Tracey Lowden - Marlow Counsellor

Some experiences of my work

My work is flexible, focused on each individual client. People may present with similar issues but what works with one client is often different to what works for someone else. I listen empathically to your story and help you work out what is behind the difficulties that have brought you to counselling. We can then explore techniques that may help and the choices you face.

What differentiates my work is the way in which I bring together my life experiences, my previous business career, over 14 years counselling experience and my ongoing professional training and am able to apply them to your situation. I follow the latest research and guidance, and blend this with my intuition, insight and empathy to help you, rather than following a pre-set programme.

In addition to my more general counselling work, I notice 4 core areas where I work creatively:

Counselling Teenagers (click for more information)

The teenage years are full of transitions and pressures to achieve. Strategies that worked at one time, seem not to work anymore. It's confusing! I regularly work with teenagers who are struggling with the conflict of wanting independence from parents at the same time as wanting, and often needing, guidance. I help teenagers understand how these transitions are causing them problems and offer support without taking away their autonomy. Then, when they are clearer in their needs, I encourage them to seek ongoing support in their daily lives.

For other teenagers, it can be a time of awareness, of loss or of loneliness, as they face up to issues of their childhood. It is often useful to explore these emotions with a counsellor in a safe environment rather than struggle alone which can often lead to damaging coping behaviours, such as alcohol or eating issues.

Of particular importance in working with teenagers, who are in education, is understanding the academic timetable and the impact this has on their readiness and availability to work on emotional issues.

I have worked as a counsellor with teenagers for over 14 years, privately and in educational settings. I have an enhanced CRB check and a Post Graduate Certificate in Counselling Children, Young People and Families, awarded in 2007 by Buckinghamshire Mind.

I am an active member of the University and College Counsellors Division of the British Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy which issues guidelines and promotes good practice. I am also an active member of the Thames Valley University and College Counsellors which shares good practice and provides professional development opportunities.

Counselling Business People (click for more information)

Before retraining as a Counsellor, I worked successfully in a large Corporate Organisation and participated in many training programmes including a Directors Program at Cranfield Business School.

When I am working with business people, I find that I use a lot of this experience to help them look at the difficulties they are facing. Many clients have started to see me because of a particular issue in their personal lives but then continued to see me for ongoing reflective practice about them as a person and as a business manager. For example, it is not unusual for clients to realise their issues of avoiding conflict at home are also issues in their work.

"I came to see Tracey as a senior manager in a rapidly growing business and mother of two primary school children. I was losing confidence and feeling increasingly negative. Tracey talked through my challenges, gave me coping strategies and helped me regain control that I felt I had lost. Her business experience meant she offered practical solutions to workplace issues and relationships and I was able to develop a much more positive outlook in all areas of my life again."

Marketing Director

This area of expertise is consolidated by my work, for 6 years, as the Counsellor for Partners at John Lewis and by working as a counsellor with Executive Assistance Programmes and Private Health companies.

"Tracey has proved to be extremely reliable, flexible and accommodating with appointments. She has a great understanding of our business and works with both myself and the Partners to help them return to work at the earliest opportunity. Many of the Partners have commented how quickly Tracey helped them identify what lay behind the issues they were facing, and worked with them to develop tools and strategies that they could implement in their lives.

I would recommend Tracey to any organisation, or personally, for her professional, courteous and effective approach"

Occupational Health Advisor, The John Lewis Partnership

Counselling using CBT and Mindfulness (click for more information)

I have undertaken training in Cognitive Behavioural therapy (CBT) and Mindfulness at the Oxford Cognitive Therapy Centre and the Oxford Mindfulness Centre, both are parts of Oxford University.

I do not work with either as my main modality but frequently introduce aspects of both into my client work, especially with teenagers or for clients suffering from depression or anxiety.

An awareness of our thoughts, as just thoughts, can liberate people to choose how they react.

"You can't stop the waves, but you can learn to surf"

Kabat-Zinn 2004

Counselling using Positive Psychology (click for more information)

When people are really struggling with life, telling people to be positive and look at the good things in their lives is not helpful. However, there often comes a point when clients will say "I want to be happier". It's a simple request but what does it mean and how is it achieved?

"There is no one magic strategy that will help us become happier. All of us have unique needs, interests, values, resources and inclinations that undoubtedly predispose us to put more effort into and benefit from some strategies more than others."

Lyubomirsky, S. (2007). The how of happiness: a scientific approach to getting the life you want.

This area of human flourishing is of interest to me and in 2015 I completed a two year University Post Graduate Certificate in Applied Positive Psychology. On this course, I studied the science behind wellbeing and optimal human functioning for individuals, groups, communities and organisations.

This developing field of Psychology offers practical lessons for all of us to improve the quality of our lives so that we are not just trying to avoid mental illness but are actively practicing positive mental wellbeing.

"Life isn't just about waiting for the storm to pass; it's about learning to dance in the rain!"

Vivian Greene