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  • About Me | Lynn Somerfield | Psychotherapy & Counselling

    About Me About Me When you’re looking for a therapist, it sometimes helps to know a little about that therapist’s background, so I hope you find this information of interest! ​ Most therapists had careers prior to becoming a counsellor or psychotherapist and I’m no exception. ​ Until the early 1990s, I had a 20-year career in the advertising industry where I worked on some famous brands. My job included taking the client’s marketing brief, developing a strategy to achieve client goals, and converting that into marketing materials. In short, I held the responsibility to oversee the whole advertising process from initial brief through to the creation and implementation of TV commercials, press, poster and radio campaigns, constantly liaising between the advertising agency and the client to ensure successful outcomes. ​ A chronic illness (M.E., otherwise known as Chronic Fatigue Syndrome) caused me to re-evaluate my career choice and, uncertain of what I wanted to do, I left the world of advertising. Despite being seriously unwell, I trained in bodywork which included Therapeutic Massage, Clinical Aromatherapy, Indian Head Massage and Reflexology, all of which I loved. ​ My physical illness, however, was not responding to anything my doctor suggested. Alternative therapies helped to an extent, but I was in my 30s and felt like someone two or three times my age. Setting aside my previous attitude of bewilderment, if not contempt, about counselling and psychotherapy, humbled, I decided to consult a psychotherapist. ​ The first session left me reeling. I felt physically and mentally re-invigorated after just 50 minutes with my therapist (Annie Lloyd) and, moreover, I had some idea about why this illness had me in its grip. The next two years saw me recover from M.E. and I felt that, if psychotherapy and counselling were this effective, I’d like to undertake training myself. ​ In 1993, I began a five-year training programme at the Centre for Counselling and Psychotherapy Education in Little Venice, West London. I graduated in 1998 with a Diploma in Transpersonal Counselling & Psychotherapy and went on to obtain an MA in Transpersonal Counselling & Psychotherapy in 2000. I then obtained Diplomas in Supervision and Advanced Psychotherapy and sometime later, trained in the excellent and sought-after trauma treatment called Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprogramming (EMDR). ​ I now have a busy private practice in London for three days each week and in Lidlington, Bedfordshire on two days a week, doing a job I love. ​ I am also a staff member at my training college, , London, and I lead regular weekend workshops on a variety of topics for fellow professionals and the public. Do take a look at the section of this website for further information. CCPE in Little Venice Workshops Wisdom tells me I am nothing Love tells me I am everything Between the two my life flows Nisargadatta Maharaj | Hindu Guru Teachings | 20th Century Therapeutic Style About 10 years ago, I asked an Apple technician for help and he sent me a ‘share screen’ request. At his bidding, I accepted this request and he said, I remember being astonished! I asked, looking around the room to see if I was being filmed. Thinking about that mind-blowing experience today, I find it hard to believe that I was so amazed by this technology. “I can now see your desktop ~ can you see that red arrow? That’s my arrow.” “Whoa! How did you do that?” There are some people who find the idea of transpersonal experiences as mind-blowing as my screen-sharing experience with Apple, but soon enough accept the idea of different levels of consciousness. ​ There are others who believe that what we see, is all there is. From the more every day to the less usual — everything is welcome in a therapy session. ​ I’m a transpersonal and integrative therapist. What on earth does that mean? To begin with, discussions about ‘the transpersonal’ can still be a bit like the screen-sharing experience I had. ​ ‘Trans’ means beyond, so ‘transpersonal’ means ‘beyond the personal’. Transpersonal is a term used to describe experiences and views of the world that go beyond the ordinary. ​ A transpersonal therapist views people as spiritual beings — there is a spiritual wellspring in each and every one of us, from which our psychological structures arise. The wounding we receive as we progress through life often causes us to veil this spiritual nature, and in doing so, we forget who we truly are. Transpersonal therapy is a holistic, humanistic approach which embraces the whole person — spiritual, creative, social, physical, intellectual and emotional. ​ The spiritual dimension includes aspects such as searching for meaning and purpose in life, listening to the call of the heart, or the call of the soul, acknowledging meaningful coincidences (synchronicity), valuing imagination and intuition, taking guidance from dreams, cherishing the capacity to love, listening to the instinctual nature, appreciating joy and humour, seeking a sense of connectedness, and so on. It can be found in nature, art, literature, poetry and music. And in many other places too. ​ A transpersonal & integrative psychotherapy journey with me will encourage experiences that challenge your sense of whom you believe yourself to be and will leave you feeling you’ve extended your sense self. Your