Home

Jim & Renata's logo

ABC Coaching and Counselling Services, in Hebden Bridge, Calderdale, West Yorkshire, HX7 8HJ, UK:

And all over the world via the telephone system; by email; or via Skype-webcam

abc-header-7

ABC Coaching and Counselling Services, in Hebden Bridge, is owned and staffed by Jim Byrne and Renata Taylor Byrne

Hello and welcome to our website.  No matter what your problem might be, we can probably help you to find a solution, or a way forward.

People come to see us for counselling and coaching, in Hebden Bridge, with problems of anger management; stress management; couples therapy; lifestyle coaching issues; health anxiety; goal management issues; problems with thinking or feeling, or behaviour; habit formation, or habit change; and problems with self confidence, self esteem, communication skills; etc.

We offer counselling, coaching and psychotherapy services via our two divisions, as follows:

1. Dr Jim’s Counselling and Psychotherapy Division

For couples therapy; relationship skills and attachment problems; anger management; stress management; habit building or habit change; confidence building; anxiety and panic problems; grief and depression; lifestyle coaching; assertiveness training; and general body-brain-mind integration…

Introduction

You are a creature of habit – and an interpreting being – wired up by your family of origin, and later by your peers and school teachers, and others, to respond in particular ways to particular triggers.  Most of the thinking/ feeling that determines your habitual responses to other people and things today is stored in non-conscious parts of your brain-mind-body.  For more, please go here: Dr Jim’s Counselling and Psychotherapy Division

~~~

2. Renata’s Lifestyle Coaching and Counselling Division

Introduction

Some lifestyles bring happiness, and some bring pain.  Some lifestyles cause health problems, while others promote vibrant health.  What do you want?  To be happy and healthy, or ‘under the weather’.

For more, please go here: Renata’s Lifestyle Coaching and Counselling Division

~~~

In E-CENT counselling theory, we now recognise and publicise the gut-brain connection.  In particular, a ‘leaky gut’ can cause symptoms of depression and/or anxiety, completely independently of any ‘psychological’ factors: “I discovered there was an entire branch of medical research investigating the links between the gut and the brain” writes Enders.  “It’s a rapidly growing field of study.  Ten or so years ago, there were hardly any published studies on the subject, but now there are several hundred academic articles covering the field.  The influence of the gut on our health and wellbeing is one of the new lines of research in modern medicine”.  However: “Most doctors learn very little about this in their training”.

Giulia Enders (2014) Gut: The inside story of our body’s most under-rated organ.  London, Scribe.  Page 3.

~~~

Extract from ‘Holistic Counselling in Practice’: 1.1 Counsellors and their clients

“Good counsellors and psychotherapists devote their lives to caring for the minds of their clients – the lives of their clients. They wrestle with difficult situations, challenging goals, and with dysregulated emotions (like grief and loss, anger and panic, relationship conflict, and mental confusion).

End of Extract from Holistic Counselling in Practice, by Jim Byrne (with Renata Taylor-Byrne)

