Charlotte’s Creative Counselling Experience

I’ve tried many talk based therapies with little success and was immediately drawn to Aya’s holistic counselling approach, even though I have very limited artistic talent – I used to find it very relaxing and therapeutic as a child.

Her counselling room was light and colourful but some of the art tools made me a little nervous; I started thinking “Oh no, I’m rubbish at art!’ Aya instantly put me at ease, assuring me the session was an exploration not an examination! She was very intuitive and picked up on my anxiety and started off our session with a ‘body awareness’ meditation. This really helped me come out of my busy, and often negative, mindset and led me to focus on my body. She gently guided me through the meditation with expertise and ease. I was then asked to notice if I saw any colours when becoming aware of each part of my body, which surprisingly I found really easy. Shades of reds and oranges started to fill my mind instead of thoughts, and I noticed my breathing starting to deepen and slow down. I felt very relaxed after just a few minutes.

We then moved onto the creative area where I was shown a sand tray and some figurines. I was a little apprehensive at first but soon found myself having a lot of fun making shapes with the sand and scenes with the figures and suddenly realized I was ‘not thinking’. Feelings of joy came up much like when I was a little girl. Then came the tricky bit. I was asked if I wished to pick various figures to represent how I was feeling about my life at the moment and soon the sand tray was looking quite dark, full of fear. We beagn to inquire into individual figures and then Aya would ask me what or who it represented. Using the figures as metaphors my feelings were very accessible and quite astonishingly easy to discuss. Aya held the perfect space for me to let go, and I did. Tears came about how fearful I was feeling about my future and how uncertain I was within my current relationship, but they were calm tears. Slowly and skillfully prompting me, Aya guided me through to answer my own questions. I felt empowered and a sense of clarity came over me. I was then drawn to remove these more fearful figurines and all that was left behind was a scene of idyllic happiness. It was a bit more conventional than I thought my unconscious would be; the scene was of a little cottage in the country with a fire and a bottle of champagne which is a nod to both my homely nature and party spirit. The two rocking chairs showed me I needed stability and warmth, and how I wish to maintain a long lasting relationship. The owl turned out to be my wise two year old son who is my biggest teacher. This sand scene filled me with a sense of purpose and fulfillment I hadn’t felt for a long time. Totally unexpected feelings arose from a simple playful and creative process, one I hadn’t done on my own for 38 years. The last part of the session was free flow painting and I chose uplifting colours. They made me feel lighter and also reminded me of my grandparents for some reason; gentle feelings of both love and grief ran through me.

The session was only an hour long but gave me essential insights to where I really am in my life and where I wish to go. This was so insightful I’ve booked in for a few more sessions. I can’t recommend Aya enough, she’s intuitive, caring and takes you as far as you need to go and creates a wonderful space for you to explore your own creativity and allow your subconscious to let go of the past and direct you towards the future you desire.