Simone Harch
Integrative counsellor and psychotherapist

Welcome. I offer counselling services to help people overcome problems or difficulties that they are facing in their life.

You may wish your relationships were better; you may struggle with anxiety or depression; or you may have experienced events in your past that are affecting your life today.  I offer you the space and time to work through your problems or difficulties.

Together we will make positive changes in your life and build a brighter future.

Contact me

Why Counselling?

Be supported and heard by a non-judgemental, compassionate professional.

People come to counselling to get help with problems or difficulties in their life.  Challenges are often psychological, social or physical in nature.  Some of the challenges you experience may be:

Psychological

Stress

Stress is a state of mental or emotional strain or tension resulting from difficult or demanding circumstances. While stress can motivate us to achieve, too much stress may lead to physical and mental health problems.

Coping skills

We all experience life adversity.  How we deal with that adversity is different for all of us:  many coping skills are healthy (talking to friends or family, exercise, self-care, doing pleasurable activities) but often people rely on unhealthy copying strategies (food, alcohol and/or drug use, self-harm, emotionally unregulated behavior) which may lead to additional problems.

Self-esteem

Self-esteem refers to the overall opinion we have of ourselves; our sense that we can do things successfully; and the value we place on ourselves as people.  Self-esteem can hold a positive or negative tone overall. Our experiences create a foundation for views we hold about ourselves.  These can distort our self-esteem and may cause us to believe that we are unworthy or unable to live a happy and fulfilled life.

Anxiety

Anxiety is something many of us experience from time to time.  It is a normal response to situations that we find threatening or frightening.  For example, if we had to sit an exam or speak in front of a room full of people, it would be natural to feel anxious.  Sometimes, however, we feel anxious when we’re not threatened or frightened and we need to learn techniques to overcome these unhelpful responses.

Depression

Depression may cause us to experience low mood, loss of interest or pleasure, feelings of guilt or low self-worth, disturbed sleep or appetite, low energy and poor concentration.  It doesn’t stop us from leading a normal life but makes everything harder to do and seem less worthwhile.  At its most severe, depression can be life-threatening, leading to suicidal thoughts.

Social

Relationship problems

All relationships have ups and downs.  Sometimes though, things can get a bit stuck and it’s hard to find a positive solution or see a way forward.  Problems that may exist within a relationship can include increased arguments and conflict, trust issues, financial issues, communication problems and how to progress the relationship.

Roles and expectation

Our early family experiences drive our core beliefs about ourselves: this includes what we believe about the roles we perform and the expectations that we hold about ourselves.  As our lives and personal situations change, the roles and expectations we hold can build resentment and dissatisfaction and may cause challenges personally and within family relationships.

Challenges at work

Work is a significant part of life for many of us.  For some it allows ambitions to be realised; for others it pays the bills.  Challenges at work can include relationship problems, deadlines, workload problems and internal politics, all of which may cause stress.  Some of us may want to make change but are unsure how or what direction to take.

Family dysfunction

Families are systems of inter-connected and inter-dependent individuals.  Sometimes, functioning within families can be challenging, especially when there is conflict between parents, in step or blended families or when parenting children with complex needs (including adopted and fostered children).

Loss and bereavement

Grief is the natural response to the death or loss of someone close.  It may also relate to the loss of an unborn child.  For others, the death of a much-loved pet brings feelings of grief. Loss may relate to redundancy, ill health, or a change in life circumstances; it may also relate to a person who is alive but not accessible to us any more (for example a parent who has dementia).  While loss is a natural part of life, sometimes it can feel overwhelming and may lead to additional problems.

Physical

Physical trauma

Physical trauma, for example a car accident or life-changing injury, can bring pain, loss and depression.  It can lead to problems within relationships, at work and within family units.  Physical trauma can make us feel powerless and out of control within our own lives and/or bodies, often leading to increased anxiety.

Disease and illness

Disease or illness, of ourselves or a loved one, can cause huge changes within a relationship or family.  Becoming a carer to a loved one, or being cared for, brings many changes within an established relationship.  If disease or illness is terminal there may be feelings of loss or grief.

Self care

Many of us view self-care as a selfish act, choosing to spend our waking hours on work and/or family responsibilities.  Many of us struggle to prioritise our own health and well-being.  Self-care has wide-ranging benefits including improved self-efficacy, improved resilience and improved mental health.

Sleep

Sleep plays an important role in both physical and mental health.  Many issues can affect our sleep patterns and we can easily get out of the habit of knowing how to fall asleep.  This can become a cycle that is difficult to change and has implications for many other parts of life.  Learning a new routine to encourage better sleep has wide-ranging positive implications for mental and physical health.

Infertility

Infertility is when a couple, or individual via IVF, cannot fall pregnant. For those of us who choose to be parents, this inability can be crippling, causing not just feelings of grief but also depression, guilt and anxiety.  Often there are also choices to be made regarding attempting (or stopping) IVF treatments and considering adoption to achieve the dream of parenting.

Traumatic experiences rarely impact just one area of life, instead these experiences often have psychological, social and physical implications – sometimes it can feel like our entire being has been overtaken.

These experiences may include an accident, an assault, domestic abuse or difficult childhood experiences.

What my clients say