‘When I first came to Dawnie it was at a time in my life when I did not expect to need help. I was nearly 30, with a great job, a loving husband and a safe and comfortable living space. Despite these good things I was experiencing some of the most severe anxiety of my life and I didn’t understand why. It became increasingly harder to leave my home because I was so overwhelmed by travelling and crowded spaces. I felt trapped and my outlook on life became very bleak.
Dawnie helped me understand the root causes of my issues. With Dawnie’s help I was able to acknowledge past traumas that I had never properly dealt with. It was hard to unearth difficult memories but the more I worked through them the less pressure and anxiety felt.
The path of healing can be long but I know now that I am headed in the right direction thanks to the support and kindness I was provided. I feel truly humbled to have spent time with Dawnie as she is a beautiful, bright person and an incredible counsellor.’
Female, late 20s
‘To Dawnie, Just a note to thank you for everything. You were my light in the dark. My guardian angel on earth. You are my inspiration and I will always be in wonder and light that I was lucky enough to meet you. I got into uni!’
Female, 21 (rape survivor)
‘Dear Dawnie, thank you is so insufficient to describe my appreciation to whomever or whatever got us together. The light from a candle will only last the briefest time. However, the light you have brought into my life will last an eternity. Continue to shine your beautiful light Dawnie.’
‘Dawnie, I wanted to say thank you for the difference you have made to my life over the past year and a half. I came to you at the hardest time in my life when I felt so lost and ashamed of a lot of things I was feeling. You have helped me to feel proud of who I am and believe in myself. Your patience and kindness has been so much appreciated and although there will still be times when I find things hard to cope with, you have shown me I can be strong through anything. I will always be so grateful for the way you have listened without judgement. You have been an inspiration to me in many ways and you are the most honest, caring and authentic person I have met, which is why I was able to trust you from the beginning. I wish you every happiness in your own life and a future filled with all the lovely things you deserve. Thank you again for the immeasurable change you have made to my life and my emotional well-being. I will never forget it.’
‘As a professional independent 49 year old lady I unexpectedly experienced a very dark time feeling anxious, stressed & depressed. I attended weekly therapy sessions with Dawnie who guided me through my darkness to allow me to understand my feelings & anxieties. With Dawnie support I have found my self esteem again and have a better understanding of who I am.I’m out of my dark place but my awareness and self preservation is wiser & much stronger. Counselling was an unknown to me but saved my sanity and gave me back my confidence to look forward to life and cherish every moment.’
‘After an eventful few years, I was becoming very anxious, and although my life was, “on paper,” going well, i did not feel I was in tandem with it. I am a strong person and previous counsellors had just said I was very in control and together and did not understand what I was searching for and needing, or simply acted as a quiet listener, but I needed more. Dawnie was the first counsellor I’d met who really understood me, my personality and what I needed. She has the perfect mix of empathy and intuition with the right mix of listening and providing intelligent, learned and academic insight. I am still using the tools she helped me find within myself and I feel much more at peace. Dawnie has helped me to see myself and restore my faith in others.’
Female GP, 40s
‘You’ve helped me get back on track with life and made me feel so much better about myself. I value my health a lot more – swimming three times a week and going on a couple of bike rides a day as well as starting an old passion of mine again – taekwondo! I’ve had a wonderful commission which has been a great experience which has lead to more job opportunities! I eat a lot healthier and have lost a stone and a half over the past 6 weeks! I’m also more comfortable with myself and ended up being truthful with my partner about my feelings and its made us a lot closer and made me apreciate him a lot more. I’m so happy with everything in my life and honestly, I wouldn’t be where I am now without you and your help, I will never forget it.’
Female Artist, early 20s
‘For a good few years I have suffered from anxiety and bouts of depression. These times were alien to my usual mindset and in truth I was a little lost with why they were happening and what to do to move past them. This is why I sought help. My visits to see Dawnie started with discussion into where my problems may be routed, she helped me to cut out the noise of uncertainty and gave me the focus to pinpoint areas of my life which I could actively work on, and also to recognise the negative habits in myself that I could overcome on my own with a more positive way of thinking. She speaks with emotion being prevalent in our conversations, yet with a learned authority that feels trustworthy and correct. I would also say that at times when I have been at real low points and have gone to see her, she has been my strongest advocate, she sees the good in people and translates that into sessions where I left feeling refreshed and very positive about the way forward. I have recently transitioned from regularly visiting her as I feel a lot more stable in my life, but I now view the counselling process as being more than a fix when there is no other alternative, in fact I view it as being something which I shall use occasionally as a preventative measure in the future. Kind of like getting a sports massage before a marathon. I have no qualms whatsoever in recommending Dawnie for the counselling process. Her calm disposition and gentle yet firm reassuring nature made me feel almost immediately welcome and safe in an environment that was new and a bit scary.’
