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  • Brainwashing Clients

    In the wake of the publicity around Prince Harry’s book ‘Spare’, and the allegation that Prince William accused his brother of being ‘brainwashed by therapy’, I’m tempted to say ‘if only!’. On the other hand, I have some sympathy with Prince William’s alleged viewpoint. Let’s unpack this subject. Firstly, why do I say ‘if only’? I’m being facetious by saying if it were so easy brainwash our clients perhaps we’d save them a lot of time and money. It isn’t easy sitting for weeks, months or years at a time whilst a client purports to desire a change in behaviour whilst doing the opposite. But having attended therapy for years, I know my own changes were not easy. And I’m so grateful that my therapist never exhibited frustration at my resistance. Just as you wouldn’t push a little child into the deep end of a swimming pool without arm bands and lots of encouragement, nor would any therapist worth their salt try to crash through a client’s defences - developed for good reasons, usually in childhood - and attempt to force a change before they were ready. When change happens, it often happens incrementally. This is due to the nature of the brain and the ego (who we believe ourselves to be) and the ego’s astonishing will to survive intact. Making change is difficult. Period. Good psychotherapists put aside their own agenda and take the view that they don’t know what’s best for the client. The client knows what’s best for themselves. At some level they know. And although it might sometimes appear that wrong choices are being made, therapists must hold a position of humility and curiosity. We may wonder with the client what might happen downstream if they were to make this or that decision, and so on. But we need to remember that the client has a soul and that soul has its journey and what may look like a mistake to us might be the perfect healing journey that client needs to undertake in order to develop a particular quality or set of qualities to help them become more whole. To individuate. Gestalt therapy refers to the process of individuation (or becoming whole) as ‘selfing’. Selfing is a dynamic process. So, when we respond in the same old way to challenging situations (choosing to avoid confrontation, for example, or choosing full-scale confrontation as opposed to calm dialogue), we are in a very real sense avoiding our wholeness. When we take a leap of faith and choose a different way of responding to challenges, we are ‘selfing’ - taking a step towards becoming whole. So, back to Prince William’s alleged viewpoint - can therapists brainwash clients? Can they influence their clients? Of course! People can be influenced by many things - nature, nurture, our experiences, our friendship groups, what we choose to read and so on. So when we are in crisis and reach out and find a therapist in whom we place our trust - yes, of course there is the potential for undue influence. Psychotherapy training is about not influencing our clients. It’s about providing the right environment, holding space and allowing clients to find their own, best way forward. Ideally, we therapists are like Sherpa guides - we know the terrain, we have plenty of experience of the territory in all kinds of weather, we can to some extent suggest the best paths to take. But we don’t direct or decide. The route, the speed, the stops en-route, changes of direction - all these are the client’s decisions. We assist the explorer as best we can. In the therapy process, we do this by asking open questions (questions not requiring a yes/no answer) and allowing the client to explore their inner and outer worlds without interference from outside influences. However, some people are very receptive, searching for somebody authoritative to make decisions on their behalf. This can be alluring for some therapists and there’s a need to avoid being unconsciously recruited by clients wishing for this.

  • The Coots' Nest

    I wrote this in the Spring of 2012 and I can still feel the impact of the experience now. I thought I’d share it as I continue researching death, dying and grieving for my Matter of Life and Death workshops. The nest was eye-catching. Balanced on the rudder of a moored canal boat, twigs were woven together with rubbish - strips of blue, green and red plastic. A waterbird recycling project. Mummy and Daddy Coot - taking turns to sit on their five eggs - quickly became a canal-side sensation, with the birds growing accustomed to amateur photographers and commentators discussing the nest, its construction and the commitment of mother and father Coot to their eggs. Onlookers eagerly awaited the sight of the baby coots. In London, where etiquette discourages eye contact, the coots drew us together for a while. We gathered on the towpath to photograph the birds, their colourful nest and their eggs, to allow ourselves to be captured for a while by nature in the midst of a busy city. The prosaic became poetic, as we waited excitedly for an anticipated new life - beauty emerging from a pile of rubbish. How those little Coots and their five little chicks brightened the last few weeks of a dull, rain-sodden Spring. But today the nest is gone. I cover my mouth in horror. My breath becomes shallow and rapid. The adult coots are stamping on freshly-gathered twigs with their oversized webbed feet, determinedly re-building their vandalised nest. Of their five little babies, there is no sign, and as I frantically cast around hoping for a sighting, I hear someone say “Shame they nested through weeks of rain and then their chicks get eaten.” As if punched in the stomach, I exhale sharply, then feel a horrible soreness where my heart is. I wipe my tear-filled eyes with my hand and flee the scene as if distance will help. And as I trudge heavily back to work I feel the familiar sensation of shock as I wonder how I didn’t see this coming. How I never see it coming. "I learned that every mortal will taste death. But only some will taste life" (Rumi)

