Everybody suffers at times in their life.
At times being alive can be very challenging.
Sometimes the way you cope with these current challenges, or difficulties from the past, can become a problem for you and the people around you.
It may be that you can’t find a way to cope with, or overcome, your difficulties, at those times you might look for help from a therapist or counsellor.
People have different approaches to dealing with their mental and emotional distress, they may try distraction, soothing or healing, therapy is a psychological and emotional approach to healing.
What is therapy?
Therapists and counsellors help you think, feel and be differently in your world so that you can be more at peace and effective in your life.
There are many different approaches to therapy.
In my opinion, therapy is the investigation, and reorganisation of unhelpful patterns of thinking, feeling and behaving. If it all goes well, you leave the therapy process with new feelings, thoughts and behaviours. A different way of being in the world.
Approaching a therapist can be scary
Many people in psychological and emotional distress find the idea of approaching someone for help difficult, even frightening. There are six fears of therapy that might hold you back from getting the help you need.
- Fear of the process: If you have never been to a therapist before, the chances are you will assume it’s going to be like something you’ve seen at the movies or on TV. There are so many different kinds of therapy, each with their own style and form that it would be impossible for anyone to know, without previous experience, what to expect.
- Fear of judgement: If you are thinking about therapy, then you might think: “It’s just me that has this problem. All the ‘normal’ people will think I’m mad”. It can be easy to imagine that you might be the only person who thinks or feels this way. You may even believe that no one else has ever had that kind of thought or feeling or done those things.
- Fear of being taken advantage of: Private therapy is not the cheap option for most people. You might well be afraid that a short term expense is going to turn into a long drawn out process that costs a lot of money. What is there to stop the therapist leading you on for their own benefit, or take advantage of you in some other way? How do you know you can trust the therapist to be ethical?
- Fear of exposure: For most clients therapy is an expedition into unknown and frightening territory and they don’t know whether they can trust their guide’s integrity or competence. What if on this journey you have to bring your darkness into the light and the therapist sees it? If all your fears and closely held secrets are laid bare, what will the therapist think?
- Fear of failure: Many people feel embarrassed or inadequate having to bring a problem to a therapist. If you have had a problem for any length of time you’ve probably been struggling with your attempts to sort it out. What if this therapy thing doesn’t work? Will going to a therapist be just another opportunity to fail?
- Fear of success: On the face of it this fear is surprising, surely you are going to a therapist to get better. What if it does work? What if I do change? How will I cope with being a different person and how will those around me cope if I am different?
With all those fears it’s amazing that anyone picks up the courage to seek help from a psychological / emotional health professional.
It can take a lot of courage to approach someone for help with painful difficulties.
However, it’s important to remember that if you have had enough courage to go through everything you have been through up to now, you probably have enough to go through the process of changing for the better.
What can therapy give you?
Although being in therapy makes many demands on you at the time, making those efforts can have great benefits.
- You become happier and more contented. As these changes take effect you can feel more contented and at ease in all areas of your life – your general well-being improves.
- The changes are long lasting. If the therapy goes well the original patterns that caused the problems are undone your life gets much better and stays better. You are able to think, feel and act differently in situations that previously defeated you.
- The benefits usually spread. Frequently changes you achieve in the therapy sessions spread well beyond the original problem area into other areas of your life. So that other issues that were not brought to therapy seem to change of their own accord.
Important: You are a unique individual, just like everyone else. Everybody is different, what happens in therapy, how well it goes for you and how easily, and how quickly, you make the changes you want cannot be predicted. I can’t guarantee the results of the therapy, but I can guarantee that I will do my very best for you.
What does therapy require of you?
Therapy is an active process that makes some strong demands on you.
- You need to be willing to change: This can be a very uncomfortable prospect. Most people would prefer everyone else to change so that they can be happy as they are. “If only my husband would stop looking at me in that way”. “If only the kids didn’t argue”. “If only my boss didn’t intimidate me”. But those other people are not there in the therapist’s office, you are, you are the one that is going to be doing the changing and you need to want that.
- You need to take part: The therapy process requires your participation. You have to play an active role in your own change, you can’t just sit there and wait to be fixed by the expert.
- This process requires courage: Must of us don’t want to go towards our difficulties, we want to get away from them by distracting or soothing ourselves.You may have to approach the kinds of thoughts and feelings you want to avoid. You may well have to go through this process more than once.
- You may feel uncomfortable: If you are going to change you may well experience “growing pains” so you need to choose a therapist you can feel uncomfortable with.
In spite of the challenges, the process of change may be quicker and more profound than you imagine. Newer processes based on NLP, EFT, solution focused therapy and others allow you to make profound changes to your life much more quickly and less painfully than before.
Who do I work with?
I work with people who have a painful inner life, they want to change themselves for the better and they know it is up to them, but however hard they try they stay stuck in the same old struggles.
I do my best work with people who want to:
- let go of traumatic memories.
- become a ‘grown up’, feeling like a responsible and resourceful adult rather than as a scared child in an adult body.
- be free of the hard time they give themselves.
- be their own person without being afraid that they are going to be attacked or abandoned.
- be able to accept themselves as a fallible human being (just like everyone else).
Who don’t I work with?
I specialise in and do my best work with the kinds of issues I’ve described above.
I don’t work with clients with the following issues:
- Drug and alcohol problems
- Children and adolescents
- Weight loss issues
- Smoking cessation
- Couples or family counselling.
Although I don’t work with these kinds of issues I may be able to refer you to another therapist who does specialise in these areas.
Why work with me?
I treat people with acceptance and understanding and meet them as a person not a problem. I work from where you are and help you get to where you want to go.
My clients tell me that they see me as straightforward, trustworthy, compassionate and resourceful. They also say that I don’t seem to be uncomfortable with anything they say, or judge them in any way, and that they felt safe.
How does this process work?
When you contact me, we will arrange a brief telephone conversation about what you want help with and what you would like to get from working with me.
If it seems like we might be a good fit as a therapeutic partnership (because the therapy I do is a mutual collaboration) I will send you a confidential client questionnaire for you to complete and return to me.
When I receive the completed form we will arrange a first appointment.
At the first session which lasts 1 hour we will talk in detail about where you are now (your current difficulties), where you want to be (your outcomes) and what’s keeping you stuck where you are. The first session also gives us the opportunity to see if we would be able to work well together.
Each further session is one hour long (longer sessions are available by arrangement) where we work on what is most important to you.
To find out more about my therapy process go to How I work with clients.
I see clients in Newcastle, Whitley Bay and Hexham by appointment and I am also available for sessions on Skype.
Each one hour session costs £40, there is a concessionary rate of £25 per hour for the unwaged.
NOTE: On March 1st 2015 my fees will increase to £60 per session (£30 for unwaged clients). Clients who start working with me before March 1st will be charged at the old rate
How to book an initial consultation
Use the contact form below or call 0754 700 9116 to arrange an initial conversation.