~~~

3. Books about counselling and related topics

new-counselling-bookJim Byrne (with the support of Renata Taylor-Byrne) has written an extensive book on the theory and practice of Emotive-Cognitive Embodied Narrative Therapy (E-CENT).  He has also written books on stress management, rational therapy (Albert Ellis’ REBT), and a whole series of books on the use and outcomes of using writing therapy and narrative approaches to counselling and psychotherapy.  For more, please go to the Counselling Books page.***

~~~

One principle that we teach is ‘dedication to reality at all costs’.

The idea of ‘dedicating ourselves to reality’ is highlighted in M. Scott Peck’s book – The Road Less Travelled.  If you have not already read this book, then here are a few of the highlights, in video form.  (Scott Peck counselled many hundreds of individuals in his psychotherapy work in the US army.  One of Scott Peck’s central arguments is this: “Confronting and solving problems is a painful process which most of us attempt to avoid.  And the very avoidance results in greater pain and an inability to grow both mentally and spiritually”.) We hope you find this video clip helpful:

Of course, this six minute video clip cannot communicate the essence of Scott Peck’s wonderful book.  It can give you a few tasters.  And that is an important point.  If you want to become wise, and learn to live The Good Life, then you must go further, get the books, study them, and apply their lessons in your daily life.  Over time, your mind will grow richer; your life will grow deeper and wider; your heart will grow softer and warmer; and your potential will blossom.  But, according to Brian Tracy, 80% of all the best books are read by 20% of the population.  That means that 20% of the population is becoming wiser, and the other 80% is failing to learn and grow to their full potential!  One solution could be this: Find the books that will transform your life, and read them.  Books by counsellors, psychotherapists, lifestyle coaches, self-help authors, philosophers, psychologists, and so on.  Those are probably the best places to begin.

However, since we are living through an unprecedented ‘information-explosion’, and truly nobody can keep up with the rate at which new information is generated on a daily and hourly basis, it might make more sense to do this: Adopt a ‘just-in-time’ approach to learning new ideas. Find out who knows what you need to know, and consult them – face to face, or through their blogs, video clips, books, and so on. There are now experts on just about any aspect of your personal and professional life that becomes a problem for you. Find them and consult them, directly or indirectly.  You do not have to ‘reinvent the wheel’ all on your own!

~~~

Counselling, coaching and psychotherapy for problems of daily living

Human beings are largely non-conscious creatures of habit.  We sleep-walk through our lives, being controlled by the way our past experience shaped us.  To wake up to what is not working in our lives, and how to fix it, we could benefit from working with somebody who has already completed this journey (or who is well down the road to growing their wisdom and personal development): a good, reliable, coach/counsellor who can help us to clarify where we are at, and what we could benefit from changing in order to improve our current functioning in the world:

Dr Jim’s Counselling and Psychotherapy Division

~~~

~~~

Renata’s Lifestyle Coaching and Counselling Division

~~~

An introduction to Emotive-Cognitive Embodied Narrative Therapy (E-CENT)

For information about the contents of the following book on our system of counselling and psychotherapy, please click the cover image that follows:

Book-cover-front

For a brief introduction to the content of this book, please take a look here: Holistic Counselling in Practice: An Introduction of Emotive-Cognitive Embodied Narrative Therapy (E-CENT).***

And/or, please take a look at the video clip (below) which introduces the content of the book:

Dr Jim Byrne presents an introductory talk on this new book (with Renata Taylor-Byrne) on Emotive-Cognitive Embodied Narrative Therapy (E-CENT). This book has been designed to be helpful for three audiences:

(1) Counsellors, psychotherapists, coaches, psychologists, psychiatrists, social workers, educators and others;
(2) Students of counselling, psychotherapy, psychology, psychiatry, social work and related disciplines; and:
(3) Self-help and personal development enthusiasts.

For more information, please see our page describing the book’s content: Holistic Counselling in Practice.***

~~~

E-CENT theory teaches that we have to dedicate ourselves to reality at all costs; to accept the things we cannot change; and to only try to change those things that seem highly likely to be changeable. This involves the ‘completion’ of our current experiences: embracing them.  Or, as one mindfulness writer says: “When we let go of wanting something else to happen in this moment, we are taking a profound step toward being able to encounter what is here now.  If we hope to go anywhere or develop ourselves in any way, we can only step from where we are standing.  If we don’t really know where we are standing – a knowing that comes directly from the cultivation of mindfulness – we may only go in circles, for all our efforts and expectations.  So, in meditation practice, the best way to get somewhere is to let go of trying to get anywhere at all”.