Male Firefighter, 30s,
‘I went for counselling because my mind felt like a ball of wool that had got tangled up. I couldn’t sort it out myself and knew that I needed help and guidance to take it apart and untangle it. I’d had counselling before through my GP and many years before through work. The recurring theme however was always that I could have 6-8 sessions. Every time I was aware that I had to “get better” in that time frame and yes I always felt better after a few weeks but the issues were never fully resolved. This time I was determined not to have any constraints on the number of sessions I needed. It was going to be my decision and I believe that is one of the reasons I feel in a totally different place today. Dawnie has helped me in so many different ways to sort out that tangled mess in my head and that, at times, was ruining my life. Through her guidance I have been able to come to terms with my past, realise that not everything that has gone wrong has been my fault and to look forward to the future. I will always be a “worrier” but I now feel calmer and able to think clearer in situations that may in the past have made me panic. I have recognised that somewhere inside me is a strong person and that I can cope. I have accepted that there are things that have happened in the past that I cannot change and that is fine. I cannot thank you enough for your patience, understanding and care through my 3 year journey. It has made such a difference to my life. I will always remember these times. ‘Thank you so much for everything you have done for me and for helping me find ‘me’. With love and all good wishes for your dreams and future.’
‘Thank you for taking me to the place emotionally that finally allowed me to have a child and helped the three of us become a family.’
‘I want to say thank you so much for all of your amazing time and efforts spent in understanding and helping me through some of the toughest and darkest times. You are an amazing person and counsellor and after many sessions felt like a friend. Your words, comfort and knowledge really did help me from a spiralling scary plummet of depression and anxiety to the climb back to freedom and self-care and understanding of how just to be me! You helped me see and realise things I didn’t even notice myself. I wish you all the very best in life as you deserve it. I will always keep you in mind for any future set backs and will carry you in my thoughts and heart on my darkest of days. They still do emerge from time to time but with the knowledge I gained from you – I bounce back!! 🙂 Have a wonderful christmas and new year. I am excited for a new year! Thank you for the laughs, even when I cried! 🙂 ‘
‘I sought counselling because I found myself in the middle of a prolonged period of feeling undervalued at work, and even more specifically, feeling like what I had to say was not important to those I work with. I was having feelings of being silenced at work which really compromised my voice. I was also in the middle of a period in my relationship where I felt that my partner was always nagging me and treating me unfairly. Counselling was a good way for me to come to terms with these feelings and get to grips with how to process them. In the simplest sense, just having someone other than a close friend or loved one to talk about these feelings really helped me. But I have to say I really liked the emphasis that Dawnie placed on body awareness and breathing for coming to terms with my feelings of self-dissatisfaction. Through a focus on the body (my body) an awareness of all the seemingly unrelated pangs, twangs, sensations, movements and the like really seemed to make a difference to me. Listening to the guttural, the palpitation, and the nerves provide a huge amount of information to me for thinking about whatever my situation might be. I really enjoyed this part of the process. I feel much more attuned to my body now and how it relates to my mental acuity. Dawnie showed me a really interesting way of thinking about my day to day experience.’
‘Thank you for all of the help and support you have given me over the past year. It has truly changed my life for ever! You have shown me the meaning of ‘Shine bright like a diamond’. Thank you.’
Becky, age 24
‘I first came to Dawnie in October 2015, after having crippling anxiety attacks, intrusive images and constant low mood as a result of a traumatic experience. Immediately, I felt safe comfortable and able to express everything I felt under her care. Day to day life was becoming increasingly difficult, and after I discovered my problems were due to an onset of OCD disorder, me and Dawnie tackled the issues I was facing week to week, at my pace, whatever felt best for me. It was a great relief to finally share my problem with someone who genuinely cared, and acted as a saviour in such a dire time. With a mixture of verbal counselling and breathing exercises, which included methods to manipulate or control your breathing to help bodily functions, within months I was beginning to feel positive affects of my work, back to feeling myself again. During a time when I thought I would be ‘stuck this way forever’ or ‘doomed’ Dawnie reassured me and kept the upmost confidence in me every step of the way. Whatever your issue I believe she will be the best solution, for the most worrying problem or traumatic event, Dawnie will be able to help you no matter what the issue, and her clients who’s lives have dramatically improved are a testament to this statement. After my work with Dawnie, I can confidently say I am back to how I was before my trouble began, and will remember all of the advice and techniques for breath perception I have learned from her throughout my life, and will help me for future stressful or difficult events. Do not hesitate to seek help quickly, your darkest times are merely temporary and such a small part of your huge life, and will make you ready to cope with any future hurdles. I would particularly recommend breath perception offered by Dawnie to anxiety sufferers of any form, it dramatically improved my day to day life and made my OCD irrelevant when I chose. Good luck and never give up.’
