Welcome to relating2others
UNDERSTANDING IS THE KEY: THE HEART OF EFFECTIVE THERAPY
With almost 30 years of specialist clinical counselling experience, Karen Lawrence relating2others MSW, BSc Hons offers Individual Therapy, Couples Counselling including LGBT+, Family Counselling, whether you describe your issues as Compulsive Sexual Behaviour Disorder (CSBD), Sex Addiction or Porn Addiction, or, if you are unsure my counselling services are available in Belfast Co. Antrim, Bangor Co. Down, Northern Ireland and around the UK and Ireland. I also provide therapy for Partners and for Couples and Sex and Porn Addiction.
I am a Senior Accredited Counsellor and Supervisor with the British Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP); Member of the Association for the Treatment of Sex Addiction and Compulsivity (ATSAC); Level II Professional Register of Association of Counselling and Telephone Online (ACTO): holder of Relate Certificate in Couple Counselling and Advanced Diploma in Family Counselling.
My approaches to counselling are Psychodynamic (the unconscious), Systemic (systems and environment) Attachment informed, Trauma informed (Polyvagal theory). In particular with couples, I specialist in uncovering the 'couple fit' and in working with sex and porn addiction the OAT model of opportunity, attachment and trauma.
In being a private client(s), my appointments are flexible to suit your needs whether short or longer term counselling including therapy appointments remotely via Zoom or WhatsApp or in-person. I work daytime and evening Monday and Tuesday in Belfast and Wednesday and Thursday in Bangor.
In speaking honestly, most people do not want to come to counselling (they don't want the problem in the first place) so often delay before seeking counselling. Generally, we endeavour to solve our own problems by turning to friends or family but in not having in-depth understanding, this is often only a temporary solution.
To take a step towards a more permanent solution please phone for a free 10-15 minute chat (Monday- Friday) or get in touch to arrange an initial assessment appointment.
You may arrive at counselling in person in Belfast or Bangor Co. Down N.I. online via Zoom or WhatsApp expecting to be told where you are going wrong; this is not the case. I provide a warm, non-judgemental, impartial service and a safe therapeutic environment where you can explore confidential issues.
An initial assessment is to consider how counselling could be helpful. I will be interested in what has brought you to therapy as well as what has happened historically, understanding your thoughts, ideas and your needs. I will explain my counselling approaches and together we can begin to map out how we might deal with the issues. Therapy needs to be affordable so I will check out any scheduling limitations and budget. There is no commitment to therapy and we all can reflect on whether to continue; my priority is that you feel welcomed, heard and understood having had a meaningful experience.
The answer to this question lies in the Heart of Effective Therapy. Whether you choose in-person or online sessions or a mix of the two, therapy can help most of the time, for most people with most problems and is effective in relieving distress.
I establish an excellent working relationship - the foundation for change.
Help you stand back to see the wood for the trees and /or zoom in on the detail.
Encourage you to understand and connect thoughts and feelings, do things differently, develop coping strategies, learn something new or unexpected.
Together we practice ongoing reality testing by putting all of the above together to create a virtuous circle to apply the learning and promote change in your life.
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'
Perhaps you are facing some tough and challenging times, feeling anxious or depressed. Maybe you are afraid you are a burden on others, or, feel you don't fit in or belong. You are would like to be in a relationship or wondering about ending one. Individual counselling can address a wide and varied range of issues. Please click on to READ MORE to be reassured about your first session, expectations, questions you may have of me and then decide for yourself.
Are you experiencing a relationship crisis, perhaps a communication breakdown that cannot be resolved or other more complex issues? I work with couples from all communities, LGBTQ+ couples and sex and porn addiction. There are 3 options in couples counselling, change that meets both your needs, learning to live with its limitations or ending the relationship. I hold all 3 options until you decide which is best. A question often asked is 'why did you choose one other'? The truth is there is conscious and unconscious choice - my specialism is uncovering the uniqueness of your 'couple fit' - please see blog.
for blended families, step-parenting situations, children and young people's issues, transitions and life-stages.
Sex Addiction Counselling
for pornography, visiting sex workers, cyber sex (including chat sites), fetish behaviours, telephone sex, sex with strangers/one night stands, and multiple affairs. For more information on 'Recognising Sex and Porn Addiction' please see my blog.
Sex Addiction & Partners
It is devasting to discover your partner has a sex or porn addiction. It can be a complete shock or perhaps you have suspected for a long time? It can feel like being in the freefall trenches. Stability and safety is a priority.
Online Counselling in Northern Ireland
Whilst for many years I have used video conferencing for my own clinical supervision as well as supervising other counsellors, it wasn’t until March 2020 with the pandemic I have had extensive online training to ACTO Level 2 and am registered on their professional register.
Research consistently shows that online therapy is as effective as in person therapy and in now having worked extensively online, I am encouraged to find that this is so. Reassuringly, I have found that there is the same level of in-depth therapeutic trust, connectedness and authenticity with online as with face-to-face.
Some of the benefits of Online Counselling are, therapy anywhere that is comfortable and convenient for you and you can make your own space how you need it to be. No navigating transport or traffic and additional time onto your session. I am able to provide continuous support even when one of us is travelling. You can mix and match Online with in-person therapy. You can make a cuppa and have your pet beside you.