Jon Kabat-Zinn (Quoted in 365 Nirvana: Here and now, compiled by Josh Baran, page 36)

~~~

Medical science is increasingly being forced to face up to the fact that the reality of our life is the reality of a body-brain-mind-environment whole. Not a Newtonian-body, like a clockwork machine, which can have some one part isolated and operated upon. Not some kind of device which can be fixed by the application of a chemical – independent of knowing the cause of the illness or syndrome, and the connection between the cause and the cure.

In this video clip, above, Richard Davidson seems to be mainly emphasising the power of the mind to help to heal the body; but we need to be careful about this. That is where we got to in the 19th century with Freud, and modern clinical psychology has hardly advanced beyond that point. However, if we are body-brain-mind-environment wholes, then we have to pay attention to the ‘whole package’, and not just the ‘mind’; not just the ‘machine’ (the body).

That’s why I like the second speaker’s (Jon Kabat-Zinn’s) contribution. He can see that everything we do impacts our very genetic existence. Genes are now the subject of a new science of ‘epigenetics’, which recognises that the environment gets to decide, by and large, which genes are switched on (or expressed) and which are switched off (or not called into action).

And some of the genes that get expressed (or switched on) are actual causes of inflammatory diseases, brought about by environmental stressors.

Of course, it is also true that, to some extent, we can interpret our environmental stressors in ways that stress us less than some other ways of interpreting them. That is not an individual choice; but comes from family and other social  ‘stories’ and ‘scripts’, etc., in most cases. And we should beware of promoting ‘extreme Stoicism’, since there are limits to anybody’s capacity to cope with real environmental stressors! Counsellors should not conspire with the neoliberal promoters of inequality, on the spurious basis that the poverty-stricken can simply choose to re-interpret their circumstances, and their health statistics will automatically improve!  (They most likely won’t!)

~~~

~~~

Second Extract from Holistic Counselling in Practice:

Book-cover-front“Innovative counsellors are constantly looking for new ways to help their clients.  They mostly begin their careers with a single model of counselling, and many of them add in techniques and models and ideas from any source that seems likely to help their client.  After a few years of practice, their system of counselling is a hybrid of many different approaches.  Although they normally begin with a very simple model of counselling, and the nature of the counselling client, those perceptions change and evolves over the years.

“For example: eighteen years ago, I would sit in my consulting room, waiting for a counselling client.  I had little to think about, because I already knew what their problem would be – the client’s ‘irrational beliefs’ – and my only challenge would be how to get the client to change to more ‘rational’ beliefs.”

Of course, this all changed when I began to develop Emotive-Cognitive Embodied Narrative Therapy (E-CENT) which is as complex as any theory needs to be if it is to have any hope of capturing the complexity of our human clients!

For more, please go here: Holistic Counselling in Practice:

~~~

The holistic approach to stress management

For more information about the following book on our approach to stress management, please click the cover image:

chill-out-cover

For a brief introduction to the content of this book, please take a look here: Chill Out: How to control your stress level, and have a happy life.***

~~~

Dr Jim’s Counselling and Psychotherapy Division

~~~

~~~

Renata’s Lifestyle Coaching and Counselling Division

~~~

Counselling for anger, stress, couple relationships, and lifestyle issues

Many people come to see us because they do not know how to stop angrily destroying their relationships, at home and at work.  Or how to get control over the stresses and strains in their troubled lives. Sometimes couples come to see us to find out how to re-find the love they once felt for each other, before it got covered over by unrealistic expectations, bad manners, and lack of care and respect.  And yet others come to us because their lifestyle is such that they are destroying their physical and emotional wellbeing, through not understanding the importance of diet, exercise, relaxation, sleep management, and so on.

~~~

In E-CENT counselling and psychotherapy theory, we teach our clients that the body is primary; that the innate emotions are prior to our cultural beliefs, thoughts and perceptions.  “(René) Descartes defined us as thinking, abstract souls… (But) Merleau-Ponty’s aim was to correct this erroneous view and … to emphasize the inseparability of body and mind, of thinking and perceiving… We cannot divide a person into a mental and a physical part, because the two are de facto inseparable.” Havi Carel, Illness, Page 25.

Dr Jim’s comment: Therefore, a purely ‘talking cure’ is not holistic enough; not complete enough; not adequate enough.  We need counselling and therapy approaches which include a knowledge of diet, exercise, self-talk, relaxation, meditation, relationship security, political awareness, philosophical healing, and much more besides. 

