With my brother diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia nearly 30 years ago, I have personal experience of the family sacrifices and struggles related to the pain and stigma of mental illness. Having since, committing my life to the improvement of people’s emotional fitness and mental resilience, with support from organisations such as SANE and MIND, my own journey has allowed me to discover the true benefits of therapy first-hand.
Personal therapy is proving invaluable for people to manage certain difficult or crisis situations in their lives and so transform their problems into major opportunities for personal growth.
Who is it suitable for?
People usually seek or turn to therapy when talking to friends and families proves either not to be enough or even unhelpful in finding a way forward. Having someone to talk to who is not directly involved in your particular circumstances can make a real difference. Together, and at your own pace, we explore your concerns and help to make sense of the complexity of your issues in order for you to start making new decisions about your life. Working with individuals, couples and families, all therapy work is of course, strictly confidential.
What kinds of problems can it help?
Personal therapy can be of help for a broad range of individual and/or social problems. Many people find it helpful when faced with difficult stages in their normal life cycle such as career changes, loss and bereavement or crisis points in relationships. Others look to therapy to help alleviate distress whether from the pressures of living or through long-standing problems which have proved resistant to change. Through a range of psychological methods such Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, Transactional Analysis and Dream Therapy, you can work at resolving your fears, panic or anxieties and so help break through depression or other forms of sadness.
Personal problems have a way of taking over your life. You might find yourself repeating the same old pattern, or you might feel stuck and uncertain that anything could ever possibly change. Please don’t suffer in silence: sometimes having someone to talk to is all it needs for us to start to learn how to cope again.
I aim to be a truly authentic and compassionate listener and, even more than this, my first priority is to help you find strategies to deal with the immediate problem concerning you and then to support you as you discover new ways to change things for the better.
Personal therapy is especially suitable for:
- handling crises in relationships
- dealing with stress and other pressures
- resolving fears, panics and anxieties
- coping with continuing family problems
- working through difficult decisions
- breaking through physical pain, depression and sadness
Therapy is not confined, though, to helping people cope with difficulties. Other benefits to be gained include developing creativity, self-expression and finding pathways to self-discovery. By exploring your past and present circumstances you can open up to new possibilities and take control of your life: to find yourself and to be yourself.
Personal therapy allows you to:
- develop more fulfilling relationships
- bring out your creativity and self-expression
- learn to assert your own needs
- renew a sense of purpose in your life
- find paths to self-discovery
- feel well again and be happier in yourself
What happens in a psychotherapy session?
Client and therapist sit in private and engage in quite some considerable talking and listening. Each session typically lasts between 50 minutes and one hour. Sometimes just a single session is sufficient for a client's needs, but more usually client and therapist continue to meet for several weeks or even months. They plan together how often and for how long to meet. Nowadays, many therapists prefer to work with clients over a small number of highly focused sessions and then offer an "open door" policy. This means that clients are free to return for more sessions if and when they require them, knowing that there is a reliable, professional service available and that they will always be made to feel welcome.
Couples meet with their therapist in the same way and may use the sessions to better understand how they communicate and react to each other's needs. Many couples find attending alternate individual and joint sessions to be especially helpful. In the same way, family or group sessions may be arranged, as and when required.
How do I know if it is suitable for me?
It undoubtedly takes courage to decide to address personal problems and to seek professional help. People entering personal therapy for the first time are sometimes apprehensive that hidden secrets or unconscious fears will be revealed. You will undoubtedly learn new things about yourself and perhaps about others close to you. Some of the themes in your personal story may, of course, be quite painful. What matters, however, is how we deal with these new insights and emotions. Therapy is designed to provide a safe environment in which difficult thoughts and feelings can be gently explored. It does not excavate your psyche in order to break down your defences. Rather, it provides a solid structure on which to build your future, by consolidating your past and present and making sense of your experiences.
How will I be treated?
As a CBT and TA trained therapist, I am accredited by the British Psychological Society (BPS) and am a member of both the British Association of Counsellors & Psychotherapists (BACP) and the United Kingdom Association of Transactional Analysts (UKATA), abiding by their codes of conduct, ethics and professional practice. I am also proud to be listed on the counselling-directory.org.uk, a directory of professional counsellors all over the country.
Most importantly, you will be treated as a real person and never a case study. I tend to avoid labelling people with psychological diagnoses as I find that many clients have previously been misdiagnosed or incorrectly labelled, all proving to be quite counter-productive. Instead, I take each person individually and regard their problem as a unique theme. I work to understand what it must feel like from the inside. I am then concerned to help unravel whatever keeps the problem going and to help support and identify new ways of changing things for the better.
This form of personal therapy is very much a collaborative process, the aim being for people to eventually find their own internal therapist. I promise that you won't be engulfed by the therapy (or by me, the therapist), or pressured to say or do anything you do not want. What matters most is that we learn to work together on the basis of mutual respect and trust. Be assured that this form of psychological therapy will not, in any way, attempt to deconstruct you. Rather, it explores the workings of the various ego states, primarily deconfusing the Child and decontaminating the Adult, thereby leading to an integration of all your core strengths. It provides you with a safe place to reflect and one where I hope you find the experience to be both enlightening and rewarding.
By listening to your body, opening your heart and making the most of your mind, personal therapy enables you to transcend your troubles by freeing your spirit, so you’re truly able to discover your own potential.