birth & Parenthood

Society often makes us believe that the path to becoming a parent is always happy and easy, but that's often not true for many people. Fertility issues can be a major hurdle in having children, and the medical investigations can feel very invasive. Couples are often left 'not knowing' whether they will ever become parents and there can be multiple losses along the way which can be devastating and hard to accept.

The birth of a child can also be a stressful and difficult time for parents, especially if the birth was traumatic. Recovery from birth both physically and psychologically can take time and can have a significant impact on the parental intimate relationship and sex life. Issues around sex can feel difficult to talk about and left unresolved can leave partners feeling emotionally disconnected.

Becoming a parent, although a joyous time for many, can also feel overwhelming and exhausting. Many parents feel a lot of pressure to be 'perfect' and can feel very anxious and stressed as a result. We often have an idealised picture of what it will be like as a parent, and the reality of moving from being a 'two' to a 'three' can be a shock. Parents can often find that their couple relationship suffers as it becomes deprioritised against the needs of children, and the roles of parents can feel fixed and stifling. Having some counselling to explore your feelings around this difficult and sensitive time can be a lifeline and allow you to access some time and space that is just for you and your needs.

Life Goals & Coaching

Sometimes in life you can feel lost or lacking in a sense of direction and purpose. You may experience fear or frustration in not feeling able or motivated to achieve your dreams. At other times you may lose confidence in your own power to create the life you truly want which may make setting goals feel scary or hopeless.

We can help you understand how to overcome these challenges by exploring what might be getting in the way. We will enable you to explore your core values and beliefs, to create achievable life aims and plans which feel rewarding and meaningful for you. We can also support you in realising your plans and dreams.

Living with Illness

Whether your diagnosis is recent or you have been living with a condition for years, it can impact all areas of your life and relationships. This may be something you resent, are fearful of, are weary of, or simply struggle to come to terms with.

Together, we can explore what your illness or diagnosis means for you. Through our sessions, we can discuss how you would like to live with it moving forwards.

Loss, Bereavement & Grief

Whether due to death, break up or other circumstance, grief and loss often involve many difficult and complicated emotions. You might experience a range of feelings from deep sadness, guilt and yearning to relief and anger. These emotions can feel confusing and overwhelming and can often be accompanied by physical effects of grief.

No loss is too big or too small and we can work together to help you to understand the emotions you might be experiencing, how your grief is impacting your life and how you learn to adjust to your new reality.

Low Self Esteem & Personal Identity

When your self esteem is low, self criticism and a more negative view of life can leave you less able to deal with life's day-to-day challenges. You may feel that you are not good enough or that you find it difficult to live up to your own or others expectations. Perhaps you have started avoiding certain situations as a result. Low self esteem might be manifesting itself in depression or anxiety and you might have developed unhelpful ways of coping.

We will help you to identify the negative messages and beliefs about yourself and to understand where these might have originated. We can also help you to look at ways to improve and change things for the better.

Personal Development

Signs that your personal development needs attention include feeling low, frustrated or that something is missing in your life. You might feel lost, “stuck in a rut”, or a lack of meaning or sparkle. Little things might be causing more stress or anxiety than before with personal motivation and decision-making feeling difficult. You also might be seeing un-wanted, repeated patterns in your relationship with others.

We will work alongside you to help you understand your feelings, discover your unconscious, un-met needs, and increase your self-belief. We will support you in creating and planning achievable goals to realise the changes you want to see in your life. We will enable you to identify and remove barriers, and to increase your personal resilience to “bounce back” from adversity. Ultimately, therapy and your personal investment in it, will unlock your true potential, so you can feel a new sense of motivation, meaning and direction in life.

Problem Gambling

Having a problem with gambling can feel overwhelming, bringing other feelings of fear, anger, sadness and loneliness, sometimes with a growing sense of guilt. You can feel disconnected from the real world as you seek to regain control, perhaps trying and struggling to fix the problem by yourself. Often you might feel your gambling is not even a problem, until the consequences become severe and undeniable (e.g. spiralling debt, feeling isolated, relationship issues, fear, guilt, shame and suicidal thoughts).

