Is Counselling or Psychotherapy for me?

My style of Holistic Integrative Counselling, Psychotherapy & EMDR:

You are probably at a point in your life where you want to confront your difficulties. If you’re reading this it suggests you have made the first brave steps in looking at how you might resolve them. I certainly don’t claim to have quick and easy answers to your problems, but what I can do is help you explore and change the underlying patterns that created them. The breakthrough to a new sense of freedom that you wish for, will come easier if you are willing to work hard towards that end, and you know that now is the time.

As I see it, my style of counselling helps you explore your inner self quite deeply. But there is a part of you that wants to protect youself from further unpleasantness, and so uses up a lot of energy to stop you looking deep within in case this hurts you even more. So, finding your inner wisdom can be very difficult depending on the strength of this resistant part, which is always unconscious at first. This part needs much love, support and safety whilst you look for those secrets to your well-being hidden beneath. 

Unexpected insight can have a powerful impact for the better on your neurology and physiology too. In other words, attuning to your inner life - your reactions, responses, beliefs and feelings - is the key to change on all levels, mental, emotional and physical. In the special therapeutic environment, it is easier than in the outside world, to find new ways of living and being. With your courage and persistence, these changes can come about and the results may be even better than you imagined!

As change can occur in unexpected ways, additional gains may include:

* Greater Self-Acceptance
* Emotional Control
* Calm in the face of challenge
* Self-Awareness and its attendant increased IQ
* Better Communication and Expression
* Relief from Anxiety, Conflict and Physical Pain.

In case you are wondering what difficulties I have worked with, I include a selection below:

Abuse (All kinds)
Addictions (Food, Alcholics in recovery)
Anger Management
Assertiveness Issues
Communication Problems
Grief & Bereavement
Guilt and Shame Issues
Mid-Life Crises
Personal Growth (For those whose aim it is to understand themselves better).
Relationship Problems
Self-Confidence Issues
Serious Illness (Emotional aspects)
Sexual Abuse
Trauma (PTSD)

I'd like to stress that I believe that therapy is not a miracle cure nor a magic bullet, but a committed process over several weeks, months or years, depending on your individual need. Some people have improved significantly in as little as 4 sessions when they were ripe for change: I have seen remarkable movement in the short term on a few occasions. There is no doubt too that 6-12 sessions can be very supportive in a crises. However, the truth is that deep, structural change is pretty slow and indeed, most of you are going to have to be patient. 

Click here for my article entitled:

Thirteen Myths about Counselling & Psychotherapy- For Those Who Don’t Believe In It or Who Think It Doesn’t Work! 


Holistic Integrative Therapy - How I work.

I aim to help you feel better and to achieve the changes you would like by offering a special relationship where my attention and focus is fully on you, and the state of our relationship. I strive to be genuine and honest and empathic in my relationship with you, and to keep the atmosphere safe, responding if it seems my thoughts and feelings might be helpful to you. It is this kind of situation that is the seed-bed for growth, change and moving on. 

My approach is informed by several models including the latest thinking in cognitive psychology, tried and tested processes from traditional psychotherapy, and also creative processes from humanistic psychology. With your permission, I might include for example, metaphor and image work or I might help you to explore the meaning of a dream, or I might suggest you do some drawing if it seems appropriate. Most importantly of all, I try to listen attentively to the spoken and the unspoken, so as to be a helpful companion on your journey.

As part of my psychotherapeutic practice I am qualified to offer, at your request or I might suggest it, a powerful, but deeply relaxing healing treatment, which brings an energetic dimension to the task of psychological change, often called spiritual healing. I prefer, however, to call it energy healing. As always, the choice is yours.

I believe that most problems in life stem from four main areas, and that these areas have evolved from how you and I have adapted in our relationships with others. I aim to help you focus on these areas. 

These four areas are: 

Buried, unfinished communications;
Repressed or partially-felt emotions;
Stored bodily sensations linked to an unresolved difficulty;
The formation of fixed and rigid belief patterns at key points in our lives.

In this context, most of us would benefit from looking within. I look forward to working with anyone of you who is interested in bringing these issues to the light of awareness so as to facilitate insight and change.

Counselling and therapy will work best for those of you who have made a decision that you want positive change in your life, and are willing to make a committment to that process. Sometimes the work can be painful, but through this process, inner freedom and release can be found.


The Difference Between Counselling and Psychotherapy - From the Client's Point of View.

Counselling is generally considered to be used for the short term between about 6 - 12 sessions. It is usually not considered to work at such a deep level as psychotherapy. In psychotherapy, weekly meetings can go on for 3 years or more, and is generally considered to include surfacing, releasing feelings and re-evaluating childhood memories, as they may be impacting on present circumstances. The purpose is to enable shifts and changes within the deep structure of the personality, so as to make your life work better.

In practice however, you may come for only six sessions of counselling and yet find it important to open up a specific childhood memory to resolve a specific problem, which can be deeply freeing, even in such a short time. The boundaries between counselling and psychotherapy then become blurred. In these cases it becomes irrelevant for you, the client, to try to distinguish whether you are receiving counselling or psychotherapy. If sessions are few in number however, a tight focus on a specific memory may need to be employed so as not to end with an "open wound".

Whether you need counselling or psychotherapy, the most important factor is your committment to the work and your relationship with your therapist - not the label. Either provides the opportunity for you to talk about, feel and sense those aspects of your life experiences which need to be worked through, understood and re-evaluated. 

I'd like to mention here a new evolving form of Psychotherapy called EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitisation & Reprocessing). This cutting edge treatment is a powerful psychotherapy and works deeply on the body-mind. Nonetheless it has been found to work much quicker than traditional psychotherapy when dealing with issues such as single traumas. Although it might still take 2 years or so of EMDR to deal with and resolve childhood issues and long term repeated traumas that is still potentially quicker than its traditional therapy counterpart. See my EMDR page by clicking here, or my dedicated EMDR website by clicking here.

In all cases, whether in counselling, psychotherapy or EMDR, you can expect unconditional positive regard and a safe and confidential environment in which to explore your inner world.

BACP          UKCP