First Step Toward Professional Support Take your first step to a life of positive mental health Book an Inital Consultation Therapeutic Approach As an integrative therapist, I tailor my approach to your needs. ​ I do this by drawing upon a number of theoretical models such as client-centred therapy, gestalt therapy, process-oriented psychotherapy, cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), psychodynamic psychotherapy, transactional analysis (TA) and Jungian therapy to name but a few. ​ Ideas about ways of working in-session arise from the material presented in the session. It’s not all talking therapy with me. Incorporating the transpersonal aspect, we may draw upon symbolism, active imagination, drawing, toys, role play, bodywork, movement, and so on. No pre-existing skills are required by the client and (of course) everything is negotiable between the two of us! I won’t force you to do anything you’re not comfortable with — there’s more than one way to beat an egg! ​ I believe that the style of relationship I foster provides an opportunity for a genuine, heartfelt and sincere meeting. This helps us remain aware of our mutual influence on the therapeutic process. I don’t have a top-dog/under-dog style, I aim for a journeying-alongside approach. ​ If any or all of this information strikes a chord with you — don’t hesitate, now to book an initial consultation. Contact Me "The great lesson from the true mystics, from the Zen monks, and now also from the Humanistic and Transpersonal psychologists -- that the sacred is in the ordinary, that it is to be found in one's daily life, in one's neighbours, friends, and family, in one's back yard…, and that travel may be a flight from confronting the sacred -- this lesson can be easily lost. To be looking elsewhere for miracles, is to me, a sure sign of ignorance that everything is miraculous." Abraham H. Maslow | Book, 'Religions, Values and Peak-Experiences' | 1964 Qualifications EMDR Certification Levels 1,2 & 3 Alexander Richman Associates | 1 Year | 2010 Diploma in Advanced Psychotherapy Centre for Counselling & Psychotherapy Education (CCPE) | 2 Years | 2001 ​ Diploma in Supervision Centre for Counselling & Psychotherapy Education (CCPE) | 1 Year | 2000 ​ Master of Arts in Transpersonal Counselling & Psychotherapy De Montfort University | MA Award with Distinction | 2 Years | 1999 ​ Diploma in Counselling & Psychotherapy Centre for Counselling & Psychotherapy Education (CCPE) | 4 Years | 1998 ​ Certificate in Stress Management Centre for Counselling & Psychotherapy Education (CCPE) | 1 Year | 1997 ​ Certificate in Fundamentals of Counselling & Psychotherapy Centre for Counselling & Psychotherapy Education (CCPE) | 1 Year | 1994 Affiliations I am accredited by the UKCP

  • Contact | Lynn Somerfield | Psychotherapy & Counselling

    Contact Me Contact Me There are a number of ways to contact me so please choose your preferred method from the options below and I will respond to you at my very earliest opportunity! Email My email address is lynn@lynnsomerfield.com Email Me Phone My mobile phone number is 07762 738 238 Call Me Location I tend to work at different locations throughout each week. You can view my locations using the button below. My Locations Contact Forms I have made a number of Contact Forms available on this page. Please select the one you require from the list below. Ask a Question Book an Initial Consultation Workshop Sign Up My Locations & Days Mondays & Tuesdays Room 11, 9 Orme Court Bayswater London, W2 4RL Wednesdays CCPE, Beauchamp Lodge 2 Warwick Crescent London, W2 6NE Thursdays & Fridays Lidlington Bedfordshire MK43 0RJ Ask a Question Ask me anything, but please keep in mind that my expertise will be best utilised if your questions are related to Psychotherapy and Counselling! Please subscribe me to future communications and offers. Your personal details will remain confidential and will never be shared with any party outside my therapy practice. Submit Your Question Book an Initial Consultation The first step in any therapy journey is for us to meet for an initial consultation and get to know each other a little. At this first meeting, I will be asking you lots of questions about the issues you’re struggling with right now and what you’re hoping to address in therapy. ​ If you would like to book an initial consultation with me, please complete the form below. What issues would you like support wth (select all that apply)? Abuse Issues Addiction or Dependency Anger Issues Anxiety Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) Depression Eye Movement Desensitisation & Reprocessing (EMDR) Grief & Bereavement Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) Panic Attacks Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) Relationships Stress The Chakras OTHER (please specify below) Please subscribe me to future communications and offers. Your personal details will remain confidential and will never be shared with any party outside my therapy practice. Submit Your Enquiry Workshop Interest Registration Please use the form below to register your interest in one or more of my workshops. Once I receive your interest form, I will get in touch with you with workshop dates and locations. Which workshop(s) you would like to register interest in (select all that apply)? Integrating Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (Public & Professionals - 3 Day) Addictions, Altered States and Uncontrollable Urges (Public & Professionals - 2 Day) Fat, Food and Body Image (Public & Professionals - 2 Day) Gestalt and the Transpersonal (Professionals Only - 2 Day) One Day Gestalt Refresher (Professionals Only - 1 Day) Chakras and the Development Stages (Public & Professionals - 2 Day) Balancing the Chakras (Public & Professionals - 2 Day) A Question of Love (Public & Professionals - 2 Day) Good Grief (Public & Professionals - 2 Day) Please indicate which type of workshop attendee you are... Private Attendee Professional Attendee Please subscribe me to future communications and offers. Your personal details will remain confidential and will never be shared with any party outside my therapy practice. Register Your Interest

