Michaela Durham - Tutor and Counsellor - Interview


Life is but a lesson - learn how to enjoy it!

3 months ago

Get to know more about the type of tutoring and counselling that is centred on person-engagement and individual needs. With Michaela Durham, you know exactly what you pay for.

Cylex: What sort of tutoring and counselling services do you offer?

Michaela Durham - Tutor and Counsellor: Person-centred teaching that is tailored to the individual student is my approach. Giving structure and positive reinforcement throughout this process facilitates learning and enables students to feel they are an equal contributor to the learning experience.

I have always loved learning and the pursuit of knowledge is a gift that I have been privileged to pass on to my students. Whatever the subject, at the core is a passion for learning itself. I have taught in a variety of areas and fields but have always found that students will learn if they are provided with the right environment. The environment can be a simple as a teacher that is willing to invest their time and belief in a student. If one method of teaching a subject does not work, then discuss with your student to find a way that is better for them. Engaging a student with their subject is key to success and setting achievable goals promotes ownership of their learning.

Price Per Hour: £25 - Exam Preparation and Additional Support
Pricing is dependent upon individual need. A consultation will be required to determine the relevant level of support and how it is to be achieved.

I provide a person-centred, holistic approach which aims to promote independence and autonomy. By creating a non-judgemental environment and consistent boundaries, emotional growth and self-awareness is facilitated and encouraged by the client-counsellor therapeutic relationship.

Primarily, I work as a Humanistic counsellor but am willing to engage in CBT work if necessitated by the client's needs. My previous experience stems from workplace anxiety, stress, childhood trauma, bullying, young people and behavioural issues, bereavement and anger management. This list is not exhaustive but gives a brief idea of areas that I have covered.

Initial Assessment Session - Session Price: £40 and Price Per Hour: £50
This session will be used to determine what the client needs, how that can best be achieved and whether we are well-suited to work together. The initial assessment will last between 60 and 90 minutes

Package - Block Price: £250
Brief Therapy is offered in blocks of six and then a review will take place to determine whether further sessions will be necessary.

Cylex: Please tell us a few words about you so we get to know you a little.

Michaela Durham - Tutor and Counsellor: Having taught in a variety of environments from a young offender's institution to Grammar schools; from text book-led lesson plans to ad-hoc experiential learning; from straight A students feeling pressurised to succeed and students who either cannot or will not allow themselves to learn; I have encountered them all in my teaching career. I decided to embark on counselling training several years after leaving University with a Psychology degree. Initially, I found the training to be a practical application of the theoretical knowledge that I had already gained. What I had not counted on was the impact that it would have on how I viewed the world and my consequent role in it. It has continued to inform and shape my choices both career wise and in my personal life.Therefore, when I came to a time in my life where I could spend time doing what I loved, I decided to start my own business. I am fortunate to have two professions that I love and am passionate about, so blending them into one career seemed the obvious choice.

Cylex: Do you use various materials during your tutoring sessions? Could you give us some examples please?

Michaela Durham - Tutor and Counsellor: I have created schemes of work for many of the subjects I have taught and use various forms of media to enable students to access the material. Primarily paper-based work sheets differentiated to suit each student, use of ICT and discussion at the end of the lesson to see how the student feels the lesson has gone. The setting is informal as it is home based but every student has an Individual Learning Plan, weekly lesson plans and we set targets every lesson. If a student requires homework then I will prepare some and I am on hand in between lessons via telephone and e mail should they require extra help.

Cylex: How do you let know the parents if the child has any progress or not? How often do you talk to parents?

Michaela Durham - Tutor and Counsellor: I speak to the parents usually after every tutoring or counselling lesson and encourage my students to give feedback to them instead of me. The reason behind this is that I might have a belief of what that student has learned but they might have other ideas! My lesson are not like the ones based in  a school and I have one parent who sits in because she wants to see how she can best help her daughter. I keep track of my student's attendance and their progress. If a parent requested a breakdown, then I could produce a report for them. Some parents are more hands on than others but every one that I have encountered puts their faith and trust in me to help their child. This is not something that I take for granted so am always willing to discuss their child's needs and progression - it is what I would want as a parent!

Cylex: Does your counselling address to children only? What are some of the areas that seem to be the hardest to deal with these times?

Michaela Durham - Tutor and Counsellor: My counselling is open to people of all ages and the difficulties encountered are as individual as the clients themselves. The tenet of all counsellors or people in the helping profession is to do what is best for the client. I hold this belief very dear and it informs my work. Areas of difficulty are not easy to define as any step can be perceived as difficult when one is at the start of a journey. I once said to a client that walking through the door to self awareness might seem harder than staying where they were. They reflected later that it was not as hard as they thought as they knew I was on the other side waiting for them. Maybe that is the difficulty in counselling ; allowing yourself to change or develop. In that respect, maybe children are more open and not so averse to risk. Counselling can be risky and it can be difficult but it might be the best form of self care that we have.

Cylex: What brings you satisfaction and in your opinion what sets you apart from other counselors?

Michaela Durham - Tutor and Counsellor: To grow as a person takes strength and no little amount of courage. It is the counsellor's role to walk alongside their clients as they traverse their difficult path. It is a privilege to be given the opportunity to be involved in that process and hopefully, help a person to heal themselves. From working with each client, I developed as a practitioner and my client's bravery in confronting personal difficulties, whilst trying to function in a world where they felt they did not fit, continues to inspire me many years later.

"You can do anything as long as you have the passion, the drive, the focus and the support."