Anxiety Counselling

Getting started with anxiety counselling can be really tough. Working out who to call and then reaching out when you’re feeling anxious can feel overwhelming.

Perhaps it will help to know that I get it. So here is my story.

Anxiety was what got me into counselling in the first place.

When I was a teenager I went through a deeply anxious phase.

I struggled with social anxiety. It was a feeling in the pit of my stomach, a sense of impending doom that wouldn’t shift. A sense of panic when I had to go to college or work or be in a public place or talk to someone.

I didn’t really know what was going on, but I knew that I didn’t feel OK.

The doctor gave me some medication.

I withdrew from a lot of life.

My experience of anxiety counselling

What really helped was when I went to see a counsellor. I remember very clearly meeting my counsellor. I was so nervous. All I could manage to squeak out was “I don’t know where to start.”

“How about the beginning?” she suggested gently.

So I did. I said “I was born…” and I surprised myself with how much I had to say once I got started.

It turned out that I needed to tell a story.

I needed to unravel the madness that I was feeling inside my head.

And it took some time, because I had been holding on to a lot of stuff for a long time.

Sometimes I had no idea why I was rambling on about whatever I was rambling on about until I had got it all out.

Sometimes I never quite worked it out.

But gradually I came to feel better.

Less anxious.

More OK.

Later I decided that I wanted to work with people who were going through similarly difficult times. So I trained to become an counsellor myself, and set up Insight & Connection to provide anxiety counselling in Hove.

Anxiety Counselling Hove

These days a lot of people recommend a cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT) approach to anxiety counselling. You might have heard that CBT is the best treatment for anxiety, because some studies have found that it works well in a short time. Who wouldn’t get excited by the idea of a quick fix?

My training included CBT and I find the approach useful, some of the time, with some clients.

However my main approach to working with anxious clients goes beyond CBT.

That is because it is one of my core beliefs that when you feel very anxious, it is because you have been holding on to a lot of stuff for a long time.

(I developed my special interest in working with anxious clients during my counselling diploma, when I chose to research generalised anxiety disorder for my dissertation.)

Thinking about coping mechanisms and day-to-day triggers can be really useful and important and we will do that, when it feels appropriate.

But if you are to be free from the kind of anxiety that makes it difficult for you to get on with your life, and get the best from your work and relationships, my experience has shown me that you need to get to the bottom of it.

I find that the best way to do that is to sit and talk, to untangle your history. We’ll talk about who you are, how you got to where you are today, what happened to you along the way, and how you dealt with it all. And we’ll think about the future, of course, as that is where a lot of your anxiety might be pointing.

Feeling Better

Anxiety is a normal part of life, a natural reaction to circumstances when we feel under threat.

Sometimes this is a physical threat, or sometimes it is something more complicated like feeling like your values, your integrity or your autonomy are under threat.

I still feel anxious sometimes now.

But these days it is a specific reaction to a particular thing.

I am able to step outside it, to examine it, to reflect on it and make sense of what its message is for me.

Do you feel like there might be a story that needs telling behind your anxiety? Do you want to get to that place where you feel like you have unravelled some of the chaos inside your mind and can see straight again? Why not come and meet me to discuss anxiety counselling and see whether I might be the person to work through it with you?


Really good value for money

I felt that my session was really good value for money because Catherine shared models of relationships, gave me recommendations for further therapy, gave me the space to talk, challenged (in a positive way) my position so that I could reflect and she also got me thinking about the areas that I would benefit from working on. Overall, I felt that she held a very effective clinical space, whilst also creating feelings of warmth and understanding. 

One-off Coaching Session, November 2020

Definitely go for it


What would you tell someone else who was considering working with Catherine?

Definitely go for it; Catherine is very professional and very good at what she does.

One-off Coaching Session, November 2020

I got more out of that one hour than I expected

What would you tell someone else who was considering working with Catherine?

She'll help "calm the crazy" as I like to say. Motherhood and marriage is messy and amazing and hard. It's such a huge life transition and so little is discussed around it. Catherine really validated my experience and gave me some great advice.

I got more out of that one hour than I expected. I really appreciated it. It made me want to sign up with her as my therapist!

One-off Coaching Session, February 2021

Practical examples of things to try

What was most helpful about working with Catherine?

Normalising patterns and behaviour that I am experiencing within my relationship currently. Offering hope that things can improve, giving me practical examples of things to try and tweak over the next few weeks. Giving me the permission to continue on my growth journey without expecting my partner to be on the same path or feeling responsible for his growth and overall life satisfaction. Also being encouraged to write about some of the topics you wanted to cover on the call in as much detail as you wanted was really liberating. Catherine took great care in digesting my information and usefully played it back to me during out session. She also sent many useful resources afterwards which I have been able to digest at my own pace.

