ABC Coaching, Counselling and Psychotherapy Services
We can help you to be happier, healthier and more successful
Are you feeling angry, anxious or depressed?
If so, we can help you.
Do you have problems of conflict, or communication difficulties, in your couple relationship or other relationship(s)? Or are you unhappy about your situation at home or at work?
All of these kinds of problems can be resolved, with the right kind of counselling, psychotherapy, coaching and guidance; and commitment on your part to make improvements in your life.
Our approach to helping you involves a review of every aspect of your life – your lifestyle – including diet, exercise, and sleep; relaxation, and work/life balance; relationships (in the present and the past – including ‘attachment style’, childhood experiences, and your ‘inner couple’ model); communication style (passive, aggressive, or assertive); stress factors; self-confidence and self-esteem; and couple conflict (including ‘conflict style’). This we call Lifestyle Counselling and Coaching.
The end result is that you learn to think, feel and act more effectively, thus helping you to manage your life and your relationships more effectively, at home and in work. And you become healthier and happier.
Hello, and welcome!
This is the web site of Jim Byrne and Renata Taylor-Byrne. We are a well-established counselling and coaching service, with lots of testimonials from satisfied customers. (See the details on our personal pages).
This is our coaching/counselling space in Hebden Bridge
# For further information about Jim Byrne, Doctor of Counselling, please click this link: Dr Jim’s Counselling and Psychotherapy Division.***
# For further information about Renata Taylor-Byrne – Psychologist, Coach-Counsellor – please click this link: Renata’s Lifestyle Coaching and Counselling Division***.
Telephone counselling services
If you live too far from Hebden Bridge, near Halifax, West Yorkshire, you can phone one of us, on 44 1422 843 629, from any part of the English-speaking world, for a telephone consultation.
Or you can consult Jim (but not Renata) over Skype.
Written counselling resources
Or you can find out how to manage your diet, nutrition and physical activity level.***
Or you can go deeper into the nature of Lifestyle Counselling for diet, exercise, sleep and mind-management.***
Take a look at the full Counselling Books Page.***
Or take a look at our Site Map for further information or services, links, etc.
Consult us for stress management, anger management, couple’s therapy, confidence building, self-esteem issues, marriage guidance, life coaching, lifestyle coaching, or problems with anxiety, depression, panic; and so on.
Counselling and therapy come in many forms. And *Lifestyle Counselling* is the growing edge of counselling and psychotherapy today…
An informational post by Dr Jim Byrne, Doctor of Counselling
Most counsellors were trained in one school of counselling psychology. We then spend years adding various ‘loan elements’ to that system, and modifying it in the light of our ‘clinical experience’.
Counselling and psychotherapy have been morphing and evolving since their earliest emergence. There are now more than 400 forms of counselling and therapy in existence; and those forms are (probably) subdivided further by the number of individuals practising each form (since it is arguable that no two counsellors practice *identical systems*. All counsellors probably practice variations on one or more of the main theories – in a highly individualised form). And even as I write, the drift continues…
Imagine a person who decides they need counselling, and that they need to ‘interview’ three counsellors to find the one who suits them best. This client then meets, individually, with three counsellors, and makes the following notes:
Counsellor No.1 concentrates on early childhood influences on personality formation, and how those influences can be detected in the way the client responds to environmental stressors or problems today.
Counsellor No.2 concentrates on the present moment; on how the client processes (cognitively and emotively) their current problems or stressors.
Counsellor No.3 uses a long checklist of potential influences upon the client’s happiness and health: from early childhood; various transitions; developmental challenges; and current stressors and lifestyle choices (in terms of diet, exercise, sleep, relaxation, stress management strategies, etc.); plus their philosophical stance in life; and their life script, or story.
If you were this client, which counsellor would you choose to work with: No.1? No.2? Or No.3? And why?
We have written a book on the subject of *Lifestyle Counselling*, which teaches any practitioner of talk therapy how to incorporate elements of the lifestyle approach of Counsellor No.3 into their current practices. It provides the necessary information about the kinds of foods that damage mental health and emotional wellbeing; plus those that improve the general functioning of the body-brain-mind of the client. It also provides guidance on physical exercise approaches, and sleep hygiene practices that support good mental health.
Counsellors who have read this book have commented that they benefited enormously from knowing these new areas of knowledge about the healthy and unhealthy functioning of the body-brain-mind of their clients. To read more about this book, please go to *Lifestyle Counselling and Coaching for the Whole Person.***
Or: Get your paperback copy – or your Kindle eBook version – from one of the following Amazon outlets:
|In the USA and elsewhere: Amazon.com||In the UK and Ireland: Amazon.co.uk||In Canada: Amazon.ca||In Italy: Amazon.it
|In Germany: Amazon.de||In France: Amazon.fr||In Spain: Amazon.es||Anywhere worldwideOr Amazon India|
Some general dietary guidelines for physical and mental health
An informational post by Dr Jim Byrne, Doctor of Counselling
Some foods cause physical and mental health problems; and some foods promote good health and emotional wellbeing. It is obviously important to know what those foods are, otherwise we cannot live well; and we cannot advise others on how to maintain their health and happiness.
