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- Anonymous and with client's permission

Counselling Student

I sought personal therapy on the basis of fulfilling a requirement to complete 40 hours minimum as part of my Advanced Diploma in Counselling course. Having already experienced working with two previous counsellors I was drawn to Lisa by the experience
and broad integrative approach she offered.
Although the requirement for therapy is designed to allow course students to benefit from a process of self-exploration, self-examination and reflection on self in relation to others, I approached it with little idea as to what I might be looking to focus on.
I quickly found Lisa to be warm, engaging, non-judgemental, with really good listening skills yet gently and positively challenging of me and as a consequence felt comfortable and safe to explore matters that I had been neglecting, particularly regarding relationships - Lisa didn’t tell me what I should do, or try and fix things but helped me explore what it was that I felt I wanted to do in order to build healthier and more positive relationships, how I might make better choices and how I might work on strategies to sustain those positive changes.
In particular, she helped me clarify my thinking, recognise some unhelpful assumptions I had, together with obstacles that inhibited me learning more about my responses to situations and relationships. Lisa regularly used reframing as a way of helping me see
particular matters and relationships from a different perspective – I found this a very productive intervention.
During the course of our sessions Lisa helped me explore my feelings about my close personal and family relationships, current and historical, and their continuing impact on me and how I might better recognise this and so make choices about what sort of changes I
might want to make.
In reflecting on those historical and current issues, Lisa helped me explore the balance between my cognitive/rational and emotional way of thinking about, understanding and managing relationships and situations. This led to us working on helping me to gain a deeper awareness of my emotions – recognising them and exploring them, where previously I had perhaps ignored, suppressed or denied them. During the course of our work I started to accept them, think about them and their possible origins and can now better process them. This led to a feeling of ‘congruence’ where my behaviours, words and actions are more aligned with how I am feeling.
This work has also had a consequence in that I am better able to ‘feel’ the emotions of others, offer empathy and develop healthier relationships in my personal and professional life.

53 year old female 

I contacted Lisa after a recommendation, this was to seek support for some help in dealing  with some deep rooted family issues from my childhood and work related stress.

I wasn’t quite sure what to expect and felt quite anxious but knew I needed to deal with some ongoing worries which were impacting my sleep and overall wellbeing.


Lisa helped me to feel at ease immediately and our sessions started with some assessment tools which helped me to feel more relaxed.


We met weekly at the start and then as things improved I changed the frequency of the meetings, there was no pressure from Lisa and I always felt Lisa picked up on small things gently. She helped my challenge my thoughts and explore my emotions around these.

She helped with practical strategies to support some of the physical feelings I was experiencing and also gave me useful articles to read and worksheets to do in my own time if I wanted to. This helped me to reflect and give time to the things I was dealing with. I found journaling helpful to look at my journey over the weeks I met with Lisa and feel I have made real progress in dealing with some very difficult feelings.


I feel this support has been invaluable as I now have much better family relationships, healthy boundaries  and I am much calmer. I am sleeping better and the feelings of being hyper alert have gone. I am able to recognise when I need to stop and put in more self-care and to value my own personal needs. I have made changes to my life for the better and I would highly recommend her support.

Male 59. Came with anxiety and concerns about the relationship impact of partner's drinking.

"I attended regular sessions with Lisa for six months to help me with dealing with some difficult relationships in my life. I immediately felt safe, comfortable and ready to tackle some very sensitive issues when meeting Lisa for the first time. I had been to see a therapist in the past but found him to be cold and because I couldn't relate to him, I was unable to open up and speak completely honestly."


Lisa's approach draws on lots of different disciplines and I really appreciated how she dipped in and out of these creatively. At the end of each session Lisa helped to identify what we had achieved and often provided reading and other relevant resources that were helpful. I found the process of clearly identifying a starting point and goals in the first session and then re-evaluating the progress at the closing session particularly valuable as it helped me to understand and consolidate my new approach to life and relationships. Lisa is amazingly compassionate, yet insightful. Her constructive  and perceptive approach helped me to get back in contact with the real me and feel happy again. 

Male 19. Came with anxiety and bereavement of mum.

“When i started counselling i never thought i would get to where i am today. But i did with the help and support of Lisa. She was very understanding and spoke with me in an adult and respectful way.
Lisa showed techniques and strategies to help me through my problems, even when i didn’t know what they were myself. i am sincerely grateful for lisa’s help and guidance and would highly recommend her help and counselling to anyone.”


Female, 26. Come to process and release abusive relationship.

