Neil is a UKCP Registered Psychotherapist and counsellor with over 20 years experience. He has also worked as a counselling trainer in Further and Higher Education for over 10 years.
Since 1996 he has worked in a range of settings including a GP Practice, a University student counselling service and a hospice where he worked with both terminally ill patients and their carers. He has working in private practice since 2003.
Deciding to come for counselling is a big step, one which you are likely to have taken with a lot of thought. You may be struggling with anxiety, depression, stress or loss. You may also feel that on the surface you have everything you need such as a good job, financial security, happy family life, good health and yet there is still something missing in your life. It lacks meaning. Whatever the reason for coming you have realised you need support.
When we begin facing those aspects of ourselves we have shied away from we begin to open up to a more diverse sense of self, one with increased emotional awareness and hence more capacity to enjoy life and live more fully in the present.
My experience is that the vast majority of clients who work with me go away feeling more positive about life and are more at ease with themselves and those around them.
My training has included Person Centred Counselling, Psychodrama Psychotherapy and Embodied Relational Therapy. I am also heavily influenced by the Gestalt model of psychotherapy. My training has helped me be willing and able to be with, and accept, clients feelings, thoughts and experiences.
In our work I will support you in finding ways of managing your thoughts and feelings so they have less impact on your daily life. I will also help you explore and work through any underlying issues and patterns of behaviour that perpetuate your distress. This may involve looking at long-held patterns of thought and behaviour which have been set in place at an earlier stage in your life. This allows you to make choices as to how you move forward into a more rewarding and fulfilling life.
I find that I am slowly refining my style of working over time. I do this through regular supervision and personal therapy. This keeps my work fresh and in the moment. This fits with my belief that therapy is essentially about ‘being with’ people. In other words, the relationship brings about change in the client (and sometimes in me too).
As I am experienced in working both long and short term I am able to adapt my approach to suit my clients’ requirements.
I work with anyone who feels stuck or is struggling with some aspect of life. This can include depression, anxiety, bereavement, lack of meaning in life, stress at work or relationship issues. I have a personal interest in anxiety and depression as I experienced both these conditions in my own life.
I have a particular interest in working with mortality. I have found that by facing the reality of our finiteness we can come to appreciate the preciousness of each moment and the sheer pleasure of being. I have worked with lots of people who want to talk about death, about the reality that they will no longer exist and the impact this has on their daily life.
I also have a special interest in our relationship with the natural world. I believe the use of nature can deepen a client’s awareness and connection with both themselves and others. As a result, I sometimes work with clients in the outdoors.
I love the work I do as I find people endlessly fascinating and unique. I never know what is going to happen each time a client comes through the door and this keeps my work alive and vibrant.
I have had my own personal therapy and this has added enormously to my capacity to be alive and in the moment. I still have therapy when needed as it adds to the joy I experience in life as well as helping me be more fully present with my clients.
I love being part of a process that brings about significant and lasting change in peoples’ lives. Those little ‘light bulb’ moments in therapy, when the client’s awareness of themselves deepens, are precious to me.
Nothing gives me a greater sense of purpose and meaning in life than being with a client as they are present with their grief or anger or as they celebrate coming through a difficult time in their life. Being with courageous people as they come face to face with the vast diversity of themselves helps me appreciate and live with my own diversity and strength.