Professional counselling & psychotherapy in Winchester, Southampton, Chandlers Ford, Eastleigh, Romsey & Hedge End.
No-cost initial consultation available.
Thanks for visiting. I am Brian Mitchell BA (Hons) PGCE MBACP a qualified and www.bacp.co.uk registered psychotherapeutic counsellor providing counselling and psychotherapy in the Winchester, Eastleigh and Southampton areas. I am working face to face in a risk based manner with individuals and online through video link with individuals and couples during the current pandemic. The good news is the shift to video hasn't affected the quality of the work.
If you are having difficulties and issues in your life it can be really helpful to talk with a professional counsellor who provides a safe, confidential, completely non-judgemental space for you to explore your life and relationships with a view to achieving lasting positive change.
I am a provider of counselling and psychotherapy in the Winchester, Eastleigh, Southampton and Hampshire areas for adults and young people 16 and over with issues aroundanxiety, generalised anxiety disorder, depression, feeling sad, sexuality/gender, sadness, worry, stress, shame, anger, guilt, family issues, couples, separation and divorce, affairs and betrayals, relationship issues, marriage guidance, bereavement, loss, eating disorders, alcohol abuse, panic disorder, phobias, child related issues, childhood suffering, abuse, trauma, low self-esteem, low self-confidence, self harm, poor sleep, work related stress, spirituality ,searching for meaning and other concerns.
Choosing a Counsellor
Choosing the right counsellor can be a challenging and, at times, bewildering experience. Besides professional membership/accreditation and a decent amount of professional knowledge, researchers stress the fundamental importance of relationship. They tell us the single most important aspect of successful therapy is the quality of the relationship between therapist and client. To this end I offer a no cost consultation so we can explore your needs and for you to be sure you feel comfortable talking with me. Have a read of my About Counselling page for more information about what we will do. You will find a handy blog around some models of working with couples, if this interests you, which also applies to individuals given we all exist in relation to someone else.
So, lets have a chat in the relaxed, informal setting of my Chandler's Ford practice so we can talk. I will help you make better sense of your experiences, unfulfilling behaviours, negative thoughts, and confused feelings and emotions. Together we can recognize patterns, discover meanings and explore options in an open, frank, non-judgemental way.
Having taken some Transactional Analysis based generic counselling courses at Peter Symonds school of Adult and Higher Education in Winchester in the mid 2000s I went on to study at The Metanoia Institute, the country’s biggest provider of counsellors and psychotherapists and a leading and respected centre of learning in the field. I have worked as part of The University of Southampton counselling service providing services to students, academics and other employees. I have also counselled the bereaved as a service provided by a Hampshire hospice. I now provide private counselling and psychotherapy via psychotherapeutic counselling to individuals on a short term and longer term basis in Eastleigh, Winchester, Southampton and the wider are of Hampshire. I have a particular interest in couples work. Please see my About Counselling page for more information.
If you would like to contact me to explore working together you can do so on the number at the top of the page or 0750 4272724 or at [email protected]
My therapeutic approach is based on TA (transactional analysis). TA is an integrative, relational, psychodynamic therapy grounded in humanistic psychology. TA is described by the International Transactional Analysis Association as “a theory of human personality, a theory of social behaviour, and a comprehensive system of psychotherapy” . TA concepts are very accessible to everyone, meaning they are easy to explain and for you to understand and use in the work and day to day life.
Transactional Analysis was developed by Eric Berne (1910-1970), a doctor and psychiatrist who had been studying to become a psychoanalyst. Developing some of Freud's ideas he developed his innovative and accessible therapeutic approach. His 1964 book "Games People Play" sold over six million copies. Another book by one of his founding group ("I'm OK - You're OK" by Thomas Harris) sold over ten million copies. Berne was very focused in looking to see positive change in his patients. Over the years there has been a great deal of new writing and thinking about TA internationally and it has proved to be an effective basis for psychotherapy.
Central to TA is the idea of “ego states”. This says that each of us is psychologically made up of Child, Adult and Parent ego states.
In our “Parent” we have absorbed rules, regulation, injunctions and sayings heard from parents and authority figures and indeed anyone we have chosen to regard in a similar capacity. We can find ourselves seemingly controlled by these messages from the past; as someone once said, “sometimes I open my mouth and my mother comes out!” You can see this Parent ego state demonstrated in a person’s behaviour on occasions: wagging their finger, taking a stern tone of voice or using a particular phrase from an authority figure from the past. At times some people can be inhibited in relationships by being too parental, particularly if their approach is critical. We can also hold a legacy of negative self-image from the past programming we might have had. Some people relate to their partners or bosses as if these people are Critical Parents. This can inhibit individuals in their relationships and progression. It can also lead to unnecessary anxiety. TA can help identify these messages and assist in assessing if they were ever appropriate and whether they are appropriate in the here and now.
Similarly the Child ego state is the location of feelings from birth. Often feelings from the past can emerge in the present and interfere in our day to day functioning. Using Child strategies to navigate our relationships can often be counterproductive. Sometimes we feel stuck. This can be due to our inner Child and inner Parent conflicting, causing an impasse. Psychotherapists can help to unblock these impasses, freeing us up to feel better about ourselves.
Our Adult ego state is rational and decision making. It draws from the other two (otherwise we’d be computers on legs) but should do so in an appropriate manner to the here and now: where the Child or Parent ego state predominates we call this a contamination. A lot of TA work looks at strengthening the Adult by decontaminating it through exploring Parent and Child ego state feelings, thoughts and behaviours.
There are lots of books and resources around this concept. Given it is so powerful in liberating our self-identity it is used extensively in the counselling work.
The client - therapist relationship
If you are interested in reading about what the client - psychotherapist relationship is really like and what it can achieve please click on the book reviews tab at the top of the page. This will take you to a couple of really good examples of writing on this topic that looks at working with anxiety, depression, stress, anger, trauma, self harm, relationship issues etc. You will also find other resources from the BBC and articles that help explain key TA concepts of Ego States and Contracts. There is also a handy NHS resource, kindly provided through the University of Southampton linking to leaflets on abuse, alcohol, anxiety, bereavement, anger, depression and low mood, domestic violence, eating disorders, hearing voices and disturbing beliefs, obsessions and compulsions, and panic.
Thank you for reading. If you think I can help get in touch, it's confidential and free.
17/05/20 Update: I've added a blog on Couples Theory that will be of interest to clients who want to know more and students especially those pursuing TA.
Counselling Eastleigh - psychotherapy Winchester - counsellor Southampton - based Chandlers Ford. Counselling Eastleigh - psychotherapy Winchester - counsellor Southampton - based Chandlers Ford. Counselling Eastleigh - psychotherapy Winchester - counsellor Southampton - based Chandlers Ford.