I provide a safe and confidential space to talk, explore, learn, heal and grow.
Through education, I can help you to understand areas of difficulty and develop resources to cope in the future. The benefits of counselling include insight, fulfilment, raised self-esteem and awareness, a positive outlook and improved relationship with oneself and others.
My main approach is based on Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), but I also draw from other theories and practices such as 12 Step facilitation and Transactional Analysis.
Alcohol and drug addiction
Having actively used alcohol and drugs for 15 years, I fully understand the predicament that addicts find themselves. There is a continuous inner struggle of wanting and needing a substance and knowing the negative consequences.
Depending on the extent of substance misuse, some clients may be advised to seek a medically supervised detox. This will help break the physical dependency but then attention needs to given in breaking the psychological dependency, which is more challenging.
Addiction is most commonly associated with drugs and alcohol, but it’s possible to be addicted to just about anything, including gambling, shopping, internet, gaming, sex and pornography, work, exercise and so forth.
Although all addictions have the capacity to induce a sense of hopelessness and feelings of failure, as well as shame and guilt, recovery is possible. However, seeking professional, therapeutic help, alongside group-work whether self-help or clinical is probably the best way to go about it.
There is no one cause of addiction. Although genetic or other biological factors may contribute to vulnerability to the condition, many social, psychological, and environmental factors have a powerful influence on addictive behaviour.
Stress and anxiety
Alongside depression, it’s widely reported that anxiety is the most common form of mental health disorder in the UK. One of the key components of anxiety is stress. This can come through a variety of forms, such as intimate relationships, family problems, financial or work stress, illnesses, bereavement, redundancy and the like.
However, stress is a natural part of life and how we cope with it, is the key to a happier life. Awareness and resilience is taught through CBT techniques and positive psychology.
In my opinion, at the heart of most issues, is low self-esteem. This is what we truly think and feel about ourselves when no-one else is around. Ultimately, how we treat ourselves gives an unconscious green light to others to treat us likewise. Hence, someone with dysfunctional core beliefs acts these out, they will get reinforced by others and thus perpetuate the cycle. The cycle can be broken through education, awareness, challenging and implementing new ideas and behaviours.
Relationships can be very rewarding but demand time and attention. They can also be very challenging as we grapple with transferences and projections. Unfortunately, some relationships can also be very abusive.
To engage in a healthy relationship, key skills need to be put in place, particularly assertiveness and boundaries. Assertiveness will allow you to voice your concerns and opinions whilst boundaries will help distinguish what is negotiable and non-negotiable behaviour and keep you safe.
Two fundamental human needs are concerned with identity and a sense of belonging. As we develop into a more diverse world community these issues are coming rapidly to the forefront.
Some of the issues 2nd and 3rd generation Asians face is the ‘pull’ of both eastern and western cultures and finding their balance and sense of self between the two. This part of a person’s development needs to negotiated with sensitivity and clarity for healthy growth.
Men-at-Pause: It can be quite difficult for men to open up and speak about their feelings, especially if they’ve been culturally conditioned not to do so. This weekly group offers a safe space for men to share and explore thoughts, opinions, feelings and behaviours. They can also be expected to be gently challenged to facilitate change and growth. At times, homework is set and discussion material provided.
Topics include: boyhood, fatherhood, relationships, sex, examining social stereotypes, intimacy issues, sexuality, gender roles, race, culture, identity, etc.
I offer a fun and highly engaging and interactive 2 day training on addiction that covers topics such as substances and their effects, looking at how addiction takes hold and the effects it has on the central nervous system, relapse prevention model and how alcoholics anonymous was formed and run.