Who I Am
Nice to Meet You
Hi, I’m Bernadette. I’m a fully qualified Emotional Therapeutic Counsellor, which means I specialise in emotional wellbeing. It is my aim to equip every client with their own strategies for dealing with the individual challenges they have to face in life. I’m a registered member of the Foundation for Emotional Therapeutic Counselling and National Counselling Society. I have many years experience working with people from every kind of background, including adults, children and those with additional needs.
Please read more here to find out more about me, ETC and what you can expect from counselling with The Right Key. If you’d like to know more, please feel free to contact me, it would be a pleasure to speak to you.
Diploma in Counselling Skills (Foundation for Emotional Therapeutic Counselling)
Masters Degree in Education
Post Graduate Certificate in Education
‘You have created such a safe place for people to unload their worries, I felt completely protected.’
What I Do / My Philosophy
Who I Work With
I work with anyone who feels something isn’t quite right and may be experiencing difficulty understanding their role in life, finding happiness or contentment, and being able to cope with the daily challenges their lives present.
Whilst many people will come to counselling with very specific reasons for wanting help, some of you will simply be aware of feeling ‘out of balance’, unsure or questioning. If you have a desire to confront or re-evaluate any aspect of your life, then I will try to tailor an approach to facilitate your key to change.I have a reputation for being very open-minded and ready to actively listen to anyone no matter what the problem.
As well as the ethical code of practice I am obliged to follow, high on my list of personal values are tolerance, diversity, empathy, understanding and the ability to be non-judgemental. I would encourage anyone who needs support to contact me for an initial chat.
Below is a list of some of the conditions people may seek help for but again I would emphasise that my aim is to support anyone who feels a sense of unease with some aspect of their life.
Children and Young People
I have extensive experience working with young people of all ages and in many capacities. I have also worked alongside many parents and professional agencies and am all too aware of the challenges and frustrations young people can face.
I believe these pressures can be huge on many different levels and I am passionate about finding ways to support young people through them. I also know from personal experience that there are many challenges to be faced by adults related to or working with young people.
Because there are so many diverse issues, I feel there are many different ways I can offer support in this area in addition to direct 1:1 counselling. Please click the buttons below to find out more about each service I can offer.
Counselling involves a series of meetings in which the counsellor helps a client to explore areas that are causing concern or difficulties, it is a time where the client can explore their situation by freely expressing thoughts and feelings to someone totally independent.
Each person is an individual and therefore counselling is different for everyone, so I can work together in a way that suits the individual. I am not there to judge or tell anyone what to do, but I will try to help my clients get a better understanding of themselves and help them develop strategies and make changes where they would like.
I can be quite flexible about where I work, for example, at school, at home or the place the young person feels safe and comfortable. I can also work with clients online if they are not yet ready for face-to-face contact. What we do during the sessions is also very negotiable; they may not want to sit and talk but would feel much more at ease painting, baking or listening to music. I may work with the young person alongside parents and teachers to try to provide a comfortable and safe environment to encourage self-reflection and facilitate change.
With younger children I use creative play, puppets, stories and games to create a positive and non-intimidating environment.
Sometimes it can be very hard for young people to really feel listened to. It can be difficult to find the right words to express what they are feeling to an adult or even to their peers. There are any number of reasons why this might be the case, for example, they may be dealing with bullying, they may be caught up in a difficult divorce and are afraid of hurting people’s feelings, they may feel intimidated approaching difficulties with a teacher, they may be dealing with illness.
I can act as an advocate, that is, I can work with a young person to establish what it is they want to say and then I can reassure them their voice can be heard. I would act as an impartial person who simply enables them to feel those who need to have listened to their point of view.
I can work with young people individually to help support them if, for example, they feel they are struggling with social skills, if they find communicating with people difficult or it is not easy to get themselves organised at home or at school.
I have many years’ experience working with people who find life difficult to understand at times, particularly people on the Autism spectrum and people who find it difficult to manage their emotions. I have devised many strategies that act as prompts to support young people through the challenges of their everyday lives and would be happy to tailor-make an approach that suits each individual best.
I can work with small groups to provide the support outlined above. Apart from the cost implications, the benefit of working with a group is that we can learn from shared experiences and ideas.
I am also very aware of the challenges one can face when working with, living with or generally supporting young people and the frustrations one can feel; at times this can become overwhelming and it is the adult who may need supporting.
I can provide counselling and support on an individual basis for parents, for teachers and other professionals affected by the stresses of working within education and the public sector, for whole families, and for siblings.
‘I was very sceptical about counselling at first but seeing you has been the best money I have ever spent!’
I am a qualified counsellor with National Counselling Society accreditation. I decided to train as a counsellor following extensive experience working in mainstream and special education. As well as teaching and supporting children and young people with mixed abilities and varying needs, many of my roles included supporting parents and siblings. The increasing need for good counselling support in these areas as well as events that occurred in my own life inspired me to study for my Diploma.
After much consideration, I felt the ethos of the Foundation for Emotional Therapeutic Counselling reflected my own approach to counselling and support. Emotional therapeutic counselling is an interactive, person-centred therapy which works by providing a safe and supportive environment in which you as the client can explore and express your feelings in order to understand the underlying causes of your current unease and facilitate your key to change.
Whilst my Diploma in Emotional Therapeutic Counselling equips me to work with all presenting difficulties, I also have specialist training in counselling for bereavement and a qualification in play therapy. I have particular experience in dealing with relationship difficulties, loss and depression. I continually seek to further my learning and embrace different techniques and am currently studying a further qualification in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy.