What I Offer
Person Centered Counsellor
Currently, all my counselling is conducted over the phone or online.
I offer person-centred counselling to adults but can combine this with other therapeutic tools, if you wish me to, to suit your particular needs (e.g. Compassion Focused Therapy, ACT therapy and the Rewind Technique. See below for details). Person-centred counselling means I will listen to you in a non-judgemental way and work at your pace without telling you what to do.
Whilst counselling doesn’t claim to be the answer to all difficulties, many people find if they are listened to in a non-judgemental way and in a safe environment, they are enabled to understand themselves and their needs more deeply and freer to explore different ways of looking at their life.
As a consequence, individuals can discover more effective ways of living and coping, and become more self-directing as they develop insights and solutions to the issues important to them.
I adhere to the I.S.P.C.’s (International Society for Professional Counsellors) code of ethics – an organisational member of B.A.C.P. – which means I am committed to providing a safe, confidential and professional approach.
Compassion Focused Therapy
Compassion Focused Therapy (a mindful, CBT – cognitive behavioural approach) was developed by Professor Paul Gilbert. This approach is informed by a wide range of theories and areas of research, such as evolution, neuroscience and psychology.
The simplest definition of compassion is “sensitivity to pain”. But compassion can also mean “a motivation and genuine commitment to relieve pain”. The compassionate mind approach incorporates this definition.
Self-compassion is not, for example, about treating yourself to something lovely, it’s about recognizing when you are struggling, and making a commitment to do what you can to improve things for yourself step by step.
It may involve making a commitment to get fit, eat healthier or develop a hobby. It may involve facing a specific situation despite feeling anxious about it. It may involve allowing yourself to cry or feel angry about something because you need to. It may also involve addressing a particular problem that’s holding you back in life. As you can see, it’s not always an easy option.
Using this approach potentially enables you to develop self-compassionate ways of supporting yourself in order to bring out your best qualities and potentially build self-confidence.
ACT (Acceptance and Commitment Therapy) is a mindfulness-based behaviour therapy shown to be effective with a diverse range of conditions including anxiety, depression, OCD, workplace stress, chronic pain, the stress of terminal cancer and addiction.
The goal of ACT is to help the individual create a rich and meaningful life, while accepting any pain that inevitably goes along with it.
In ACT clients are taught a set of psychological skills (e.g. cognitive defusion and acceptance) to deal with their painful thoughts and feelings in such a way that these thoughts and feelings have potentially much less impact and influence over them.
At the same time, clients are also enabled to clarify what is truly important and meaningful to them – i.e their values – in order to guide and motivate them to change their lives for the better.
Underlying this therapeutic model is the assumption that the psychological processes of a normal human mind can be destructive and can potentially create psychological suffering. One way the normal human mind might do this is through a process known as “experiential avoidance.” For example, individuals might avoid flying, giving a presentation, applying for a job, socializing, etc., in order to avoid experiencing anxiety-provoking thoughts, images and feelings. In the short term, this kind of avoidance often leads to a sense of relief and emotional control. However, in the long run it can create other problems and unintentionally exacerbate the individual’s anxiety. ACT therapy targets experiential avoidance only when it has become harmful.
A growing body of empirical data confirms that ACT is highly effective for the treatment of depression, anxiety disorders, substance abuse, chronic pain, PTSD, anorexia, and even schizophrenia. ACT is also a very effective model for life coaching.
I’m also qualified to practice “the rewind technique” for clients with P.T.S.D. – post-traumatic stress disorder.
Rewind Therapy is an internationally recognised treatment for PTSD.
It is easily learnt; and usually requires no more than two to three sessions to bring about closure for a single trauma. The Rewind Technique potentially offers a way of permanently stopping the involuntary recall of a traumatic event, bringing it under the control of the individual. Voluntary recall remains however.
Rewind therapy is often known as “closure without disclosure” as no details of the trauma are disclosed to the therapist or counsellor. This potentially reduces the risk of re-traumatization of the individual.
Dr David Muss, founder of IARTT, first introduced his Rewind therapy in 1991 “A new technique for treating Posttraumatic Stress Disorder”. British Journal of Clinical Psychology and I have been trained by him.
I also run a facebook page onto which I put regular posts, encouraging everyone to think about their mental wellbeing. Please see the link below if you think you might be interested