We can help you find your path to full recovery by helping you to understand: the severity of the problem; yourself, at a deeper level, to discover the root causes of the problem; your unique ways to overcome the problem; how to access your own personal power to regain control

Ultimately, our aim is to enable you to achieve a sense of pride and freedom in having understood yourself and made sustainable change. We will help you feel, then heal your pain, so you can live your “best life” after problem gambling.

Relationship Difficulties

Relationship problems can occur at any stage of a relationship, but are particularly common after moving in together, during early parenthood, after major life events and towards retirement. Many couples report that they are having the same arguments over and over, or that they feel their partner doesn't listen to their feelings. Previous relationship or family difficulties can have a significant impact on your current relationship and make it hard to trust, communicate or connect with each other, and you may struggle to make sense of your partner's behaviour. When your relationship feels difficult, it can be hard to know whether these issues are 'fixable' or permanent and who to turn to for support. Not knowing what the future holds for you and your relationship can feel worrying and destabilising, and you may not know how to move forward.

Relationship therapy can help you take a step back from your relationship and take a look together about the dynamics and patterns that are causing difficulties. It can provide a platform to discuss difficult issues which may have been swept under the rug, and enable positive communication and change to take place. Your therapist may also be able to provide you with guidance and exercises which you can practice at home to continue the work between sessions, allowing you to move towards your own relationship goals.

Sexual Abuse

Sexual abuse is any behaviour of a sexual nature which is unwanted and takes place without consent or understanding. This includes rape, sexual assault, sexual harassment, childhood sexual abuse, female genital mutilation and more.

The effects of sexual abuse can include many emotions and sensations. It can lead to nightmares, flashbacks, panic attacks and disturbed sleep. You may feel you are always on the lookout for danger or become distant and disconnected from what is going on around you. Relationships and trust may be challenging along with feelings of shame and not being believed.

The impact on each person is different and we can explore what is helpful for you at your pace. By looking at how the impact of the abuse is affecting you day to day we can give you strategies to reduce them and help you cope. We can also be alongside you if you want to explore the abuse itself and be assured that it will be met with care and compassion.

Sex & Intimacy

Difficulties with sex are very common, and can include premature ejaculation, sex drive differences, body image problems, or lack of desire. It can be hard to discuss sex with our partner, and it is easy for feelings of blame and shame to build up. Physical intimacy is an important part of an adult couple relationship and, when this is problematic, we can feel disconnected from our partner.

Counselling can provide an opportunity for these issues to be discussed openly and sensitively, and allow you to explore the emotions connected around the sexual difficulty. We may also be able to suggest ways of overcoming intimacy problems and how to reconnect with each other healthily again.

Shame

Shame can make you want the ground to open up and swallow you so that you can’t be seen or sometimes even exist. It differs from guilt - a feeling of ‘I have done something wrong’ and is more – ‘there is something wrong with me’. Shame tells you there is no hope and may lead to you avoiding certain relationships and/or activities.

But there is hope and a cure for shame is compassion and empathy. We can offer you a non-judgemental place to gently explore those feelings at your pace. Making contact with those feelings can help to re-frame them with less self-judgement.

Stress

Stress can affect our mood, body and relationships. You might be feeling anxious, overwhelmed, irritable, be struggling to concentrate or sleep. You might be worried because you are coping by eating more or less, drinking or smoking more.

Together, we will help you explore the causes and triggers of your stress and what might help you manage stressful situations. By looking at the beliefs and messages you hold about yourself, work, life and others, we can help you to prioritise the things that will help you and give you a healthier balance.

Trauma (recent or past)

There are many events that can happen to you that are traumatic, and they vary from person to person. They include (but are not limited to) being in or witnessing an accident or attack, childbirth, war, sexual assault, emotional abuse, natural disasters and doing a job where you witness or hear about traumatic events. It may come from a single event or multiple. Sometimes, the impact can be felt later on as at the time you were in ‘survival mode’. You may be feeling the effects impacting you with flashbacks, irritability, feeling ‘jumpy’ and coping by resorting to keeping busy and distracting yourself.

