Read our posts about therapists

What Makes Us Who We Are?

What Makes Us Who We Are?

This unassuming question, which is nevertheless one of the most complex we are ever likely to encounter, lies at the core of psychotherapy.  Who we are, and how we deal with our experiences, forms the basis of any form of self-development, whether we are seeking help for a particular problem, or simply curious to find out more about ourselves. From its earliest inceptions psychotherapy has been concerned with people’s thoughts, behaviours and feelings, and how these are interlinked.  Cognitive Behavioural Therapy is currently popular, because it offers a time-limited...
» Read More
Does Facebook distort our body image?

Does Facebook distort our body image?

Facebook offers a fun way to connect with others, share photos, news and events.  However, arguably everybody uses Facebook in other subtle, self-esteem boosting ways: to project a more ideal sense of themselves, to receive supportive comments and to gain ‘likes’ from others.  Sounds warm and wonderful. But there is a flip side.  Other people are also presenting their best selves and constant social comparison can lead to self-persecutory thoughts as well as self-improving and assuring ones. Our negative thoughts provoked by a visit to Facebook can often revolve...
» Read More
Don't Let Mindfulness Unleash Your Inner Critic

Don't Let Mindfulness Unleash Your Inner Critic

Many years ago, I did what increasing numbers of people are doing – I turned to mindfulness meditation in an attempt to get my psychological health back on track. Back then it wasn't endorsed by the NHS or written about in lifestyle magazines, nor were there iPhones, let alone apps, around to help with its instruction. But despite a few cagey responses from friends and family, at long last I felt I'd found something I could 'do' that would help lift my mood and dampen down anxieties. And it worked. For a bit. What I hadn't known then though is that mindfulness often...
» Read More
Does Religion Have a Role in Therapy?

Does Religion Have a Role in Therapy?

If you lived in England a hundred years ago and described yourself as having beliefs, it would be almost certain that you went to church on Sundays, read the Bible, and said your prayers at night.Britain has changed a lot in the last hundred years.  A chaplaincy in a university or hospital, once populated by a Catholic priest and an Anglican vicar, is today a multicultural hub with representatives from all the major religions.  People’s religious and spiritual well-being has never been so well catered for -  in certain places.  In others, unfortunately understanding remains...
» Read More
Why Do Young British Men Become Jihadis?

Why Do Young British Men Become Jihadis?

The reasons why any young person leaves their home, family and friends to go and fight in a foreign country will always be complex to unravel.  It does seem incomprehensible that someone who has been raised and educated in the UK with no history of violence would be willing to get involved in acts of unspeakable brutality and yet we are told that hundreds have made that choice. There are clearly powerful global forces in play and we need the input from political theory, theology, history, social science and of course psychology to make some sense of it.  Yet, as a...
» Read More
Drugs, Sex and Gay Clubs

Drugs, Sex and Gay Clubs

We are constantly being bombarded by messages telling us we all should expect better sex and we are not getting it right if our social life is not constantly hectic and we're not acquiring Facebook friends exponentially. In other words the pressure is on, to succeed. I first met Matt about eight months ago, and his story was certainly far from unfamiliar to me. I remember asking him what he wanted from counselling and how he felt it would help him? “ I want somebody who will understand me and where I am coming from, I don't want to be judged; just understood”! He...
» Read More
Why You Should Sometimes Take Things For Granted

Why You Should Sometimes Take Things For Granted

If you were lucky, you got through your childhood with no major traumas, except for the odd domestic here and there. If you were one of these lucky people, your childhood was a time of taking things for granted; that your life was safe; that your parents were alive (and were going to stay that way forever); and that your home provided everything you needed.  This is likely to have provided you with a sense of abundance and safety. On balance, everything was probably going to be okay. If you are less lucky, your levels of resilience influence how secure and abundant...
» Read More
Military Stress

Military Stress

I am a counsellor and psychotherapist with almost 30 years experience of working as a therapist. For the last 9 years I have been a full time therapist in an unusual environment for therapy - the welfare department of the Royal Navy and Royal Marines, situated at the naval base in Portsmouth. This has been a voyage of discovery for myself and the clients I have seen, chiefly because of the learning that has taken place - for me about the military ethos, and for my clients about the very concept of therapy that can seem very alien to a military mindset. Joining the...
» Read More
Partners of Miscarriage Feel Ignored

Partners of Miscarriage Feel Ignored

"Losing my baby was devastating. I didn't realise quite how much I loved it until we found out it had died. I couldn't sleep or concentrate for weeks, and my relationship with my partner really suffered as the course of our grief took different turns." These words are similar to ones I have heard in my practice over the years – but they aren't spoken by a bereft mother in the wake of a miscarriage, but by her partner, suffering less obviously in the wings.  Although, the grief of a miscarriage might be slowly moving out of the shadows and into the public...
» Read More
How to Cope When a Child Leaves Home

How to Cope When a Child Leaves Home

The air was balmy and the terrace of our local Sardinian restaurant was buzzing with a mix of old and young. Everyone was dressed in their finest, as they waited for their celebratory table, post-graduation. Excited chit-chat and plans for the future carried through the air and faces glowed with happiness. And I was reminded of my own 18-year old, currently backpacking her way around Europe. It was only a week since my child had left home but I felt bereft. I felt scared, I felt I might cry, I was envious of those I saw around me and angry that we weren’t...
» Read More