Ashley Parker MA Relationship Therapy, Dip Hyp, Dip HB, MHA, MBACP
Ashley Parker Therapy Space
Off the Mount
Telephone: 07707 151 239
BA (hons) Counselling Studies
MA Relationship Therapy
Diploma Clinical Hypnotherapy
Diploma KG HypnoBirthing
Therapeutic Counselling Skills for Children
I can't help but think that this was always the job for me. Through circumstances beyond my control, I was thrust back to the UK after a fairly long stint in the US. I felt pretty lost and despite being British - the culture shock was immense. After working in a few jobs waitressing etc. I stumbled across a counselling degree at York St John, only a few weeks before it was due to start. I was encouraged to apply and low and behold I was accepted. The course ended in 2004 when I was awarded a BA (hons) and this was the beginning of my work as a counsellor. I initially worked in a high school as a counsellor which I loved, but I realised quickly that if I wanted to pursue the career I wanted (in relationship counselling), I was going to have to consider furthering my education which also meant getting myself a full time job and this led to me leaving my post.
Of course life happens and after bagging the office job, with the steady income, I got married and soon after discovered I was pregnant. I had just embarked on an 8 month course in clinical hypnotherapy and was about a month in when I found out I was expecting my first baby. It didn't take long before I was utterly pregnancy, birth and baby obsessed. I was quickly discovering the commonplace attitude towards 'the big event' being scary, painful etc. and this only served to make me more determined to maintain my confidence and excitement about the birth of my baby, it also spurred a huge interest in how hypnosis could be used for birth. I did lots to prepare, attended yoga, had hypnosis and read as much as I could and sure enough, when the day arrived I was more than ready. I had a wonderful labour, but sadly things went a little awry at the end and I quickly discovered what was missing in my preparation - I hadn't accounted for the fact that despite my plans, there was already a pretty solid plan in place for me. By this, I mean 'the management' of birth.
This put a new fire in my belly and I had to understand what had led to my specific outcome. I realised that much of what I had been reading was the stuff I probably could have done without and what I should have been focusing on was the information that isn't so readily available. You are probably wondering why or how this is relevant, but it is because it meant that I was left feeling not only physically injured, but emotionally too. I didn't slot in to the post natal depression box and therefore felt that I was dismissed. I think what I was suffering was as a result of birth trauma. I had to ask for counselling and realised then, just how little support there is for not only women, but couples in the aftermath of a difficult birth.
The next couple of years was spent reclaiming my birth and getting as much as I could from a bad situation. I was made redundant which meant that there was an opening in time and I decided to start my Relationship Therapy training with Relate. I also trained as a hypnobirthing teacher and turned something bad, in to something good. It wasn't difficult for me to be passionate about hypnobirthing because I had been so lucky to approach my birth with excitement and experience the magic. And in 2013 I welcomed my 2nd child in the comfort of my own home and used all of the skills I had practiced and taught to have a very empowering, calm and gentle birth.
I now work in supporting couples in a counselling context through many of life's ups and downs and have extended this work to supporting women, men and couples in pregnancy and postnatal issues. I incorporate my hypnotherapy skills with counselling and psychotherapy and can offer a holistic approach to my practice.
Sexual Addiction & Couples
Recognising & Understanding Sexual Addiction
Counselling & the Autism Spectrum
Raising Awareness of Aspergers Syndrome
Understanding Anger & its Effects
Adult Survivors of Sexual Abuse
Mental Health & Couples Counselling
Suicide & Self-Harm
Birth Crisis with Sheila Kitzinger
Birth & Sex with Sheila Kitzinger
Understanding & Working with Eating Disorders