The impact on each person is different, we can explore your triggers and help you find strategies to help you cope. Talking through what happened and understanding the impact on your mind and body can help you take back control.

Suicide

You may have suicidal thoughts, in which case we would like to give you the space to tell us what you are feeling without judgement. We aim to help you through this dark place into somewhere where you can feel hopeful and begin to look forward again.

You may have a friend or loved one who has attempted suicide and are supporting them. We would like to support you too.

You may have lost a loved one to suicide. Grief as a result of suicide can be much more complicated than simply mourning the person who is gone. There are many unanswered questions and what ifs that can be very hard to live with. The range of emotions that you might be feeling can range from anger to despair, guilt to relief and feeling all of them at once can be overwhelming. We aim to give you the space to voice them, explore them and come to terms with a life that has drastically changed.

About

Your therapists here at Kingsclere Counselling Service

Our therapists use a variety of approaches and methods to support you based on their individual training and preferences. Research has repeatedly shown that the most significant factor in predicting how effective therapy will be is the connection between you and your therapist.

So how to chose who to see? Well, there are many factors to consider: When can you make your appointments? What is it you are seeking help with? But the most important thing is that your counsellor feels like someone you can trust and open up to.

Rest assured that whichever member of our team you choose, you will be in safe hands. All the therapists here are qualified, insured, and members of a Professional Body. This means they adhere to a code of ethics, have regular supervision to ensure they are working safely and effectively, and are committed to continuing their professional and personal development.

Find out more about us all here.

Meet The Team

Sharon May
Practice Founder & Humanistic Counsellor MBACP

Appointments Available: Mondays, Wednesdays & Thursdays

My work is based on three principles:

You are Unique
I believe that everybody is unique, as is the situation that brings them to counselling. My initial aim is to understand who you are, why you have come to see me, and what it is you would like to get from counselling.

Everybody has the potential to make changes.
Whilst we all have the ability to change, sometimes we think, believe or behave in a way which prevents us from realising that potential. You may feel stuck. You may feel like you are going round in circles. Together we can identify these blockages and work on removing them so that you can move forward.

Our past informs us, but does not have to define us.
We are a product of our past, and things may have happened to you which have greatly affected you. We cannot go back and change those events, however together we can explore their impact on you, and look at how you choose to take them forward.

Special Interests:
Anxiety, Depression, Loneliness, Parenthood, Family Dynamics, Stress, Work / Life Balance, Self-esteem, Finding identity, Personal Growth, Living with illness, Caring for those with illness, Recovering from Physical Injury.

Fees:
Each 50 minute session is £50

...more info

Maxine (Max) Howe
Relational Counsellor, FdA, MinstLM, MBACP

Appointments Available: Mondays

I am a counsellor, qualified in Humanistic Counselling based on Transactional Analysis and in Young Persons' Counselling, and certified to practise since 2014. Coming originally from a background in leadership and management, I am passionate about human growth and development and helping to enable this in others.

I support clients of all age groups, with a range of presenting issues and personal development needs. These include:

  1. Addictions & Problem Gambling
  2. Anxiety & Depression
  3. Bereavement, Stress & Trauma
  4. Building Self-Esteem & Confidence
  5. Personal Growth & Relationship Issues
  6. Forming & Realising Life Goals

As a Registered Member of the British Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy, I adhere to their Ethical Framework, to provide a safe and supportive space for clients to explore their needs. With all clients, I aim to build a collaborative relationship to produce positive outcomes, whether we work together in the short, or longer term.

Fees:
Sessions will be £50 and last for 50 Minutes.
Block bookings of six sessions are £250 (£225 for counselling students).
All fees are payable in advance.
Cancellations, with no charge, require a minimum of two business days' notice.
An initial, free half hour telephone consultation is provided. Simply Email me your preferred number and I will call you at an agreed time.