‘Hello Dawnie! I hope your are well and your 2016 has been lovely for you so far. I guess i’m emailing you because I am about to move to Falmouth in Cornwall for university to study textiles! Not sure if we talked about that or not. And mostly to say thank you for helping me through a bit of a rough patch in my life so far and helping me come out as a better and happier person. I really feel like you found my confidence and love and helped it come out! You are a wonderful and beautiful person and I am really happy that I got to spend time with you and be influenced by your good nature. Thanks again Dawnie.’
Minty J, age 18 (15-16 at the time of counselling)
‘I was upset and needed someone to talk to who wasn’t going to judge me. I was always upset and dwelling on the past. I feel I have accepted the past and am moving on and becoming more aware of how I need to act and talk to people so everyone is happy including me’.
Female client, age 14
‘I would like to take this opportunity to say thank you for your help during my difficult time. You have given me support I will never forget. I am confident in saying I’m leaving you in a much better state than when I began.’
Josh, age 15
‘After suffering a bereavement in the family and changes to the dynamics there I was feeling low. Also I had started to self harm and it was starting to impact on some of my relationships. The service I received was very good, I was offered a space away from all the pressure of pleasing people and feeling concerned for others. I was able to voice my thoughts without feeling like I was hurting anyone. It was really good to have someone who wasn’t connected to the situations listen to me and I felt understood. I am able to feel like I have the control and ability to change things in my life. Not so lost in my own head so I have the tools to improve things.’
Female, age 30
‘After an abrupt end to a 14 year relationship – I found myself in a state of shock and blamed myself for the relationship ending. I had no idea my partner was intending to end the relationship. One minute I was writing a shopping list and the next I was being asked to leave and packing a suitcase. Soon after leaving I found he had another woman staying at the house. I was in a very dark place emotionally and not sure how to deal with the situation. Dawnie came recommended and it was so easy talking to her she allowed me to download my thoughts and help me realise I was not to blame. This was an invaluable experience to me. Having someone to listen and help me accept what had happened and see the relationship for what it really was. Helping me understand and realise my worth as a person. I have found myself again. I can now be happy and contented and at ease with myself. I find myself singing and dancing round the bedroom. Whatever the future holds I know it will by my choice as I am now strong enough to be the real me. I feel like I have been given a new set of wings and can fly like a bird in the sky. Before going to see Dawnie I walked around with my head down and not wanting to face the world.’
Female client, 60s
‘I cannot put into words how much your support has helped me to get through this year, as well as making me accept myself for who I am, and to see the beauty in that. Despite the recent set backs, I can confidently say that I am in a much better place than I was a year ago. I have the confidence to go out into the world in the knowledge that it’s ok to be me. You are a very special person, and I feel honoured and incredibly lucky to have been able to share some time with you.’
(Nine months after counselling ended) ‘I have strength, courage and peace in my life, and you have played a vital role in that. I am not afraid to step out of my comfort zone, and I am not afraid to be me. Thank you, from the bottom of my heart.’
Student of Durham University, age 21
‘I came for counselling because I had just broken up with my boyfriend and my closest friend had fallen out with me, I was cutting myself and nearly committed suicide. Dawnie is a good listener and also very kind. My quality of life has been impacted in that I am now a lot more confident in myself and a lot happier in general. I found ways to make new friends and got over the breakup and loss of friends.’