~~~

~~~

Writing therapy is good for you

CoverOne of the best things you can do for your own emotional and physical health, and also for your personal and professional development, is to write every day: about what you feel; what you think; what is happening at home at work; what is working and what is not working; your joys and sorrows; and so on.  This is a truly miraculous process, which has been described as feeling like “I had two brains” by one businessman who tried it.  We have been using writing therapy for many years, in many forms, from the science tradition (of Dr James Pennebaker) and the humanistic traditions (of Gillie Bolton and Julia Cameron).

As John Mulligan – a famous Vietnam War survivor, (known as The Shopping Cart Soldier), suffering from war-induced post-traumatic stress disorder – put it:

“I was an empty shell walking around the street, and writing made me feel like I had a soul.” 

He cured his PTSD by writing about the horrors of his wartime experiences.

Writing therapy helps us to ‘process’ our experiences; to ‘complete’ or ‘digest’ them; and to learn from them.  It also helps us to review our progress towards our goals; and to plan and control our future actions.  In this process, we heal and grow, and move closer to being our ‘ultimate’ selves.

To read a description of our introductory text on writing therapy, please click the image that follows:

Cover

or click this link: Narrative therapy and the writing solution.***

~~~

Counselling and coaching for healthy body-minds

In the early days, we mostly focused upon the power of the mind to influence the body, and the feeling of our daily lives.  This led us to practice regular meditation, to engage in positive thinking, and to manage the ideas that entered our minds.  But soon we realised that the process also works the other way around: from body to mind.  That was when we began to explore yoga and Chinese exercise systems, like Chi Kung (Qi Gong).  Now we teach our counselling clients to manage their body-mind-environment complex.  (and, of course, your guts are intimately connected to your brain, and so what goes on in your guts, in terms of ‘leaky gut’, toxicity, and friendly/unfriendly bacteria, blood glucose level, and so on, all plays a part in what we ‘think of’ as our ‘thinking’ and our ‘willpower’).

Dr Jim’s Counselling and Psychotherapy Division

~~~

~~~

Renata’s Lifestyle Coaching and Counselling Division

~~~

In E-CENT counselling we teach that emotions are ‘narrative emplotments’ – or stories, which live in our body-mind.  That is to say, emotional states are constructions created by the individual during relational experiences, and what is constructed can be deconstructed: “The strategy adopted in (constructivist) therapy is a step-wise one in which the client is encouraged to move on to a new level of self-observation only when stability has been achieved at the level previous to this.  During the initial focus on the client’s immediate experiences, the client comes to appreciate that emotional states are constructions associated with perceived imbalances in an affective relationship.  The next stage is generally a reconstruction of the client’s ‘affective style’ involving analysis of the client’s history of affective relationships…”

David Winter (2003) The constructivist paradigm.  In: Handbook of Counselling Psychology, edited by Woolfe, Dryden and Strawbridge.  Page 252. (12)

~~~

~~~

Albert Ellis came and went

One of the many theorists of counselling and therapy who influenced us over the past three and a half decades was Albert Ellis, the creator of Rational Emotive Behaviour Therapy (REBT) – which was the original form of Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT).  However, after a ten year ‘love affair’ with this controversial individual, we parted company.  The basis for that split is explored in the following book.  For more information on this book, please click the cover image:

Wounded psychotherapist

A Wounded Psychotherapist: Albert Ellis’s childhood…***

~~~

Counselling and coaching for habit change, courage building, grit and willpower!

While most systems of counselling and coaching stick to the old mantra of changing your thinking in order to change your life, we continue to explore the cutting edge of psychological and neuroscience research.

