Professional counselling & psychotherapy in Winchester, Southampton, Chandlers Ford, Eastleigh, Romsey & Hedge End.
No-cost initial consultation available.
Hello, and thanks for visiting my web page. 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 area.
If you are experiencing difficulties 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 positive change.
I provide counselling and psychotherapy in the Winchester, Eastleigh and Southampton region for adults and young people over 16 in areas like anxiety, generalised anxiety disorder, depression, feeling sad, sexuality/gender, sadness, worry, stress, shame, anger, guilt, family issues, separation and divorce, affairs and betrayals, relationship issues, marriage guidance, bereavement, loss, eating disorders, 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 a counsellor can be a a bewildering experience. Research tells 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 initial half hour consultation so we can explore your needs and for you to be sure you feel comfortable talking with me.
I invite you to meet with me 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 psychotherapeutic counselling to individuals on a short term and longer term basis.
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. 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. 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.
Brian Mitchell - counselling Eastleigh - psychotherapy Winchester - counsellor Southampton - based Chandlers Ford.