Do you feel exhausted by thoughts buzzing around your head? Can’t focus or relax? Feel sad or anxious and can’t shake the feeling?

Most of us find it’s true that ‘a problem shared is a problem halved’ because talking things out can put our problems in context or make them seem more manageable. Sometimes though, we don’t know who to talk to. We don’t want to worry our partner or family or friends, or we know they will have an opinion, or they might judge or reject us. Sometimes we just don’t know what it is we need to say.

Talking with a qualified professional gives you the chance to say whatever you are worried about, whatever you have been feeling, without fear of being judged or told what to do. With your therapist’s help you will begin to understand what is causing you the problems, and what it would take to make things better.

Counselling can help with a whole range of problems:

anxiety * over-thinking * worrying * depression * sadness * mood swings * loss or separation  * low self-esteem * low confidence * lack of assertiveness * abuse * poor communication * lack of relationships * poor self-care * destructive habits * unhealthy lifestyle *  significant life changes * confusion * feeling overwhelmed * stress * fatigue

The benefits of integrative counselling:

  • speak freely without fear of being ignored, interrupted or criticised

  • be asked questions to help you dig deeper into what you are really thinking & feeling

  • explore if and how past experiences are still affecting you today

  • understand & change unhelpful patterns or cycles of thinking or behaviour that you fall into

  • gain confidence in communicating openly, honestly and assertively

  • feel understood, supported & motivated to make lasting, positive changes to yourself and your life

Integrative therapy is a model which combines three major counselling approaches – person centred, cognitive behavioural and psychodynamic. It allows you to explore all the areas where you may be having problems… from your past, in your present or any fears about the future…  and is flexible to meet your needs, whatever you bring each week. Sessions may involve just talking & listening, but you may also be encouraged to take part in some written exercises, or drawing, or to do some research or reading in between sessions. It is a dynamic but supportive approach and a collaborative process between you and your therapist.

About Alex Pledger

Alex Pledger Time to Change Counsellor in BirminghamAlex Pledger has been working to help people make positive changes in their lives since her early days volunteering for the Samaritans. Over the past nearly twenty years she has trained and developed skills as a counsellor, coach, supervisor and mentor. Her approach to all her work is integrative and she is trained in various techniques and approaches to maximise client results.

She has worked with various organisations including the NHS, schools & youth projects, private hospitals, employment agencies and employee assistance programmes. Her private practice – Time To Change – has been established in South Birmingham since 2005.

Alex is a Senior Accredited Counsellor with BACP and is registered to work with leading health insurers including BUPA, Aviva and Cognacity. She is also a trained coach and clinical supervisor.

“People often think that as a counsellor you must be ‘sorted’ and your life is all in order and easy. If only that was true! Like so many of the people I work with, my life has its ups and downs. But what I’ve learned over the years, and what I am passionate about sharing with my clients, is that, however difficult a situation might seem, there is always light at the end of the tunnel and nothing stays the same forever. You may need new skills, or different resources, and to get stronger and more resilient when you feel least able, but you will find a way through. I know it is true for myself, but I’ve also seen it happen time and time again with my clients.

Some of my clients have said I use a ‘tough love’ approach and I think that’s true. I say it how I see it, I ask difficult questions like ‘why?’ and ‘why not?’ and I can be gently and persistently challenging if I think there is something that is really holding you back. But they’ve also been kind enough to say how warm, funny, caring and compassionate they find me.

And I’m honest. I try to walk the talk. I’m a firm believer that looking after yourself benefits not only you, but those around you. I’m interested in all aspects of well-being and a vocal advocate of self-care. Running, yoga, cake baking (and eating!), music, reading, mindfulness, dancing… whatever keeps me healthy and happy… and I nudge and support my clients to find what fuels their mojo.

There is no magic fix to get a ‘perfect’ life, but with the right care and attention we can all get closer to living the best version of ourselves.” 

Alex is available at the BAC Centre (Moseley) Monday – Thursday and charges £60 per session.

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