Experienced relationship counsellors working with couples, families and individuals in Wokingham- near Bracknell, Crowthorne and Ascot- and Reading - near Henley and Oxford
Our names are Diane Aspell, Fay Hanniker and Michaela Reeves and we are all relationship counsellors, professionally trained through Relate. Between us, as a team of relationship counsellors, we have over 40 years’ experience working with people facing challenges in their relationships and of facilitating change whether they come to counselling as individuals, couples, young people or families. We have been working to provide relationship counselling and psychosexual therapy, also known as sex therapy, in Wokingham and Reading for the past 14 years and more recently we also started a relationship counselling and sex therapy practice in Crowthorne. The term relationship counselling covers our work as couple counsellor, family counsellors and counselling with individuals facing relationship challenges. We work with clients at all stages of relationships whether this is at the beginning, during or at the end of a relationship.
Pre - Covid, our work was all face to face, bu over the last 15 months,we've been pleased to be able to offer remote relationship counselling. Feed back from clients has been good and many have particularly enjoyed the flexibility it offers. We now work with clients not only in the surrounding area but across the country - and even further afield. As the government relaxes restrictions, we will look at how face to face work might resume and work within our professional bodies' practical and ethical guidelines We all have designated rooms in our homes so confidentiality is ensured for online and face to face counselling.
If you are looking for counselling as an individual or couple,please read through our profiles and from there you may decide that one of these resonates most with your specific situation. Or you may feel any one of us could support you. In this instance, please don't hesitate to contact all of us in one email and we will work together to do what we can to match your availability. If you are looking for family counselling, please contact Diane. If you're looking for Psychosexual Therapy, please contact Michaela. You will find our contact details on the page , How To Contact Us.
We all the share the same ethos and are fully committed to providing relationship counselling in a safe, confidential and non-judgemental environment. To read more about this, please click on Frequently Asked Questions above.
For all of us the role of the relationship counsellor is to work alongside our clients, whether they are coming to counselling as individuals, couples or families. Our aim is to work with our clients to help them make sense of what is happening, or has happened, in their relationships as well as helping them to find strategies to do things differently going forward. As relationship counsellors we seek to help our clients understand their relationships so that they can make informed decisions about their future.
Some of our clients come to relationship counselling to address a specific issue or incident that is causing concern or distress. Or it might be that they want to work through a particular issue that has never been resolved and every so often resurfaces to cause upset. We work with people who want to move away from feeling 'stuck' in their couple or family relationships or who feel overwhelmed by difficult feelings such as frustration, shame, anger, hurt and confusion.
As relationship counsellors, we work with individuals, couples and families who are experiencing issues such as:
You can read more about individual counselling with a relationship focus, couple counselling, and our work with family or young people by clicking on the Counselling button above.
As couple counsellors, we all also offer counselling with a sexual focus in Wokingham, Crowthorne and Reading. Michaela is also a highly trained psychosexual therapist so she offers the particular area of expertise of psychosexual therapy (sex therapy ). She works in in Wokingham and Crowthorne where her work is about supporting individuals and couples facing issues around their sexual relationship. Please click on Sexual Issues in the menu above to read more about the difference between these two types of
We are all members of professional bodies including being registered on the BACP ,(British Association of Psychologists and Counsellors) Voluntary Register. For further information about our individual qualifications please click About Us in the menu above. We work in strict adherence to our professional bodies' code of ethics. To ensure we offer relationship counselling and psychosexual therapy of the highest professional standard, we all regularly undertake ongoing professional development activities and also all hold the appropriate DBS checks.
How To Find Us
Our relationship counselling practices are located in Wokingham where Fay and Michaela work, Crowthorne where Michaela works and Reading where Diane works. These are within easy reach of Bracknell, Ascot, Sandhurst and Henley. We have also worked with individuals, couples and families looking for counselling and couples and individuals looking for psychosexual therapy from further afield - places such as Camberley, Pangbourne, Burghfield, Mortimer, Oxford, Newbury and Basingstoke. Some of these clients chose Berkshire Relationship Group because they wanted counselling some distance from home. However,the majority sought out our services on the recommendation of friends / family who had themselves previously been our clients.
These are times of uncertainty and challenge for everyone as we work our way to what the media are calling the 'new normal'. For some people, having more time as an individual, family or as a couple has been welcomed, and by now, they may have found new routines and rhythms for these 'unprecedented times'. We have heard from some people who have found that no longer rushing to be out of the house for work, activities, social engagements and so on means they are re-assessing their relationships. Some feel they want to work through some recent, or indeed, long-standing issues, using the flexibility of online couple counselling. For them, this is the time to invest time in improving their relationship.
