How counselling can help

We have so many demands on our time that we can lose sight of ourselves and our mental and physical health can suffer.  This can lead to you feeling constantly tired, unable to sleep, stressed out and anxious.  You have no room to think, you feel overwhelmed and have no idea where to start.

Counselling gives you space and time to see what is going on.  It can help to identify what needs to change and assists in finding ways to communicate your needs so that you feel understood.  

You may be thinking "I don't have time for counselling, my troubles are not that important, I just need to get on with it."    Think about how it would feel to have someone listen to you, working with you to find out what you'd like to change and how to do  it.  Your troubles are unique to you and impact on you and your relationships, they are important, as are you.  Putting aside 50 minutes each week is the important first step in starting to look after yourself. So take that step.

I have experience in helping clients with things such as anxiety, depression, relationship issues, family problems and loss - this covers a range of things including the end of a relationship, pregnancy loss, loss of a job or redundancy or the loss of the childhood you never had.  Whatever is on your mind get in touch.  I work in a warm, compassionate and professional way.  

I help people to put themselves first, supporting them in recognising their needs and to communicate those needs to others.  

Donna Stretton Female Counsellor Portsmouth

What are the "rules" of counselling?

You may be wondering what is OK and what is not OK in counselling; you feel you don't know the rules.  This is very normal.  If this is your first time for counselling it might feel quite scary so here are a few things that might help.

  • Whatever you feel is OK, there is no right or wrong way to feel.

  • It is OK to cry or not to cry; it is OK to talk or not to talk.

  • It is OK to say what you think of counselling or me as a counsellor, whether it is working or not.  

  • If you feel angry or upset about something that I say or do, it is fine to tell me; this can be helpful to our work.

  • If I am frowning it is most likely because I am concentrating rather than annoyed.

  • If there is something in the room that is making you uncomfortable, it is OK to say.

  • If you can't make your usual time then it is OK to ask if you can change; I will offer you another time if I am able.

  • When you book a slot with me it is yours until you decide otherwise.

  • It is OK for you to bring your own soft drink with you; I do ask that you don't eat.

  • I will not talk about myself in your sessions, they are about you not me.

  • If I see you outside the counselling room I won't acknowledge you unless you do first; you may not want to explain who I am.


  • Diploma in Psychotherapeutic (Psychodynamic) Counselling

  • Certificate in Counselling Skills

  • Certificate in Introduction to Time Limited Counselling

  • Certificate In Carrying out Client Assessments

BACP registered therapist Donna Stretton