Suzanne Parmenter

Suzanne Parmenter

Training

Suzanne has a B.A. Honours degree in Integrative Humanistic Counselling and draws upon different approaches to best meet the individual needs of her clients. She is a trained Couples Therapist and draws upon a successful researched based model led by emotionally focused therapy with a foundation of attachment theory. Couples are gently guided through a structured process which reduces conflict and distress and facilitates a closer connection. Suzanne is also a Registered Adoption Support Counsellor who understands the complexities and affects of adoption for adoptees, adopters and birth parents. Suzanne is a registered member of the British Association for Counselling & Psychotherapy (BACP).

Approach

As a humanistic counsellor, the foundation of Suzanne’s practice is to offer her clients a non-judgemental, caring therapeutic relationship where they can experience genuineness, acceptance and empathy. Suzanne values each client as their own expert and within this trusting relationship supports them in their own abilities to make choices that are right for them. 

Couples

Within Suzanne’s practice as a Couples Therapist she offers a trusting therapeutic relationship where both partners are equally supported so they can find a deeper understanding of themselves and each other. Working with a successfully research-based model, Suzanne supports couples to see patterns of behaviour, address their responses in conflict and identify ideas they’ve formed about each other. Working with this emotionally focused and attachment-based model, couples are able to explore deeper underlying emotions in a calm confidential environment. Within therapy, couples can expect to improve communication, find a closer and healthier connection with one another and re-introduce a loving and caring relationship. Suzanne offers practical methods so couples can develop the resources to become self-supporting.

Suzanne is also experienced in supporting couples who have reached a cross-roads in their relationship and are undecided about whether staying together is right for them. Although traditionally, couples therapy has been viewed as predominantly for those who wish to stay together, it can be a very healthy way to separate as it supports each individual to understand the many aspects which have contributed to this point in time. In these circumstances, Suzanne works to support each individual with loss, the closing of a chapter and a new journey beyond the relationship.

Suzanne is inclusive of all couples regardless of gender.

Relationship Issues

When working with relationship difficulties, Suzanne has a deep understanding of how early life experiences and former adult relationships can impact clients’ lives: many difficulties can arise within families and friendships, life events can be very painful and relationships can suffer. Suzanne draws upon her ‘attachment’ based experience to support clients in gaining an understanding of how early childhood relationships impact thoughts, feelings and behaviours in adult life. By receiving her clients without judgement and with empathy, Suzanne helps clients develop self-understanding. Clients often find this experience immensely reassuring and gain a different perspective that can lead to greater life fulfilment and improved relationships.

Adoption

Suzanne is a trained Adoption Support Counsellor who understands the complexities and affects of adoption for adoptees, birth parents and adopters. Adult adoptees can face an entire lifetime of difficult and conflicting emotions such as loss, fear of rejection and issues around intimacy, guilt, shame, control and identity. Suzanne understands many adoptees face relationship difficulties, suffer depression and feelings of unworthiness as they search for a true sense of themselves. Often adoptees find it hard to trust people, resulting in feelings of inadequacy and insecurity. 

In 2010 the law changed to give adoptees access to therapeutic support from trained specialists in adoption as the impact of adoption can affect every area of their lives. This law was introduced particularly with the tracing process in mind as without specialist knowledge and experience, an adult adoptee embarking on the journey of locating birth parents can face untold emotional distress. Suzanne offers warm and empathic support both emotionally and practically for all adult adoptees, helping to improve their security and relationships.

Birth Parents

Suzanne supports both birth parents but understands that it is often birth mothers who suffer life-long feelings of loss from relinquishing their child. As a result they can experience depression, feelings of guilt, shame, anger and regret. Research indicates a birth mother’s feelings of loss can intensify over time and not reduce. Suzanne works empathically and without judgement to support the individual needs of birth parents or relatives allowing them to explore their feelings. Such is the trust Suzanne builds, clients are often able to voice things they have never said before.

Adopters

Suzanne understands the process of adoption can be utterly overwhelming as every area of your life is intruded upon to ensure you are a suitable parent. This process can leave you feeling depleted, unsupported and less resourceful at a time when you need all your energy to welcome a child into your home. Working with adopters, Suzanne not only offers emotional support in helping couples explore their hopes, dreams and fears but also gently guides them through practicalities to help them adjust as parents and partners. If required, Suzanne will guide adopters in aspects related to existing family and offer support to other family members.

Other Information

Choosing a counsellor can seem daunting, especially when you are already facing difficulties. It is important you feel at ease and are able to make a choice that feels right for you. For this reason, after an initial session, there is no commitment to continue if you find you cannot connect with Suzanne or think counselling may not be right for you.

Available for appointments

Saturday mornings at Palmeira Square.