Psycho-holistic Therapy is based in Brentwood Essex UK. Location is not an issue however as we work with people further afield and by Skype where relevant.
Helping others to overcome psychological disturbance has become probably the most important thing in our lives, it's personal for us because we have experience of living with anxiety, body image issues, school phobia, severe shyness and more. We believe that lived experience is invaluable when it comes to helping others to overcome difficulties.
When we most needed help we couldn’t find someone who had the experience necessary, someone who understood the territory from the inside rather than from an external and academic perspective and who was warm, empathic and committed to do what it took to help.
Like so many, we know what it's like to have life interrupted by psychological disturbance and we understand the impact this has on family life. This is why we have trained and now work as therapists and we are connected to an associate group of therapists who have personally recovered from challenging psychological health issues or who have overcome major life difficulties. So on occasion we may also bring in other skilled therapists to work with our clients, (including a hypnotherapist, a nutritionist, and a occupational therapist) because we believe that a holistic approach means looking at the big picture and may require help from people with other skills. This means that we can direct you to a therapist who has relevant lived experience and the courage to work directly with this.
We have had extensive training, to honors degree or Masters level and we keep our approach fresh and up to date by taking part in regular continuing professional development.
All that we do with our clients is based on a Psycho-spiritual, Integrative and Humanistic framework. We have been fortunate to experience our own extensive therapy, often with committed and highly skilled therapists and we have had some excellent training.
We hope to see therapy spreading its wings from the outdated models which seem to so often prescribe fifty-minute sessions and sometimes punish the client for not being well enough to attend. We believe that this process should be more compassionate. At the same time, we are firmly committed about client safety and our therapists are DBS checked and have regular supervision.
I first came to counselling training because I was trying to cope as a parent of an anxious child. At that time I was in denial about my own psychological difficulties which included extreme shyness as a child, low self esteem, school phobia, a history of skin picking, which is a behaviour associated with anxiety. I also had a complicated history with how to manage difficult emotions, particularly with repressed anger.
Before I married, I trained as a chef and a florist As a young mother I experienced as period of not knowing how to cope with my infant son and in hindsight I realise that I had a brush with post-natal depression.
When my children started school I dabbled with some adult education courses such as cake decorating, silk painting and a maths GCSE (having failed miserably the first time round with an ungraded mark!). Then after attending a short counselling course run by a local church, I finally got an opportunity to got back into education properly and I was so fortunate that my local college (part of Anglia Ruskin University) was running wonderful counselling training which was based on the work of Ken Wilber; this transpersonal training was life changing.
I qualified in the late 1990's with a first class honours degree in counselling and since then I have worked in private practice, but that was only the beginning of what I had to learn , because my son's psychological difficulties increasingly began to impact our family and as a result of this I was forced to learn so much more about myself and about what is is like to struggle with our emotions especially when times are particularly challenging. My son's worst times coincided with the menopause for me and this was another brush with depression and a sense of being less than in control.
I worked for a while as a community mental health advocate and later as supervisor to that team. This gave me an insight into the inherent difficulties faced by people who experience psychological disturbance.
Over the past few years my son has recovered and I have continued to work with people who have shared their own complex stories with me, my way of working has changed considerably.
I've learnt that due to limited resources the very individuals who work in the health and education services are often themselves up against an impossible task because there aren't always the resources available, so the system often fails us. I've learnt that sometimes people with the best of intentions, get things wrong and that includes me. I believe that honesty, transparency and a willingness to be present and hear the other person's experience is vital in clear communications.
I'd say that other life experiences that have influenced me and my work are the loss of my parents, my mother to dementia and my father who died at the magnificent age of 97. These two lovely people taught me a great deal about the emense power of patience and love. My training and a dear friend introduced me to meditation and mindfulness practices and as a result I've had some further life enhancing development.
Along the way I have been taught more by the amazing clients who I have had the privileged of working with. Their experiences and capacity to survive in the most extraordinarily challenging of circumstances fill me with admiration.
Supporting others (both parents and individuals) to overcome difficulties such as me and my family have faced is my aim and I believe that a warm, empathic and human approach is the best I can offer to my clients.