...more info

Madeleine Duncan-Booth
MBACP Counsellor

Appointments Available: Wednesdays & Fridays

I offer a confidential, warm and welcoming space, where you can talk freely about your issues without judgement or criticism.

Through building a trusting and collaborative relationship we can work together with the issues you bring and find understanding of the thoughts, feelings and behaviours that you are experiencing.

Counselling will give you the opportunity to pause, breathe, reflect, and be heard. An opportunity which can bring about greater understanding and self-awareness, fresh perspective, and a stronger sense of self.

I find that words often fail us – we cannot find the words to really express the spectrum of emotions we are feeling. Therefore, occasionally, with your permission and with your comfort level being the most important thing to me, I may introduce a creative way of working.

Working creatively may mean using stones, shells, drawings or small objects to bring a different focus to our work which may enable us to gain alternative valuable insights that support your healing.

Fees:
Each 50-minute session is charged at £50

For more about how I work please click here.

...more info

Liz Clark MBACP
Humanistic, Gestalt and Walk & Talk Counsellor

Appointments Available: Tuesdays & Thursdays

I’m a qualified Humanistic Gestalt Counsellor and a member of the British Association of Counselling & Psychotherapy.

I offer one to one counselling for as little or as much time as you may need. I can’t provide all of the answers but I can sit beside you, listen and work with you to help you explore your issues and move forward.

I am a great believer in the mental health benefits of walking side by side exploring issues in natural surroundings and also offer outdoor walk and talk therapy as an alternative to sessions held within the counselling room.

Fees:
Each 50-minute session is charged at £50

...more info

Elinor Harvey MBPsS
Relationship Counsellor & Couples Therapist

Appointments Available: Mondays & Tuesdays

I work with both individuals and couples experiencing relationship difficulties. Happy, successful relationships allow us to thrive and have a wider positive impact on our mental health, our careers, family life and future aspirations. Conversely relationship problems can cause us to feel lost, overwhelmed and rootless. When our closest relationships feel under threat, we don’t always know where to turn.

I offer what used to be called 'marriage counselling' but in fact I work with everyone whether they are married, single, co-habiting, in a long term partnership, or something else! I focus on the patterns and dynamics of your relationship and try to understand what has led to some of these issues occurring. I am a qualified Relate Counsellor, and have 10 years of experience working and volunteering in mental health services, including the NHS and Relate. I am fully insured and a member of the British Psychological Society. I offer kind, open minded and supportive approach, based on Systemic, Psychodynamic and CBT principles.

I see clients for a wide range of reasons, which may include:

  1. Infidelity, affairs and trust issues
  2. Communication difficulties and arguments
  3. Maintaining a healthy relationship after the arrival of a baby
  4. Fertility issues
  5. Sexual and intimacy difficulties
  6. Worries around dating and finding a partner
  7. Difficulties maintaining relationships
  8. Blending families and step children
  9. Improving parent-child relationships
  10. Commitment worries
  11. The loss of a special relationship or person
  12. The impact of mental ill health
  13. Financial difficulties
  14. Helping clients separate amicably

Fees:
My sessions are £65 for 50 minutes. All fees are payable in advance, with 24 hours notice required for cancellation of appointments.

...more info

Emma Bengough BACP
Person-Centred counselling

Appointments Available: Mondays

I am a certified and fully insured member of the BACP with a diploma in Person-Centred counselling and I specialise in working with young people aged 7-18.

With so many complexities to growing up, especially now with the added challenge of social media and all its effects on a young mind, trying to maintain a healthy relationship with oneself and others becomes increasingly challenging.

It is easy to feel misunderstood, lonely, devalued or just not good enough in any way. At the same time, it can be difficult to find someone who is not a parent, teacher or friend to talk to, without the worry of either being overlooked or causing worry to someone else.

