I have worked as a teacher and a priest and for five years was the Gay Men's Sexual Health Counsellor at PACE, London.
I have worked in couples counselling and as an EAP counsellor with BUPA and Right Corecare, among others.
I work with men and women, individuals and couples, straight and gay, young and old.
In 12 years as a therapist, I have helped around 1,000 people!
I offer a Cognitive approach to counselling.
The cognitive approach looks at the connections between thoughts, beliefs, moods and behaviours.
At its heart is the opportunity to challenge and change the thoughts that tend to lead to problems such as panic attacks, sexual compulsion, eating disorders, substance abuse and relationship problems.
It is often the case that the more we struggle with difficult thoughts and feelings, the more confused and stuck we become. The goal of counselling is to help us develop new and more positive thought processes and better ways of living. The work can be very practical, looking at how to make adjustments in daily routine, for example, and usually involves the client in taking some 'homework' away to work on between sessions.
My counselling approach makes use of CBT and ACT.
Cognitive-Behavioural Therapy (CBT) looks at what we think and questions whether our thinking is rational. What is the evidence for our negative thoughts? How can we test them out, correct the distortions they contain and so move toward a more balanced way of thinking ? In time, awareness of the connections between moods, thoughts and behaviours, not only makes our thinking more flexible, but encourages us to test out alternative thinking in our daily lives.
Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), rather than looking at what we think, seeks to change our relationship with what troubles us, coming into the present moment - even if that moment is painful - and letting go of the impulse to leapfrog into the future. The goal is not so much getting rid of unwanted thoughts, feelings or sensations, but accepting them as part - but only part - of who we are. Once we step into the 'Now' of the Present Moment, we begin to realise that we are more than our thoughts and we do not have to wait for them to go away before we can live a happier life.
Counselling is also available for couples who want to understand what is going on in their relationships and change things for the better.
Together, we assess your issues and a strategy is agreed between us, with a manageable goal in view. We usually contract for six sessions, though the number of sessions is not fixed and you may find you are helped in less than six.
I offer Integrative and Transpersonal approaches to psychotherapy.
Integrative therapy draws from many sources in the belief that no one approach has all the truth. It seeks to draw disparate elements into a comprehensive whole.
Past events, particularly in childhood can often hold the key to understanding negative thoughts and emotions. The Integrative approach seeks to understand both the roots of psychological problems in the past, as well as their purpose in forming the person we are still becoming in the present.
Transpersonal therapy includes a spiritual dimension in the exploration of psychological material, but it is not concerned with promoting any particular creed or religious tradition.
It views the human psyche as having a central core Self or Soul, which is the centre of a person's identity. The word ‘transpersonal’ comes from the Latin trans, meaning 'beyond' and persona, meaning 'mask'. The therapy facilitates the unfolding of the core or true Self - the person beneath the mask of conformity, habit or compulsion.
Psychotherapy varies in duration from a few weeks to a few years! The overall goal is a greater tolerance of life’s experiences, personal and spiritual maturity and an increase of creativity and connection with life.
It applies to people of faith, as well as those who do not profess religious faith. Its focus is on spirituality, rather than the contents of belief.
I make use of a range of techniques, including reflective listening, exploring family history, dreams, art therapy and guided meditation.
The therapist is not superior to the client. The consciousness of one person has a direct impact on that of the other and vice versa.
Whether you are a counsellor, therapist, manager, or working in any of the helping professions, you are likely to be affected by the distress, pain and fragmentation of the people you work with.
Supervision allows a space in which to meet with a fellow professional in an effort to make you more effective in working with people.
This is done through becoming more aware of your reactions to people and exploring other ways of working with them, as well as drawing on support for your work and ensuring that the work is maintained to a high standard of professionalism.
I use a process model of supervision, in which both the therapy session and the here-and-now experience of supervision inform practioners' awareness of their work.
Supervision is available on a group basis in Fleet Street and on a one-to-one basis in both Central and South West London.
Photograph of Stephen Weaver ©2013 Alex Rumford (alexrumford.com)