My Counselling Story
Hi there, if you’ve reached this page you know my name is Clare Ludlam and I’m a counsellor. And with most stories, I didn’t start off as a counsellor – I started off as the client with a lovely counsellor called Barbara.
In my first session Barbara brought me back to an offhand comment I’d made that my mother had died, when I had gone to talk about my relationship. Through our work together Barbara provided support and a place to grieve for my Mum and to learn that I was in an abusive relationship. Later I worked with two more lovely counsellors, Judy and Ingrid who continued to help and support me in leaving that relationship/connecting to my body and feelings/more grief/making connections to where things started from and eventually (in my 40’s) to meet my husband and be in a wonderful and loving relationship.
While working with Judy I decided to train to be a counsellor as these women and counselling had been instrumental in changing my life. Since completing my degree in counselling, I’ve continued to explore and train in different ways to create change and now offer alternative options to help people create the changes they want in their lives.
Prior to my counselling training, I had worked for a number of years in a Corporate Environment as an employee and manager, as a care provider for the elderly and a person with tetraplegia.
After obtaining my Bachelor of Counselling in 2004 I began my practice as a counsellor working for Catholic Social Services in Wellington which is a community counselling and social work agency. I was there for 5 ½ years working with individual children, adolescents and adults covering a range of issues. Alongside my counselling, I facilitated the Ministry of Justice Parenting through Separation Program aimed at how parents can help their children through their separation, and the Seasons for Growth Program working with children in the area of grief.
I started my own counselling private practice in 2010 working with individual clients and also working at Hutt Intermediate School with the students and staff. I finished my work at Hutt Intermediate in 2019 and then extended the time in my private practice.
In 2014 I introduced Laughter Yoga to the services I offer and became a Laughter Yoga Leader and in 2019 completed further training and am now a Laughter Yoga Teacher.
How Laughter Yoga Came Into My Life
A number of years ago I became aware that life was a bit serious and I wasn’t having enough fun. I searched and searched for ways to have fun and then I got an email about Laughter Yoga…and I thought this looks good… but life got in the way and I didn’t do anything about it.
About 2 years later, I received another email and this time, the time was right. I showed my husband the video of people in India doing Laughter Yoga and I was laughing watching them….but my husband wasn’t. I asked him ‘don’t you find it funny?’ and he said ‘no’. I asked him ‘doesn’t it make you want to laugh?’ and he said ‘no’…and then he said ‘but I can see it’s for you dear’.
And it was … and it is! There were no Laughter Yoga clubs in my area so I went and did the training myself. Yes, having not done any sessions, I sooo wanted to have more laughter in my life and bring laughter into other peoples lives, that I did the training first. And since February 2015 I’ve been running a Laughter Yoga group/club in Upper Hutt and having so much more fun and laughing much more with the group and in my daily life YAY.
Qualifications and Additional Training
- 2004 Bachelor of Counselling, Wellington Institute of Technology.
- EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique) Level I and II.
- Matrix Reimprinting.
- PSYCH-K Basic, Advanced and PRO.
- Laughter Yoga Leader and Teacher Training.
- Advanced Transactional Analysis (2 years).
- Interactive Drawing Therapy Foundation Course.
- Introduction to Solution Focused Therapy & Brief Solution Focused Therapy Follow-up.
- Grounding Workshop.
- Violence Intervention Programmes (VIPs) Training for Facilitators of Women’s Support and Learning Groups.
“NZAC, the New Zealand Association of Counsellors / Te Roopu Kaiwhiriwhi o Aotearoa is the national professional association that acts for and with counsellors to monitor and improve the service they provide.”
I am a full member and registered with NZAC.
You can refer to the code of ethics on their website www.nzac.org.nz for further information.