Who do I work with? Adults, Couples, Groups, and Young People 17+
How do I work? Face-to-Face, Online and offers Walking Therapy
Where am I based? SW Wales
My name is Chdel Cooke – don’t worry about how to say Chdel, think ‘Sh-delle’, and you’ll be pretty close. I won’t be offended.
My therapy practice is called free to be me.
I am based on the Carmarthenshire, Pembrokeshire, and Ceredigion border in SW Wales. I offer walking therapy at the beach, face-to-face therapy at my comfortable, private therapy room in Carmarthen, and online using Zoom. I enjoy working with individuals, couples, and groups.
My background is working with people in complex situations, many of whom are neurodivergent. I have a lived experience that allows me to bring a broader understanding than is typical in therapy, as many members of my family and I are neurodiverse.
Perhaps you would like to know a little about me? I read a lot of fiction and enjoy a good TV box set. I enjoy spoken word performances and live music gigs. I am a fire-side storyteller, a cold-water swimmer, and a walker. I enjoy food and laughter with friends and alone time to quietly think and dream.
Ways of Working
I enjoy working with individuals, couples, groups, and courses, including romantic couples’ enrichment, commitment preparation, resilience building and communication skills.
I offer post-diagnostic support for individuals, their families, and friends who want to gain understanding and awareness about their loved ones’ experience of being neurodivergent.
The kinds of people I have worked with so far are actors, photographers, students, mothers, journalists, nannies, soldiers, sound technicians, unwaged citizens, lawyers, teachers, scientists, fathers, singer-songwriters, builders, gardeners, filmmakers, artists, graphic designers, programmers, accountants, Carers…. Everyone is welcome.
Walking therapy uses the natural world to help ground and soothe the senses, freeing a person to consider their reasons for seeking therapy. Often, people feel more able to talk and think about their situations when in nature, walking side-by-side.
Online therapy is very popular as people have experienced it as equally effective and personal as face-to-face therapy, and it works well for individuals and couples. It has the added benefit of freeing us up to work together regardless of geographical location.
Couples therapy is not just for romantic couples; any two people who have something they would like to work on can come – siblings, friends, neighbours, business partners – the possibilities are endless. Who would you like to bring?
I am trained in Transactional Analysis, an elegant and straightforward way of considering how a person’s thoughts, feelings and behaviours impact their lives. It is simple to grasp but profound in its application.
I also use neuroscience, polyvagal theory, and other interesting things I have come across along the way.
I like to be creative, and I like to move about. I don’t have a one-size-fits-all approach to my work; I start from where you are, and then we work it out between us.
I have noticed that very few of us have really taken the time to figure out what is important to us and how we would like to be in the world. We are, after all, human beings, not human doings, yet somehow, we are often trapped in a way of thinking that values a strange, almost standardised measurement of ‘success’. For example, exam qualifications, a job, a significant other, the ability to drive, own a car, etc. Really? Why these markers?
I believe there are many forms of ‘success’, and you are the only one who can decide what yours is. I want to help you make that discovery and figure out how to make it your day-to-day lived experience.
So often, it is in our differences that we find the most richness and vitality: I welcome people of faith or none; people who express their sexuality differently to me or not; people who are of a different age to me or social background or education.
Whatever background you have come from, whatever you have experienced, it doesn’t have to define you.
By exploring who you are, your hopes and dreams, your anxieties and concerns, what interests and motivates you, and what your values and priorities are, you will discover how to become your own best friend, care for yourself effectively, enjoy life, and have more meaningful relationships with others.
No matter what your start has been, you can finish strong.
I welcome the differences and similarities you will bring to my Practice.
My aim is to assist you to become ‘comfortable in your skin’ and say, “I am free to be me.”
The Types of Issues I Support Neurodivergent Clients With
- Loss – e.g. loss of job, relationship, or opportunity
- Post-diagnostic support
- Caring for/living with someone with extra needs
- Discovering what you think and feel about something/someone
- Discovering your values and principles
- Discovering who you are, not who someone else says you are
- Choosing to be single – and living well
- Setting Boundaries
- Workplace stress
- Communication and conflict
- Preparation for romantic commitment
- Parenting support, including Shared Parenting situations after a breakup or divorce
- Intentional separation
- Religious trauma leading to a spiritual crisis and identity
Post-graduate counselling Diploma in Transactional Analysis
UKCP trainee psychotherapist in advanced clinical practice
I am a member of UKATA, EATA, ITAA and UKCP professional bodies.
Additional CPD Specific to Neurodiversity
I am committed to my ongoing professional development to ensure I can offer my best to the people who work with me.
- Aspire Autism Consultancy Best Practice with Supporting Autistic Clients
- Aspire Autism Consultancy Best Practice with Supporting Clients with ADHD
- Autism in the Therapy Room
- Autistic Parent
- Fabricated Induced Illness
- Autism Is Not A Personality Disorder
- TA Approaches to working with Adults with ADHD