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Psychotherapy & Counselling

In practice there is actually little difference between Counselling and Psychotherapy. One analogy I have found useful is that Counselling is about getting the dragon (problem) back in the cave whereas Psychotherapy is about dragon riding sessions. You first have to tame the dragon before you can ride (and learn from) it. More technically, Counselling addresses the Ego, whereas Psychotherapy pays attention to the Soul.

Issues addressed in Psychotherapy and Counselling

  • Abuse – physical, sexual, mental and emotional.
  • Addiction – substance and relationship.
  • Trauma
  • Affairs and Betrayals
  • Separation and Divorce
  • Anger management
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Post natal depression in women and men
  • Loneliness and social anxiety
  • Bereavement and Grief
  • Miscarriage and termination
  • Personal Development
  • Life Purpose and Meaning
  • Self esteem
  • Relationship difficulties – partners, parents, siblings, children, friends, work colleagues
  • Caretaking, Narcissism and Borderline Personality Disorder
  • Bullying
  • Sexuality and Sex problems
  • Spirituality and meditation
  • Suicidal thoughts
  • Stress
  • Panic attacks
  • Surgical traumatisation and dissociation

If you are new to looking for a Counsellor or Psychotherapist, I highly recommend you watch this YouTube film "A former Therapist's critique of Psychotherapy" by Daniel Mackler. I agree with 95% of what he says and it should help you choose a suitable and effective therapist. I do have a working style that has developed with experience gained over the course of almost 30 years practice. Key influences have been my trainings in Psychosynthesis and Core Process Psychotherapy, complemented by many years of Jungian Analysis and Supervision. I apply a transpersonal perspective, balancing the needs of Ego and Soul. I do not employ techniques or fit clients into normalising models or theories, as modern trainings seem to prescribe. I listen to you. I offer a warm therapeutic relationship based on a passionate dedication to authenticity, integrity, equality and openness. I will share with you my thoughts and feelings (unlike many counsellors are trained to do these days) and it is for you to clarify any misunderstanding I hold.

My work goes beyond the mainstream "normalising" psychotherapies, in that I respect your individual uniqueness and help you come into right relationship with the problem, difficulty or challenge that you are facing. No uniform approach will meet you, and my job, with your help, is to meet you how you need to be met and make the therapy that works for you. Longer term work (psychotherapy) can lead to profound changes and the discovery (or deepening) of a personal spiritual and soulful perspective. Technically, my work would be described as person-centred embodied depth psychotherapy within a transpersonal or psycho-spiritual perspective. Our work is confidential and in line with good professional practice, I may share the content of our work, but not your identity, with a supervisor who assists me with the clinical/theoretical aspects of our work and helps me see our work, and you, more clearly.

I offer a free initial session with no commitment to any future sessions. I offer this so we have the opportunity to meet, see how we get on and assess the appropriateness of us working together. If you are considering coming to see me, but are not sure, please avail yourself of this offer to meet, even if it is to help you decide now is not the right time, or I am not the right person, hopefully the session will help you move on, one way or another. You will not have to decide in the initial session if you want us to work together or not. Entering therapy is a big decision, emotionally and financially, so it can be good to take time before making such a commitment. I usually see people weekly for a full hour. Fortnightly sessions make the work feel a bit "thin" but may suit an ending for example. I rarely see people more than once a week, however in times of crisis or difficulty, this can usually be arranged.

A regular fixed appointment is beneficial to the work and we will try to find a time and day that is practical for us both. The length of time we work together is very much up to you, however an initial commitment to six sessions helps focus and contain the work. At the end of that time we can review our work and you can choose to continue and explore the particular issue, or other matters, more deeply if you wish. For more information about me and my background see the “About” section and Article More About Me and Psychotherapy.

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Supervision

I offer supervision for Counsellors and Psychotherapists. I take a very collegiate approach. Your client’s are your clients and my job is to help you be the best therapist you can be for them. This means I help you with clinical and theoretical aspects of the work as well as supporting your personal well-being and the development of your own therapeutic style. I offer you the benefit of my 25+ years of experience as a therapist however I never claim to know better than you or your clients.