See, for example, Renata’s blog post on How to change your negative habits!***

We have worn grooves in the carpets in Waterstone’s book stores in Manchester and Leeds, especially in the psychology, philosophy, self-help, personal development, and the mind-body-spirit sections.  We have had lots of success in helping people to focus upon themselves as creatures of habit, who need courage, will-power, and grit to bring about behaviour change in the real world.

Dr Jim’s Counselling and Psychotherapy Division

~~~

~~~

Renata’s Lifestyle Coaching and Counselling Division

~~~

In E-CENT counselling, we attempt to teach our clients to face up to their problems; to complete their experience of them; and to reframe them.  But many clients don’t want to know about their problems: “Most of us are not (wise enough to face up to having problems). Fearing the pain involved, almost all of us, to a greater or lesser degree, attempt to avoid problems.  We procrastinate, hoping that they will go away.  We ignore them, forget them, pretend they do not exist.  We even take drugs to assist us in ignoring them, so that by deadening ourselves to the pain we can forget the problems that cause the pain.  We attempt to skirt around problems rather than meet them head on.  We attempt to get out of them rather than suffer through them”.

This is the road to hell!

Scott Peck (1983/1990) The Road Less Travelled: The new psychology of love, traditional values and spiritual growth. Page 14. (16)

~~~

~~~

Your past is alive and well in the present moment

Some people think you can get rid of the past by shutting it out of your conscious awareness.  This is called various names, such as denial, repression, defence, and so on.  But the normal effect is that, although you are now unaware of the existence of a problem from your past, nevertheless, it bothers you – emotionally and possibly also in the form of psychical symptoms – from below the level of your conscious awareness.  We teach that these ‘defence mechanisms’, like denial, do not work; and that you have to dig up the disturbance from the past, and digest it in the present moment.  In the following book, we outline exactly how to do that, so that you can come into the present, undisturbed by past traumas and other negative experiences:

cover-image-final

How to digest and complete your old, traumatic or troublesome memories and experiences: Facing and Defeating your Emotional Dragons.***

~~~

Counselling and coaching for better diet, exercise, relaxation and meditation

A couple of months ago, we produced our book on Holistic Counselling in Practice.  In that book, Renata wrote two sections that have proved to be very helpful for some of our clients.  One is on the role of diet and nutrition in emotional and physical well-being.  The other is on the effects of physical exercise on the body-mind.  The rest of the book focused upon our models of re-thinking, re-deciding, and how to manage human emotions.

Dr Jim’s Counselling and Psychotherapy Division

~~~

~~~

Renata’s Lifestyle Coaching and Counselling Division

~~~

E-CENT counsellors teach the following lesson to their clients: We have to manage our self in order to lean towards the Good Side and to avoid Evil.  Why is this the case?  Because: “’Humanity’ does not exist.  There are only humans, driven by conflicting needs and illusions, and subject to every kind of infirmity of will and judgement”.

Prof. John Gray (2003) Straw Dogs: Thoughts on humans and other animals.  Page 12. (3)

~~~

I (Jim) found ‘Straw Dogs’ to be a very powerful insight into the nature of humanity, especially the limitations of consciousness.  I think you would benefit from finding out some more about this book, and so I have added this video clip for your consideration:

You might have to watch all three (brief) videos in order to get the core point – that we are delusional beings, who are habit-based automata, who think we are wholly conscious.

~~~

Personal history and early relationships shape the individual’s life

My own (Jim’s) experience of my early life was a major form of distortion of my life prospects.  And it was only after I failed to live well using my earliest ‘psychological wiring’ that I could then begin to analyse my story or origins, and my story of relationship (to my mother), and to begin to reform and heal myself.  I explore both of those stories in the following book.  To find out more, please click the cover image:

cover-image

Two stories of personal healing journeys: Healing the Heart and Mind.***

~~~

Counselling and coaching for an emotionally healthy life

We like the psychological insights of Dr Oliver James, and we use those insights in guiding our coaching and counselling clients towards better approaches to managing their lives.  We promote self-reflection and insightfulness; We meditate and practice mindfulness, and encourage our clients to do likewise; We engage in egalitarian relationships, and teach the importance of equality to our clients; and we promote helpful approaches to careers, work and parenting.

