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.
I am happy to meet in person at the offices of Clear Medical: First Floor, 591 Wilbraham Road, Chorlton-cum-Hardy, Manchester M21 9AF.
I prefer online meetings because they offer many advantages over in person. I prefer Zoom, but I am happy to meet via other media.
I am a founding member of the International Association for the Study of Attachment in 2007.
I am currently writing a book, 'Attachment Centred Therapy for Therapeutic Practice with Attachment Issues' to be published by Springer Nature next year.
Attachment Centred Therapy: If you would like to know more about my Attachment Centred Therapy then please click here to check out our website.
Family Relations Institute: This is Pat Crittenden's website giving further information about attachment and the Dynamic Maturational Model of Attachment. Click here to go to the Family Relations Institute.
Attachment Centered Therapy
Trauma, Abuse and Neglect
I use an Integrative Counselling approach that combines a variety of techniques in order to provide the optimum counselling and psychotherapy experience for the problem and the person. Different approaches have been found to work best depending on the challenge that each individual is dealing with and also taking into account the characteristics of each personality.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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. 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. 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.
I have trained with Dr. Patricia Crittenden, who created the Dynamic Maturational Method of attachment analysis.
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.
If you want to know more about Attachment Centred Therapy please click here.
If you are looking for psychiatric services, I recommend Dr Louise Atkin who is a child and adolescent psychiatrist who also works with adults.
Her website is Attachment Matters Manchester.
Disclosure of interest: she is also my wife.
...even if it's just having someone to talk things over with once in a while. Many people can provide a source of comfort and guidance. Friends, family, ministers are just a few examples of the people that we can turn to in times of need. But sometimes these support systems fail, for one reason or another. This is where counselling and psychotherapy come in. A trained and empathetic professional can provide help in a way that no one else can. In therapy, you, as the client, can finally have a relationship where your needs are all that are important. You don't have to satisfy or please anyone else, and you don't have to watch what you say for fear of offending someone else or having them think less of you. This can be marvelously liberating, but it takes time.
A friend of mine enjoys answering such questions by asking, "How long is a piece of string?" In other words, it all depends.
Some therapy can be very brief. One session may be all that is needed, depending on the nature of the problem being presented. For example, phobias can often be cured with one session. Or sometimes, you just need to get someone else's professional opinion of what you need to do in a given situation.
Most problems take longer, but how long depends on the nature of the problem, the goals that you want to achieve, other resources available to help with the problem, and your own personal commitment and skills in dealing with the challenges that you face.
Ultimately, you get to decide how long you want to continue in therapy. Unlike some other approaches, my attitude is that, as the therapist, I work for you, not the other way round. I recommend that in any therapeutic work you talk with your therapist in advance in order to get an idea of how long the work might take.
I do have a set fee schedule that I will be happy to discuss during our first contact. Fees do vary depending on the type of therapy involved and the location, either Guildford or London. I am also available for therapy, consulting and special programs designed for you and your needs at other locations.
Even though I have set fees, I am always willing to discuss fees and sometimes to negotiate depending on need and circumstances. Keep in mind that if you are reading this on my website, you are probably looking for something special that is not readily available elsewhere. This means that I have gone to a great deal of time and expense to receive specialized training in a number of different areas. If your problem is such that I think that someone else can provide the help that you need at a lower price, I will candidly tell you so.
One final thought: if at any time, with me or anyone else, you think that you are not receiving value for the money you are paying, then discuss that with the therapist.
Therapy and counselling can help with just about any kind of problem. Basically, therapy is about helping people to cope with the challenges that life has given them, and will continue to give them. The best therapy does not try to provide you with answers, but rather helps you to find your own answers by thinking about things in a different way, becoming responsible for your own emotional reactions, and developing new ways of coping with the problems that come along.
There really are no "best" techniques or approaches. Each has its strengths and weaknesses. The ideal therapeutic approach, I think, is one that is able to draw on each technique or approach as needed, depending on the nature of the problem and the uniqueness of each client.
All approaches to therapy evolved as a way to understand and deal with human nature. As such, they are a bit like the five blind men who went to the zoo in order to "see" the elephant. One found the trunk, another the tusks, the third a leg, the fourth the elephants side, and the fifth found the tail. When they left they began to discuss their experience with the elephant, and soon were in a heated argument as to which one had the "truth" about the elephant. One insisted that it was sinuous, like a snake. The next that it was smooth and hard. The third that it was like the trunk of a tree. The fourth that it was solid like a wall. The fifth laughed at all of them and said it was like a little fly swat. So therapy approaches are a bit like that. Each one has a piece of the truth, but it is only when you consider them all together that you begin to get a true picture of what therapy is like.
No, there is no requirement that you commit to a certain number of sessions or a certain length of time in therapy. However, it is important to realize that healing takes time. The commitment that I do ask for is that if and when you decide that you want to terminate therapy, that we discuss that decision and make it together. That doesn't mean that you need to have my approval to terminate therapy. It does mean that it ought to be a conscious decision that is discussed. Many times when clients want to leave therapy it is because they are getting close to some important issues, and the unconscious mind generates negative emotions, usually of fear, but sometimes of anger toward the therapist. These times present real opportunities for growth if they are discussed openly and dealt with. If, on the other hand, the client succumbs to the negative emotions and leaves by, for example, cancelling the next appointment with an "I'll get back to you later," type of message, then the opportunity is lost. That is unfortunate, because it is an opportunity that often a lot of work has been done to create, so the value of much therapy, time and money has been lost to the client. It is also a loss to the therapist because every good therapist wants to be successful in helping their clients, so that opportunity has been lost.
The point is, if you make a commitment to therapy, to yourself, stick with it. If you have negative feelings about what is happening, discuss them with your therapist. It presents an opportunity for healing and growth. And, it takes a lot of courage.