New business will take stigma out of counselling
By SuziPR | Friday, October 11, 2013, 14:49
Two Kent women who have joined forces to launch a new counselling practice say they are determined to change attitudes towards mental health and seeking help.
Catherine Palmer and Dominique Wynn of 7OaksCounselling
Dominique Wynn, from Hildenborough, and Catherine Palmer, from Sevenoaks, have founded 7oaks Counselling which offers support for a range of life challenges.
The pair feels passionate about providing support in the community and further afield to people seeking counselling to help them cope with experiences such as: death or loss; relationship problems; depression; phobias; anxiety; eating disorders; suicidal thoughts and self-harm.
There is also a preventative arm to the business as 7oaks Counselling also provides support for people wishing to maintain healthy emotional and psychological balance.
This is aimed at people who don't necessarily have a 'diagnosed' mental health issue but who need guidance through trying times, challenges or projects that would benefit from having a mentor on board.
Dominique and Catherine's aim is to take the stigma out of the dated notion that counselling is solely for individuals seeking help for mental health difficulties.
Both Dominique and Catherine decided to embark on counselling careers after personal experiences which included one of them experiencing the loss of a close family member.
Dominique, who completed her placement at Sevenoaks Area MIND and currently works in a children's centre in Tunbridge Wells, explained: "Unlike in the United States, many people simply don't seek help when they need it. Mental health problems are so deeply misunderstood and people are afraid to admit they are suffering.
They suffer in silence and the consequences of that can be tragic.
So many people are under pressure these days, whether it's at work or at home. The extended family of old has all but disappeared and people just don't have an easily accessible outlet to talk through difficulties which they are experiencing.
It is an unrealistic notion for modern society to hold an expectation that everyone is able to cope alone. Asking for support is a strength and not a weakness."
As well as having their private practice in Sevenoaks, Catherine counsels parents and users of a children's centre in Tunbridge Wells. She has also provided bereavement counselling at The Hospice in the Weald, Pembury, and worked at Knole Academy, in Sevenoaks, where she counselled students.
Catherine says "The support we offer can be short term and involve just a few sessions, or longer term. We basically provide non-judgemental and emotional support - the type that can't readily be given by a family member or friend.
We offer integrative counselling - a personal approach to counselling which involves blending more than one theoretical model to suit the needs of every individual."
Dominique and Catherine met while studying at K College in Tonbridge in September 2008.
They went on to achieve their Diploma in Counselling at the Wealden Psychological Institute in Crowborough.
Dominique Wynn (DipCouns, MBACP) and Catherine Palmer (DipCouns, MBACP) are both qualified Humanistic Integrative Counselling Practitioners, graduating from Wealden Psychological Institute, Crowborough. They are registered members of the British Association for Counselling & Psychotherapy (BACP), the professional body which provides a framework promoting safe and ethical counselling practice.
As integrative counsellors, Dominique and Catherine integrate the theoretical models of Transactional Analysis, Gestalt therapy and Person-Centred therapy. To complement and support these three core models, they have been trained to use a number of additional supporting theories. These include: Egan's Skilled Helpermodel, Attachment theory, Erikson's Eight Stages of Development and Petruska Clarkson's Therapeutic Relationship.
For more information, please go to www.7oakscounselling.co.uk