I can offer that space for a young person to simply be who they really are, as they find their feet in the process of self-discovery. I offer genuine warmth, empathy and unconditional acceptance of who they are and what thoughts they choose to bring to the sessions and how they choose to express them. The sessions can vary from a simple face to face chat in comfy chairs or beanbag, sometimes we may bring out some toys or games or art materials which may help them to express themselves, it is really up to them- this can be their time, their break from the fast paced, pressurised world around them and I will be right there alongside them, supporting and valuing them.

Fees:
My fees are £50 for a 50 minute session and I offer a free initial phone call or Skype meeting with the parent or guardian prior to starting sessions, which will be for the young person only.

...more info

What next?

If you have any questions not covered in our FAQS or would like to take the next step, please get in touch. We understand this can be a daunting thing to do. Please complete the contact form, email any of us, or call us and and leave us a message stating your phone number and some convenient times for us to get back to you.

If you would like to make an appointment, please either email a therapist directly from their profile, or complete the contact form below.

FAQs

How much and how long are the sessions?

Session fees vary depending on who you see. Sessions are normally weekly and last for 50 minutes. If you have any special requirements (for example around shift work) please discuss this in your initial contact with your therapist.

How many sessions will I need?

Due to the fact that every client is different, that is a very hard question to answer, but ultimately it is down to you. Where possible, weekly sessions are recommended as continuity in the work really helps. Hopefully the work will progress well and therapy will come to a natural conclusion when you feel you have got what you need.

Sometimes, it is not that straight forward and you might discover difficulties or other areas you wish to work on, in which case the therapy can continue for as long as you wish it to.

Financial or time restraints are understandable, and sometimes inevitable, and may put restrictions on the number of sessions you are able to attend. Please feel free to discuss this with your therapist.

Where are you?

We are based on a farm on the main road between Basingstoke and Newbury (don’t worry you won’t need wellies!). For a map, bus routes and directions by car please see here.

Is there parking?

Yes. There is parking close to our offices.

Do you have disabled access?

If you have any mobility or additional needs, please let us know when you make contact and we will do what we can to accommodate them.

Myth Busters

Let us set your mind at ease

Will I have to lie on a couch?
No you can sit facing us on a chair or sofa (please see the pictures of our consulting rooms)

My counsellor might judge me for what I've done.
We understand the complexity of human beings, and pride ourselves on being able to remain non-judgemental and see the person behind the actions.

My therapist is going to read my mind.
We have a good understanding of people, and tend to ask the right questions, but as far as we know we don't have any superpowers!

What is the point in talking to someone who doesn't actually know me?
Actually, sometimes it is easier to talk to someone who doesn't know your history or have an established role in your life, and is therefore more objective.

Counselling is only for people who are really ill.
Anyone can benefit from counselling. We work with a range of mental health conditions, but we also work with people facing tricky situations, struggling to make a decision or just feeling a bit off.

Seeking professional help is a sign of weakness.
Taking action to help yourself and reaching out takes great strength

Everyone will know I'm seeing a counsellor.
No-one need know you are seeing one of our therapists unless you want them too. We take confidentiality very seriously and protect it any way we can. However if you wish to tell people, this is nothing to be ashamed of, and we encourage you to be proud of the steps you have taken.

Contact

Details

01256 962 775
[email protected]

Address

Kingsclere Counselling Service, Robinson Cottage, Folly Farm, Ramsdell, RG26 5GJ

Directions

By bus:

The Link bus between Newbury and Basingstoke stops right outside the farm. Please take care crossing or walking alongside the A339, it is very busy and fast. For a timetable see bustimes.org.uk.

By car from Basingstoke:

Come along the A339.

Approximately 3 miles after you leave Basingstoke, there is a blind right hand bend at the top of a rise. As you come down the other side you will see farm buildings on both sides of the road.

You will see our building on the left hand side by the road.

Please turn left into the Folly Farm entrance and then turn right into the car park.

By car from Newbury:

Come along the A339.

Approximately 3 miles south of Kingsclere you will see farm buildings on both sides of the road.

Our building is on the right hand side, turn right into the entrance to Folly Farm and then right again into our carpark

Get in touch

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