  • Workshops | Lynn Somerfield | Psychotherapy & Counselling

    Workshops Introduction I run a number of workshops for members of the public as well as for professional CPD. Please come back and check this page regularly to see what workshops are planned or simply for more information. Contact Me Information about current workshops is detailed and most are held in Central or West London but I’m happy to consider travelling to other locations on request. Integrating Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (with a touch of the transpersonal) This has been a popular workshop since 2002! This 3-day workshop, part-lecture and part- experiential, is aimed at counsellors, psychotherapists, students of counselling and psychotherapy, life coaches, trainers, and members of the public. The workshop makes integrating CBT easy and my transpersonal and integrative training helps bring CBT to life. ​ £340 Price is per person for a 3-day workshop inclusive of course materials. Download Leaflet Register Interest Addictions, Altered States and Uncontrollable Urges A 2-day workshop, part-lecture and part-experiential, aimed at counsellors, psychotherapists, students of counselling and psychotherapy, life coaches, trainers, and members of the public. I have over 30 years’ experience in the field of addiction. This exciting workshop is designed to get to the root of the addiction and help the layperson understand their addiction and student and graduate counsellors and psychotherapists assist people suffering from this debilitating condition. ​ £225 Price is per person for a 2-day workshop inclusive of course materials. Download Leaflet Register Interest Women and Weight In this 2-day workshop we will explore our unwanted excess weight and look at this from a different point-of-view. Is our weight a burden we’re forced to carry or does it hold a message from the unconscious that we need to hear? When we discuss our struggles with food and weight, we are talking not just about bodily urges but issues such as emotional appetites and wanting to be loved. ​ £225 Price is per person for a 2-day workshop inclusive of course materials. Download Leaflet Register Interest Gestalt and the Transpersonal A two-day experiential workshop for counsellors, psychotherapists and student practitioners. Drawing on gestalt and process-oriented psychotherapeutic techniques, I will teach you how to work with a variety of modalities to help assist the client out of their comfort zone. Working in this way bypasses the intellect and facilitates the process known by Gestaltists as ‘selfing’. By working subtly, using advanced skills, the call of the soul is more easily heard and inner guidance becomes more accessible. By learning to listen to our dreaming body and its changing modalities; from talking to seeing; from hearing to sensing; from movement to feeling; we learn to harmonise with the natural process of life and to move with that, not seeking to control it, but simply observing its direction and facilitating that. ​ £225 Price is per person for a 2-day workshop inclusive of course materials. Download Leaflet Register Interest One Day Gestalt Refresher A one-day experiential workshop for counsellors, psychotherapists and those in training, who have already attended my 3-day gestalt seminar at CCPE. The workshop is intended to be a refresher day and participants are invited to bring along cases for supervision and guidance in gestalt techniques ~ although this isn’t essential ~ participants can work on their own material too. ​ £115 Price is per person for a 1-day workshop inclusive of course materials. Download Leaflet Register Interest Psychology and the Chakras This workshop is open to members of the public as well as interested professionals. A wonderful journey through the chakra system first laid down thousands of years ago in the yoga Upanishads ~ direct teachings received from the ancient Indian sages. In this workshop, drawing upon the model formulated by Anodea Judith, we will learn how the chakras have relevance in life today, how they pertain to developmental stages, how the chakras become out of balance, the types of issues this causes and how to diagnose chakra imbalances. Everybody will leave with their own ‘chakra map’. The follow-up workshop ‘Balancing the Chakras’ goes into more detail on how to work with imbalances in the chakra system. ​ £225 Price is per person for a 2-day workshop inclusive of course materials. Download Leaflet Register Interest Balancing the Chakras This workshop is open to members of the public as well as interested professionals. When the chakras are out of balance, the liberating and manifesting currents of the life force are blocked, causing many symptoms and is the reason many of