‘The pain is there;
when you close one door on it,
it knocks to come in somewhere else.’
I practice out of what is named the Humanistic psychotherapeutic tradition (specifically, Person-Centred, Gestalt and Existential). My core modality is PCT (Person Centred Therapy) and my primary means of engagement with it is via the writings of Brian Thorne. I also find myself returning often to the works and ideas of Irving Yalom, John Rowan, bell hooks, and Emmy Van Deurzen.
Fundamentally, I believe in the primacy of the here and now relationship between you and me, client and therapist - a relationship founded on trust, hope, and intimacy. What ultimately heals us, I believe, are alive, exciting and meaningful relationships. This is what we would seek to find and build together in the therapy space. I like to consider the therapy room as a place for 'safe emergencies': somewhere you can be all of yourself, perhaps for the first time, without judgement or care. It's a rehearsal space too, ideal for trying out new ways of communicating and presenting yourself to the world.
At the heart of my working style is a lively inquisitiveness around how my clients use metaphor and imagery. I will support you as you tell and retell your story and give shape to your fears and hopes. As a result I like to work with dream, myth, story, and symbolism.
MY AREAS OF INTEREST
The areas or presenting issues I am keen to work with include depression, anxiety, anger and rage. In addition, I am keen to work in the following areas:
Identity and gender
At a time of significant social change and upheaval for both men and women, struggles concerning gender identity can cause us real concern and emotional pain. Constantly changing ideas about what it is to be a ‘real’ or ‘proper’ man or woman can leave us feeling disoriented and isolated. I am especially interested to work with men experiencing such gender upheavals.
Love and intimacy
Love: we crave it, we deny it, we mourn its absence, we confuse it with other things. At the heart of all flourishing relationships lies love that is open to change and renewal. But we often find that the closer the relationship the harder it can be to talk about love at all. It can also be a struggle to know how to go about creating relationships where love's essential reciprocity - that life-giving balance of giving and receiving - is valued and nurtured. If you need help in re-evaluating your relationship with love - or perhaps to discover what love really is for the first time - then I warmly invite you to get in touch.
Death and bereavement
Though death usually comes into our lives much later than in previous generations we will all have to deal with this ultimate truth at some point. Grief is a complex emotion and often taps into other powerful feelings and instincts, especially around how we attach to significant others in our lives. In my time as a volunteer counsellor at the Hospice of the Good Shepherd in Chester I helped people make sense of their tangled feelings around death, loss, and grief.
Religion, belief, and spirituality
If you have recently left a religious group or movement you may need help readjusting to life outside of a once-cherished community. Or perhaps you’re moving from one religious position to another and this transition is causing you considerable turmoil and stress. If so, I would love to help you navigate your way through such difficult waters.
Difficulties at mid-life
Related to the above is my interest in the impact ageing has upon our sense of self and identity. I warmly invite work with clients who are currently negotiating their way through the joys and pains of early mid-life (40–55 years old).
makes for a fuller life
The majority of people come into therapy because they are experiencing mental and psychological distress. But there are other reasons why you may be seeking a relationship with a counsellor. You may feel the time is right to undertake a life review. You may consider that you’ve lived too much in the recent past on ‘automatic pilot’. Somehow taking joy in everyday life has become harder and harder for you. Working with a counsellor may assist you in opening up previously unknown or unacknowledged aspects of yourself which will enable you to get more out of living.