Hello my name is Helen Kirkman. I am a fully qualified therapeutic counsellor, holding a BA Hons Degree and Post Graduate Diploma in Counselling. I qualified in 2016 and am a member of the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy.

My father was born and brought up on the island, although he moved away to England during adulthood. My draw to Lewis, with all its beauty and tranquillity, has always been there and I was lucky enough to finally make a permanent move to the island late summer 2020.

As a counsellor I work in a collaborative way in the therapeutic relationship to help clients better understand their feelings and work through the issues they are facing. I provide a safe and confidential space to facilitate a client’s own exploration, supporting individuals to gain better self-awareness and build inner resources and empowerment as they face life’s challenges.
I feel very privileged to have joined the WICCI team. I am passionate about the benefits of counselling and look forward to offering a warm welcome to anyone touched by cancer in the Western Isles.

I practice in a warm, compassionate and person-centred way integrating a variety of different approaches to suit your needs. My role is to understand life in your shoes as we work together to make sense of your experiences, to help you cultivate more acceptance, connection and trust in yourself, and to unearth those inner resources and qualities that will allow you to live more fully and authentically.

Sometimes there is purpose in sadness and suffering, that life’s challenges offer unique opportunities for growth; that we may discover a deeper sense of ourselves, find meaning, strength and clarity, and reconnect with our balance and creative voice.
First and foremost, our time together is centred on building a relationship where you feel safe and more at ease. This is about your story, about weaving together and transforming the narrative of your life.

I am absolutely committed to providing therapy in a safe, confidential and non-judgemental space.
In therapy we work towards an outcome of greater wholeness and a deeper sense of relationship to yourself, others and the world at large. In other words, more harmony and less stress.
Each person brings a unique set of issues and goals to therapy. These influence the process and modalities I use. Transpersonal ways of working may form a significant part of the experience, or not at all. This is one of the many advantages of an integrated approach; that I am able to tailor my skills to match your needs.

Psychodynamic

How the past and particularly how our childhood experiences have shaped our present lives and sense of who we are. Through making conscious the unconscious aspects of ourselves (internalised conflicts, denied feelings, suppressed wishes, ‘split off’ parts…) and working through these, we are able to recover the missing pieces of a personal puzzle, unlock creative energy, and feel more integrated, robust and ‘whole.’

The dynamics and attachment patterns of our early relationships are often replayed in our current relationships and therefore by default, the therapeutic relationship. The role of therapy is to make conscious these dynamics through the therapist and client interpreting together what is taking place between them. This gives us the awareness and choice to change any behaviour that might now be counter-productive and help us evolve in the way we relate to ourselves and others.

This approach does not necessarily mean getting hung up on the past. It can be enough to stick to what is happening in the here and now and use this as the key to understanding our past.
I only use the psychodynamic approach with a light and gentle touch, and in relation to attachment theory and the relational interplay between myself and the client. I do not employ the traditional ‘blank screen’ adopted by some psychodynamic therapists as this can appear rather cold and unyielding to those who are vulnerable or traumatised.
The greater body of my approach is drawn from the following: the humanistic, existential and transpersonal.

Humanistic

An umbrella term for a number of theories/therapies (E.g. Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, Rogerian – person-centred, Gestalt, Transactional Analysis) that centre on growth, health and realising potential. I mainly draw upon the following:
The Rogerian approach is non directive (on part of the therapist) while the client is in charge and directs the process of therapy. The therapist’s role is to offer unconditional positive regard, non judgement, and deep empathy for the client’s story. The therapist’s attitude provides the safe conditions required for the client to explore his/her world resulting in personal growth based on trusting their experience (locus of self-evaluation).