us become stuck in repetitive patterns of behaviour. In this workshop, we will learn how to balance the chakra system by working psychologically, physically and spiritually. Techniques will include massage (clothed), reflexology points, sound and breath work, Hatha yoga postures and others. ​ £225 Price is per person for a 2-day workshop inclusive of course materials. Download Leaflet Register Interest A Question of Love A workshop (open to members of the public, as well as interested professionals) designed to explore the theory or romantic relationships and shed light on what causes us to get trapped in repetitive patterns of dysfunctional relationships or to have difficulty developing them at all. ​ £225 Price is per person for a 2-day workshop inclusive of course materials. Download Leaflet Register Interest Good Grief A two-day workshop designed for those working with the subject of dying, death and bereavement. We will explore the grieving process from a variety of theoretical, spiritual, religious and cultural perspectives. In order to best serve our clients, we will look at our own loss history. If we have unfinished grief, how then do we help others face their own fears around living, dying and death; how do we help them deal with impending loss or to become more able to face the world without their loved one in it? ​ £225 Price is per person for a 2-day workshop inclusive of course materials. Download Leaflet Register Interest

  • Lynn Somerfield | Psychotherapy & Counselling

    Welcome Welcome to Lynn Somerfield Psychotherapy, delivering therapy services across London and Bedfordshire People seek support from a therapist for all sorts of reasons. You may be struggling with anxiety or depression, your relationship may be in trouble due to an affair, communication problems or family stress. Perhaps you’ve suffered a bereavement, or you have a serious illness. Maybe you struggle with OCD and it’s causing relationship and work problems, or you’re suffering from insomnia, panic attacks, or flashbacks related to a traumatic incident. You may have an eating disorder. Maybe you can’t seem to form relationships with others. Perhaps you’re anxious in relationships, or too distant. Perhaps you have a problem with dependency on alcohol or drugs, maybe even an addiction. Believe or not, none of these things is abnormal. They are the things that make us human! Recognising your own mental health issues and then finding a counsellor or psychotherapist sometimes isn’t an easy process. I have designed my website with this in mind... Over the coming pages, I have provided information to help you understand more about psychotherapy, find out more about me, my background and training, and my approach to my work. Should there be a topic I have not covered or you would like to arrange an initial consultation with me, simply . contact me ​ I look forward to hearing from you. Reach For A Helping Hand Take your first step to a life of positive mental health Book an Inital Consultation Specialities As a transpersonal and integrative psychotherapist, I am able to support clients with a broad range of mental health worries. Below I have provided a summary of my primary specialist support areas. You can find more information by clicking through on the 'Learn More' buttons, or by simply . contacting me Abuse Issues ​ Learn More Addiction or Dependency Learn More Anger Issues Learn More Anxiety Learn More Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) Learn More Depression Learn More Eye Movement Desensitisation & Reprocessing (EMDR) Learn More Grief & Bereavement ​ ​ Learn More Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) Learn More Panic Attacks Learn More Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) Learn More Relationships Learn More Stress Learn More The Chakras Learn More And don’t think the garden loses its ecstasy in winter. It’s quiet, but the roots are down there riotous Jalaluddin Rumi | Poetry Writings | 13th Century

  • About Psychotherapy & Counselling | Lynn Somerfield

    Psychotherapy & Counselling Introduction Psychotherapy and Counselling. So what’s the difference? They’re both talking therapies, right? Depending upon the individual therapist and their training, there may be a world of difference, or none at all. Some counsellors provide brief treatment focussing on behavioural patterns. Psychotherapists tend to focus on longer-term working, concentrating on long-standing emotional problems. Although that is a grossly over-simplified explanation of the terms Psychotherapy and Counselling, it should suffice as an introduction to this page of my website. Benefits I grew up in the North of England, where I was somehow left with the impression that talking about my problems in anything other than a jocular way would make me a crybaby. As Gene Hunt (the blunt, 1970s copper in Life on Mars) famously said “This is Manchester. We don’t sauté our fish. We batter it.” This is Manchester. We don’t sauté our fish. We batter it. Gene Hunt | BBC 'Life on Mars' | 2006 However, aged 35 and finding myself in the Last Chance Saloon, humbled by a physical illness which medicine couldn’t help (M.E.), I stopped trying to laugh it off, took myself seriously, sought out therapy and never looked back. ​ Psychotherapy and counselling can provide relief from debilitating symptoms. It can help us — in ways which would be difficult without the assistance of a non-judgemental ‘other’ — to make the necessary