Counsellor, Consultant, PsychotherapistPhone:(+44) 7507562864
Addiction Counselling Manchester
Services provided in person at 591 Wilbraham Road, Chorlton, Manchester M21 9AF or
Anywhere via Skype, telephone, FaceTime, other electronic means
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 have now developed a model of therapy that I call Attachment Centred Therapy. What this means is that the services that I provide, while varied, are all centred around attachment relationships. These relationships can be conceived of in three different core beliefs. First is how you relate to yourself, whether you relate to yourself in a loving and accepting way, or whether you relate to yourself as being bad and unworthy. Second is how you relate to others: can you be who you really are with others, or do you have to put up a false self in order to win approval. Third is your model of the world and how it works, which create the rules or beliefs that you use in order to interact with the world. Fourth is the strategies and tactics that you use in order to get your needs met. And fifth is your primary strategy for how you nurture yourself and others. These then determine how we behave in our close personal relationships and how we feel about ourselves and others.
I providing counselling
, 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.
Areas of SpecializationAddictions
Marriage and Family Counselling
Attachment Centered Therapy
Trauma, Abuse and Neglect
More about the services I provide
Addiction Counselling Manchester
Via electronic means: Skype, phone, Facetime, email
Addiction Counselling Manchester, and by phone or Skype
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 Counselling
Addiction Counselling Manchester, and by phone or Skype
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 Psychotherapy
Psychotherapy Manchester, Counsellor 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.
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 Disorder
Psychotherapy Manchester & Counsellor 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 Therapy
Psychotherapy Manchester, Counsellor 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.
What are attachment relationships? Essentially, they are people with whom we have a close personal relationship of a familial nature. This includes parent & child and spousal (domestic partnership) relationships. So, when you grow up with your parents, then choose a life partner), then have children yourself, these are all attachment relationships. In addition, there can be other, alternative attachment figures, such as grandparents, aunts or uncles, occasionally siblings, and sometimes people who have no familial relationship, but stand in as substitute attachment figures.
When they go well, we are happy. When they don’t go well, then it leads to unhappiness in one way or another.
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.
It's all a question of balance...
We need to feel safe with the people we need to feel safe
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.
How did it get this way? Research, both in the lab and in direct observation of child and caregiver relationships, support the theory that vagal tone (our default response setting to environmental influences, plus our own internally operations) is set during the first months and years of life. In fact, in Mary Ainsworth's observations of mother/infant relationships, she could predict how the infant would be classified at around age 12 months on the Strange Situations Procedure (SSP) during the first 3 months of life! This then sets the 'tone' for the rest of life's experiences. That is why it is so hard for people to change their ways even when they want to. In order to do this, we have to reprogram the unconscious mind.
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.
Maslow’s Modified HierarchyAbraham Maslow
is widely recognized as being one of the early pioneers in the Affective school of psychotherapy. This was proposed as a third force in psychology, the two previous being psychoanalytic and behavioural.
The psychodynamic (psychoanalytic) school of Freud and others postulated a ‘drive’ theory of motivation to explain why people behave the way they do. They also postulated that the early dynamics of the relationships in the family influenced our psyche by frustrating these drives and that led to neuroses. Psychoanalysis helped people to understand (according to their theory) why the patient got to be the way they were, but no instructions were included as to how to make it better. Freud said toward the end of his life that his goal had become to help his patients become well-adjusted to their neuroses. The key to understanding was found in the unconscious mind through techniques such as free association and dream analysis. Freud contributed defence mechanisms and many other useful concepts to psychotherapy.
Behavioural therapy postulated that we are the result of learning and conditioning. Behavioural therapy had no interest in how things got the way they are in a patient’s life. The goal was to change things in the here and now through conditioning. Probably the best known behaviourist was B.F. Skinner. He maintained that if you gave him a child at an early age then he could produce any kind of person you wanted through behavioural conditioning. There is a very interesting movie about this, Raising Cain, written and directed by Brian De Palma and starring John Lithgow. Although the movie is a funny/macabre show, as one might guess from the Lithgow/De Palma pairing, the behaviourist tradition has given us a number of very useful therapies, the one that I use being the original, and still the best in my opinion, cognitive-behavioural therapy: Rational Emotive Behaviour Therapy formulated by Albert Ellis.
