“All our interior world is reality, and perhaps
more so than the apparent world”

Marc Chagall

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Individual (One-to-One) Counselling and Therapy, Alsager, Cheshire

I offer one-to-one counselling and psychotherapy sessions for adults and young people, working through issues in a confidential, nurturing environment. Sessions last 50 minutes and I usually see clients once or twice a week for a given period. I am based in Cheshire, working from Alsager (East Cheshire, Junction 16 of the M6), although my client base geographically includes North Staffordshire, the Peak District and beyond.

To date I have helped individual clients in both short- and long-term therapy, dealing with issues ranging from anxiety and panic attacks through chronic eating disorders, phobias and relationship problems to bereavement, post-traumatic stress disorder and abuse.

My therapeutic approach is integrative, which means that I borrow freely from various schools of thought to use the techniques that will work best for each client. These include psychodynamic and transpersonal therapy and CBT (cognitive behavioural therapy) as well as less mainstream creative techniques including bibliotherapy and eco-therapy in cases where they can be helpful for the client. I have also trained in animal-assisted therapy (AAT) which can be very effective in some instances.

For more information about individual therapy or to make an appointment, please contact me at jcsmith@therapy-cheshire.co.uk or call me on 07811 981645.

 

 

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Very good facilitation – encouraging and warm.

An Ancient ‘Stiff Upper Lip’ for Modern Living: Stoic Week 2013

This week is, believe it or not, ‘Stoic Week‘.

At our local health food shop, one of the breakfast cereal boxes proclaims that spelt is “an ancient grain whose time is now.” This seems to be similar to the gist of Stoic Week, which hopes to promote the philosophy as a modus vivendi for us 21st-century types in addressing some of our contemporary problems in living.

Stoicism is obviously an area of interest for many psychotherapists, as are any philosophies that seek to address difficulties in living and the huge question of how to live as an authentic human being. In fact, the late Christopher Hitchens praised existential psychotherapist Irvin Yalom‘s wonderful book Staring at the Sun as “a thoughtful reinforcement of the stoicism we all need in a time when babble and denial are all the rage.”

The idea of being ‘stoic’ is one that’s bandied around quite a lot, without necessarily any real nod to the people who were the original Stoics, but during Stoic Week, exercises and activities include many of the sources used by them and their followers, with early appearances from Epictetus, Marcus Aurelius and Galen to name but three.

With questionnaires at the beginning and end of the project, the team behind Stoic Week hope to measure some of the effects of modern-day enquirers taking on a newly Stoic attitude. I’ve completed the exercises and meditations for Day One, and it’s so far so good – plenty of food for thought, much of which could be really quite helpful for some therapy patients.

You’ll need to register by midnight tonight to take part though!

Personal Development Programme 2014: Registration Now Open

Monday 6th January sees the start of the Personal Development Programme 2014, an eight-week group designed to help members remove emotional obstacles and maximize their strengths in order to move forwards healthily and happily in 2014.

Following participant feedback from last year’s group, I’ve extended the group from six weeks to eight weeks. In addition, there will be a ‘top-up’ session in May and a review session in the Autumn to further reinforce the ongoing support offered by the Programme.

In a psychotherapist-facilitated, supportive and confidential environment, participants will be encouraged to:

* Examine labels given to them in early life

* Measure their actual inner selves against their ‘perceived’ selves

* Explore their social networks and identify where they are positive, negative or neutral influences

* Create their own strategies for dealing with stress

* Develop a plan to ensure emotional balance in 2014

We will meet on consecutive Monday evenings from 6th January at the lovely, airy Studio at 100 Crewe Road, Alsager (the same building as my consulting rooms), with all refreshments and materials provided. The Programme is strictly limited to a maximum of eight participants.

Advance registration is essential; normal cost £180, Early Bird cost £160 (bookings before 10th December 2013); discounts available for unwaged. To book your place or for further information call me on 07811 981645 or e-mail jcsmith@therapy-cheshire.co.uk.

‘Surviving Separation and Divorce’ group, Alsager, starting 24th October

In October and November I’ll be running a six-week ‘Surviving Separation and Divorce’ group at Alsager Therapy Centre on Thursday evenings.

Limited to six participants, this will be a very small group offering a confidential, supportive and non-judgmental environment. It is open to women and men who are either recently divorced or separated, currently going through the process or struggling to move from past significant relationships.

The aim of the group is to acknowledge residual feelings and fears from members’ past relationships, to explore learnings while enhancing self-awareness and to prepare to move on healthily and with self-care. There will of course be therapeutic input throughout.

Advance registration is essential; the full programme costs £190 including materials and refreshments.

For more information call or text me on 07811 981645 (office hours) or e-mail me at jcsmith@therapy-cheshire.co.uk.

‘Dealing With Stress’ Programme Begins 9th July

My Tuesday evening ‘Dealing With Stress’ Programme begins this month at Alsager Therapy Centre.

Over five weeks, we will be using CBT and relaxation techniques to deal with stress and its wider effects in the workplace, in the family and elsewhere.

This group is strictly limited to five participants; advance booking essential.

Other upcoming groups include: Emotional Eating group (July/Aug), Empty Nesters group (Aug/Sept), Emotional Wellbeing Programme (Sept/Oct), Surviving Separation and Divorce group (Nov/Dec) and the Baby & Us workshop (6th Nov). For further information about any of these, contact me at jcsmith@therapy-cheshire.co.uk.

Misty Scottish mountain

Dates Announced for 10-Week Personal Development Group for Women, Hale, April – May 2013

The next 10-week Personal Development Group for Women will be starting in Hale, Cheshire on Tuesday 16th April (the week after the Easter holidays).

This group will be held in the daytime and restricted to a very limited number of participants. We will be looking at a different theme each week including childhood, relationships, body image, life cycle and dreams.

The aim of the group is to help women of all ages unravel their motivations, behaviours and emotional stumbling blocks while starting to move towards positive and lasting change. Facilitated by a qualified psychotherapist and using structured personal exercises each week, participants will benefit from a safe, supportive, confidential and nurturing environment to explore their own issues.

This is a ‘closed’ group (meaning that it will not be open to new members once the group begins), so advance registration is essential.

If this group could be of interest to you or anyone you know, e-mail me at therapyincheshire@gmail.com or text me on 07811 981645 and I’ll get back to you with times, costs and further information.

Dates Announced for ‘Freeing the Self’ Pre-Pesach Workshop in Hale

On 14 and 21 March I’ll be facilitating the ‘Freeing the Self’ two-part workshop in the approach to Passover, a psycho-educational discussion group aimed at provoking thought and reflection linking in with Pesach themes.

The workshops will be held in Hale, Cheshire on consecutive Thursday evenings in a very small group format; advance registration essential.

The evening programme is open to men and women; depending on demand there may also be a women-only daytime group.

For more information or to register, call or text me on 07811 981645 (office hours).

Eight-Week Personal Development Group for Women, Early 2013 (Cheshire)

My next eight-week Personal Development Group for Women will start in mid-January in the East Cheshire area.

This will be a closed group, meeting on weekday evenings, limited to a very small number of participants seeking self-understanding and positive change.

In a confidential and supportive environment we will explore themes including childhood relationships, self-esteem, body image and work, how these might be impacting on our daily lives and how better self-understanding can lead to positive and sustainable change.

There are only a few places available as this will be necessarily a small group, but I will also be opening an interest list for the Spring group.

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