“Happiness, not in another place but this place, not for another hour but this hour”
My name is Isabel Martins and I am qualified as an Integrative Person Centred Counsellor, which is a non-judgemental and non-directive approach. Counselling provides an opportunity for you to look at issues in your life which are causing you concern, and to explore ways in which brings a positive change. As a client, you are responsible for your choices and decisions you make, although as your counsellor, I will support and encourage you as you make choices and decisions which you feel are in your best interest.
Whether it’s your career, your relationships, or anything else that’s important to you, I’ll help you develop the habits and skills to effectively deal with the challenges and emotional moments you may encounter in life.
Since I completed a Psychology Degree (2001), I have worked in various positions where I supported parents and children in my role as Psychologist. Principal duties have included: working with children/ teenagers with Learning Difficulties and Mental Health, as like: ADHD; Autism; Asperger Syndrome; Disruptive Behaviour; Emotional and behavioural issues; Anxiety; OCD, Trauma; Self-harm.
I have experience in counsel adults in a clinical setting who are feeling distressed, where mental health issues arise when a difficult circumstance of their lives happens. I also work as a counsellor with adolescents with mental health and emotional issues and has always been an inspiration, where I believe, counselling can provide support to the young people in need and help them to overcome any apprehensions that may occur.
Life brings many challenges, and it is understandable that at times we might look for support in facing them. As a counsellor my role is to provide space and guidance to help you on your journey of self-discovery; to enable you to examine your life and make new, meaningful choices within it.
I offer a chance to reflect on the difficulties or problems you are experiencing in a safe and confidential environment, with someone from outside your day-to-day life. Together we can explore your situation in a way that leads to fresh perspectives – and perhaps a new understanding of yourself. Counselling isn’t about giving you solutions or advice, but empowering you to make your own changes.
My approach to therapy is a person-centred one. This is a non-judgmental way of working, where the counsellor creates the right conditions to help someone increase their self-awareness; to move towards – and reach – their fullest potential.
People come to me for help a wide range of issues. Here are a few of the more common difficulties that can be supported through counselling:
Feelings of stress or anxiety
Grief, loss or bereavement
Problems with addiction
Trauma and post-traumatic stress
Problems with confidence or self-esteem
Issues relating to sexuality
Difficulties at work or in retirement
Problems with family or school life
Counselling takes place in a safe space, where you can meet with someone who will listen with sensitivity and empathy – and without judgement. In the therapy space thoughts and feelings can be expressed freely and in confidence.
Trouble with a relationship; anxiety or panic attacks; mood swings or depression – many people face difficulties in their everyday lives that can be hard to get on top of. Counselling gives us a set of tools we can use to help gain a better understanding of what’s causing these problems – and how you can move towards managing or resolving them.
Working together I can help you gain greater insight into the difficulties you are facing, help you understand why you act or react to them the way you do, and see how you can start to make better, heathier choices moving forward.
I work from private offices located in Swindon, Wiltshire.
Should you be arriving by car, we offer a parking lot with parking for our customers and street parking.
Sessions last 50 minutes, usually taking place on a weekly basis, and cost £50 per session. Initial assessment appointments last around 75 minutes and cost £50. Email me to enquire.
Note that if you want to cancel an appointment, I require 48 hours notice, otherwise you will still need to pay for any sessions missed. I accept payment in cash or by bank transfer.
It can be scary and confusing making the decision to contact a counsellor or therapist, but in my experience people will struggle with a mental health issue, a personal crisis or problems with a relationship for much longer than is healthy. Sometimes a friend has proved a source of comfort, but this help can only go so far. Realising that resolving a problem requires something more means you have actually already taken the first step towards improving your life.
Counselling is usually a good way to help with a current problem; something that can be discussed and – hopefully – resolved within a limited number of sessions. Over a certain number of weeks the understanding of the problem improves and away forward becomes clear. Therapy often describes work that goes a bit deeper, towards more substantial life issues and problems having a deeper effect on the client’s life. Therapy often requires a long-term approach, so the number of sessions can be open-ended.
Which option is most suitable depends on the client and the difficulties they are facing. In some cases counselling works well as an ongoing, longer-term option – or therapy can manage to resolve an issue in just a few sessions.
How long a period of counselling lasts will vary from person to person and depend on the depth of the issues they are facing. For some people a couple of sessions helps to bring their problems into focus, and they feel ready to move forward; other problems may require more of an open-ended approach.
Before we begin any work we will agree on the number of sessions we’ll undertake, and at the end of that number review our progress. As long as we both agree further therapy will be of benefit to you, sessions can continue.
My aim is to offer a first appointment – known as an initial assessment – within 1-2 weeks. Then we would arrange a set number of counselling sessions to take place at the same time every week, that is convenient for you and where I have availabity. How quickly these sessions can begin will depend on the availabity of that free ‘slot’.
Everything that is said within the counselling room is private – this is one of the main ways counselling and therapy differ from talking to a friend or relative. Once you are comfortable with the format of weekly sessions and the safe space they provide, you will find the freedom to speak in confidence is of great value.
Note that there are some situations where you may be a risk to yourself or others, and there the law requires that I notify an authority; in these cases I may not be able to keep total confidentiality. Breaking confidentiality is very rare though, and only happens after the person concerned has been informed.
Usually I am asked this question by people who are nervous about entering into counselling, or when they are looking for support in coming to see a therapist. This anxiety is understandable, but a key aspect of therapy is that you should feel free to talk about any issues you feel are important to you. Having someone else with you who can be connected those issues makes this opening-up more difficult, so for this reason I do not see clients accompanied by friends or family.