Maslow focused not on what made people mentally and emotionally ill, but how can people grow to become the best that they can be. His approach was a needs based approach: needs give rise to emotions, and those emotions are what motivate us to behave the way we do: in order to meet our needs.
In Attachment Centred Therapy
, I have modified Maslow’s Hierarchy, and call it Maslow’s Modified Hierarchy. I think Maslow would agree with these modifications based on my reading of his works. Here is Maslow’s Modified Hierarchy:
Maslow’s Hierarchy can be considered psychophysiological in that our feelings grow out of our physiology. Let’s go through each level of need:Physical Needs:
These are needs that we die without. The most basic is air – oxygen. Without it, we die pretty quick. If you have ever been deprived of oxygen for any length of time, you will have observed that the feeling it gives rise to rather quickly is panic. Next is water, thirst being the felt need; then food, hunger being the feeling that motivates us to eat, and so on. Nurtural Needs:
These are needs the absence of which doesn’t cause death directly, but can and often do indirectly. We know this from the inadvertent experiments done during the last century, notably the astoundingly high rate of deaths of institutionalized children even though all their physical needs are met and medical care is available. I think these children die of grief from the lack of an attachment figure. We also learn of it from spurned lovers who kill themselves or their attachment figure rather than suffer the loss of this nurtural need.Safety and Security:
We need to feel safe with the people we need to feel safe. After the nurtural need results in children, their safety and security becomes paramount. It does no good provide physical and nurturing needs and then have the child lost to predators, environmental dangers, or the predations of enemies. So, children rely on their caregivers to give them that sense of safety and security. The parents must also teach the child how to be safe in a dangerous world. At this level, the family unit is supported in their need for safety and security by providing alliances with other families and other larger groups, such as tribes and communities, in order to protect themselves. These alliances have grown as our culture has grown more complex so that now we have not only nations but international alliances designed to promote safety.Love and Belonging:
The need to belong is very strong. Humankind is slowly learning that it is better to cooperate with other people who have what we want rather than trying to kill or subjugate them. These same nations and multinational organizations can promote trade and cooperation, or they can promote rapacious taking from others in conflict. In conflict, both sides lose. In cooperation at the level of love and belonging, we can enjoy a win-win relationship. Love and belonging is also important in an emotional sense of helping others through altruism. And, we use love and belonging to promote our beliefs. When we share those beliefs, it establishes connections of belonging. Love, in this context, is best defined by Scott Peck in his book, The Road Less Travelled, as: being willing to extend yourself [or take a risk] for the spiritual growth of yourself or someone else. When we feel love for ourselves, then we are able to feel love for others, and we project it outwards to them. When we feel anger or hatred for ourselves, then that is what we project that outwards. Either way, the reflection back to us from our environment further reinforces what we were already feeling.Esteem of Self and Others:
We like to feel good about ourselves, and it works best when we extend those good feelings toward others. What we think of others reflects what we think of ourselves. I am not meaning our evaluations of other’s behaviour, about which we may feel negative feelings. I mean the regard we have toward others, and the extent to which we are able to treat all beings with respect. If we don’t respect ourselves, then we can’t truly respect others. We may esteem ourselves and others for what we accomplish in a variety of realms. Many people rely on their occupation for their esteem. Others rely on some significant other to determine how to feel about themselves. Some on their possessions, others their looks, their status in their communities, friendships, service to others, and so on. Doing well at the activities that we value gives us a good feeling about our efficacy. This builds our esteem. Likewise, assisting others in achieving their own contributions, and appreciating and respecting their efforts builds their esteem. Self-Actualization:
At this level we are operating at our optimum ability. This is the level of ‘being all you can be.’ It is pursuing your highest and best purpose in serving others. This is where we are able to achieve our goals and actualize our values. This is not some magical, pre-ordained set point of achievement. Rather, it is utilizing your maximum potential in serving others.Self-Transcendence:
At self-transcendence we are able to move outside of ourselves. It is the peak of spiritual experience, understanding that the spiritual is the part that resides in each of us and animates us. It is the essence of our own individual life, and self-transcendence is that state in which we can put our own individual interests, including one’s life, to a greater good, because we perceive ourselves as being part of a greater purpose, however one chooses to understand that purpose.