Psychotherapy & Counselling -
|18th December 2017|
Counsellor, Consultant, Psychotherapist
Addiction Counselling London
Addiction Counselling Manchester
This page will tell you about me and my work and how to get in touch if you want to schedule an appointment or find out more. The next page, "About Psychotherapy," will tell you about the techniques that I use including my own Attachment Centered Therapy. "Qualifications," the third page, is my vita, as it does seem appropriate to let you know what my training and experience has been. Finally comes "Frequently Asked Questions" which is information that I thought many of you might want to know. Again, thanks for checking out my site, and let me know if I can help you.
I am a member of the UKCP (UK Council for Psychotherapy) and certified by them as an Integrative Psychotherapist through the Metanoia Institute. Please see the qualifications page for a full listing of training, qualifications, and experience.
I providing counselling, consulting, and psychotherapy services for addictions, co-dependency, relationships, family of origin, issues of trauma, abuse or neglect, developmental and personality problems, lifestyle development, personal growth and development and other life issues.
Please feel free to contact me if you would like more information or to arrange an appointment.
Below my 'It's all a question of balance' picture you will find:
Healing the Broken Bond: how attachment centred therapy heals attachment wounds.
Below you will find the next installment, from Chapter 4.
Here are some sayings for you to help correct errors of information processing:
Since you are here, you probably have an interest in attachment and what it is about. There are 3 basic strategies, A, B, and C, that, in broad terms, determine how you relate to those closest to you.
A’s tend to deny their own needs and feelings and are pre-occupied with meeting the needs of others. They rely primarily on facts in processing information, to the exclusion of emotional information, particularly negative emotions.
C’s tend to dismiss the needs and feelings of others and are pre-occupied with their own. They rely primarily on their own emotional state in processing information.
B’s use a balance of both facts and feelings in processing information about relationships.
I have created 3 sayings, one for each category, that are designed to help them to reprogram, except for the B’s who don’t really need much help and rarely show up in a therapy office.
For A’s: Logically, it makes sense to be more emotional.
For C’s: Emotionally, it feels good to be more logical.
For B’s: I am comfortable using both facts and feelings in making choices in relationships.
Areas of Specialization
More about the services I providePsychotherapy Manchester
Addiction Counselling London
Addiction Counselling Manchester
Chemical DependencyAddiction Counselling London
Addiction Counselling Manchester
I have worked in addiction treatment since 1988. I began my treatment experience working with chemical addictions, such as alcoholism, cocaine, marijuana, narcotics, prescription drugs and other drugs of addiction.
I have extensive training and experience in treating these problems, and I served on the board of directors of the Alabama Alcohol and Drug Abuse Association.
I have in the past been certified as a Masters Level Addiction Professional, a Certified Criminal Justice Addictions Professional, and I was certified by the International Counseling and Reciprocity Consortium.
These certifications are not current, as I found that I just had too many certifications to keep up with them all, especially now that I am concentrating my work and training in Attachment.
Sexual Addiction CounsellingAddiction Counselling London; Addiction Counselling Manchester
Next I moved into treating sexual addiction in 1992 when I entered private practice. I also treat relationship or romance addiction (sometimes referred to as "love addiction").
I have trained extensively with Dr. Patrick Carnes, acknowledged by many to be the leading researcher and writer in the field of sex and relationship addiction. I was a Certified Sex Addiction Therapist and a supervisor for counselors seeking certification.
I also served on the Advisory Board for Certified Sex Addiction Therapists, and am a past board member of the National Council on Sexual Addiction and Compulsivity (now known as the Society for the Advancement of Sexual Health).
Relationship, Couples and Marriage and Family PsychotherapyPsychotherapy Manchester
We have long known that addiction is a family illness. Most people who develop problems with addictions come from families where addiction or co-addiction is present. In addition, the addiction has a grave impact on families where it is present.
It quickly became apparent to me that a knowledge of family dynamics and the best skills available for couples and family work were an important part of the recovery process. Many relationships survive the addiction only to fall apart during recovery.
I have trained with Dr. John Gottmann, the leading researcher in the U.S. in the field of marriage, relationship, and family counselling. I have worked with several systemic family therapy supervisors and participated in a systemic family therapy supervision group with Dr Don Brown in Birmingham Alabama for about 5 years. Thus my couples and family work is informed by Systemic Family Therapy.
In addition to doing therapy with addicts and their relations in recovery, I also provide marriage and family and couples counselling to others who do not have problems with addictions.
