Taking what the late American psychotherapist Scott Peck calls the Road Less Travelled, and going into therapy or counselling, can seem like an enormous and unnerving step.
Psychotherapy and counselling are not always for everyone. But the right kind of support in the right context – sometimes quite brief, sometimes longer – can change lives for the better.
Human beings are astonishingly resilient. We wouldn’t be so successful as a species if we weren’t. As products of evolution, however, we are also hard-wired to need connection and attachment. Lots of it.
When those connections aren’t properly established in the first place in childhood, get frayed and wounded by traumatic experience, or when the system can’t shut down its symptoms of arousal, or numbing, or the intrusive memories of distress, then psychotherapy can be life-saving.
No one human being is exactly like any another, and while there are important ground rules that are absolutely essential for successful therapy (such as confidentiality, integrity, openness, unconditional positive regard, appropriate boundaries and commitment), we have always been inspired by the observation of the great 20th century psychologist Carl Jung who said that he created a unique therapeutic model for every individual with whom he worked.
At Braynework we specialise in the use of EMDR, Eye-Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing, in the practice of which both Mark and Jutta are Accredited Consultants.
EMDR is an effective and powerful therapeutic tool for rewiring, and healing, the dysfunctional patterns of the past that get in the way of us living our lives to our full potential.
We are also both trained in, and bring into the work where appropriate, a wide variety of therapeutic understandings ranging from the psychodynamic to the person-centred and from dreamwork to the existential and the transpersonal.
How long does therapy take?
How long, as they say, is a piece of string?
What might be termed straightforward traumatic experiences, such as the impact of road accidents, can sometimes be sorted in a very few sessions.
Indeed sometimes all it takes is just one or two meetings, to talk through and understand why we respond the way we do to trauma, bereavement and difficult experience.
The journalist Matt McAllester, for example, writes movingly in his autobiography Bittersweet about how one such session shortly after his mother’s death transformed his memory of her and his unfolding experience of her impact on his life.
Another fellow journalist, Peter Beaumont, found that just a couple of sessions of therapy gave him an entire new perspective on conflict, on which he based his excellent book The Secret Life of War.
(Mark is not personally named in either book, by the way, but he’s the therapist mentioned prominently in both around page 10…)
The getting there (wherever “there” is for each individual) can sometimes take bit longer, anything from a few months to a few years.
But, the bottom line in our experience is that therapy works – usually – and helps people to a much richer quality of life and relationships, with others but also especially with themselves.
We are not taking on private clients at this point (October 2020), but whatever your background, your experience and your struggle, we can put you in touch with trusted colleagues trained by us and working with EMDR in the same Attachment-Informed way.
If you’re cautious about the idea of therapy, you might find useful an article entitled Finding a Therapist which Mark wrote a few years ago for journalists seeking support in the UK. It’s also very relevant for non-journalists in this country.