My name is Lisa Finch and I am an Accredited Integrative Humanistic Counsellor/Psychotherapist & Supervisor. This means that I work with mind, body, heart and soul - The whole person. I draw on many theoretical backgrounds to underpin my work, including Person Centred, Transactional Analysis, Psychodynamic, Gestalt, Existential, CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy & Motivational Interviewing), NLP (Neuro-Linguistic Programming) Structural & Systemic Family Therapy, Attachment Theory and Solution Focus, to name quite a few. I also draw on other schools of thought, where appropriate, for example mindfulness, meditation, neuroscience, the philosophy of yoga, Reiki, as well, as work with your belief system, whether spiritual or otherwise. I believe that we all we can find ways to make life better, even if our circumstances are very difficult.
In a nutshell, each person is unique and the counselling relationship is organic, so I work with adaptability, utilising the different approaches that best suit your personality, with compassionate, down to earth understanding of human nature. I aim to create a comfortable, private, safe space for you, so that you can offload, process unresolved issues, come to accept the things you can not change and find new energy and a freshfocus to change the things you can, and to feel good about it.
My personal journey into my professional development
I am in my 40’s and a mother of two. When they were very young I accessed a course that helped me to develop positive parenting skills. This helped me tremendously, on so many levels. As parents we can choose to bring up our children differently to how we ourselves, were parented - Seems obvious, but actually, it is surprising how we can just follow suit, if we do not think about it enough. This doesn't mean we have to necessarily be extremely different, but adaptive to our personal value systems and the times we live in.
I also became very aware and appreciative of my environment at this time, and the needs of the planet, to which the ways of our world, it seemed, didn’t care. There didn’t seem to be enough care about trees, recycling or global warming. In fact, I realised, we hardly cared for ourselves. In the self help books I was reading then, I learnt that that first you must find self-love – a concept that is still difficult for most of us to comprehend to this day. This is how and why I decided to enter the ‘caring industry’ and started my counselling training in 1999. I qualified with a CPCAB European Diploma in Therapeutic Counselling in 2002 at Redlands, Bournemouth, Dorset.
In 2001 I started a volunteer course for HomestartUK and for two years, I supported families in crisis, with at least one child under five years old. My role was to ‘befriend’ the family, be a listening ear and assist them in accessing community based services to establish an independent support network. I also worked in a rest home at this time, and developed some rewarding relationships with the elderly residents - to this day, I often think of these people, their life stories they shared, the values that they had come to realise with their life experience and their views on immortality.
Whilst I was at my final counselling placement, I became acutely aware that drugs and alcohol could affect a person’s ability to heal through therapy, so I trained at EDAS – Essential Drug Advisory Services. I also volunteered for them as an adult service-user advisor.
In 2003 I was invited by the Chief Executive, to start employment in their young people’s drug and alcohol service, as an Outreach Worker. I gave education in the youth clubs and schools, as well as providing one to one counselling. Many of the young people had complex needs; their issues sometimes included self-harm, peer pressure, bereavement, anxiety,depression and other mental health issues, anger problems, and family difficulties. Poor school attendance, employment and housing problems were also common issues. Sometimes it was appropriate to access other services such as CAMHS (Child & Adolescent Mental Health Service.) or Social Services to provide a stronger supporting network. My additional roles to the one to one work has varied over the years and I had the opportunity to set up projects such as an after-care programme, self-esteem group workshops, good practice team training/consultation meetings, activity programmes and piloted a parent support service.
I have seen many different kinds of people through my one to one work; age range being from 12 years up, my eldest client being 83
(Eldest resident at the rest home was 100!). Everybody’s life is unique but it seems each of us reach points during our time where it becomes overwhelming, and to talk to someone, safely and privately, outside of our close ones, can really help to clear the mind, release painful feelings, come to terms with our losses; find strategies that help us deal with difficult circumstances or relationships and move through to a freshfocus with more positivity, resilience and confidence. I love this work; it feels an honour to see people grow stronger and happier. See more below - 15 years in
To under pin my work with parents & carers, I achieved my Accredited AFT Foundation Certificate in Family Therapy and Systemic Practise in 2009. I then established and piloted my second family support service. My role was to work for the family unit, maybe with one parent or grandparent but would frequently involved mediation if both parents/carers attended, and often included the siblings.
Significant changes to styles of communication within the family can strengthen the executive decision makers’ position (carer(s) in charge) and their delegation of responsibility. It can enable safer boundaries implementation for the young person(s), reduce the risk of volatile conflict, as well as giving them space to grow and develop self-orientation, which will support them in their life choices as they become more independent. Transitions of the life stages for each family member can often be difficult, where adjustment of expectations in roles change and sense of identity can be questioned.
I feel passionate about family life because no matter how a family is made up, the way we treat each other will shape our lives, impact on how we relate to other people and the kind of personal relationships we have, and ultimately, how we feel about ourselves.
As I have trained and worked in the caring profession I have experienced many supervisors and styles of supervision, good and bad. Right from the beginning I realised just how important supervision is, checking my input with my clients; developing my personal awareness and internal observer. Even more importantly, experience has taught me that the supervisory relationship itself can be a catalysis for open and honest reflection and is paramount to professional practice and level of capacity to be there for the clients. This led me to qualify as a Humanistic Counselling Supervisor, with a CPCAB Level 6 Therapeutic Supervision qualification 2012 and have provided over 500hrs of supervision and supervision of supervision - working with managers, counselling supervisors, and trainee counsellors and supervisors, as well as teachers and alternative therapists.
In 2010 I decided to offer private counselling support and have invested in freshfocus, a service created with you and me in mind. I aim to respond to clients as quickly as possible, not keeping you waiting or being restricted by time limted therapy - If I do not have space I will recommend other counsellors, that I trust.
My aim is to be there for clients who wish to find and sustain a way of living that enables them – you – to take care of the matters that are important to you and to discover ways that can help you to maintain healthy positive energy and mental health.
Generally, I aim to work with my clients and the issues they bring, find light in their lives, where at times it can be very dark ; help them to develop a safe-care routine and a sustainable and healthy relationship with themselves.
15 Years in...
As from April 2016 I am (British Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy) BACP Accredited in Psychotherapy & Counselling – that means I have the rubber stamp approval from the British Association of Psychotherapy and Counselling and deemed to meet 'the quality standard for a competent experienced practitioner and professional recognition of the quality of your practice.'
In 2018, I professionally qualified as a BACP Level 5 Counsellor for Young People. This qualification underpins my extensive experience and has provided me with up-to-date knowledge and skills in the development of young people, physically, neurologically, psychologically and socially, along with the issues they face in today's pressurised society. This is to align with the new government green paper initiative to expand access to counselling, supported by the BACP, for young people. My aim is to continue to offer counselling to them and supervision to other young people counsellors. This knowledge also helps with my family work and adult clients.
I have undertaken extensive training in trauma, abuse and attachment, and continue to develop my understanding and capacity in working with PTSD, dissociative survivors, and those who have attachment disorders (BPD and EUPD) - often suffering with disabilities, depression and anxiety.
In 2017 I relocated from Bournemouth to Poole and have focussed on developing my services further in this area.