Psychotherapy & Counselling -
|24th March 2018|
Counsellor, Consultant, PsychotherapistPhone:
Addiction Counselling London
Addiction Counselling Manchester
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.
Skype, phone or email Meeting in person is what most clients prefer to do. However, some of my clients actually prefer to meet via Skype because of the convenience and cost savings.
Please feel free to contact me if you would like more information or to arrange an appointment.
When we don’t feel safe with our caregivers - the people that we need in order to feel safe - then we are left with difficulties in knowing how to deal with others. There are 3 basic strategies, A, B, and C, that, in broad terms, determine how you relate to those closest to you.*
B3 or not B3, that is the question.
If you were lucky enough to have caregivers, usually parents, who helped you to feel safe, who helped you to understand your feelings and how to deal with them effectively, and how to get your needs met by interacting with others, then you are likely to be a B3. That is as good as it gets in attachment terms. Those are the folks who grow up, get married, and live happily ever after. B’s use a balance of both facts and feelings in processing information about relationships. And, they are not likely to be reading this now, because B’s are not generally going to be seeking therapy for themselves, and are much less likely to seek therapy for those close to them.
A’s on the other hand, 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. If something goes wrong in relationships, they tend to blame themselves and exonerate others. In fact, some A’s will insist that they had a perfectly normal childhood, and it is only because of their own personal inadequacies that they are seeking help.
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. If something goes wrong in relationships, they tend to blame the other and exonerate themselves. This keeps them stuck in a cycle of insecurity, because they fail to learn from experience, lacking the cause and effect connections that help them to understand how their behaviour is contributing to the problems they experience.
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
Below is an article, Addiction and Attachment, that I wrote some time ago for the DMM (Dynamic Maturational Model of attachment) Newsletter, the newsletter for IASA, the International Association for the Study of Attachment.
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.
Addiction and AttachmentThe term “addiction” means a devotion to something, and the “addict” is the person with the devotion. Thus, a disorder arises when the addiction, or devotion, begins to interfere with other important areas of a person’s life, such as work, play, family, friendships, and finances. “Addictive disorders” are an attempt by the persons having them to make up for the deficits or difficulties in attachment. The big four addictions are drugs (including alcohol), sex, food and gambling. There are other addictive disorders that some postulate, such as spending, fantasy, romance, work, and exercise.
Addictive disorders can be identified in a simplified way by using the three C’s of addiction:
Control - addicts typically experience a loss of control over the use of their addiction. This can be manifest in various ways: when they use it, how much or how long they use it, where they do it, and with whom they do it.
Compulsiveness - the addict, in spite of making efforts to control or promises to themselves or others to abstain or reform their behaviour, nevertheless indulge in it, often despite their best intentions not to do so.
Consequences - because of the loss of control, and the compulsive nature of the behaviour, negative consequences begin to accumulate. Sometimes it is the potential for negative consequences that accumulates, in terms of the impact on family, employment, and even the addict’s freedom, if the behaviours are illegal. In dealing with addictions, many questions remain unanswered by various theoretical approaches to addiction, including the medical model, learning theory, genetics, and social-ecology. Among these are: Why would someone pursue a course of behaviour that was destructive to themselves and others, especially once they had seen that there were other options
available (learning theory)? Why would someone who had achieved sobriety, or abstention, for a certain period of time, revert their old behaviour, or “relapse” (medical model)? Why would someone seem to conquer one behaviour only to pick up another addictive or dysfunctional behaviour (genetics)? And finally, why would someone who had seemed to be successful at recovery go home one night and put a bullet in their brain, or as a dear professional colleague of mine did, take a fatal overdose of drugs. Searching for answers to these questions led me to the field of attachment, and I think that attachment theory, and especially the DMM, provides the answers to those questions.
In my early days of using attachment concepts, about a decade ago now, I remember explaining the concepts of attachment to an addict with whom I was working. I found that simply explaining the concept, and how difficulties in attachment affects one in childhood and subsequent development, had great explanatory value for the client (and of course for me in understanding what was going on). As I finished explaining this to one client, he looked at me and said, delightedly, “Oh, you mean I’ve made my drug of choice my attachment object.”
Well, that wasn’t what I had meant, but I realized that for him it was true, so he had educated me. His drug of choice had become what he was most attached to, at the expense of the legitimate attachment figures of his wife and children. It had become his secure base, his safe haven, the one thing that helped him to deal with – or seem to deal with – his negative (and positive) feelings. And it had become his most important need, leading to one of the criteria of addictive behaviour of “maintaining supply.”
Today in dealing with addictions I no longer use the previously postulated models which predicate addiction as a disease, as a learned behaviour, or the result of social and environmental factors. The dysfunction makes sense when one understands the context in which it arose. That is, as an attempt to deal with negative feelings and meet unmet needs. Because of the primitive nature of addictive pathways, they “trump”, or override, legitimate needs and feelings. Today I understand the etiology of addiction to lie in difficulties in attachment, leading to negative views about oneself, fractured or incomplete relations with others, a distorted world view via distorted perceptual filters, and a adaptation to rely on something other than nurturing relationships as a way to nurture the self. And today I use an attachment centred approach based on the DMM as the way to understand and intervene in these maladaptive behaviours.
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