Reviews for Karen Lawrence - BACP Counsellor Belfast & Bangor, Northern Ireland

Karen Lawrence
BACP Senior Accredited Counsellor & Supervisor
Member of ATSAC

Individual, Couples & Family Counselling
Sex Addiction Services
Belfast and Bangor, Northern Ireland

07989 756 164
karen@relating2others.co.uk



Karen Lawrence

"Day and evening appointments available."

BACP Registered and Accredited

"All the evidence suggests that it is how you manage change that matters, not the fact that you experience such a change in your life."

Suzie Hayman

Counselling Testimonials

One-to-One Counselling Reviews

I came to counselling with Karen following a relationship break-up that left me feeling utterly rudderless and scared that my feelings of sadness and grief might overwhelm me. Karen provided a safe and caring environment in which I was able to discuss and explore my feelings, not just about the relationship but about a number of other issues which I had buried over the course of many years. With Karen's help I was able to find understanding and peace of mind where there had previously only been a debilitating confusion. Counselling didn't 'fix' my life but it helped give me the perspective and insight to look at myself and the situations I encounter differently - consequently I now choose to live my life in a way that serves me better.
I would have been in a dreadful state had I not been fortunate enough to have Karen as my counsellor. With all her directions and gentle prodding I feel more confident to go forward. I am not silly and I know there will be many backwards and forwards steps but at long last I feel more positive and that there is light at the end of the tunnel. She helped me come to terms with the ending of my relationship and it felt the right thing to do. Thank you again Karen
Karen gave me a lot of input into my life particularly at my life stage. I've been freed to function much better and more fully as a human being and to experience an unprecedented sense of well-being as a result! I revel in being able to see life as a multi patterned /multi-dimensional thing instead of a rigid, flat one dimensional thing.
When I started counselling I was struggling to accept my life and myself. I had so much to be grateful for, and whilst I knew that logically, I couldn't feel it. I felt frightened and lonely and fearful of the future. I looked forward to sessions with Karen from the start, as I knew it was a path to more peaceful living. Some sessions were interesting, some enjoyable, all were enlightening. I was presented with ways to reframe my view of myself, my life and my circumstances. Karen used a language that was more compassionate than my own, and I began to use her words instead of my own in my internal dialogue. This led to more self-forgiveness and self-acceptance and tension began to fade. I was challenged to consider new thought patterns which were sometimes confusing, but with patience Karen gave me new options without judgement. As I grew stronger in myself, I began to open up. As I began to open up, so did my life. I felt optimist & brave enough to take a trip on my own to embrace my life. When a man at a table beside me one night spoke to me, I was open and secure enough to talk back and to connect. A year on from that trip, my life has completely changed. I am marrying that man and moving abroad to begin a new life. Karen's counselling gave me freedom, courage and acceptance which has allowed me to move on to a new and exciting life.
I have just finished going to therapy and wanted to say that Karen really helped me navigate a difficult separation and deal with the rollercoaster of emotions. The sessions also helped to give me a better understanding of and insight into myself and to start to feel more positive about the future.



Couples Counselling Reviews

My partner and I started with Karen as a last resort to save our relationship. We had had so many events in our lives that caused us to build walls and distance ourselves from each other to the point were it felt like we could never knock them down. Karen gave us the tools and the understanding to be brave enough to start chipping away the walls and brick by brick they came down. Our relationship is stronger and most important we communicate so much clearer and with more understanding of where each other are coming from. I truly believe our relationship would be over if we had not started therapy and cannot thank Karen enough for all her hard work and understanding.
My husband and I attended couples counselling with Karen as our marriage was at breaking point due to frequent arguments. We were both incredibly stressed and wanted to find a way to work through our difficulties. Meeting Karen undoubtedly saved our marriage. She was non-judgmentalin her approach and helped to foster dialogue so that we could discuss our differences in a safe and secure environment. We now argue less and have the tools to manage problems as they arise in a less destructive manner. Karen was particularly skilled atformulating and making sense of the difficulties within ourrelationship whilst remaining supportive throughout. I could not recommend Karen highly enough for her professionalism and genuine warmth.
Making space in my life to talk through what runs through my head and comes out during times of stress and pressure has proved invaluable. Karen's gentle listening style and willingness to work with/talk about what feels like a priority is both reassuring and challenging especially if it means we are talking about tricky emotions. I feel I've learnt so much about how I work and how I work with my partner, it's not always easy to do but so very worth it and has definitely given me more tools to handle all that life throws at you.
Before couples counselling began we recognised that our relationship had become stagnant. We had stopped communicating and had separated. Karen provided a really safe environment for us not only to start to communicate again but to share our inner secrets and feelings. We thought we could never have done this nor even understood ourselves and each other in this way. We now have the skills through counselling to talk and find out what each of us is feeling and thinking. We are back together and have ground rules for living together and are optimistic about our future. We felt quite emotional in ending counselling as Karen was our safety net. We know we can go back if we need to. We would like to thank Karen so much for all her help and for what we have achieved.
Our relationship was in tatters. There had been an affair. We couldn't see anyway past it and we were scared for our children. The rows were awful and we had stopped talking. Over the years we had lost any intimacy and had drifted apart. Karen helped us to see what had brought us together and what was still left of our relationship. Slowly we were able to rebuild trust. We are in a much better place now having talked it all out and feelings of love and intimacy have returned.



