Abuse and Crisis Helplines

Psychotherapy can be an effective means of addressing the aftermath of abuse and all forms of interpersonal mistreatment and can help us develop the life skills necessary for protecting ourselves and meeting our needs in all kinds of relationships.  However, it isn’t intended to be used for crisis intervention. The following is a list of…

Awakenings: a patient’s account of toxic parenting Part 2

As children, we do not have a developed sense of self; an ability to discern our being treated badly from our being bad; interpersonal boundaries that can protect us; a physique that can defend us from harm, or a developed sense of morality.  In such a state of genuine vulnerability we are then open to…

Stigma: a patient’s account of toxic parenting

Toxic parenting is the term I use to describe a broad range of poor parenting, childcare, school and community practices that impact upon children in ways that are detrimental to their long-term mental and emotional wellbeing.  This is not to suggest that coddling children is a solution either, as per the millennial trend of ‘child…

This Cold Hollow: children born to parents who don’t want them

How did I know that you had left me before I knew the words for empty, lost, bereft?  Before my birth scar?  Before I witnessed the guillotine of your contempt?  Before I could control my bowel, or tie my shoe, or awakened trembling in the night. Before you scoffed at me as I learned to…

Using The Resources Section

Knowing yourself is the beginning of all wisdom.” ~Aristotle This resource section contains a collection of articles designed primarily as password-protected psycho-educational material for use exclusively by my patients who currently attend sessions weekly.  It also contains some open-access pages, some of which may help people who are looking into personal development or psychotherapy work…

Psychotherapy Support During the COVID-19 ‘Lockdown’

The government response to the Corona Virus (COVID-19) pandemic has resulted in severe restrictions on the citizen’s rights to freely move and travel.  In the UK we have been told by government not to leave our homes unless absolutely necessary, leaving millions of people disconnected from friends, family, employment, and support services they would normally…

Affirmation

Existential Affirmation Affirmations are statements of a supportive or motivational nature created as a form of autosuggestion by Émile Coué de la Châtaigneraie (26 February 1857 – 2 July 1926), a French psychologist and pharmacist.  Repeating affirmations throughout the day can be a means of redirecting and changing our thoughts, steering our mind and beliefs…

Mindset: Entitlement, Empowerment and Cooperation

Three discreet, contrasting mindsets evident within psychotherapy and society are entitlement, empowerment and cooperation.  Taking a compassionate, non-judgmental approach, it is worth clarifying each of these mindsets and their implicit values and their relevance to psychotherapy work in the interests of helping patients appreciate and enhance their contribution to the therapeutic relationship with the overall…

We Are Affected by the World

“A fire broke out backstage in a theatre. The clown came out to warn the public; they thought it was a joke and applauded. He repeated it; the acclaim was even greater. I think that’s just how the world will come to an end: to general applause from wits who believe it’s a joke.” ―…

Mindset: Ambivalence in Psychotherapy

ambivalence 1. simultaneous and contradictory attitudes or feelings (such as attraction and repulsion) toward an object, person, or action 2. a. continual fluctuation (as between one thing and its opposite) b.uncertainty as to which approach to follow Merriam-Webster   Ambivalence as an Asset Ambivalence – the urge to go in two directions at once; to…

Psychiatric Diagnosis Part 1: a guide and caution for the weary

This post seeks to give an overview of how upsetting or distressing human experiences can be viewed and categorised as illness, disease, defect, disorder or dysfunction requiring the special expertise of specific treatments, therapies, interventions and pharmaceuticals for effective ‘cure’.  It is not my intention to devalue the choices exercised by patients who elect this…

Mental Distress and Suicide

Statistically, suicide is the highest cause of death in men between age 20 and 49.  This is not to diminish the female suicide rate, merely to present statistics.  And the suicide statistics are shocking, with greater numbers of men taking their own lives than are killed in road accidents, or by cancer and coronary heart…

Considering Starting Psychotherapy or Counselling?

“Everything depends on inner change; when this has taken place, then, and only then does the world change.” Martin Buber Facts Here are some brief facts about Psychotherapy and Counselling: You don’t need to have anything ‘wrong’ with you to benefit from psychotherapy A psychiatric diagnosis is not required to understand, work with or overcome…

Mental Health Feedback: help me help you

In a continual effort to expand my understanding of the needs of people who need help, I wanted to invite you to tell me something about your experiences of seeking help or being helped.  Your comments are valuable in developing my own psychotherapy and personal development practice and understanding as a person, and if you…

Dissociative Identity Disorder

Still Like A House Fractured?  No, curiously I feel fractured but I see myself in the mirror and I’m whole, standing still like a house.  The mirror may be fractured, but my eyes still swivel like windows in this head, guided by a nose that acts as a weather vane.  I open and close my…

Ways of passing the time

Indifference Here I am and there you are.  And there’s the clock on the wall.  I pretend I don’t want anything from you.  You pretend you don’t want anything from me.  Our pretending binds us like a form of artificial intimacy.  And keeps us hungry, a million miles apart. Conversation I pretend I’m listening to…

Recovering your self in 7 days

Hollowday There’s a hollow in me; an absence.  Like a piece of furniture missing from a room I haven’t been in for years.  I enter knowing something’s changed and I can’t say what.  There’s just the feeling.  Hollow. Dumbday I feel dirty on the inside.  I scrub the outside; wet hair, towel and soap, and…

PTSD, cPTSD, and Dissociative Experiences

I wanted to write something about the relationship some of us have to traumatic experiences from our past.  It seems important that I write this from an intuitive, non-technical place.  For me, this is because intution – as opposed to fear – is what we need to develop regarding our power to manage our way…

On choosing a psychotherapist

When choosing the right psychotherapist it’s important to remember some basic facts about psychotherapy if you want it to work for you: Psychotherapy is founded upon a trustworthy, secure relationship.  The best evidence from the longest-term study supporting psychotherapy’s effectiveness in helping people make changes in their lives says that the quality of the therapeutic…

CBT: a low-cost ‘cure’ for psychiatric ‘Illness’?

“The fact remains that the construct of psychiatric diagnosis and the construct of a psychological model aligning itself to it are both divorced from the actual, more complex and individuated realities of the particular patient and the individual practitioner. The technocratic relationship of the first denies the non-mechanistic, much more complex organic nature of the…

Healing Minds: what works for you?

Often we are so socialised into looking to ‘professionals’ for their expertise that we forget that, prior to the boom in professions, we did a pretty good job of taking care of ourselves and one another.  Family, neighbours, community, aunts and uncles, grandparents: all of these community bonds have been eroded by massive shifts in…

Change Your World: Self-healing and Loving Kindness

“What wisdom can you find that is greater than kindness?” ~Jean-Jacques Rousseau My strong personal belief is that it is in human nature to take care of other living things as a feature of our conscience.  Sadly, many people are out of touch with this facility in themselves.  I think if our culture retained the…

Narcissistic Abuse Part 1: heart of darkness

This post is not intended as a guide for diagnosing or labelling individuals, but instead highlights the detrimental effects narcissistic individuals (including sociopathic, psychopathic and other exploitative personalities) can have upon us.  Being able to recognise some of these effects can help us protect ourselves and seek effective help in recovering from the toxic relationships…

The Outsider Part 1: clarifying our place in society

“You were born an original, don’t die a copy.” -John Mason If there’s one area of my work that I have a special interest in it’s working with people who feel like they don’t fit in or who find themselves rejected by or rejecting of the group. I wanted to start writing a series of…