changes to our behaviour in order to live fulfilling lives. It can address symptoms which are causing problems in our relationships, enhance the quality of our lives by enabling us to make more helpful life choices, help us to learn and apply better communication skills, give us the ability to change self-defeating behaviours, enable better expression of emotions, offer relief from depression and anxiety and increase confidence and decision-making skills, and can offer other benefits flowing from the ability to establish and maintain a healthy client/therapist relationship. ​ "The results of psychotherapy and counselling tend to be longer-lasting and less likely to require additional treatment than prescribed medication. For example, in the treatment of depression and anxiety disorders, psychotherapy clients/patients acquire a variety of skills that are used after the treatment ends and generally, these clients/patients tend to continue to improve after the termination of treatment." (Hollon, Stewart, & Strunk, 2006; Shedler, 2010). Professional Support Is Just A Click Away Take your first step to a life of positive mental health Book an Inital Consultation Process The first step in therapy is for us to meet for an initial consultation and get to know each other a little. ​ At the first meeting, I will be asking you lots of questions about the issues you’re struggling with right now and what you’re hoping to address in therapy. I will also be asking you about your childhood experiences, your relationship with your mother, father, other caregivers and your siblings. ​ Other important information I need will include any previous therapy you’ve had (how it went, how it ended, whether it was satisfactory, etc), your work history, relationship history, reasons previous relationships ended and your current relationship if you have one. ​ The reasons I ask these questions is that the answers begin to provide with me a blueprint upon which I can loosely base my therapeutic strategy for our work together. The ‘blueprint’ will be added to over time, as more information surfaces from our sessions. I will obviously allow time during the first session for you to ask any questions you wish to ask about me, therapy in general and how I see us working together in the future. ​ Psychotherapy and counselling are usually conducted on an open-ended basis and I usually suggest we review how things are going after six sessions to see if you’re getting what you hoped for from the therapy. ​ Subsequent sessions differ from the first, insofar as you come along to the session and either continue from where we left off the previous week (I may have extra questions to ask too) or you may have something in particular on your mind that you wish to discuss. It’s important that the client leads the session. I’m not one of those silent, blank screen types of therapists, but neither do I take control of the client’s session by asking leading questions or referring to something from the previous week’s session. There are good reasons for this, which I’m happy to discuss. My style is client-centred, entering the session open to the client’s agenda with none of my own, trusting that the client’s higher self, so to speak, knows what needs addressing next. ​ Having undergone years of therapy myself, I have traversed the terrain and this, along with years of professional training, qualifies me to accompany you on your journey. Knowing the landscape and knowing it well, I can be your trusted guide as you find your particular path. I can, like a Sherpa, help you with your baggage and hold a guiding light for you. I will know when to suggest we rest and when we should press on. I can encourage you when you feel like quitting. I can help motivate you when you’re feeling low. And I can be with you when you just need to feel low. I know the valleys and mountaintops, the moods to be expected when you hit an obstacle and want to quit, the sense of achievement when you overcome it — and the feeling of exhilaration when you conquer your own sense of limitation. ​ There will, of course, come a time when you feel you wish to leave therapy. ​ You can, of course, terminate therapy any time you wish, although I prefer a minimum of four weeks’ notice. I ask for this, not for my sake, but to enable what we therapists call a good ending. ​ During these 4 weeks, we can honour the journey we’ve been on together, look at the highs and lows, what was most helpful and what wasn’t. We can begin to see what’s been planted, what’s failed to thrive, what needs some fertiliser, what’s flourished, what needs harvesting and also what seeds may need planting for future growth. ​ I encourage you to give honest feedback to me. I’m open to constructive evaluation throughout our time together. I’m a trained professional so there’s no need to hold back. ​ I hope that throws some light onto the mysterious process of psychotherapy! This is an over-simplified explanation and it has to be because the way it works is reliant — as much as any clever interpretations or techniques — in the therapeutic relationship you and I will co-create. It’s a gift and a curse at the same time. You get the pain much worse than anybody else, but you see a sunrise much more beautiful than anybody else. Terence Alan "Spike" Milligan KBE | Interview, BBC Radio 4 'In the Psychiatrist's Chair' | September 1992

  • Specialities | Lynn Somerfield | Psychotherapy & Counselling