For others , the situation is very different. It might be that ongoing , pre -existing tension has increased or that new tensions are having considerable impact on the couple or family. In these instances, individual relationship counselling might be more appropriate at the moment. Others are people are feeling isolated and alone so counselling can provide support as they work through relationship challenges. In our blog, which you can read by clicking on the side bar, we suggest various ways to manage the impact Covid 19 might be having on your well- being.
If the situation at home becomes unsafe, abusive or violent , then advice and support is available through Womens Aid - see their website or call 0808 2000 247, Samaritans 116 123 - a free number that doesn't appear on phone bills, Kaleidoscopic UK - [email protected] or by contacting the police by dialling 999 or 555.
When working face to face, our availability is as below. However, during the current situation, whilst we work largely remotely, we are able to offer greater flexibility. When contacting us, it's really helpful if you can give some idea of the best times for you so that we can do our best to match your availability.
Between us, Fay and Michaela, are able to offer counselling in Wokingham during the day from Monday to Friday with the earliest appointment being 8 a.m. We also offer evening appointments on weekdays - Monday through to Thursday in Wokingham with the last appointment finishing at 8 pm on Mondays and Thursdays and 9.00 pm on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. The last appointment on Fridays finishes at 6p.m.
Michaela also works form Crowthorne . if you would like an appointment here, please contact her directly via the last page of our website How to contact Us to discuss availability.
Diane is able to offer appointments in Reading on Monday through to Friday between 8 a.m and 8 p,m. She also works on Saturday mornings in Reading and Michaela works in Wokingham on Saturday mornings.
You can read our individual profiles by clicking on About Us in the menu above. To contact us individually or as a team please click How To Contact Us on the menu bar above.
Through our blog, we explore some of the issues that we work with as counsellor specifically trained in relationship counselling and , in Michaela's case, Psychosexual Therapy. We have tried to include a range of concerns that relationship counselling can help address - whether this is through individual or couple counselling , family counselling or sex therapy.
Often people come to couple counselling almost as a last resort, having tried for some time to work through difficulties. In other situations, one partner may have felt for a while that things really aren't right and the relationship can't carry on. When they tell their partner, they may expect their partner to be equally unhappy and so are shocked to find the other person has been thinking that while things haven't been great, in time they'll just work themselves out and that they really want the relationship to work. Our first post looked at two of the questions often asked by people thinking about couple counselling, namely : 'Can couple counselling really help? ' and ' Is it too late?' The short answer is that, Yes, in many cases counselling can and does make a significant difference to couple's relationships. Often, part of the role of the couple counsellor is to carry the 'hope' that the relationship can be different when people feel very stuck.
We have also looked at one of the main reasons that bring people to couple counselling, namely the breakdown of communication. Our experience is that difficulties in communication are sometimes just about lack of time or about the timing of conversations. We offer some practical ideas as to how this might be addressed. Another cause of communication breakdown is to do with the couple dynamic and this is where working with a couple counsellor can really help. Couple counselling can help identify helpful and unhelpful patterns of behaviour and ways of interacting so the couple can move forward to communicate in a better way.
Another post looks at a time of year that can be stressful for families. Christmas, and perhaps more relevantly at this time of year, holidays, can be very difficult times. Often holidays are much anticipated as a time for fun and relaxation whereas the reality can be quite stressful as there is a need to manage and meet often very different expectations and hopes around family time. We look at ways in which you might create the memories you want rather than feeling emotionally drained at what could have been a great time .
Some of the principles we suggest can also be applied to managing expectations at other times which can create stress for families, such as big family gatherings. The current situation created by the impact on day to day life of the Coronavirus has prompted us to add a post specifically about managing low mood that can be created by the stress of dealing with uncertainty or fear. For some people, such moments might be quite fleeting, but for others, these can last for some time.This is an emergency kit for managing low mood, anxiety or feelings of panic and consists of a list of things you might draw on to restore some sense of calm and equilibrium.
A post looking at one of the issues covered in Physcosexual Therapy (sex therapy) explored what can be quite a difficult issue for some couples, namely - low desire for sex .We hoped to make it accessible by taking a relatively light- hearted look at how this might be addressed. This is an area of work that Michaela, who works as a psychosexual therapist as well as a couple counsellor, has particular expertise in.
Our blog also includes a couple of posts looking at a very different area of relationship counselling. As part of the work we do with couples who are parents and who are coming to, or are at the end of their couple relationship, we look at how children might be affected by separation / divorce . The way parents manage their separation is key to the way children react. We offered some suggestions as to how parents who are no longer together as partners might parent together in such a way as to minimise the impact on their children.
Our next post followed on from the previous one by focusing on the loss experienced by teenagers when their parents are going through the process to separate / divorce , or have formally separated. Drawing on the stories we have heard in our work as relationship counsellors working with young people and families, we have created 3 monologues that chart one fictional teenager's journey through three stages of the loss cycle.
To read the articles please scroll up to the sidebar on this page and you'll see where to click onto the post.