Think of your last really good conversation. Perhaps you felt listened to and were able to get some really important stuff off your chest. You felt better afterwards, maybe your conversation-partner helped by listening well, being engaged with what you had to say and not just waiting for his/her turn to speak. Maybe you learned some stuff about yourself that you didn’t realise… but you were able to make good use of it (even though it might have been tough to hear). Maybe you look back on those conversations with value and take strength from them. Maybe you haven’t (yet) been fortunate enough to have had a conversation like this.
Now, can think of a subject that you can’t talk to anyone about. Maybe you want to talk about your thoughts of ending your life. Or that you have sexual thoughts that disturb you. Or that you’re worried your partner’s behaviour suggests he/she might be unhappy with the relationship. Or that you might be losing your job.
Does the idea of talking with a friend now fill you with dread? Do you now feel isolated and unable to find someone to talk with because of the subject?
You see – everybody has secrets they’d rather the world didn’t know… and when you need a professional partner who you can talk with, who respects your confidentiality and who does this kind of thing privately & professionally, then considering Dean Richardson may be your solution.
By choosing private counselling:
- You won’t have to wait weeks (sometimes months) for an NHS or a charitable counsellor to become available.
- Your GP will not be told.
- You won’t be limited to a maximum number of 4 (or so) sessions like from some counselling services.
- You won’t have to meet with a newly qualified counsellor … or a counsellor who has not yet finished their primary training.
- A private counsellor’s standards are very high (eg BACP Accreditation – which requires a formal qualification, a minimum of 450 hours experience, and continual professional development).
These are just a few reasons why you would choose counselling with a private counsellor such as Dean Richardson.
What is Counselling?
You don’t have to be mentally ill, you’re not insane, and you’re not lacking in some way to consider starting work with a counsellor. In fact, counselling and psychotherapy work best with the mentally well (albeit, perhaps, emotionally wounded).
The British Association for Counselling & Psychotherapy says that
[counselling & psychotherapy] are delivered by trained practitioners who work with people over a short or long term to help them bring about effective change or enhance their well-being” (link)
Yet, even with such a positive statement as above, some people think that counselling as an embarrassing thing. They believe that one only goes to a counsellor when they can’t cope with things themselves; and that’s shameful, right? Well, to some people it can feel that way, yet in my practice I find that many of my first-time clients are pleasantly surprised to experience just how straightforward and useful counselling can be.
The BACP goes on to say:-
Therapy is time set aside by you and the therapist to look at what has brought you to therapy. This might include talking about life events, (past and present), feelings, emotions, relationships, ways of thinking and patterns of behaviour. The therapist will do their best to help you to look at your issues, and to identify the right course of action for you, either to help you resolve your difficulties or help you find ways of coping. Talking about these things may take time, and will not necessarily all be included in one session.
(c) British Association for Counselling & Psychotherapy, 2011 (link)
So, counselling is time dedicated to you to discuss something that’s weighing on your mind, with a view to sort this out with a professional who’s there to assist you.
How long will Private Counselling take?
Counselling with Dean Richardson is a voluntarily-attended, non-compulsory therapy service.
This means that you make your own decision to come into counselling, and you leave when you are ready.
At the beginning we’ll talk about the focus of what our counselling work is to attend to. Agreeing a focus is helpful in judging when enough counselling work has been done (it’s like being able to measure how far a goal has been achieved).
The counselling work ends either when either one of us begins noticing that the original focus seems to have been addressed enough … and then we’ll begin chatting about the option of bringing counselling to an end. OR the counselling ends after a set number of sessions (if we’ve discussed and agreed that this is more appropriate for you).
I’ve written more about this in details in my post: How Long does Counselling Take?
Private Counselling with Dean Richardson MNCS(Accredited Registrant).
Dean Richardson is an experienced, qualified, helpful and professionally ethical counsellor who provides individual and couple counselling in Portsmouth and Southsea, Hampshire. He offers counselling face-to-face in his private practice on the Portsmouth and Southsea coast – and online via the Internet (Skype Video and Correspondence).
Dean is a male counsellor who specialises in couples and individuals counselling as well as having a special interest in offering therapies to LGBT couples and individuals.
I help people in their quest to transform their lives. Sometimes, it’s just a small change, but still is an important one that a person needs to address. Other times, major changes are worked through and lives are transformed by finally being able to let go of something that’s been hanging around for too long. Whatever the change, how long – or how little – it takes, my commitment to the people I agree to work with (sometimes for years) is focused upon reaching that transformation together.
Dean Richardson, 2009.
(For more information about Dean, including an explanation of his qualifications, read Dean Richardson’s biography page).
Dean Richardson’s Methods & Models of Counselling.
Dean’s core model of therapy is psychodynamic (for individuals) and systemic/psychodynamic (for couples), integrating aspects of other therapies (Cognitive/Behavioural Approach, Gestalt etc.).