Female, age 17
‘After a long term relationship ended I spent three years trying to rebuild my life and create a better future. However despite trying to do this many things were impacting on my well-being which restricted me in achieving this goal. One minute I was up and the next I was down and all I wanted was to be on a level. People around were being affected and I knew I needed help for a long time before I finally made the decision to get some support. I had carried too much guilt and hurt from past experiences and knew I need to rid them if I wanted to move on with my life. The service received was exceptional; all my fears about receiving counselling were put at ease by the professional personal service provided. Every session was received provided a platform to rebuild which was expertly facilitated by Dawnie. Her approach is very calming providing a space where you feel comfortable to address your fears and dreams and develop a strategy for achieving them. The impact on my life has been nothing short of phenomenal in every sense. In my professional career I have gone to deliver a successful global project which spans Africa, China, Colombia and Europe. I have become once more a rock for my daughter and found love which I never thought I’d deserve. Most of all I have found and calmness and happiness in myself to achieve things which I thought I never could. I now look forward instead of back and know that I am on a path to happiness and stability, none of which I could of achieved without the help and support of Dawne. Dawnie is an excellent professional who works with you to achieve what you want to achieve. I have nothing but gratitude for the impact she has had on my life.’
‘I came to counselling because I was experiencing emotional difficulty through a negative situation at work (being bullied & intimated by my line manager). My confidence & self-esteem was very low & this was leading to anxiety whilst I was at work as well as being at home. Dawnie is easy to talk to & has made me feel so much better in myself & helped me understand my emotions & behaviour fully. I am a much happier person and feel I am back in control of my life again. As a result, my personal life, relationships & work life have improved as I am able to manage difficult situations with patience in a controlled calm manner.’
‘I started going to counselling because I felt like I had lost my way, and was in desperate need of guidance and comfort. I was at a confused point in my life and didn’t realise getting counselling would be the right option at the time. Honestly, absolutely incredible. It was so amazing to have a person to take time to listen and understand me in my time of trouble as well as help me out of that phase in my life. Without a doubt, life changing. I am more confident in my self and have less doubt in my abilities. I am now much happier and healthier’.
Female, age 15
‘I came to counselling because of frustrations at work mainly where I did not feel appreciated and on occasion I would shout first and think afterwards. This hampered my career and my personal life and I used to get angry all the time. This was my first time at counselling and I feel that the service I got was second to none. Dawnie has a way of putting you at ease and I felt like I could talk to her as if I had known her for many years. Never once did I feel I feel uneasy or being directed down a path I did not want to go. As time went by I looked forward recommend Dawnie without reservation. My quality of life has improved dramatically since my counselling. Life’s little hurdles that would have derailed me in the past are now dealt with without a seconds thought. I feel much happier in my own skin and can look at the glass definitely half full. There are still challenges to deal with every day but I feel much more equipped to take most anything on without stress or worry. All in all I am a happier person.’
Male client, 40s
After struggling for three years to conceive which included various infertility treatments, I became extremely down and completely exhausted by the whole process. In addition to this, my husband and I were experiencing difficulties stemming from my relationship with his daughter (from a previous marriage) and the complications and upset this was causing. Having been absent from work for some time due to stress from the above, my employer referred me to Dawnie for help. I felt immediately at ease with Dawnie from our first phone call and I was keen to meet her. She made me feel safe in the environment we were in and assured that what we discussed was completely confidential. Dawnie listened to me without interrupting, without opinion and without judgement. She helped me off load the problems clashing around in my mind and helped me consider them individually which in turn allowed me to consider them as smaller entities which was a lot less daunting.After each session I felt more in control of my life and able to see more clearly. Dawnie has an extremely calming presence and her non judgemental approach made it feel safe confiding in her. I will always be grateful to Dawnie for helping me through a very difficult time and for helping me recognise qualities in myself and that I was actually a good person. I feel more happy, confident, in control and calmer than ever before. Its like I am looking at the world through a new pair of eyes!
Female client, 30s
‘I wasn’t sure about going for counselling but after the session I knew it was the very best thing for me. The service I received was first class and Dawnie made it very easy for me to express myself. I had problems with my father for years. He was verbally abusive to me, my mam, sister, even belittling his own grand children. This had made the last 10 years very hard. I can only say that counselling has really improved my quality of life and I would recommend it to anyone having problems’.
Male client, 50s
‘Living with HIV, there’s a lack of people you can trust. Since the government came in and Bedroom Tax, I have had no one to help with stuff to do with housing at my local council and it’s been eating me away inside. Anxiety. Depression. Feeling isolated. The doctors give you tablets as if it’s a bad back but it’s more than that. To feel ‘safe’. To know that someone really cares and to be able to talk and bounce things off someone you can trust, who is not judging. It’s what I’ve needed all along. I got a lot off my chest. Being able to have emotional and practical help and advice. Sometimes it’s just the simple things but the simple things get too much when you’re living with HIV and how it impacts your life.’
Male client, 40s living with HIV
‘Coming for counselling was like coming towards the light. And then I found the light in me. I feel like my demons have been washed away and I am free.’