Sex Addiction Counselling Reviews

I found Karen via the Internet and chose her because of her qualifications in the field of my addiction. From the beginning I was treated with respect and kindness as she was able through careful questioning to uncover my issues.

She was able to start at the beginning of my addiction and show me how it has affected my whole life. Her detailed psychological questions are made softly that you hardly notice. I was able to go through asixteen week course that has changed my life. It has resulted in conquering my sex addiction and rebuilding my marriage. I will return to another therapy session in about 3-4 months. I hope and pray that I never have those thoughts again and remain free from my addiction. I am willing to share my experience with others with the confidence the therapy from Karen had given me.
Recovering from sex addiction wasn't easy and I had some slips and lapses along the way. Karen was always encouraging me to 'get back on track'. Even when I lapsed she helped me understand why and gave me practical tools to cope. She was forever patient and at those times I always left counselling feeling not as wretched as when I came in. Now in 'being clean' for over a year I see life very differently. It's hard work in staying clean but it's worth it as I have a far better relationship with myself and with people who are close to me.
I started counselling from a low point in my life though luckily my relationship with my partner was still ongoing. I didn't really know what to expect from counselling but I knew I needed to do something to stop my acting out. The initial counselling sessions gave me hope that it was possible to work through the sexual addictionand move my life onto a different path. Some practical solutions helped deal with day to day life.

As the sessions progressed, the counselling moved onto more in depth self-reflection of my past, particularly childhood. At times, it was difficult to see how this had any relevance to my acting out but as the sessions progressed it became clear that issues from childhood were the underlying reasons for acting out. One year on and with the knowledge that these core feelings were leading me to act out and how to deal with these feelings differently (and the practical tools also learnt), I believe I am well placed to move forward with a healthy life (with a much stronger relationship with my partner).
I had been a sex addict for over 15 years and one of the things that stopped me from seeking counselling from my sex addiction was my guilt and shame. Right from the beginning Karen set me at ease that she wasn't going to judge me, or, find fault. In counselling, Karen was able to explain things which eased my guilt and shame. Together we worked through my 'sex addiction cycle' and 'why' I was acting out. With that knowledge and insight and because Karen didn't judge me, I was gradually able to forgive myself. I not only can live with me now but can say I actually like myself. I would never have thought I could value myself as a man again.
A few years ago I was going through a dark period in my life and with the help of Karen talking things through really helped me get through it. Karen was a great listener and helped me verbalise what my problems were, something that I really struggled with. She wasn't afraid to challenge me telling me what she thought. I needed this as my addiction was making my life out of control and I needed to focus and not avoid things. I can't recommend Karen highly enough
I tried other counsellors to overcome my sex addiction only to find I relapsed. On the verge of giving up that I would ever recover and the possibility of the collapse of my relationship and loss of my children, I discovered Karen and decided to give counselling one last try. I am really glad I did. Karen's assessment soon got to grips with the 'why' of my sex addiction which was missing from my other counselling. In getting to the root cause this helped me to understand myself better and make sense of why I did what I did. Having not acted out now for over 2 years I and my wife are much more confident about the stability of my recovery. I still every day have to keep my addiction in mind but this and my understanding of 'why' means that I can do everything I can to stay stopped.

For more information about couples counselling, or to book a Belfast or Bangor couple counselling appointment please contact Karen today.