"I found the therapy to be very helpful. Expert knowledge."

Female 40, Came with anxiety and depression.

"I went on a journey of real personal growth with Lisa. She helped me take back control of my life and re-connect with my body, challenging unhealthy coping mechanisms and introducing healthy ones to manage anxiety and improve my overall mental and physical health. I feel much more balanced, steady and safe despite challenging personal circumstances. My self-esteem and feelings of self-worth have improved dramatically as a result of introducing boundaries, making healthier life choices and prioritising myself. As a result of my sessions with Lisa, I know how to self-soothe and I’m learning to be more assertive. The change I can see in myself is more than I ever expected. Thank you Lisa!"

"I am a 50 year old cancer patient struggling with anxiety and depression, resulting from my diagnosis, as well as the loss of loved ones, and the stress of my husband being a victim of discrimination in the workplace. As I was overwhelmed by it all, I reached out for help and was put in contact with Lisa Finch. Talking with Lisa has been eye-opening. She has helped me learn to prioritise myself and my family and lighten my load. I had no idea, how much effort, I was putting into trying to make everyone else happy at the expense of my mental health. She has given me strategies that have enabled me to get my stress and anxiety under control and I am beginning to feel much more positive and hopeful. This has also led to conversations with family and friends and has greatly benefitted us all. We are having more open and honest conversations and are all much happier. I am very grateful for her help and would highly recommend her to anyone struggling with their mental health." 

Female 26. Came with relationship anxiety and co-dependency.

"I found counselling helpful in giving me awareness of the importance of boundaries. Counselling is like finding a good listening ear for these self-asked questions - Your own advice is the best advice, so helpful to be enabled to hear yourself."

Male 53. Came with anxiety and work stress.

"I found talking to Lisa, easy and comfortable. To able to be open and honest and the resources helped me no end. It got me back to work sooner than expected."

Female 24. Came with anxiety.

"I feel more equipped to deal with life and understand the importance of self-care. I would recommend counselling to anyone, you can only have things to grain from it - Nothing to lose!"

Male 61. Came with anxiety and depression.

"To me, it's so worth it. To be able to talk to someone without recrimination and without worries, like putting on Loved Ones, can be so unburdening. To have a proper discussion, rather than it all going around and around in your head, is very helpful. I feel much more able to control myself and regulate my feelings."

Female 44. Came with anxiety and agoraphobia. 

"The sessions have been absolutely fantastic. It has opened my mind to thinking and seeing things differently. In such a busy world, especially with Covid, you can forget about yourself! I have learnt to love myself and appreciate myself. I am now proud of myself."

Male 28. Came with self-sabotage behaviour. 

"Mental health stigma made me nervous, but having the space to talk freely, without bias or judgement, has been really helpful."

Female 47, Came with anxiety.

'My mantra has always been to 'get on with it', somehow if I keep moving, the washing machine of thoughts churning within my mind and belly will magically disappear. Movement kept me busy 'doing, doing, doing'.  But inner healing doesn't require movement. It requires stillness. 

Lisa, via her care and compassion, enabled me to be still, and then look within. To listen. She pierced through my automated thinking, and taught me the power of learning to be still - to listen, truly listen from my heart/gut and then trust and take courage from what is revealed to me. Especially when I don't want to face  certain truths. Often it has been far easier for me to be seduced by the  fantasy of the 'what ifs'  even when I expose myself to  self-sabotage and dilute my potency.  Lisa reminded me of the tremendous value and wisdom of connecting to my own inner power source, that all answers lie within - if we dare to be still and listen,  and for that I am incredibly grateful to her."

Female 24. Came with health concerns and low mood. Was feeling unhappy all the time and having scary thoughts, not experienced before. "Speaking to Lisa has comforted me and helped me realise, feeling my problems were insignificant or small in my world, was not helpful to me. Talking to someone in a safe space stops you spiralling. Often there is a stigma about talking to people. I found choosing to speak to someone was a strong decision and I wish have done it sooner!"

Female 48. Came with work stress, with fear of PTSD being re-triggered. "Counselling really helped me get over a difficult period. Now I have strategies to take into the future. I’ve learnt so much.

We can tell ourselves, or are told by others to ‘just get over it’ – We need help to move forward sometimes, rather than staying in situations because we can’t see the wood for the trees, and end up feeling helpless. "

Female 58, Had a bereavement, and come with work stress. “In the end I looked forward to coming to counselling, it was really positive in helping me to develop strategies and things. Lisa accurately pinpointed the issues I had, that I didn’t even realise myself and with supporting information, I gained understanding in what was happening with me physically – I wasn’t just going mad. I wasn’t alone in my thoughts and feelings, and now I feel I have some control back.”