    Specialities Introduction to Specialities As a transpersonal and integrative psychotherapist, I am able to help with a broad range of issues. ​ Below I have provided information surrounding my main specialist areas. Please feel free to scroll down through each specialist therapy area, or use the 'Quick Menu' provided to jump directly to the area you would like to learn more about. If there is something you would like to discuss that is not covered on this page, please simply . contact me Quick Menu Abuse Addiction or Dependency Anger Issues Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) Depression Eye Movement Desensitisation & Reprocessing (EMDR) Grief & Bereavement Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) Panic Attacks Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) Relationships Stress The Chakras Reach For A Helping Hand Take your first step to a life of positive mental health Book an Inital Consultation Abuse Issues Abuse comes in many forms. Abuse can happen to anyone and often the situation has developed so gradually that victims are not even aware that they’re being abused. It’s impossible to detail the many ways abuse is meted out, but here’s a broad sweep of the subject. Psychological Abuse Where we are prevented from making choices or expressing opinions, subjected to threats, bullied, intimidated, etc. Physical Abuse Where we are hit, slapped, kicked or punched. Financial Abuse This can include theft of possessions, money, benefits; we may be subjected to fraud, scams, rogue traders and so on. Discriminatory Abuse We may be abused on the basis of race, religion, gender or gender identity, age, disability or sexual orientation. Sexual Abuse We may have received unwanted sexual attention such as touching, teasing or innuendos or forced into non-consensual sexual activity. Book an Inital Consultation Ask a Question Addiction or Dependency Addiction is a huge subject, so let me try to convey some of the main points. ​ There’s a fine line between dependency and addiction. ​ Dependence can lead to addiction. Dependence can occur with the chronic use of drugs (including alcohol). We are dependent when we are using to the point where it is causing significant difficulties in our lives and we are losing the willpower to control our drug use. ​ When someone is addicted the use of drugs causes major problems with school, work or home life (or all three). They may act out-of-character, lie or even steal to get the drug They may suffer physical issues such as ulcers, kidney or liver damage. ​ Addiction is the disease which is called the ‘disease of denial’. Why is that? Why would anyone wish to be in denial of any disease? Usually, we run to the doctor and hope to be reassured, or have a diagnosis confirmed and a clear treatment plan outlined. ​ The roots of addiction may be far-reaching. It may be genetic, trans-generational, trauma-based, environmental or psychological. ​ The drug-of-choice which is causing the problems usually feels (to the person suffering from the dependency) like their best friend. Their salvation. The drug-of-choice is usually helping them to compensate for, or avoid, something they may not even be aware of! ​ Essentially, we may, for a variety of reasons, not have sufficient internal resources to soothe ourselves and we may, therefore, be in the position of seeking that outside of ourselves. And in an attempt to find a way of coping with stress, we may engage in unhelpful behaviours which are not conducive to a balanced, healthy life such as overeating, drinking too much alcohol, taking drugs, sexual addiction, impulsive and unnecessary shopping, workaholism, etc. ​ In therapy, we work on exploring the ways we can soothe ourselves. We will look at many aspects of this difficult and sometimes life-threatening disease and begin to find ways of developing new adaptive behaviours to help us deal with those difficult situations which trigger us to use the very thing that seems to comfort us - but can kill us in the end. Book an Inital Consultation Ask a Question Anger Issues Anger is a normal human emotion. But the ways we express our anger can be healthy or unhealthy. There are two types of unhelpful expressions of anger: Passive Aggression This includes behaviours such as sulking, procrastinating, smirking, ’forgetting’ to do certain things. Overt (Open) Aggression Examples of behaviours include physically lashing out, shouting, verbally abusing others, bullying, sarcasm, criticism, shouting and bickering. If you think you have anger management issues and you want to work on making different choices, counselling can help you develop new, healthy, assertive behavioural skills in response to triggering situations. Book an Inital Consultation Ask a Question Your First Step Toward Professional Support Take your first step to a life of positive mental health Book an Inital Consultation Anxiety Anxiety is an emotion we experience when we are worried or afraid. It is a future-oriented emotion and it’s usually about what might happen. It can be mild or severe. Some people suffer from anxiety every day as if they are hard-wired for worry. It can make your heart race, cause you to sweat, shake or become short of breath. Anxiety can also cause you to become overly careful or avoid anxiety-provoking situations. You may begin to worry in relatively harmless situations. It can feel overwhelming and interfere with your life and relationships. It can be totally debilitating. Counselling is highly