Catherine Forrester Counselling
Counselling outdoors in Stroud, and online via Zoom
Why chose counselling?
Are you having difficulties in your life that you'd like help to make sense of? Perhaps you are having trouble in your relationships, you are feeling stuck or unhappy, or you are finding it difficult to cope. Perhaps you are going though a particularly tough time, and could do with some extra support.
Counselling can offer you a space to explore whatever it is that you are facing. Sharing your experience with a non-judgemental, supportive listener can open up new ways of seeing. Working together, we can begin to bring compassionate understanding to the situation you are in.
We might explore the roots of the situation in the past, or we might keep our focus in the present. You may begin to explore the different parts that make you up, coming to a deeper understanding of yourself and making more peace with who you are. Through the work of counselling you will connect more deeply with your own inner resources, and find new paths through the difficulties you face.
Bringing kind attention to our experience
How do I work?
I work with a Humanistic approach to counselling. This means I believe that we all have an innate drive towards growth and healing. I trust that, deep down, you will know the things that you need in order to flourish. In our work together we will aim to make space for that inner knowledge to speak more clearly and for you to find your own way through the challenges you might be facing.
My work is informed by an understanding of the physiological impact of trauma and I work in a gentle, non-confrontational way - going at your own pace.
The principles of mindfulness - paying close, kind attention to our present moment experience - guide my work. I believe that if we can make enough space to witness what is going on for us - especially the things that feel difficult or that we might tend to ignore - we can find greater freedom and ease in our lives. Within a session we may use guided mindfulness exercises if that is something you might find useful.
What can you expect during our sessions?
During sessions I aim to create a safe environment for you to explore thoughts, feelings and physical experiences that are troubling you.
We will first work to identify your current resources and sources of strength and support. When you feel ready to explore your difficulties, I will ask questions to help you focus on particular elements and may invite you to be aware of parts of your experience that you tend to ignore. I will help you notice patterns and connections in your life that might shed light on your current experience.
If it feels useful for you, we might explore mindfulness exercises to help you slow down and notice what is going on for you. I will not offer advice, but will help you connect to your own wisdom.
Working in nature
Being outside and connecting with the natural world has long been a major source of support for me. Spending time in nature has been proven to have a positive contribution to mental health for many people and I am delighted to be able to offer counselling outdoors.
I offer in-person sessions from Sladebank Woods, a beautiful young woodland site in Stroud. The site offers a variety of spaces in which we can work: seated together on chairs under a large pine tree, in an open orchard, or walking in woodland. You might choose to walk together for some or all of your session. Your needs will change day to day and we can adapt accordingly.
I trained as a Humanistic and Integrative counsellor at Bath Centre for Psychotherapy and Counselling. I have worked with clients with a range of presenting issues including depression, anxiety, panic attacks, phobias, eating disorders, relationship issues, and PTSD.
I have worked with, and welcome, clients of all ages and genders. I have worked with clients from a variety of ethnic backgrounds, and diverse sexualities. I aim to work in an explicitly anti-opressive way, recognising the very real impact of the unequal distribution of power in society and the implicit and explicit discrimination this results in. I am committed to the continuing process of reflecting on and challenging my own unconscious biasses.
Having experienced early bereavement myself, I have a particular interest in the long-term impact of early trauma and have found counselling to be profoundly useful in my own life.
Alongside counselling, I am a yoga and mindfulness teacher with a focus on stress and supporting mental health. Yoga and mindfulness are influences which inform my counselling practice through an appreciation of the ways that our body and mind interact.
I offer counselling either online via Zoom, or outdoors at Sladebank Woods in Stroud. After an initial consultation on the phone, we can decide together whether you would prefer to meet in person or work online.
Sessions last 50 minutes and generally take place at the same time and place each week, although there is scope for flexibility where needed.
Sessions cost £50 and payment can be made by BACS.
Working outdoors: I am pleased to be able to offer counselling work outdoors. Working in nature can provide huge benefits, and it also occasionally presents challenges in terms of the weather! So if we choose to work outdoors, we will discuss the practicalities around this in more detail when we meet. I suggest that we try to meet whatever the weather, unless it is dangerous. We have access to a covered space to use when it is raining, and can wrap up warm and walk if we need to stay warmer. However if it feels that meeting outdoors isn't feasible on any given day, you always have the option to move your session online if you prefer.
Access: The woodland site from which I work has parking available. The site has paths to the spaces in which we might work, some of which are uneven and steep in places. There is a compost toilet with a step to access it. Please do let me know about any specific access requirement you have so that we can decide the best way to work together.
Get in touch
Contact me today to arrange an initial session, or to ask any questions you might have.