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As you are here, you are probably questioning something about your life right now that isn’t working, doesn’t feel right and maybe it is simply time to act.

 

There is a lot of writing on this site to enable your understanding as well as how we work and why we do what we do. So stay with us, read on and or get in touch to move on.

Counselling & Psychotherapy is not advice. The world is full of advice and part of what brings you to us is that you’ve become lost in that advice and can’t sort out who to listen to; the last thing you need is yet another voice to consider and we won’t offer ours. The goal of treatment is for you to rediscover your own voice, your own priorities, and the courage to act on them. As your therapist we provide permission to change and protection against the anxiety that change creates. We do not have to tell you what to do about your marriage, career, paranoia and anxiety. If we can help you become aware of what’s happening to you, inside you and between yourself and others, you will know better than us what is best for you. You are unique! This way enables you so that next time you won’t get so confused. Our goal is ironically to work myself out of a relationship with you over time, so that you can excel at your intrepersonal communication, not needing us anymore!

 

A good way to think of the distinction between counselling/psychotherapy and something that is therapeutic — advice, support, learning new skills, learning about feelings and behaviour — is to consider: Does it foster insight. This is an important word and insight is not learning in the intellectual sense. It is a kind of intensely personal and energising experience that needs to be at the heart of all good treatments, it will here.

 

Psychotherapy and counselling, known as talking treatments can help you to overcome emotional difficulties and free yourself from self-destructive ways of feeling, thinking and behaving. Decisions we made as children that kept us safe can then  keep us trapped today as they don’t work for us anymore. They may keep us “safe”, in a familiar pattern and that doesn’t necessarily make us happy. How many times in life have you said, Why me? Why this again? Why do I always do this? Why do I always pick the same guy, same woman, the same scenario, the same job, the same boss, the same friends? These irrational patterns of feeling, perception, and behavior are not chosen or established in awareness. We don’t mean to as clearly most of us would not persist with behaviour that creates unhappiness on purpose. But these habits develop outside of awareness, not just non-verbally but pre-verbally, where we can’t get at them.

 

Pieces of the puzzle don’t fit, don’t make sense

 

It is this lack of sense that is the key to our understanding “Why psychotherapy”? For just as the problems are established somewhere outside of your awareness, so too must the “cure” reach into this area, otherwise the treatment won’t work long term. Learning on an intellectual level is rarely sufficient, changing habits will work for a while. There is a difference  between intellectual learning and the kind of personal insight that is the reward, and the great offering of psychotherapy.

Unfortunately this kind of learning is hard which is one reason psychotherapy usually takes more than a few sessions. Within the sessions we vehemently resist the things we most need to learn, once again because they are painful. To say why didn’t I, how couldn’t I, hurts. You are questioning why you have lived like you have lived, questioning the decisions you made and how you have existed.

It’s only later, when you try to put your experience and insight into words, that it all sounds so blindingly obvious as it did to those who discussed us and asked why can’t you snap out of it, why can’t you change, why can’t you just stop?

Psychotherapy works by providing an opportunity for you to talk in a way that assists you to understand yourself better. Having gained this understanding, you can work out ways of living your life in a more positive and constructive way.

 

This way of changing your life is very different from using drugs, such as tranquillisers and antidepressants which doctors often prescribe for people who are emotionally distressed. These drugs change your mood by affecting the balance of chemicals in your body, but do not help you to deal with underlying problems. Avoidance can work for a period of time too and eventually means having to face up to how you feel and what is going on.

 

People who use mental health services often prefer talking treatments to drugs. Research has proved that talking treatments can be just as helpful as drugs for many mental health problems and suggests they should be offered as well as, or instead of, medication, when possible. The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) makes recommendations to GP’S and hospital doctors about treating mental health problems. They often suggest forms of talking treatment that are brief, cost-effective and supported by clinical evidence. This does not necessarily mean that they are always the best form of talking treatment for you and we will assess that on our first meeting.

Although they are labelled differently, there is often an overlap of approaches between different types of therapy or therapists. In particular, there is a great deal of overlap between psychotherapy and counselling; there are also many different types of psychotherapy and counselling. We offer integrative, humanistic therapy, so it is about the relationship in the here and now that enables you to move forward while also looking at the process that created the you you are today. There is no blame in our relationship. We use Transactional Analysis, Gestalt and Rogers as our core base. They mean nothing at all to most people looking for therapy or may make a lot of sense. The core bases we use enable us a theoretical platform to work from within which we can talk and get on, creating a therapeutic relationship that will enable you to grow.

 

How can I get started?

   

Talk to us. Call or email…

 

Word-of-mouth is one of the best ways of identifying good practitioners and we have included testimonials. We start with an initial assessment to decide if we can help you, and for you to decide if you want to see us. Don’t be afraid to ask questions about our training, experience and anything else you want to know, and whether or not we are receiving supervision and on-going training. Safety really matters for all those involved so we take measures to ensure safety as much as is feasible.

The most important question to ask your self is, ‘Can I make a good relationship with this person?’ Research suggests this is one of the most important ingredients in successful treatments regardless of their theoretical training, qualifications and or experience.

 

 

We Offer:

Counselling

Counselling provides an opportunity to talk about whatever is troubling you, and to be heard. We tend to focus on your current problems and your reactions to particular events; for example bereavement or the break-up of a relationship. Our most important skill is the ability to listen: the aim is not to tell you what to do, nor to offer a personal opinion, but to help you to arrive at your own solutions so that you can move forward, whilst enabling you with tools, skills and self recognition to do so.

