About Denise Cooper
Approach to counselling
Denise is a counsellor and accredited psychotherapist working with individuals, couples and small groups. She also has many years experience working with families and young people.
She believes the right therapeutic relationship can provide a powerful foundation for understanding, change and growth. Starting with the problems and issues you bring to therapy, therefore, my style will be supportive, creative and flexible.
She offers Humanistic ‘Gestalt’-oriented counselling (this means taking a ‘whole person’ approach) and in therapeutic relationships like to work collaboratively to develop an understanding and growing awareness of how experiences, past and present, may be impacting you now - helping you work towards the change you want.
On a spectrum from ‘a bit low’ to ‘absolutely debilitated,’ depression is known as the ‘Black Dog’ because it can feel like a lingering sense of doom. Dark feelings of depression can result in pervasive despair or a sense of hopelessness that makes it hard to contemplate wellbeing or joy.
A sense of worthlessness or hopelessness can also develop over time, resulting in increased isolation, a lack of motivation, exhaustion and negative thinking. The difficulty of living with these symptoms can even lead to suicidal feelings.
In this state, in can be hard to get perspective on what might help you to feel better – and dealing with depression on your own can feel overwhelming. Over time, counselling can help you explore not just why you feel like this but also facilitate an understanding of your options and alternatives in life moving forward.
Anxiety can often manifest itself in physical symptoms such as bodily tension, racing heart, a sick or churning feeling in the stomach, shallow breathing and feelings of agitation and fear. Symptoms like these are often accompanied by negative thoughts and beliefs which can feel overwhelming.
Denise works with clients to manage their symptoms with techniques that may seem simple, but are often very effective. She will then go on to explore the underlying causes of anxiety or stress, and work on different ways of responding to the issues.
Anxious beliefs are often based on assumptions we may not be aware of. Sometimes, events in our life can produce an anxious response, for example the loss of a person close to us, stress at work, illness and life changes. The counselling relationship is an opportunity to face these changes with support.
Lots of people face difficulties in their relationships, and these are often resolved in a straightforward way. But when you feel ‘stuck’ it can be hard to know how to make positive changes. Relationship therapy does not seek to ‘keep you together’ or ‘drive you apart,’ it simply helps couples and others (such as family members) get perspective on their own way forward.
Couples often seek counselling to find new ways to understand each other, improving and maintaining their relationship and communication. Every relationship is unique.
There are many reasons for relationships to feel stressed, lightly or deeply. These include negative communication patterns, a sense of being unseen or misunderstood, affairs (or the desire to seek an affair), ambivalence or flatness in-relationship, life decisions, transitional phases, mismatched parenting styles and health problems. Further themes involve issues around ‘love’, sex and sexuality, finances, emotional states (such as anxiety and depression) or a sense of wanting different things. Addiction, aggression, disturbing behaviour, mental health issues and abuse (mental or physical) may also motivate us to address problems in our relationships. Sometimes, we just feel like having a relationship ‘MOT’.
When communication breaks down, resentments can build, leaving respective partners adopting unhelpful or toxic ways of being. Some relationships feel confusing or destructive, while others may feel tired or imbalanced, compromised, un-evolving or rocked by trauma or life events.
Whatever your sexuality, relationships (long term or new) can genuinely benefit from the support of a neutral listener. Exploring worries and concerns in a safe and contained environment can support and allow the relationship to grow and change.
Denise's articles in expertise and resources
Available for appointments
Tuesday all day and Wednesday afternoon at Seven Dials