I provide supervision for Alternative Therapy Practitioners to help develop the psychological aspects of their work with clients. The personal support of supervison also helps ease the stress and burden of running a practice and reduces the risk of therapist burn out. I find it surprising how little emphasis is paid by various Alternative Therapy trainings to the need of the therapist to look after their own psychologial and emotional well-being.

Sessions are one hour and at a mutually agreed frequency.

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Meditation

Mindfulness has become the latest vogue in psychotherapy, with therapists seeing it’s benefits and trying to integrate it into their psychotherapeutic practice. My Core Process training in the 90’s had a meditation practice (very similar to Mindfulness) at the heart of it’s theory and practice. When I heard all the boasts about Mindfulness being applied to psychotherapy and how wonderful it was, I was shocked to find that I had been doing it for over 20 years and actually it was nothing new psychotherapy as it’s promoters claimed.

The practice I learnt has had a profound influence on me and my life. I call the practice the 2 Question Meditation technique (2Q). Firstly, and crucially, it is not boring! A lot of meditation techniques focus on disidentification, or detaching ourselves from what is happening in the world, achieving this by focussing on a single object, process, sound or mantra. This can be useful in developing concentration and quieting “Monkey Mind” however utlimately I find it boring and it actually detaches me from reality rather than helps me rest in it in the way 2Q encourages. 2Q allows for all of our experience to be present whilst showing the transitory nature of that experiencing, thus gently bringing about a sense of detachment through experience rather than force of will. From what I understand this is very much in line with the principles of Zen Buddhism.

Detailed instructions of how to do 2Q can be found Here. I am available to teach 2Q one-to-one in one hour sessions. One session is usually enough to teach the technique. Susbsequent sessions are possible if you want to hone or the deepen the practice. You are welcome to bring others to share sessions if you want to share the experience and the cost. 2Q can become a shared practice with another, deepening connection and intimacy between you.

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Dreamwork

Dreams happen when we are asleep, and are messages, usually visual or imaginal, from a less conscious, but not less valuable, place in ourselves. I offer one-off, one hour dream therapy sessions because before I entered therapy, I wished that I had could take my dreams to someone skilled in dream interpretation without having to commit to a course of therapy. My therapy training and work with an experienced Jungian Analyst taught me how to work sensitively with dreams, most importantly I realised that the work is not as I naiively thought, simply about the interpretation of the symbols.

Dreams, like the stars, appear to come out at night but in fact they are always there, just outshone by the Sun (our star) in the day. Similarly our imagination is always there, just that our Ego operating in it’s controlling and often neurotic way, obscures access to a more creative and fulfilling way of being. In fact it is our Ego’s brightness and tendancy to want to stay in control that can make us our own worst dream interpreters. An important feature of the way I work with dreams is that I see that dreams portray a certain kind of reality. I believe our Ego’s (who we believe we are and how we believe things are) place a crude filter over life in order for us to cope and function. Dreams offer us a fuller picture as the ego is asleep and the filter is effectively switched off, hence the apparent non-sensical madness dreams often portray. With this understanding it is possible to see how dreams can seem to be prophetic, however it is not that they predict the future, it is the ego catching up with reality.

Freud described dreams as “the Royal road to the unconscious”. A phrase with which I can largely agree but what needs acknowledging is that this Royal road is a two way street i.e. that what we do in the waking world can also effect what happens in the dream world. To this end, there is a need in dreamwork to be aware of the reciprocal nature of the work and be sensititve in the application of any understanding one makes of a dream. For example, if a dream seems to imply you should sell your house and you do just that, you could find yourself dreaming the next night that you need to buy a house. One therefore needs to be aware of the compensatory tendancy of dreams, as the dreamworld tries to bring to the Ego’s attention something that is lacking or missing in order to bring about a more holistic, or wholesome situation. It is not that the Ego is the villain of the piece, it has a role to play, a function to fulfill, it just tends to outshine all the other stars.

If you do have what feels like an important or “big” dream please do not hesitate to get in touch to arrange a one-off session. I really value the wisdom of dreams and I hope I can be of service in helping you to understand your dream and live a more fulfilling life.

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