We generally see people face-to-face. We also offer skype, phone or email therapy. If you decide to see us in person, it may be for one session, or you may arrange for regular appointments, perhaps an hour a week for several months. We contract and review with your input and agreement.

 

Individual Longer Term Therapy, Transactional Analysis Psychotherapy, Humanistic Counselling   

The overall aim of psychotherapy is to help you to understand why you feel the way you do, and what lies behind your responses to other people and to things that happen to you. Talking about your experiences can help you to release painful feelings and find better ways of managing situations you have been finding difficult. This should enable you to reach a greater understanding of events that have shaped your life and of self-destructive patterns of behaviour. It may therefore, enable you to overcome specific problems, such as compulsive eating and lack of confidence, or simply allow you to become happier.

Group Therapy

Group therapy enables people to deal with problems you may have relating to and communicating with other people, and to develop self-awareness. There are generally 8 to 12 people in a group, who meet together regularly to talk about their concerns. I try and organise groups when it comes to sex addiction especially.

The idea of group therapy can be intimidating, but most people find it reassuring that others may be in a similar position to themselves. In a group environment, opportunities may arise to behave differently, to be more assertive or more vulnerable. It is also helpful for people to hear other points of view about their concerns, the way they appear, how their behaviour comes across and in what way it affects other people. I do make sure I meet each group member before we start to make sure they work for the group and once a group is up and running, it is closed to others until a new group is set up.

Relationship & Family Therapy

Relationship therapy is for couples who want to sort out problems in their relationship. You attend sessions together and the we aim to help you to express your difficulties, to listen to each other, to develop an understanding of each other and find ways of making your relationship work better. You may decide to end the relationship but, with luck having gained more understanding of why it was not working and what lessons you can learn for the future. Family therapy works in just the same way, with the entire family attending.

Who are talking treatments for?

Prejudice about emotional distress sometimes stops people from using talking treatments they could benefit from. They may feel that it is a sign of weakness or inadequacy to seek assistance in this way. The truth is very different; it is not a blame situation if you experience emotional difficulties, and it takes courage to face up to them and find better ways of coping. Most people can benefit from talking treatments. They can do for the mind what exercise does for the body in that they liven you up, help you to think more flexibly, make you stronger emotionally and help to stop more serious problems from occurring. Just like taking exercise, it is important to find what suits you best.

Unfortunately, it is also true that doctors are more likely to suggest talking treatments if you are white and middle class. Talking treatments work just as well regardless of where you are from, what colour you are or what you do or your parents did for a living!

I will also endeavour to respect who you are, where you come from, your culture and what makes you you as you and your situation are unique. There is no blame in what I do either, we won’t be destroying your past.

 

When are talking treatments not suitable?

There are some good reasons (as well as bad ones) for not offering talking treatments. In groups for instance, it is important that people should be prepared to listen to and support each other as well as to talk about themselves. If you aren’t able to do this, or are abusive towards others, you may be asked to leave.

We may decide that our relationship won’t work for many reasons and the first meeting will enable us to see.

Generally, successful treatment depends on you being prepared to want to try and make changes in your life and using the support that is offered. If you blame all your difficulties on other people, we can look at that. Counselling and Psychotherapy can assist you to overcome many different sorts of problems but some difficulties are better helped by other treatments as well, or instead of. We can wok hand in hand with the medical profession or maybe someone else you are involved with.  For example, if you find it hard to sleep, learning relaxation techniques would probably be your first priority. We can look at these too. We can be a myriad of things depending on your need.

 

Does talking work?

Talking treatments certainly do work, but not always. There are many people whose lives have improved beyond recognition as a result of attending a group or seeing a Counsellor or Psychotherapist. It may have been a struggle and taken a long time, but it has been worth it. Profound changes have taken place and they know; whatever happens, they will not experience their old problems again.

Others know that they have at least, experienced some benefit. They may understand themselves better and have some clues about how they can lead more positive lives. The good periods may last longer and the bad times may be more manageable.

Some people are disappointed. They may have found their Counsellor, Psychotherapist or Therapist never really understood them, or felt that they did not fit into their group. A bad experience of therapy may have left them feeling more hopeless than before. Talking treatments vary in their quality as some professionals are simply better suited to them than others. How we relate is the key and your attitude will also make a difference. Psychotherapy is a relationship and no relationship comes with a guarantee! Some people find that just knowing that we are there and focusing on their concerns makes them feel valued. If you go along determined to make the most of every session and to be completely honest about yourself, it is more likely to work. If, as a result of what you learn about yourself, you are prepared to face your fears and risk making changes in your life you are much more likely to achieve good results. We will negotiate how we interact and how our relationship will work.

It is useful if you can be clear about how you hope to benefit from our time together. It will help you to make the best use of your sessions and, also, to decide if it is proving to be useful for you.

 

How will this relationship work?

The relationship with a therapist is very different from the one you make with a friend. You will find out very little about our personal lives and our own difficulties and struggles. But you will reveal a lot about yourself. We can become an important figure in your life and you are likely to develop strong feelings which could be positive or negative. Either way, it is easy to feel that we are stronger and more powerful than you. This need not cause any difficulties, but it can leave you vulnerable to exploitation. We will contract and review on a regular basis to ensure you are happy with what is happening within our relationship.

Remember that you are the customer, as well as a client. You can discuss practical arrangements, review how your sessions are going or discuss anything that’s troubling you. We are real people doing a challenging job and have good days and bad days, like everyone. You can help us to do our job to the best of our ability by treating us respectfully – by being on time for your session and paying your fees. If you appreciate our efforts, please also say and add to the testimonials page so we know and can see our work is producing results.

Get The Help You Need

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