Dr Jim’s Counselling and Psychotherapy Division

~~~

~~~

Renata’s Lifestyle Coaching and Counselling Division

~~~

E-CENT counselling can help you to become optimally emotionally healthy.  Dr Oliver James presents a list of features of emotional health, but these are ideas to strive for.  Almost nobody ever achieves them perfectly: No.1: “Emotional health is the sense that what is happening is happening now.  It is experiencing the world at first-hand, immediate, rather than only knowing what was experienced when you reflect upon it later.  You are, as the sports commentators put it, ‘in the zone’.

No.2: “You feel real rather than false.  You are comfortable in your skin: you do not wish you could be someone else, nor do you look down on others for not being like you.  You know what you are thinking and feeling, even if sometimes that only means knowing that you don’t know”.

Oliver James (2014) How to Develop Emotional Health.  Page 1. (4)

~~~

In E-CENT counselling theory, we would prefer to begin our indicators of emotional health like this: You are emotionally healthy when you function at low levels of stress in most situations, and you show signs of being able to cope in highly stressful situations.  Also, you show signs of emotional-flexibility.  Your feelings adjust to the social environment in which you are engaging: but not so much that you become a doormat or a passive pawn in the games of manipulators.

Jim Byrne and Renata Taylor-Byrne. (5)

~~~

~~~

If you get hold of a copy of Oliver James’ book, How to Develop Emotional Health, you will find it deals with five subject areas: Insightfulness (especially insights into how your childhood affected your adult development); Living in the present (including a sense of self); Fluid, two-way relationships (or what we like to think of as the importance of egalitarianism in relationships); Authenticity in our careers; and Playfulness and vivacity in our parenting roles.

~~~

 

Jim Byrne’s Autobiographical Novel

Metal Dog – Long Road Home: An autobiographical novel – or ‘revised personal mythology’ – by Dr Jim Byrne

Buy your copy of this book here. It is available in eBook format and also in paperback.

Here are the links for the eBook format:

Amazon.com Amazon.co.uk Amazon Canada
Amazon Australia Amazon Netherlands Amazon Germany
Amazon Italy Amazon India Amazon France
Amazon Spain Amazon Brazil Amazon Japan

And what follows are the links for the paperback format:

Amazon.com Amazon.co.uk Amazon Canada
Amazon Australia Amazon Netherlands Amazon Germany
Amazon Italy Amazon India Amazon France
Amazon Spain Amazon Brazil Amazon Japan

 

~~~

Dr Jim’s Counselling and Psychotherapy Division

~~~

~~~

Renata’s Lifestyle Coaching and Counselling Division

~~~

ABC Coaching and Counselling Services, 27 Wood End, Hebden Bridge, HX7 8HJ, UK. (But if searching for us on Google Maps, try 27 Keighley Road.  See *Footnote below).

Telephone: o1422 843 629 (UK): 44 1422 843 629 (from outside the UK)

Email: Admin at ABC

~~~

*Footnote: There is a problem with Google maps for our area: To search for 27 Wood End, you have to substitute 27 Keighley Road, HX7 8HJ.  (But the accurate address is 27 Wood End).  See the Directions for finding us.***

~~~

We operate according to a range of ethical codes – see our respective divisional pages for details.

We provide coaching and counselling services for adults aged 18 years and above.  We do not offer any services to children, nor to anyone below the age of eighteen years.  But we do not publish anything that could be harmful to the interests and needs of children.

~~~

One thought on “Home

  1. You’re so cool! I don’t believe I’ve truly read a single
    thing like this before. So great to find someone with
    a few unique thoughts on this topic. Seriously.. many thanks
    for starting this up. This website is something that is needed on the internet,
    someone with some originality!

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s