Co-dependency counsellingAddiction counselling London
Addiction counselling Manchester
Many people who grow up in dysfunctional or addictive families become what we call "co-dependent". That is, they are excessively dependent on others for their own sense of self worth, or they compulsively caretake others, often getting into dysfunctional relationships that either they can't get out of, or if they do, they soon find another dysfunctional relationship to take it's place.
Because much of my work is done with people in later stage recovery when co-dependency issues begin to emerge, this field became a natural outgrowth of the other work that I do.
Eating Disorders & Body Dysmorphic DisorderPsychotherapy Manchester
While I have never trained specifically to treat these disorders, which often co-occur, I have often encountered them in my practice. My approach is psychotherapeutic because I believe that these are symptoms of attachment difficulties.
Attachment Centred TherapyPsychotherapy Manchester
These days my work is centred on attachment. The reason for this is that I believe there is convincing evidence that almost all of the above problems stem from disruptions in attachment in childhood, and sometimes later years. For this reason I have undertaken to educate myself regarding attachment. To that end I have read hundreds of articles and books about attachment theory and research. I'm even working on a book of my own about it.
I have trained with Dr. Patricia Crittenden, who was trained by Mary Ainsworth, who was trained by John Bowlby, the originator of Attachment Theory. Dr. Crittenden has created the Dynamic Maturational Method of attachment analysis. You may visit her website to learn more about this.
I use the Adult Attachment Interview as a way to get started in therapy. This assessment provides a dynamic and revealing way to quickly identify what went wrong and why, and also immediately begins to provide the healing necessary to fix it.
Healing the Broken Bond: how attachment difficulties lead to problems and what to do about itThe Here and Now: The Present
Here and now we process information. This information is coming in from all sorts of sources. We can begin with the 5 traditionally identified senses of sight, sound, taste, smell and touch, and we can add a 6th sense of ‘neuroception,’ Porges’ term for the feelings that we get from our gut, our heart, and all of our internal processing. We can also speculate on a 7th sense which we can call ‘psycheception.’ Whether this latter term and means of perceiving is real or not we can debate further in the last section of the book: The Future, Imagination. And for right now, we can ignore psycheception because for our purposes it doesn’t matter. I will present my case for it, and the proposition that it is the basis for Maslow’s Modified 7th level of need when we get there.
As to the 6th sense, Porges’ ‘neuroception,’ I take the position that is operates within us not only from birth but even before birth to begin programming our minds. Here is the case for that. When a child is gestating in the womb it has several sources of information. The developing child uses all this information in order to become the being it needs to be in order to survive, learn to thrive, and then reproduce once it reaches the adult stage. Much, perhaps most, of this information is conveyed within our DNA. This information guides the development of head, arms, legs, viscera, brain, thorax and so on. This information guides the development of the physical form: the body, (and for my purpose in this book, the body always includes the brain). The brain/body dichotomy does not exist, any more than the heart/body dichotomy exists, except as an arbitrary construction that someone made up to divorce the brain from the body. It doesn’t work that way. Brains can’t function without bodies and bodies can’t function without brains.
Information about nutritional elements needed to survive and thrive is conveyed via the nutrients available to the developing child. This comes in the form of the nutrients conveyed by the mother to the child in utero. So, we have many conditions that get created when the mother is not able to receive sufficient nutrition for her own needs, up to and including spontaneous abortion. On the other hand, with the proper genetic development and the proper nutrition, we may anticipate a healthy, robust child being born. But that child can still be a mess.
Because the third source of information is neuroception. This lets the child know, even before birth, what to expect out there. What I suppose is that the child is able to ‘know’ what the mother is feeling through hormones and neurotransmitters in the bloodstream. I am not particularly concerned with the mechanism for how this occurs, I will leave that to the biologists and neurologists who are studying it and developing more and more information about this effect. There have been other studies and indications suggesting that the embryo is also somewhat aware of what is going on in the here and now in their soon to be environment: that is, outside of the mother’s body in her environment.
What the child senses through neuroception is the state of arousal of the internal organs. How the child ‘feels’ inside is monitored by the brain and the brain is programmed accordingly. This means that excessive stress creating anxiety or depression in the mother directly impacts on the child’s developing brain through the neuroendocrine systems of both mother and child interacting chemically via the placenta, and then secondarily by the foetus sensing its own internal state via the vagal system which then further up or down regulates the system in response to these messages from the outside, coupled with its own reaction to those messages on the inside.