One-off Coaching Call, March 2021

So many things were helpful

So many things were helpful that it is hard to choose just one. Most helpful was probably how compassionate you were towards me. This slowly helped me shift the way that I relate to myself. Counselling felt like a very safe and warm space, in which I could  look at myself with more kindness and allow myself to express feelings and needs. This has helped me personally as well as making me more open in my relationships with other people, privately and at work. Thank you Catherine. The two years with you have meant a lot to me and have changed me in many ways.

Individual Therapy, October 2020

I could not have asked for a better independent witness to my story

I could not have asked for a better independent witness to my story than Catherine. As she joined me on my journey she was kind and supportive. Encouraging me to see things in a different light. I will probably return at some stage; Catherine's instinctive approach and skill of picking out key elements in my narrative helped me make sense of things at this difficult time for me. Thank you. Everything was clear & straight forward. Which is no mean feat when you are operating in a global pandemic!!

Individual Therapy, August 2020

Her manner was calm and comforting

What made you decide to book a call with Catherine?

Her content on Instagram really resonated with me in terms of what I was going through with my partner. On her stories her manner was calm and comforting. She had a sense of quiet confidence about her and pragmatism in the way she approached different topics.

One-off Coaching Call, March 2021

Catherine is pragmatic, considerate, practical

Catherine is pragmatic, considerate, practical. She puts you at ease, listens and is what she preaches curiously compassionate 😉 She takes all the potential shame or guilt around asking for help out of the equation and provides you with so many practical and theoretical (if you want that too) tips and advice.

One-off Coaching Call, March 2021

Catherine always remained calm and collected

Catherine always remained calm and collected even during times filled with conflict in couples therapy. She managed to bring back my then boyfriend to a calmer state and I felt like she was standing up for me when I couldn't. I felt like I had a good bond with her and trusted her so that I could open up in front of her.

Couples Therapy, August 2020

I feel I am in a very different place

One of the most useful things about going to counselling was learning so much about myself. I feel I am in a very different place from when I first started and I owe it to the support and help which Catherine offered. I will not rule out returning if I feel I need to, but for now I feel happy with the place I am in.

Individual Therapy, July 2019

Such a calming force

[Catherine] was such a calming force, I felt very supported, she pointed out a few things I should look at, gave a book recommendation, she reframed some of the issues I had swirling around in my head, and she was able to bring the conversation to really nice ending point.

One-off Coaching Session, February 2021

I really found the whole experience really helpful

What was most helpful about your counselling?

Having a different perspective on my situation and what I was going through. Talking through how I was feeling and then being directed by Catherine to look at things in a different way and make connections to other parts of my life and relationships helped to make sense of things. I really found the whole experience really helpful and exactly what I needed at the point I was at. Thank you for your help.

Individual Therapy, June 2018

You were excellent

Thanks for all your help. I will be in touch if I need to in the future. You were excellent.

Couples Therapy, November 2017

I felt extremely well heard and held

What was most helpful about working with Catherine?

The clarity of her questions, including when completing the questionnaire before the session. Catherine's style of covering the points that I raised in a direct but sensitive way; I felt extremely well heard and held.

One-off Coaching Session, November 2020

Catherine was wise and supportive

Catherine was wise and supportive, picking out elements of my story and helping me see things in a different way. I will probably return at some stage; Catherine has been very kind and helpful at a difficult time in my life.

Individual Therapy, August 2017

She helped me through the fog of self doubt

Catherine describes herself as a demystifier – and she is. But not just of psychobabble. She helped me through the fog of self doubt, delusion, depression that clouded me in a difficult period of my life. And in place of fog she helped install the ropes and tackle I needed to climb onto dry land, out from the cold, and find a seat back by the fire. But equally, she possesses a superpower (and a useful one for a therapist): she has an off-the-chart ability to listen. To make you hear her listening, to adjust the quality of silence you sometimes need to say what you didn’t know you were going to say, to make you feel heard. Her empathy is palpable; yet I’ve never once felt patronised. Most extraordinary is that she does all this without judgement or prejudice, but with sincerity and good humour. It’s pretty much the perfect combination and I can’t think of anybody who wouldn’t benefit from talking to Catherine. And I can’t thank her enough.

Individual Therapy, January 2018

The help you’ve given me has been invaluable

I just want to say a huge thank you for the past year. The help you’ve given me has been invaluable and I’ve learnt so much about myself, my past, and my relationship to the wider world. Your guidance and help will stand to me for the rest of my life and I’ve made so many positive changes in the past year, a lot of which I feel I owe to you. Thank you so much for everything.

Individual Therapy, May 2017