This, perhaps, doesn’t have to mean very much to you, as many people try working with Dean for a single session to decide if his approach to counselling is right for them. For others, understanding Dean’s therapy models helps to make a decision …
[tabs slidertype=”left tabs”][tabcontainer][tabtext] Psychodynamic-based [/tabtext][tabtext] Cognitive/Behavioural Approach [/tabtext][tabtext] Systemic/Family-based [/tabtext][tabtext] Group-based [/tabtext][/tabcontainer] [tabcontent] [tab]
[iC_Thumbnail id=3711] [/iC_Thumbnail] Psychodynamic counselling differs from other forms of therapy in that it does not seek to give you solutions and strategies that if you were to follow you would be “cured”. Instead, psychodynamic counselling develops and understanding how how you came to be in the current situation. With such understanding, current problems can appear less invasive (and, as one client put it, “appear to to melt away”).
At the root of our inability to manage difficult problems are experiences from our past that may keep nagging away at us. Whether they’re in our conscious memories (unresolved stuff we can remember from long ago) or in our unconscious minds (stuff we’ve chosen to forget, but a part of our mind may still be holding onto the memories for us), past experiences remind us that because we couldn’t manage certain situations long, long, long time ago then we won’t be able to manage them today.
Poor experiences from our formative years as a child and traumatic experiences as an individual contribute to a kind of flaw of in brick-wall-of-a-psyche. The wall will hold up well usually, but when pressure is put on the vulnerable parts of our wall the cracks from long ago fail to hold up to the pressures … and we, as humans, find we struggle to manage those difficult problems in the present day. Psychodynamic-based therapy seeks to understand (in as safe and contained/held way as possible) the problems created in the past, working with them now, to resolve them now, repairing the “flawed brick” in the wall of the psyche.
Cognitive Behavioural Approach.
[iC_Thumbnail id=6011] “CBT” stands for Cognitive Behavioural Therapy.
Dean’s knows that not everyone “feels” … some people “think” and some people “behave”. A stereotypical counselling approach of asking “How do you feel about that” simply doesn’t cut it with different people at different times.
When you’re struggling in the water, you might appreciate being thrown sometime to help keep you afloat. Being asked ‘how do you feel about that’ might not be the best approach at that time!
Unlike stereotypical NHS low-impact approaches to offering CBT, you won’t be given a set of forms to fill in or be sat in front of a computer and left to get on with it. Dean’s philosophy is that therapy isn’t done to you by the therapist … you and the therapist (Dean) participate jointly in therapy … working together in partnership.
So, Dean’s therapy services incorporate helpful aspects of CBT, meaning that Dean incorporates a cognitive behavioural approach to counselling … an approach that effectively involves the heart and emotions as well as the head and thinking.
[iC_Thumbnail id=3712] [/iC_Thumbnail] Switch on your washing machine and press the “cottons” wash and your machine will go through a cycle of instructions from beginning to end … even if what’s inside the machine is your most expensive and delicate wear.
In couple relationships we can find ourselves or our partners in unsatisfactory patterns of behaviour. Couples can get stuck in such behaviour and the relationship suffers. Using systemic therapy for couple counselling, we work to understand the reasons of the patterns of behaviour – to help the couple break free of the patterns – and with curiosity, supposing, wondering, creativity and inspiration the couple can begin to replace old behaviours with new ones; helping the relationship feel better.
Couples therapy with Dean Richardson combines systemic and psychodynamic therapy models and integrates helpful aspects from other approaches. For example, both partners will bring issues from their past into the relationships. The relationship may develop “shared unconscious anxieties” as a result of both partners protecting their vulnerabilities (their shared “flawed bricks”, from the example above) resulting in seemingly-unexplainable relationship behaviours.
Couple counselling with Dean Richardson involves the couple to create behaviour changes which address seemingly insurmountable problems. By learning how the relationship works and what it’s doing, the couple can make new choices that they hadn’t been able to do for themselves before.
Analytic/Facilitative-based Support Groups.
[iC_Thumbnail id=3560] [/iC_Thumbnail] Based on group analysis and group-facilitation principals, making use of a small support-group conducted by Dean Richardson means that you get the opportunity to work in fellowship with others ( around 6-8 group members ). Individual group members are strangers to each other, and have no contact with each other outside of the group. Such a group can be supportive and helpful to members, and it’s perfectly understandable that members will be anxious before joining the group (whether already established or brand new).
The “conductor” is a therapist, but who is also a member of the group. S/he is responsible for the dynamic administration of the group (its creation, its running, its safety) and is responsible for conducting the group’s therapy – although not for leading the group towards particular therapeutic tasks.
Sometimes therapeutic group work offers empathy & support to a group member. Sometimes the therapeutic work a person needs is achieved by hearing about a “non-problem” (ie group members discussing issues where a person’s particular problem factors very little, or even not at all) – which can be a revelation for a person to hear.
Whether a open group (no time limits on membership, members join and leave at different times), or a closed group (the group begins with all members joined, and ends after a set amount of time or a therapeutic task has been addressed), group therapy can be a powerful, community-type of therapeutic support and challenge.
Unsure if Counselling is Right for You?
Arrange an initial appointment with Dean Richardson to have a friendly, informative chat about what you might like from counselling, and what therapies Dean can offer you.
Dean works within the NCS’s Ethical Framework which means he is under clear guidelines to treat you fairly and ethically, will cause you no harm, will treat you with respect, and, if he cannot help you, will talk with you openly about other options available to you.
Trust in your knowledge of Dean, and your instincts about how you feel working with him when you’re in the room with him (this would apply to any therapist you may be considering).