  • Goodbye 2022

    As the year draws to a close, I offer you my first blog. What’s on my mind today? Love - and dogs. On Boxing Day my neighbour, his little Staffordshire terrier in its harness, ready for a walk, waved goodbye to a couple of Christmas guests in their car. As he strode off the dog turned around and stared, aghast, at the visitors’ car about to leave. His daddy gently tugged on the lead to encourage him to keep walking and the dog pushed his paws into the road in a Disney stop. “No!” (I voice-overed) “I thought we were all going together! I don’t want to go with just you daddy!”. No stiff upper lip. No promises of not leaving it so long in future. No “Phew, thank God that’s over for another year…”. Just genuine doggy remorse that his expectations were not met. Thirty seconds later, he was feeling better as he sniffed the local lamppost for new and interesting smells. The resilience! Today I’ve been watching dogs in the park. Not one without its tail wagging. Each and every one seemingly thrilled to meet new friends, old friends, two-legged and four-legged, it seems to matter not. Everything is a source of amazement, but not for long. Then they’re onto the next amazing thing with barely a backward glance. How much easier life would be if we could be more dog. Relishing the moment, throwing ourselves into relationships with complete abandon. Grieving endings briefly and then moving on to the next lamppost. I know we can’t. I know the human brain is more complex and it needs to reconfigure itself after a loss. I get it. But as I prepare to say goodbye to 2022, I’ll be looking for my own metaphorical new lampposts. Grateful to have had 2022 when so many didn’t make it through. Intent upon relishing 2023 with every ounce of my being. Wishing everyone who reads this a Happy New Year and leaving you with the words of Meher Baba (February 25, 1894–January 31, 1969) Love is essentially self-communicative: Those who do not have it catch it from those who have it. True love is unconquerable and irresistible; and it goes on gathering power and spreading itself, until eventually it transforms everyone whom it touches. Lynn

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  • 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

  • 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 Contact Me for more information. 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. Workshops 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. ​ £250 Price is per person for a 2-day workshop inclusive of course materials. Download Leaflet Register Interest Addiction? Affliction? Or a Guide to Wholeness? 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. ​ £250 Price is per person for a 2-day workshop inclusive of course materials. Download Leaflet Register Interest CBT: Multi-Modal CBT (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. ​ £350 Price is per person for a 3-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. ​ £250 Price is per person for a 2-day workshop inclusive of course materials. Download Leaflet Register Interest Psychology & 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. ​ £250 Price is per person for a 2-day workshop inclusive of course materials. Download Leaflet Register Interest Gestalt: Gestalt and the Dreambody 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. ​ £250 Price is per person for a 2-day workshop inclusive of course materials. Download Leaflet Register Interest Gestalt: 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 A Matter of Life and Death This two-day workshop is designed for those working with the subject of dying, death and bereavement. Our beliefs about death and dying affect how we live - to fear death is to fear life. It follows therefore that to embrace life to the full we must first come to terms with loving, loss of all types, and bereavement. Through experiential and creative exercises we will explore the subject of death. We'll examine losses we may have experienced in our lives so far, and what we have learned. During the workshop, we'll be drawing on the works of some of the great teachers including the Dalai Lama, Stephen Levine, Clarissa Pinkola Estes, Deepak Chopra, Rumi, and others. And for those of us who work as therapists, we’ll be asking - how can we help others in their suffering? And how can we help others if we have unfinished grief of our own? ​ £250 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. ​ £250 Price is per person for a 2-day workshop inclusive of course materials. Download Leaflet Register Interest

  • 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, CCPE in Little Venice , London, and I lead regular weekend workshops on a variety of topics for fellow professionals and the public. Do take a look at the Workshops section of this website for further information. 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 can now see your desktop ~ can you see that red arrow? That’s my arrow.” I remember being astonished! “Whoa! How did you do that?” 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. 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, Contact Me now to book an initial consultation. "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

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