Therapy and counselling are for anyone who wants to feel better about themselves. Often people who are experiencing anxiety, depression, low self-esteem, loss, bereavement, or who have experience of trauma and abuse will turn to therapy and counselling for help.
Therapy is really useful for people who want to heal some old wounds or move on from feeling stuck in their lives, to be able to make decisions better. Counselling tends to be more short term, and focusses on responding to specific current issues in your life. Counselling contracts can be for 2 sessions, 6 weeks or for several months.
Sometimes people come to therapy and counselling in a moment of crisis, others with a more general feeling that all is not well in their lives and they want to take some time to reflect, review and rethink.
My role is to listen to you, reflect on what I hear and use the theory I have learnt to help you understand things in a different way. I will do my best to make sure you feel safe and listened to. The metaphor I often use to understand this process is that you bring your history, experiences and feelings, I bring my training my experience and the reading and research I have done. Together we use these to transform this tangle in the room between us into a beautiful tapestry that can help you make sense of the past and move into the future you want for yourself.
The experience of talking things through with a person outside your immediate family, social or work environment can help you see things in a different way. The questions I ask may help you reflect on habits and responses and how effective they are for you now. Sharing your experience of anxiety, or abuse or loss or whatever can be immensely valuable and then finding ways to think bout it differently.
My style is to work collaboratively with you, to help you find new ways of understanding your life and try out new ways of responding to situations.
I also offer anger management work. Anger is an emotional response to something, a source of information, that tells us about what we are experiencing. The physiological response means that we are ready to take action, it gives us strength and energy for a fight but can also drain and shame us. Sometimes it feels like an out-of-control response that we don’t like and that does not lead to anything helpful.
It is widely accepted that fear underlies most angry outbursts. When we are angry our body releases adrenaline, making our heartbeat faster, we breathe faster and sweat more. This allows us to focus on the perceived threat and to react quickly, but it also reduces the range of thinking options available to us and can lower our inhibitions significantly.
The 6-week anger management programme I offer gives an opportunity to explore your relationship to anger, and to support the development of a wider range of responses to the emotional surge. The programme includes exploring the triggers, building alternative responses. We will also look at identifying and understanding the anger you experience and experimenting with new solutions and new ways of being, linked to any underlying patterns of behaviour or thoughts.
Many of the people I have worked with have told me that they dislike themselves for being angry, they feel ashamed or embarrassed by their response to situations. Often anger is triggered at home, by the people we love, and they bear the brunt of it. This often feeds into the shame; ”Why am I hurting the people I love?” So, we also will explore what underlies the emotion for you, which may include all sorts of early experiences or messages you have taken on. We all have inner critical voices, and often people who are overwhelmed by anger experience these voices as loud and constant, so their resilience for dealing with difficult situations has been worn down by this constant internal barrage of criticism.
We meet at the same time each week for 6 weeks, and I will often suggest things to practice in the time between. This could include keeping an anger diary, paying attention to those critical voices, practicing alternative responses.
If you think this sounds like an approach that could help you, please do contact me for more information.
The UK Council for Psychotherapy states that psychotherapy:
"involves exploring feelings, beliefs, thoughts and relevant events, sometimes from childhood and personal history, in a structured way with someone trained you help you do it safely."
The British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy’s definition of counselling is:
"Counselling and psychotherapy are umbrella terms that cover a range of talking therapies. They are delivered by trained practitioners who work with people over a short or long term to help them bring about effective change or enhance their wellbeing."
For more information on my services and how I can help you why not get in touch for an informal chat.
"Psychotherapy guides us in a safe exploration of our early experiences and helps us create a narrative that associates these early experiences with the ways in which our brains and minds distort our current lives. In the process our symptoms come to be understood as forms of implicit memory instead of insanity, character pathology, or plain stupidity. This process can open the door to greater compassion for oneself, openness to others, and the possibility for healing."