If we can generalise at all, it is advisable to eat lots of fresh vegetables and fruit: seven or eight portions per day (mainly vegetables, and much less fruit [because fruit contains fruit sugars, which can raise your blood glucose levels to problematical levels]!)
Many experts recommend the Mediterranean diet. Some recommend the Okinawa diet. Or the Nordic diet. And some the Paleo diet, though we have reservations about the Paleo/ Atkins/ Ketogenic diets, which will be discussed later.
The safest way to begin is probably to follow the UK National Food Guide (or the US equivalent ‘food pyramid’), or our variation on that set of guidelines. (See the start of section 3(a) of Part 1, above).
Eating organic wholefoods is one way of minimizing the chemical pollutants that get into our bodies and impair our ability to function healthily in the face of the pressures and strains of daily life, according to Bart Cunningham, PhD.[i] Patrick Holford (2010) recommends that we eat (gluten-free) wholegrains, lentils, beans, nuts, seeds, fresh fruit and vegetables, and avoid refined, white and overcooked foods. (But we think he should have emphasised fish and vegetables before grains, lentils and beans. [Fish twice per week is probably optimal for most people. Some might be able to handle three times. But others need to be careful they do not provoke an allergic reaction to fish!]).
There is also recent research which suggests a link between trans-fats (including hydrogenated fats in processed foods) and aggression, irritability and impatience.[ii]
But which fruits and vegetables should we eat? Patrick Holford (2010) recommends dark green, leafy and root vegetables. He lists spinach, carrots, broccoli, sweet potatoes, green beans, and Brussels sprouts. He favours eating (as much as possible) raw or lightly cooked. Salad vegetables make an energizing breakfast. Holford suggests, also, that we choose berries, apples, melon, pears, or citrus fruits. He suggests moderation in the consumption of bananas, because of the high sugar content. For this reason, we should also limit out consumption of dried fruits (to something like 6-10 raisins or sultanas, etc., per meal). Kiwis and blueberries are low GI (Glycaemic index, or sugar content). Variety is the key. Keep the sugar content low, especially if you are particularly sensitive to fruit and vegetable sugars. (See the FodMaps diet, and the Anti-Candida diet).
The Stress Management Society gives the following advice: “If you want a strong nervous system, boost your intake of vitamins B, C and E, together with minerals magnesium and zinc. The best source of these nutrients is from food, rather than supplements. So eat a balanced diet of meat, nuts, seeds, fresh fruit and vegetables and oily fish. If you need to snack during the day, try pumpkin or sunflower seeds and fruit, particularly bananas. Fresh organic food is the best source. If you can’t get fresh, frozen vegetables are a reasonable alternative as much of their nutritional content is retained.” [iii] (However, it may be that a low-meat, high vegetable, moderate carbohydrate diet is best: Greger (2016), page 67 and 201-203).
We suggest you follow most of the advice of the Stress Management Society, except for the supplementation of vitamins and minerals; and it’s probably best to keep your meat consumption low. Unless you are on a wholly organic diet, your food will be largely denatured and devoid of much nutritional value; therefore you need to use vitamin and mineral supplements of a good, natural-source quality.
It seems to be important to keep your meat consumption low – not just for red meat, but also for white meats. Meats seem to increase the omega-6 fatty acids (including arachidonic acid) in the body (perhaps because they are mostly grain fed, instead of grass fed). Dr Michael Greger writes that: “…Maybe the pro-inflammatory compound arachidonic acid found in animal products can ‘adversely impact mental health via a cascade of neuro-inflammation’.”[iv]
And Greger also states that (non-organic) chicken and eggs are also a problem because of their omega-6 (arachidonic acid) content! So perhaps you should eat those foods in moderation. (And only the organic variety, because grass-fed animals are high in omega-3 fatty acids, while grain fed animals are high in omega-6).
For more information, please take a look at this page of information: *How to Control Your Anger, Anxiety and Depression, Using nutrition and physical activity***.
[i] Cunningham, J. B. (2001) The Stress Management Sourcebook. Second edition. Los Angeles: Lowell House.
[ii] Yu, W. (2012) High trans-fat diet predicts aggression: People who eat more hydrogenated oils are more aggressive. Scientific American Mind, July 2012. Available online: http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/high-trans-fat-diet-predicts-aggresion/
[iv] Dr Michael Greger quotes the following paper in defence of his view that vegetarian diets are better for emotional health:
Beezhold, B. L., Johnston, C. S., & Daigle, D. R. (2010) ‘Vegetarian diets are associated with healthy mood states: a cross-sectional study in Seventh Day Adventist adults’. Nutrition Journal, 9, 26. http://doi.org/10.1186/1475-2891-9-26
Daily journal writing can raise your personal awareness in a “nearly magical way”, as well as reducing the hectic pace of life and making it “more balanced and manageable”.
Writing therapy for a better life…
In my book on expressive writing, I have included more than twenty exercises for dealing with a broad range of problems and goals. The first two deal with daily planning and reflection. The third deals with a start of the day system of ‘stream of consciousness’ writing.