effective in the treatment of the symptoms of anxiety. Book an Inital Consultation Ask a Question Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) is a talking therapy that can help you manage your problems by demonstrating how you think directly impacts the way you behave. It's most commonly used to treat anxiety and depression, but can also be useful for other mental and physical health problems. In my opinion, CBT is a fantastic therapy when used as an integrative package to the other therapies I offer to my clients. I run courses on CBT for fellow-professionals, and the public, that deliver a host of techniques around how to best free yourself from any distorted beliefs that may be getting in the way of you living the best life you can! Book an Inital Consultation Ask a Question Depression Feeling down from time to time is perfectly normal, but if you find that you’re feeling hopeless and despairing, if your low mood is affecting how you think, feel and perform your daily activities such as working, eating, studying sleeping and having fun, you may be suffering from depression. Counselling can help with depression in many ways — let me name just two! (1) We can explore the way negative or distorted thoughts lead to emotional, behavioural and physical consequences. ​ (2) We can examine the stressors in your life and see how these impact on you. We then play with ideas about making new choices which will help you change the way you live and see your life. ​ Don't suffer in silence. If you feel you could be suffering from depression, take your first steps towards a better life and book an initial consultation with me today. Book an Inital Consultation Ask a Question Reach For A Helping Hand Take your first step to a life of positive mental health Book an Inital Consultation Eye Movement Desensitisation & Reprocessing (EMDR) This type of fast-trauma reduction has, with good reason, grown steadily in popularity for the past couple of decades and is a treatment recommended by NICE (National Institute for Clinical Excellence). It is particularly indicated for treating post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). PTSD often occurs after experiences such as military combat, physical assault, rape, or car accidents. Complex PTSD can be the result of repeated traumas, such as an extremely unsafe environment whilst growing up due to emotional, mental or physical abuse or even being born into a war environment or having to flee one’s homeland for example. ​ To explore the use of this therapy, please book an initial consultation or simply to obtain more information. contact me Book an Inital Consultation Ask a Question Grief & Bereavement We all lose a loved one eventually. Your loved one may be a parent, a spouse, a sibling, a friend, or a companion animal. The loss may be sudden or it may be expected. Everyone experiences grief in their own way. Some commonly experienced emotions are rage, shock, anger, guilt and longing. Other feelings, such as relief, are more difficult to address. It’s as if we feel there are acceptable and unacceptable emotions. There are recognisable stages to the grieving process. These include denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance. But the stages don’t necessarily follow neatly in order - they may be experienced more like a pinball machine, bouncing back and forth for a while. If you’re struggling with your grief, counselling can offer a safe, empathic space for you to explore your loss whilst coming to terms with a ‘new normal’. Book an Inital Consultation Ask a Question Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) OCD is a common condition which has two main parts: 'obsessions' and 'compulsions'. Obsessions are unwelcome and irrational thoughts, images or urges, that repeatedly come into your mind. They cause you to feel anxious or uncomfortable. Compulsions are repetitive activities that you carry out to reduce the anxiety caused by the obsession. These may be things like repeatedly washing your hands or checking a door is locked, repeating a specific phrase in your head or checking how your body feels. OCD is no laughing matter. It can disrupt your daily life, your relationships and cause you to feel ashamed. It’s often accompanied by anxiety and depression. It’s often not diagnosed because it can be accompanied by other mental health conditions. ​ The good news is that counselling can help OCD sufferers a great deal. Book an Inital Consultation Ask a Question Professional Support Is Just A Click Away Take your first step to a life of positive mental health Book an Inital Consultation Panic Attacks A panic attack comes on suddenly. It is a feeling of intense anxiety and can include shaking, sweating, feeling disoriented, nauseous, irregular heartbeats, breathlessness and dizziness. It can be very frightening. People sometimes feel like they’re going to die. Most panic attacks last between five to thirty minutes. If you feel you are suffering a panic attack, try this... (1) Breathe in as slowly, deeply and gently as you can, through your nose. (2) Breathe out slowly, deeply and gently through your mouth. Some people find it helpful to count steadily from one to five on each in-breath and each out-breath. (3) Close your eyes and focus on your breathing. (4) You should start to feel better in a few minutes and you may feel tired afterwards. If you’ve had more than one panic attack and you’re struggling to deal with them, do seek help