Counselling

What is counselling?

It’s an opportunity to talk about things that concern you, in a relationship of trust and acceptance – working to find a way forward that feels right for you.

Counselling is usually a weekly session of 50 minutes. It may be just a few sessions, or it can continue for a year or longer. How long we continue depends on whether you are still finding it helpful – we can check that out regularly.

The ‘Counselling Relationship’

Research suggests that the element that influences the success of counselling irrespective of the philosophical approach is the quality of relationship the counsellor is able to develop with clients. It might be worth considering what is important to you in a counsellor. No counsellor is right for everyone.  I believe in the use of myself in the counselling relationship and I also believe in the importance of my continuing  personal and professional development.

Person-Centred Counselling

Devised by Carl Rogers and also called “Client-Centred” or “Rogerian”  counselling, this is based on the assumption  that  a client  seeking help in the resolution of a problem they are  experiencing, can enter into a relationship with a counsellor  who is sufficiently accepting and permissive to allow the client to freely express any emotions and feelings. This will enable the client to come to terms with negative feelings, which may have caused emotional problems, and develop inner resources.

The goals of person-centered counselling are increased self-esteem; trust in one’s inner feelings and experiences as valuable sources of information for making decisions; increased ability to learn from (rather than repeating) mistakes; decreased defensiveness, guilt, and insecurity; more positive and comfortable relationships with others; an increased capacity to experience and express feelings at the moment they occur; and openness to new experiences and new ways of thinking about life.

What is EMDR?

Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing, or EMDR, is a powerful new psychotherapy technique which has been very successful in helping people who suffer from trauma, anxiety, panic, disturbing memories, post traumatic stress and many other emotional problems. Until recently, these conditions were difficult and time-consuming to treat. EMDR is considered a breakthrough therapy because of its simplicity and the fact that it can bring quick and lasting relief for most types of emotional distress.

EMDR is the most effective and rapid method for healing PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) as shown by extensive scientific research studies.

The EMDR therapy uses bilateral stimulation, right/left eye movement, or tactile stimulation, which repeatly activates the opposite sides of the brain, releasing emotional experiences that are “trapped” in the nervous system. This assists the neurophysiological system, the basis of the mind/body connection, to free itself of blockages and reconnect itself.

As troubling images and feelings are processed by the brain via the eye-movement patterns of EMDR, resolution of the issues and a more peaceful state are achieved.

How Does It Work?

The therapist works gently with the client and asks him/her to revisit the traumatic moment or incident, recalling feelings surrounding the experience, as well as any negative thoughts, feelings and memories. The therapist then holds her fingers about eighteen inches from the clients face and begins to move them back and forth like a windshield wiper. The client tracks the movements as if watching ping pong. The more intensely the client focuses on the memory, the easier it becomes for the memory to come to life. As quick and vibrant images arise during the therapy session, they are processed by the eye movements, resulting in painful feelings being exchanged for more peaceful, loving and resolved feelings.

What problems are helped by EMDR?

The studies to date show a high degree of effectiveness with the following conditions:

High anxiety and lack of motivation
Depression
Memories of a traumatic experience
Fear of being alone
Unrealistic feelings of guilt and shame
Fear of being alone
Difficulty in trusting others
Relationship problems
loss of a loved one

The EMDR technique is most effective when used in conjunction with other traditional methods of therapy in treating these and many other emotional disorders.

EMDR therapy can help clients replace their anxiety and fear with positive images, emotions and thoughts.

Cognitive Behavioural Approach

This is a type of therapy that aims to help you manage your problems by changing how you think and act. The Cognitive Behavioural Approach can help you to change how you think (‘cognitive’) and what you do (‘behaviour’), which can help you feel better about life.

How Does it work?

How we work together will depend on the reasons you are attending counselling, your goals and what you feel comfortable with, which we can discuss when we begin. Some people respond best to Cognitive Behavioural strategies, while others prefer using the space to offload.  Others want to explore the past to make sense of the present.

A  focus in our work may be how we can help you make changes in your life, for example, finding ways to relax, to build self-esteem, relate with others differently or combat your depression and anxiety, so that you can move forward in your life in a more rewarding and fulfilling way.

How long does it take?

Counselling is usually a weekly session of 50 minutes. It may be just a few sessions, or it can continue for a year or longer. How long we continue depends on whether you are still finding it helpful – we can check that out regularly.

Once we decide to work together I usually suggest we work for 6 weekly sessions and then review but ultimately it is entirely up to you to decide what feels right for you.

HOW MUCH DOES IT COST?

Contact me to arrange a first appointment with no obligation to continue.   At that appointment you can tell me what the problem is and then we can talk about how we might work on it. That way you also get an idea of what it’s like having counselling with me.

My fee is £60 per 50 minute session for individuals   Some concessions are available – do ask.

Self Help and Reading List

I am a great fan of utilising any self help materials in pursuit of personal growth and accelerating the changes you want counselling to help you with. There are literally thousands of books out there. Ones I have found helpful:

David Burns – The Feeling Good Handbook

Gael Lindenfield – The Positive Woman

Susan Jeffers – Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway

Virginia Ironside – You’ll Get Over it – the Rage of Bereavement

Paul Gilbert – Overcoming Depression

Melody Beattie – Codependent No More

Sue Gerhardt – Why Love Matters

James Hollis – Finding Meaning in the Second Half of Life

The Relate Guide to Better Relationships

Lucia Capacchione – Recovery of your Inner Child

Irvin Yalom – Staring at the Sun

And many many more