About Me

I am an experienced and qualified counsellor, psychotherapist and life coach with specialist training in working with individuals, couples (heterosexual, same sex and non-binary), young people (ages 11-18) and families (two or more people from different generations). I am a Relate qualified practitioner and accredited member of the BACP (British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy). I am a member of BICA (British Infertility Counselling Association) and am a registered NHS provider.

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

I originally trained with Relate and for the last 13 years have worked in Relate centres, schools, GP surgeries, homeless hostels and in private practice. Alongside my private practice I am currently working for Care Fertility, counselling couples and individuals prior to, during and following fertility treatment. For the last four years I have also offered life coaching. I work short and long term, from single sessions to fixed session work, to open ended work that may last months or years.

In both therapy and coaching I believe the relationship between therapist/coach and client to be the most important thing. I will listen to you openly, without judgement and with warmth and acceptance. I believe that being down to earth, friendly and flexible is key to establishing a good relationship and that it is through good relationships that change occurs most naturally and effectively.

Individuals

Stressed, depressed or anxious? Bereaved, confused or needing a life change?

Are there things you know you need to talk about but don’t know where to start?

Whether you’re deeply unhappy or are just looking to understand yourself more fully, an initial session can help you decide whether counselling can help. I can usually see you within a week of your first contact

Making the decision to talk to a stranger can be a difficult one. You may feel suspicious, intimidated, embarrassed or nervous. By offering a friendly, supportive and non-judgmental approach, I hope to make that initial meeting as easy as possible and address any concerns you may have. From there we can decide between us whether therapy will be useful to you and, if so, how best to go about it.

Long Term Counselling or Psychotherapy can help work through the deepest parts of your personality, your history, your experience of life and your whole identity. By taking as much time as you need, the most painful and difficult parts of your life can be looked at in a safe, contained space where change can happen at a pace that suits you.

Short Term Solution Focused Counselling can help you make changes quickly and effectively by focusing on specific goals and working on making immediate conscious changes in the way you live your life.

Relationships

Struggling to communicate?

Constant bickering that goes nowhere?

Has there been an affair or have you simply grown so far apart you’re not sure there’s a relationship left?

Relationships are centrally important to most of us. When they’re not working the resulting misery can affect all other areas of life. Counselling can turn things round or provide clarity in a surprising short space of time. It can help people understand and improve their relationships by looking at communication patterns, past relationships and how to take practical steps to improving things here and now. It can also help couples clarify whether they want their relationship to continue and can support them during separation and divorce. The aim of counselling is not to “save” relationships, but to work out what is best and possible for each party. Sometimes just having a third party in the room helps couples communicate in a way they are unable to at home. I am committed to seeing each person’s point of view equally and without judgement and helping all parties come to a mutual decision on how to take the relationship forward.

I offer an open-minded approach: my priority is not to enforce traditional models of relationships but to help you find the best way forward. I have a particular interest in alternative relationship and family arrangements, including polyamory, co-parenting, “Living Together Apart”, single parent families and people who are childless either intentionally or otherwise. This is not to say I do not wholeheartedly support the traditional model too, if that is what works for you. I believe there is no one right way to do relationships and aim to help you discover what your way is.

As well as generalised relationship counselling I also offer more focussed counselling to couples or individuals considering fertility treatment, especially when using donor eggs or sperm, in which their options and final decision can be explored. I can offer information and clarification on the implications of this and the process if you are feeling unsure, overwhelmed, uninformed or in disagreement with your partner. I make no judgement but can help you move towards a decision that feels right for you. Equally I can support you as you go through the process and provide help afterwards, whether that’s working through what it means to bring up a child conceived through IVF or other fertility treatment, perhaps as a single parent or as same sex parents, or whether it’s the emotional response and impact on the couple relationship that can follow unsuccessful treatment.