Choosing a name is never easy, a name captures what is important, what you value, it defines you. Settling on Heart Story was a journey to define what I want my counselling practice to embrace.
The name reflects the ideas of Narrative Counselling, that who we are is shaped by our by the experiences and relationships that we focus on, that what we tell ourselves, and what we take on board from others starts to define us, even if that isn't something we are comfortable with.
Sometimes those stories or reputations we live out of are dominated by an event that brings us down, that scars who we are. Yet regardless of how sure we have become something we are uncomfortable with, each of us has moments where what we love, who we prefer to be shines through, finding them gives us a basis for who we would prefer to think of ourselves as being.
As I chose the name, I was conscious of the connection between heart and relationships. Where possible aiming to strengthening the supportive relationships around my clients.
The heart also represents our emotions, those beautiful internal messages that process our experiences and allow us to understand each other. Messages which ultimately aim to protect us. Yet sometimes we need to unpack them to allow them to be heard and so they can be allowed to rest. Sometimes doing that means building up a sense of who we are apart from that incident so that we can appreciate and reconnect with our selves. As a practitioner I am committed to growing in working in ways that are trauma informed and support emotional health and safety.
The Heart Story Counselling heart represents all of this and more. It was taken of a photo of a tree that was growing, on the Lion's Walk along the lakefront in Taupo. Walking along the waterfront, the community that always says "Hi" to each other is something I treasure about Taupo. These quiet views of the lake are one of my favourite self care spots. One day when I was still contemplating training, I came across this heart carved in one of the trees along the path. Five years latter the tree has been removed, but this picture sums up so much of what had supported me in my journey, and what I wanted to offer my clients. A reminder that the legacies we leave can be powerful. Someone years ago, had carved a heart into the bark, a promise of love and accpetance and as the tree grew the shape grew, it also shows that from a scar, a wounding of the tree, something beautiful grew in the healing of that scar. I think of the hope that brings often when I talk with a client. Our stories, our scars, the uniqueness of each of us is what informs a person's inner beauty.