About Me

I have been a relationship and generalist counsellor for over 15 years and have worked extensively with individuals, couples, families and young people from many diverse backgrounds. More recently I have moved towards working with individuals only, where I can work in a more focused and personal way. This could be with a relationship or family focus, or looking at a wide range of issues from identity, creativity, career and personal development to managing major life transitions, grief, loss and rebuilding.

Dinah Purton. Counselling and Psychotherapy in Battle, East Sussex.

I am an interactive, friendly and personal counsellor who hopes to build a warm, supportive relationship with you. I do not have all the answers, rather I help you find your own answers and strategies and aim to find new ways of looking at situations so together we can come up with options that support you.

I have a particular interest in working with people who are creating their lives and themselves outside of their comfort zone, or away from social norms. Whether you are starting over after divorce, dreaming of an unconventional career change or retirement, choosing relationships with more than one partner, exploring your gender or sexual identity, looking to leave the rat race and embrace digital nomadism, live off grid or start a family on your own, this new century offers many different options for creating a life that suits you and is not prescribed. I hope to help you know yourself and become as happy and accepting of that as possible, whatever and whoever you are.

As well as my general and relationship work, I am a specialist fertility counsellor and have five years experience helping people along their fertility journey. This includes the full spectrum of family arrangements, from single women starting a family using donor sperm to those in same sex couples, those considering surrogacy or adoption and transgender people considering their fertility options prior to medical transition.

Background and approach

I draw on a wide range of approaches including systemic, solution-focused, CBT, person centred and coaching oriented ideas and techniques. I work flexibly – most of my sessions are fortnightly though some are weekly, monthly or less frequent including standalone sessions. I try to work around irregular routines where possible and (lockdowns permitting) can offer a hybrid online/face-to-face combination to make this easier.

As a counsellor I have worked with a wide variety of private, NHS, fertility and Relate clients, been a secondary school counsellor, provided short term GP-referred counselling, worked with parents in a primary school, with homeless people looking to reconnect with their families and provided telephone CBT to survivors of road accidents. For the last five years I have been a fertility counsellor and am a member of BICA (British Infertility Counsellors Association).

I aim to work as inclusively as possible and have undertaken training in LGBTQI+ Inclusion and Gender Dysphoria as well as working with adults with Asperger’s/High functioning autism in relationships. I have a particular interest in non-traditional relationships and alternative family structures and have experience of the particular dynamics and challenges that these relationships face. A large number of my clients are men who I positively support to navigate the contradictory landscape that is modern masculinity, containing as it does many challenges that are not always recognised and understood. I am deeply committed to equality and individuality for all and aim to work with everyone by understanding the unique way in which you operate, rather than making any traditional assumptions or judgements.

As a qualified life coach I can offer stand alone coaching or bring a coaching approach to counselling which looks at making practical changes, clarifying goals and focussing on the positive.

Training, qualifications & experience

BACP Accreditation
Post Graduate Diploma in Counselling & Psychotherapy (University of East London – Distinction)
Advanced Diploma in Life Coaching (Learning Curve – Distinction)
Advanced Certificate in Systemic Practice with Families and Couples (Institute of Family Therapy – Merit)
Graduate Certificate in Couples Counselling (Relate / University of East London)
Qualification as a Relate Counsellor (Relate)
BSc (Hons) Psychology with Philosophy (2:1)

Specialised Relate training in :
Counselling Young People
Domestic Violence & Abuse
Mental Health
Survivors of Child Sexual Abuse
“Sexually Speaking” – Awareness and practice with issues of sexuality
LGBTQI+ Inclusion
Gender Dysphoria
Asperger’s Syndrome and the Couple Relationship

Other training:
Gender, Sexuality and Relationship Diversity (with Meg-John Barker)
Implications and Support Counselling for Fertility Clients
Teaching Mindfulness Skills
Working with Men in a Fertility Setting
Narrative Therapy