Because of these effects, the child is born with a pre-disposition to be over-aroused, under-aroused, or just right in response to stressful events in the environment. Once birth occurs, the child, having just been ejected from the warm and cosy womb, now finds itself in a strange environment where it must somehow learn to survive. It quickly starts learning how to feed itself by sucking on a nipple. Sight begins to develop, as do speech, hearing, touch, proprioception, taste and smell.
Most likely, the child is going to be born into an environment that is consistent with the information it has already received about that information. One of the first things that the child does upon opening its eyes for the first time is to look at the human face. Ekman’s research indicates that we are pre-programmed – through millions of years of evolution – to respond to certain facial expressions by feeling the same emotions in ourselves as we see on the face of someone else. So, when the child sees his or her mother for the first time, and then each subsequent time thereafter, the brain and the developing mind will be responding to whatever facial expressions are there.
To really get the feeling of what this must be like for a child, watch Dr Ed Tronick’s ‘Still Face Experiment,’ which is a rather short clip of a few minutes that you can find on YouTube, that dramatically illustrates the disconcerting effect that a blank stare from the mother has on a normally developing child who seems to be securely attached to mom.
Now that you have watched the video, try to imagine what it must be like to be a child who receives that kind of maternal reception from birth.
This maternal reception and the subsequent interactions of mother and child further shape the child’s development neurologically and therefore behaviourally. The child is learning all the time from this maternal interaction about itself, how to interact with others, how the world works, how it can best operate in this world in order to survive, and how to nurture itself and others. Those are the five core areas in which beliefs are formed and behaviours learned. This information is received emotionally, through the response to sights, sounds, feelings, taste, smell and neuroception. Remember that the neuroception is going to create feelings in response to the child’s own internal states. This neuroceptive information then reinforces whatever emotional state has been induced in the current environment.
Thus, the child learns to feel good or bad about self, that it can interact effectively with others or not in order to get needs met, that the world is a welcoming, indifferent, or hostile, rejecting or threatening place, that they can get their needs met best in a particular way using a particular strategy, and how to go about nurturing itself and others. This then determines that particular pattern of attachment that they will develop by one year of age: avoidant, secure, or ambivalent behaviour: the A, B, or C of attachment strategy nomenclature developed by Mary Ainsworth.
Later on, the child begins to develop a cognitive structure for understanding these emotional states. As language begins to develop and concepts to go with the words, the child begins to develop a narrative in order to explain the world and how it operates with regard to these 5 core areas of belief. Usually the environment continues to reinforce this strategy begun by 12 months of age. Sometimes it will change due to changes in the environment.
When the strategy is successful in getting needs met, the emotions felt are those of security and safety, and so the B strategy is reinforced. When the strategy is unsuccessful, the child resorts to self-soothing via the vagal system by avoiding the negative stimuli as much as possible, and so the A strategy is reinforced. When the child is only partially successful they learn that they can receive care by making a fuss and protesting, and so the C strategy is reinforced. This is the safety and security phase of attachment development which is concerned primarily with dealing with close personal others in a home or family environment.
This first learning phase of attachment predominates up to about age 7 when the child begins to interact more fully and autonomously with peers in the outside world. They are learning more about the world at large at this stage and are more and more inclined to collaborate with their peers, boys generally grouping with boys, and girls generally grouping with girls in forming their social networks. Here they learn how to interact effectively with others – or not. This further reinforces what was learned in the first phase. This is the phase of freedom and exploration in development and will carry on into the third phase.
The third phase is mating and reproduction which generally begins about age 14 and eventually will result – if Mother Nature has her way – in the formation of a new pair bond who then reproduce and the attachment cycle begins a new attachment cycle, this time with the parents being the ones responsible for creating the attachment experiences of their own children. This, then, can be thought of as a fourth phase of attachment: being the caregivers for their own progeny.
Here, too, in this fourth phase, the individual continues to learn and to grow in response to the environment. Only now the predominant feature of that environment for most parents has become the child or children. And now another feedback loop is created, so that the parent is having an effect on the child whose reactions to the parent then create reactions in the parent, so the relationship becomes a mutually amplifying process. Also in this phase, the mating parent has acquired a new primary attachment figure in their mate, and so they are going to form a feedback loop between themselves, and as development of the child continues, the three or four or however many of them will also form feedback loops among themselves that will either ameliorate or exacerbate whatever attachment difficulties they already have.
|©2017 Charley Shults — powered by WebHealer|