‘I didn’t think therapy would work at all but it really does. I feel comfortable to say things I wouldn’t say anywhere else and Dawnie asks me questions which really help me think about and understand myself and who I am. Sometimes I come and I don’t know what to say, then Dawnie asks me questions and it’s like something that was waiting there in the back of my mind comes out and I talk about it then it goes. I have learned how important it is to express my anger and I know my future will be much better because I have experienced counselling.’
Male, late teens
‘I sought help because I felt I had lost self confidence and had negative thoughts about my life. I was very unhappy and had no sense of self worth. Dawnie made me feel relaxed and at ease and I was therefore able to open up to her and talk freely from day 1. She helped me look at life, past and present, from a different perspective. I feel I have been given permission to feel miserable at times without feeling guilty. I now know I do matter and have a more positive outlook on life in general. I was very satisfied with the service provided as it has enriched my life’.
‘It’s been inspirational. I didn’t think counselling would be like that but it has. I’ve found myself’.
Female, early 20s
‘Before Counselling I couldn’t see a future. Now, I am whole and looking forward to talking to my partner about the important things in life, things we’ve never spoken about.’
‘At the edge of awareness lies the chance to
let go and meet from the heart’.
‘Thank you so much for helping me to believe in myself again!’
Female with history of bullying, age 21
‘The reason i came to counselling was anxiety as a result of 6 months of mystery illness. Not knowing what was wrong caused huge anxieties, worrying that I was simply going to die. Not only was the uncertainty an awful thing to have on my mind for so long while I had to continue preparing for my GCSE exams but after being rushed into A and E by ambulance several times, I was taken into hospital where I stayed for a week. After I came out I only had two weeks until the start of my exams therefore I had not revised enough (causing more anxiety) but also I just wanted a normal life getting used to my diagnosis (ulcerative colitis). Talking about everything that has happened this year and knowing that Dawnie understood what I had been through really helped me to understand and analyse the emotions I was experiencing. Being able to be honest about how I truly thought I was going to die enabled me to realise that my emotions weren’t irrational. With Dawnie’s support i realised that it was okay to be affected by what I had gone through and she helped me realised that what I had been through this year has shaped who I am today. My feelings of anxiety decreased a lot while I was having counselling with Dawnie, and since, I have almost completely overcome my anxiety with the help of Dawnie’s techniques and the way she advised me to think but also breathe. With her guidance, I have become a more empathetic and compassionate person and instead of being affected badly by my experience she has helped me to instead gain from my situation and become a wiser person and view my experience from a more positive angle.’
Female, age 16
‘Truly wonderful, you really helped me identify when I was spiralling, how things in my past were still affecting me, how to put my life into perspective, and to identify the things that I am truly good at. Very helpful, never judgemental, and I felt it was a process that we went through together, not simply you telling me how to get better. A true learning exercise. My quality of life is so much better, I worry far less about insignificant things, I am able to identify when I start to panic, and I am getting better at being able to strategize for it. I am able to see my faults, but deal with them instead of worry about them’.
Male, mid 20s
‘I was having serious emotional breakdowns due to stress and anxiety. I began to fall out with my friends and upset my family members. The stress and anxiety increased to a level where I began to self-harm and I even considered taking my own life. Eventually I reached out for help and my Mother sought out to bring me to counselling. I was very happy with the service. As the sessions progressed I found that my problems were gradually disappearing thanks to the techniques and advice given to me. I have a new found zest for life again and I haven’t had a single breakdown since I began counselling. The things that used to worry me before have stopped bothering me as much and my confidence has vastly improved. I am also getting on better with my friends and family and I am much happier with my life. Words can’t describe how much confidence I have now and that’s thanks to you. I can never forget you. Thank you so much’.
Female, age 14
‘Before Counselling I was feeling really bad about myself. Now, I understand myself more and feel lots better. I have made friends and been able to go to places where there are lots of people and feel more comfortable. The relaxation CD was really good. It helped me calm down, relax and sleep. You have helped so much.’
Male, age 13
‘Working with Dawnie I felt accepted and safe to express feelings that felt overwhelming. Now I understand that difficult feelings will come but they will pass and they are not all of me. I learned to accept myself for who I am and found my path in life.’
‘Counselling was not easy but the questions Dawnie asked helped me to understand myself, my experience and the reasons why my situation had developed as it had. The morning after my first session I woke up and knew for the first time ‘none of this was my fault’. Dawnie gave me back ownership of my own feelings. Her help to me was massive… professional, sympathetic and self enlightening.’
Female, late 50s