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’. 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 try to fix it for us. Sometimes we just don’t know what it is we need to say.

Talking with a qualified professional gives you a place to say whatever you need, whatever you have been feeling, without fear of being judged or told what to do. With your therapist’s support you can talk freely about your problems, let go of some of the angst, and work out what you need to do make things better.

Counselling can help with a whole range of problems:

anxiety * worrying * depression * loss or separation * feeling sad * stress * energy and mood swings *  low self-esteem * lack of assertiveness * current or past trauma or abuse * developing coping strategies * poor communication * difficult relationships * self-care * destructive habits * unhealthy lifestyle *  managing life changes * burn out

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 combines three of the most popular and effective 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 & letting some stuff out, or we might try some written exercises, or drawing, or you could be asked to do some research or reading in between sessions. It is a dynamic but supportive approach. You can read more about integrative therapy here.

About Alex Pledger

Alex Pledger Time to Change Counsellor in BirminghamAlex Pledger started her journey into therapeutic work volunteered for the Samaritans over twenty years ago. Since then she has trained and developed skills as a counsellor, coach, supervisor and mentor. Her approach to all her work is integrative and she uses techniques that 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, Vitality, Cigna and Cognacity. She is also a trained coach and clinical supervisor.

“People often think that as a counsellor or coach you must be ‘sorted’ and you don’t have problems in your life… if only that was true! Like so many of my clients, life sends me on 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. 

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. I try to make therapy seem as normal as possible and our relationship is at the heart of what I do.

There is no magic fix to get a ‘perfect’ life, but with the right care and attention I know that you can feel stronger and clearer and get closer to living the best version of yourself you can.” 

Alex is currently working online via Zoom, Skype or phone. She is available Monday – Thursday and charges £50 per session.

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