for your anxiety. Book an Inital Consultation Ask a Question Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) Trauma occurs when there is a shock to the body or mind, or to both. It results from a deeply distressing or disturbing experience and although armed services personnel are commonly diagnosed with PTSD, it can occur in all walks of life. ​ The symptoms of PTSD are varied and can include flashbacks, nightmares, mood swings, panic attacks, avoidance of things that trigger memories of the original trauma, difficulty sleeping, difficulty concentrating, eating disorders, cognitive delays (sluggish mind) and lowered verbal memory ability (forgetting words). ​ Symptoms start within 3 months of an incident but they may not be particularly discernible until years later. Without treatment, it can remain with you for life. ​ The best way to treat PTSD is a fast trauma-reduction method called EMDR, a therapy discussed in more detail in the section of my website. EMDR ​ People can also suffer from a condition called Complex PTSD. This a psychological disorder that can develop in response to prolonged, repeated experience of trauma in an environment in which the individual has little or no chance of escape such as an abusive childhood featuring physical, emotional, mental or sexual abuse, neglect, ongoing intimate relationship abuse, prolonged school bullying, victims of kidnapping, slavery, trafficking, unhappy boarding school experiences, cult membership. Such experiences can include protracted feelings of terror, worthlessness, helplessness and loss of a sense of identity. ​ Treatment for C-PTSD requires longer-term therapeutic work, as a good therapeutic relationship needs to be built, trust issues will need addressing, EMDR will need to be used to reduce the more debilitating symptoms of trauma before work can be done on helping the client to work on unresolved issues from the past, to establish good boundaries, a support network of trusted people and more. Book an Inital Consultation Ask a Question Relationships Couples counselling is a specialised form of therapy where two people meet with a couples counsellor to discuss their relationship difficulties. You may feel your relationship is on the rocks for some reason — perhaps there has been infidelity or betrayal of some kind — or just going stale, or other stresses. Perhaps you feel that your attempts to communicate either escalate into arguments or go nowhere. With willingness on both sides, I can help you learn to listen to each other, and much more. Couples counselling can save relationships. It surely has to be worth a try? You can book a 12-week course with me, after which, whatever your decision, you will both be equipped with some communication skills and insight into relationships that you didn’t have prior to therapy, which will either enhance your current relationship or at least stop you continuing to make the same mistakes over again! Book an Inital Consultation Ask a Question Your First Step Toward Professional Support Take your first step to a life of positive mental health Book an Inital Consultation Stress The most common signs of stress are low energy, recurrent headaches, pains, tense muscles, diarrhoea, constipation and nausea, chest pain, rapid heartbeat, insomnia, frequent colds and infections, loss of sexual desire or ability to ‘perform’ sexually, anxiety, a feeling of being overwhelmed, an inability to motivate yourself, racing thoughts...and the list goes on...and I know we could all tick these boxes at times! Long-term stress is however extremely debilitating and finding ways to deal with it can feel like pushing a rock uphill. Often, people who’re suffering from stress have fallen into particular ways of thinking or behaving which they think are helpful, but are actually not. There are ways of dealing with stress and exploring alternative, helpful ways of dealing with it which are proven to be extremely helpful. If your car isn’t working well, you take it to a mechanic. If you are not functioning well under pressure, counselling can definitely help you. Book an Inital Consultation Ask a Question The Chakras Before you’re tempted to dismiss this as 'new-age nonsense', have a read of this... ​ The chakras have been described as centres of organisation for the reception, assimilation, transformation and expression of life energy (known variously as chi, ki, prana, the life force and so on). The chakra system originated in India between 1500 and 500 BC recorded within some of the oldest written texts called the Vedas. ​ The ancient chakra system can be used as a map for the process of becoming whole. The chakras are formed throughout childhood and traumas occurring during childhood can cause imbalances in the chakra system. ​ When the chakras are out of balance, the currents of the life force can be blocked. Which means we become stuck in repetitive patterns of behaviour, either focusing excessively on a particular type of energy or spending a lot of time avoiding it. ​ Although I don’t force any type of system of learning on my clients, I do lean on the chakras as a map to understand what’s going wrong and why, and in twenty or more years of practice, this wonderful theoretical model has never failed me. ​ My chakra courses are open to both professional colleagues and the public. See my page for further information. Workshops Book an Inital Consultation Ask a Question

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