Putting a face to the name
Having had therapy myself, being a counsellor was something I always wanted to do. However, with small children and a full-time job, it felt like a distant dream.
Then in 2010, I was made redundant and it was this that gave me the opportunity I had been waiting for. It helped me break the cycle and complete the ‘gestalt’ of moving into a happier, more positive phase.
I was born in India and came to England when I was eight years old. So as well as retaining my eastern culture close to my heart, I have also embraced the western culture.
Although I work with people who bring all kinds of life problems, there does seem to be a shortage of counsellors familiar with both eastern and western cultures. So perhaps it’s no surprise that over the years, I have worked with many Asian clients on issues around family and cultural identity – issues often causing depression and anxiety. In these cases, my clients clearly feel a sense of relief that they are being heard by someone who actually understands (see Case Study).
Qualifications and further training
I trained at The Gestalt Centre in London completing an accredited Diploma in Gestalt counselling. I also hold the following qualifications:
I am currently a registered member of BACP.
I have an enhanced DBS check.
£50 per session for adults
£35 per session for children
Offers and concessions
Concessions are available for the elderly.
All sessions missed or cancelled less than 48 hours before your appointment are charged. If available, I will offer an alternative time during that week.
The issues: Low mood, anxiety, self-harm, anger, thoughts of ending her life
Background: Neglect from biological parents, interventions by social services, being moved from one foster care to another
How it affected her: This affected her relationships and her schooling (“I’m not good enough”), creating in her a need to belong and a feeling of intense loneliness. She cried, screamed and shouted a lot; she was also self-harming.
Objectives of counselling: To build confidence and be able to talk about her past.
The goals we set: To improve communication with her foster carers, to do activities that made her happy, to stop self-harming and to prevent thoughts of dying.
How I approached the issues and achieved the goals: I provided a safe space for CE to explore her feelings, using role play to practice behaviours. I focused on forming a trusting relationship so she felt happy to come to sessions. It was difficult for her to talk, so we used creative activities (drawing and colouring) to help her express herself, and she led the sessions. I used Cognitive Behaviour Therapy, was non-judgemental and normalising. I kept the sessions positive, while also allowing space for her to grieve the past and let go.
Length of sessions: 6 months
The outcome: CE’s schooling and learning both improved, she began to accept herself more and in return felt confident and developed more open, honest communication with her carers. She stopped self-harming and began to look forward to the future. She started two different forms of dance class and after a few sessions, decided to commit to one form of dance and was due to perform in a show which she was reality excited about – thus we could see that her decision-making abilities had improved. As we approached the end of therapy together, I allowed enough time for her to feel ready and she almost bounced out of the room on our last session!
What CE said: “Before spending time with Narinder, I used to feel sad and angry, but didn’t know why. I couldn’t talk to anyone about what was going on for me. After working with Narinder, I was able to feel lighter and more settled in myself and began to feel I belonged. I now feel happier and more confident.”