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Sue O'Brien Counselling in Cardiff 
Individual or Couple Therapy
Based at Sam's Rooms - 174 Whitchurch Road, Cardiff CF14 3NB
Individuals £70, Couples £90, Students £55

I have particular skill in working with relationship issues, anxiety, depression, trauma, guilt, shame, fear, grief, anger, suicidal thinking, self-harm, disordered eating, substance use, and most of all, hope.


My approach incorporates Systemic and Internal Family Systems (IFS) thinking - simply put, just as we have external systems in our lives (relationships, environmental, cultural, religious etc) and internal biological systems (for example, digestive, respiratory, reproductive), we also have our emotions, behaviours, impulses, thoughts and reactions

- our internal family that show up as parts of us. 

We often become aware of our parts when their presence is extreme, for example, anxiety, depression, anger, substance use, self-harm, and it can be common to treat them as you would troublesome family members by either giving into them or by trying to ignore them or push them away.  This can work for a while, but because their motives aren't understood, they can up their game and come back fighting.  When this happens it can be overwhelming, affecting your relationships and quality of life. 


My role is to help you see your parts differently and to explore how they're influenced by internal and external systems and vice versa.  By approaching them with curiosity and compassion, they feel validated instead of bad and shameful and we can discover why they're there, where they came from, their purpose.  Befriending them this way helps them relax and opens up opportunities for choice, improved relationships and a more harmonious internal family and way of life.  

As you read this, you may notice that a part of you might get this and another part might think it's tosh, but perhaps, somewhere in between the two parts, there's some curiosity to get to know your internal family and if so, whether you're an individual or a couple, together we'll explore what's going on for you without judgement.

Working with Individuals



'There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you' - Maya Angelou

I get that life, past and present - and knowing what’s coming - can be a bitch!  It can slap us in the face so hard it can be a struggle to get through the day.  At times we can feel overwhelmed by life, consumed by the pain of our experiences with confusing and sometimes bloody scary thoughts and behaviours. 

We can feel conflicted, torn and unable to make decisions - a part of me thinks therapy will help, but another part wonders how on earth talking can make any difference. We can be afraid of our pasts, present and future and our relationships can suffer the consequences. 

Sometimes it can even be a struggle to function and to find any calm.

I want to be held in a way

which allows me to crumble

knowing that those arms are

capable of holding all my little pieces

without dropping a single fragment

Berkana Vuno


Working with Couples

'Healing relationships with intimacy from the inside out.'  Toni Herbine-Blank & Martha Sweezy


Couples Counselling is a healthy, positive and supportive exploration into the issues and challenges experienced by many couples. ​Every couple is unique, yet their problems often have a commonality – one or both partners having a sense of not feeling validated, heard or understood.  Emotions and tensions can run high leading to feelings of blame, shame, hurt, confusion and sometimes infidelity.  These issues are often less of a lack of commitment or love, but more from becoming ‘stuck’ with unhelpful communication a typical theme.  

My role is to act as an impartial facilitator, to assist you in reaching the goals you set based on your situation and desire.  I believe we are partners in the process and by exploring past and present patterns of communication and behaviours, we can discover the strengths and resources of your relationship which can lead to new ways to relate and respond to one another.

By working together with an open curious mind, we can explore our inner and outer worlds to bring healing and change to your lives



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