Female 37, Came with bereavement. “I felt like I was drowning in my emotions while trying to tread water. Now I feel I have learnt to swim. Counselling helped me to see things as they are, as opposed to my way of thinking being overwhelmed with my grief.”

Male 53, Came with anxiety, bereavement and grief. "I was lost with no direction, not knowing which way to turn. I was helped to focus, gained my confidence back to make correct decisions in taking my life forward, after the experiences I've had."

Male 63. Came with work stress anxiety. "I was consumed with circumstances beyond by control. I was lost and could not find my way, physically or mentally, and now because I came (to counselling) those circumstances no longer affect me. I’ve taken control. Sometimes you need help to gain control, Lisa helped me to do this."

Male 44, Came with anxiety and low confidence. "With the help and techniques, I felt my confidence grow. I learnt how to deal with hard situation and how to move on from them e.g. Lockdown! I now have techniques to deal with them and has brought me to this stage, where I can deal with things by myself better, not perfectly, but can deal with everyday situations. I believe in myself and my abilities now.


Female 40, Came to counselling after a traumatic incident at work. "I found it very helpful, non-judgemental and easy to talk to Lisa. I was able to build my confidence back up."

Female 54, Came with financial and difficult family issues. "Lisa helped me find understanding, techniques and problem-solving strategies, to manage my issues, rather than me just moaning about them!" 


"I am a woman of 74 and came to Lisa for counselling sessions over some months. She was always professional, pleasant and polite and certainly helped me to come to terms with many aspects of my life, both past and present. There is no doubt that the name Fresh Focus is an apt one and I would certainly recommend anyone to get in touch with her to bring a new perspective to problems. Lisa has many years of experience in her line of work – and it shows." 

Male 40, "I came to see Lisa after the break down of my marriage. I was very against counselling as I have always come from a very

macho back ground, however I cannot stress how much this opinion has changed. It has helped me so much and uncovered problems in my life that I was totally unaware of. I would leave my sessions feeling enriched and I would recommend counselling to anyone now and certainly recommend Lisa. I feel that I have grown so much as a person through my sessions and am a better stronger more confident person."  

Female 59, Came with low mood. "I started seeing Lisa a few months ago with very low mood and didn't know what to do. She has helped me through my bad times and am feeling much happier now. I am more confident and can cope with the problems I face."

Male 54, Came with anger issues. "I have been able to realise that what my Dad did, and what he does, is out of my control. It is not my problem any more."

Male 37, Came with anxiety. "I was quite a sceptic. I didn't know what to expect, but as I leave I find myself open minded, more confident, more positive, more structured and feel I have the ability to recognise and cope with any future anxiety."

Female 31 yrs. Came with anxiety. “You’ve been so helpful – really easy to talk. It was good to offload without being shut down.”

Female 38 yrs, "Lisa provided a safe place to explore my issues to the level I wanted. She guided and supported me to find solutions that I needed to move forward."

Female 43 yrs, “Coming to counselling really helped me to find the ‘why’ and helped me to process, deal and move on with my issues. Lisa is really lovely and easy to talk to!”

​Female, 24 yrs, Came with anxiety. "Thank you - you really helped me – more ways than I thought. Its sounds cheese but its really turned my life around. I wake up everyday feeling positive – even if I have a hangover!"

​Male, 61 yrs, Wanted to build confidence for public speaking. “Go and see Lisa, she’ll help you! She taught me some techniques that I needed to build my confidence!”

​Female, 41 yrs. Came confused, anxious and tired. "Being listened to was a massive benefit to my on-going issues – really helped me feel at ease and talk things through with positive outcomes." 

Male, 40's. Came with drinking concerns. "I like the approach, the partnership is not overbearing – felt very supported – that is the key."

​Female, 35 yrs. Came for overwhelmed mood.  “Nice friendly person, puts you at ease…”
​Female, 45 yrs. Came for support with son, who has Asperger's. "Refreshing to be able to open up and not feel judged – this was huge for me"

Male,  44 yrs. Came for anxiety and panic attacks. “My thoughts are, its been helpful….simple fact had severe anxiety and stress and after a few meetings with Lisa, it felt this had lifted. "

​Female, 27 yrs. Came to manage loss. "Sessions were the right length (7 sessions), relaxed and friendly environment"

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