Cheltenham Counsellor Blog

My counselling approach is based on an integrative model combining elements of various schools with a core grounding in Person-Centred therapy. I am a member of both theBritish Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP) and The National Counselling Society and am bound in my work by their respective Ethical Frameworks. I qualified through a University of Gloucestershire accredited course having had 5 years of training.

THE TRUE SELF – MYTH OR REALITY?

There has been some publicity recently around some research that suggests that there is no such thing as the true self.  The true self is the Holy Grail of counselling: it represents that sense of self wherein we are truly able to be ourselves in every moment of...

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ADDICTIONS – CAN COUNSELLING HELP?

There is a significant debate between Counsellors both between themselves and with recovering addicts on whether counselling is appropriate or helpful to those with addictions. Addicts who are struggling to conquer their cycle explain that counsellors simply offer...

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PSYCHOTHERAPY: A MEDICAL OR RELATIONAL RELATIONSHIP

Psychotherapy and Counselling  began with Freud.  Days before Neuroscience.  Freud creatively created a way of thinking about others to help them to hep themselves.  there was no proof for these theories simply that some people reported getting better as a result of...

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SHAME, FEAR AND COUNSELLING

Understanding shame is arguable a core element in discerning the ability of being able to relate to oneself and to others. Shame is an inevitable consequence of our early life nurturing as we come to understand and perceive ourselves in a world which exists, arguably...

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Counselling, the counsellor, the proof: Part 1

There is so much discussion on whether Counselling works, makes a difference to clients lives, whether there is any evidence and it is certainly one that most clients will ask in one form or another during the first session. In this counsellors experience, and limited...

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Addiction: The Counselling and the Clients Conundrum

Addiction and Counselling is such a rock and a hard place subject. Whether it is alcohol, pornography, smoking, drugs the addiction is effectively a self-medication in the majority of cases against pain. So often it is effective until things go even more...

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The Counsellor and Mental Health in the Workplace

During any single year 25% of the adult population will suffer from a Mental Health difficulty. 10% will suffer from a clinical depression sometimes combined with difficulties. 33% of the CEO's of the Worlds top 500 companies will at some point suffer from a major...

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The Counsellor – And Feelings

One of the main objectives of Counselling is to help clients to notice how they are feeling, that the noticing should be accurate (in other words not influenced by inaccurate assumptions that are based on past unhelpful experiences) and to express those feelings...

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Syria And The Generational Impact

I find it very difficult not to look away from the television when the horror of Aleppo and the trauma that is being forced onto the children is on the screen. When I say 'look away' I mean in every sense: visually, emotionally, physically. I have to detach myself...

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What is Well

When clients arrive in the counselling room they are there because they are finding life difficult to deal with, they have found that life has stopped working as well as it has done previously, or that they are feeling very hopeless indeed. Explaining what has brought...

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The Trauma Spectrum

In writing about Trauma there can be a danger that the more extreme forms, those most in the news, the most invasive, can appear belittled. Trauma is not the same as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder which is usually, but not always, at the extreme and of the individual...

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The Fear Continuum

There is a counselling argument that can be made based on a proposition that all non-chemical psychological disturbance can be traced to the degree of fear which is held within a life. This could be analysed as the extent to which an adrenalin impulse is present or...

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Pervasive Fear

In one form or another fear shapes who and how we are. Or, put another way, where we have not experienced love from conception (yes, that’s conception) we are left fearful and we defend against the source of the fear, the consequences of the fear and the felt emotions...

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The One Way Sponge

The baby is born but even by that stage the brain may have experienced many experiences from it’s mother reacting to events and generating a bio-chemical response. Imagine the brain after birth as a simple sponge of experience.  All the baby knows about life is what...

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We Are All Unique

There seem to be so many involved in Mental Health that treat the human mind as something to be fixed prescriptively as though it were a machine in which nuts and bolts could be tightened or oiled or perhaps even have some pistons replaced. Yet the generally accepted...

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Balancing Shame and Innocence

A child given the good enough start will trust.  The bundle of baby birthed into primeval fear should, in a good enough home, be comforted and come to trust through the giving of love.  Love protects from the harsh reality of the world; it creates the safe environment...

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Counsellor or Psychotherapist

This is a hotly contested debate between some who have had one form of training and others who have a had a different form of training.  The differentiation made by one professional organisation is based on the length of the counselling/psychotherapy. It does not...

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On Madness

I am reading a thought provoking book by Barbara Taylor.  She uses the word madness to apply to discussion of mental illness from which she suffered appallingly and has had considerable Psychoanalysis. Madness is not a fashionable word but it has certainly mad me...

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Boys and Fathers… Boys who will be Fathers

I was reading an interview with Philip Zimbardo an eminent psychologist discussing the impact of absent fathers and the response from boys: to escape into alternative, usually technology based, worlds. 40% of marriages do not survive, many of them with children who...

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Depression in Children – Depressing Reading

Research, statistics and newspapers constantly tell us in headline language that depression among children from as young as 5 is increasing significantly year on year. I believe that this is hardly surprising when set alongside the statistics for single parent...

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Are You 1 of the 1 in 4…?

One in four of us suffer from anxiety and/or depression says the latest mental health research.  I don’t think it is that surprising given the pressures of life generally, family and work or the absence of each or all of them.  Perhaps we are just becoming more...

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Breast is Best

A study of 6,000 breast fed babies in Brazil following 3,500 of them through to 30+ years has produced evidence that breast fed babies across a whole spectrum, in a sample where bias from other factors has been taken into account, perform better in IQ tests and have...

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Shame About Shame

Shame.  One of those interesting words that seem to have a flexible use.  ‘Shame about that’ or ‘such a shame’, for example.  What does shame actually mean? Shame might be regarded as a concept.  For example: we can suffer from ‘shame’ and from ‘being shamed’.  Shame...

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Throwing Stones

Some of us suffer from addictions, some of us may be prone to uncontrollable outbursts of anger, some of us may be compelled to deceive and betray. The question to my mind is why?  This question can be interpreted as a simple ‘why can’t they not be like this’.  The...

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Count to Three and it’s too Late

Received and well established wisdom in the fields of emotional and mental well-being tells us about the importance of a loving and trustworthy (not to say consistent) early relational environment. 50% of the brains development is shaped by the age of 12 months and...

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A Rock… An Island… Alone…

I have just seen the most recent statistics for suicide: 6,233 in 2013.  17 people each day who have decided that death is better than living. I can only wonder at how someone may be feeling who finally arrives at that point.  Perhaps feelings of hopelessness...

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1 in 10…

Relationship, or at least to be able to give and to receive qualities that create fulfilling relationships, could be said to be the ultimate purpose for our life on earth.  It is certainly at the heart of each of the main faiths.  Many of us are pretty good at giving...

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Cheltenham Counsellor and Psychotherapist

Counselling (sometimes known as Psychotherapy) is there for everyone.  The fact that you are reading this may mean that you have reached a point where life is just not working as well as it did before; perhaps you have come to realise that there are deeper issues that...

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Telephone: 07702 155267 | david@cheltenhamcounsellor.co.uk

I practice from Cheltenham serving much of Gloucestershire with Cirencester, Stroud, Gloucester, Tewkesbury and Northleach all within 30 minutes travel time by car.

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