My Approach to Individual and Couples Counselling
I work with adult individuals and couples, in Brighton and Hove and online, who want to make changes and feel better.
If you decide to come for counselling with me, whether on your own or with a partner, we will work together to make sense of your problems and find a way forwards.
I will give you space to tell your story and unravel your thoughts and feelings. I will listen with empathy. But also with an objective distance that enables me to make links you might not have noticed.
I will offer my ideas to you with an open mind. This way we can think together about what you need and how you can get it.
Through my training and experience – professional and personal – I have a deep understanding of the range of difficulties that bring people to counselling. I also have a great respect for anyone who is brave enough to face their struggles and explore what they can do about them.
Often I think the core aim of counselling is best summed up by the serenity prayer. If you are looking to achieve serenity (or something close to it!) by accepting the things you cannot change, finding the courage to change the things you can, and the wisdom to know the difference, therapy can help you on that path.
The best way to find out whether I would be the right therapist for you would be to book a consultation. But if you would like to know a little more about my background first, please read on.
Catherine Topham Sly’s Professional Background
My academic background is in linguistics, the scientific study of language. I took a particular interest in psycholinguistics and sociolinguistics: what the things we say and how we say them tell us about ourselves and how we relate to others.
After University I worked at a communications consultancy. I managed people and projects, and developed my listening skills as a market research focus group facilitator and trainer. I enjoyed the work but found the corporate world unfulfilling. So in 2011 I started training as a counsellor.
In 2018 I decided to combine my expertise on what makes healthy, satisfying relationships with my workshop leadership skills. I started writing Relationship Goals 2.0, the regular event for parents in Brighton and Hove which launched in July 2019. Relationship Goals 2.0 is a relaxed event where parents learn the skills and habits that keep couples close while having fun together in a room above a pub.
When the Coronavirus pandemic hit, I wanted to do something to support young families in lockdown together, so I released the online course Love In Lockdown, which is still available and recommended to any couple who finds themselves getting into conflict when under stress.
I have a Postgraduate Diploma in Counselling and Therapy from Northbrook College, Sussex, and am an accredited member of the British Association for Counselling & Psychotherapy, working to their ethical framework.