I have noticed a recent resistance in myself to that writing of stream of consciousness in my journal. Sometimes I do it. Sometime I resist doing it. I seem to prefer doing some of the more structured writing activities from my book; such as exercises designed to achieve a particular goal; or to manage my emotions; to plan my time; or to produce a particular piece of work-based writing.
However, Julia Cameron (in her book, *The Artist’s Way*) advocates stream of consciousness writing on a daily basis – every morning. And this is *mainly* a form of open-ended, self-reflective writing, as opposed to specific goal-directed writing – (although goal setting and review can be part of it).
About one month ago, I was reading something by Dr Jim Loehr – in Timothy Ferriss’ book, Tribe of Mentors (which Renata is currently reading) – and this reminded me of the importance of self-reflective writing as such:
“The daily ritual of self-reflected writing has produced priceless personal insights in my life”, writes Loehr. “For me, daily writing heightens my personal awareness in a nearly magical way. I see, feel and experience things so much more vividly as a consequence of the writing. The hectic pace of life becomes more balanced and manageable when I intentionally set aside time for self-reflection. I am able to be more in the present in everything I do, and, for whatever reason, more accepting of my flaws”.
I found this statement very motivating, and so I have been doing stream of consciousness every morning since that day; and it has paid huge dividends. I have discovered that I was driven by two drivers: ‘Hurry Up”, and “Be Perfect”. I now write an affirmation every morning that says I do not have to hurry up, and I do not have to be perfect, and this has had a hugely calming effect upon my life.
I also use some of my own exercises, from my book, How to Write a New Life for Yourself; and I and getting a lot of value from this daily journal writing activity.
So, if you want to develop a cumulative collection of personal insights; creative ideas; personal growth gains; and greater self-acceptance; the thing to do is to make sure you write at least a couple of pages of ‘stream of consciousness’, or personal reflections, every morning, before the commencement of your working day.
Three pages would be even better; and this is a great way to process stressful life events; and to produce creative ideas; and to solve your practical and emotional problems.
This stream of consciousness process is just one of the more than 20 writing processes described in my book, How to Write a New Life for Yourself. There is a writing process for most of your likely personal and professional development needs included in the main text.
For more information, please take a look at the page of information about *How to Write a New Life for Yourself*.***
The E-CENT Stress Book:
Chill Out: How to control your stress level, and have a happier life
Dr Jim Byrne
If you want to be successful and happy, then you have to know how to switch off your “fight or flight response” when it is triggered inappropriately. (You cannot run away from a work or relationship challenge. And you cannot fight a traffic jam or justified bill for house repairs). If you want to avoid failure and unhappiness, you must learn how to avoid freezing when social pressures build up. To summarise these statements, we can say: You must know how to manage your stress level, if you want to be happy and successful, at home and at work.
This book presents a comprehensive, multi-modal approach to stress management, which takes account of mental stress, physical stress, and environmental stressors.
It’s designed to help you, if you are suffering from anxiety or panic, or angry outbursts, or feelings of personal defeat, or unpleasant physical sensations because of excessive pressures in your life.
It is written in such a way that you can begin by studying just one or two of these effective stress management strategies, so you do not overload yourself with new tasks to perform.
To purchase a copy of this 206 page book, please go to one of the following outlets:
To get your paperback copy, please click the Amazon link which serves your geographical locality:
Or you can get a Kindle eBook version, here:
Albert Ellis did not understand the nature of human emotions…
In this book, I have presented a range of critiques of Albert Ellis’ system of Rational Emotive Behaviour Therapy (REBT).
For those who think that this is ‘impossible’ (because Albert Ellis can do no wrong!) , or self-delusional (because I must be mistaken to think that REBT is actually unfit to be a mainstream system of psychotherapy), let me present in full, below, one of my key critiques.
This is a brief extract from Chapter 2 of my book, Unfit for Therapeutic Purposes: The case against RE&CBT – Copyright (c) Jim Byrne, 2017:
Get the eBook version here, now:
|Amazon Australia||Amazon Netherlands||Amazon Germany|
|Amazon Italy||Amazon India||Amazon France|
|Amazon Spain||Amazon Brazil||Amazon Japan|
Get the paperback here, now:
|Amazon Australia||Amazon Netherlands||Amazon Germany|
|Amazon Italy||Amazon India||Amazon France|
|Amazon Spain||Amazon Brazil||Amazon Japan|
A case illustration from Ellis’s work
Let us now present an example of how Ellis applies his ABC model in a therapy encounter. (I have numbered each statement to make it easier for me to refer back to them in my subsequent analysis, and I have substituted the word ‘client’ for the word ‘patient’; and I have substituted the word ‘Ellis’ for the word ‘Therapist’.) This is how Albert Ellis introduces the topic on page 126 of Ellis (1962):
For more click the following link re how REBT is unfit for therapeutic purposes.***
Lifestyle Counselling for Committed Couples
(and their Counsellors!)
by Dr Jim Byrne.
The main text of this book is now complete, (as at 16th August 2018).
So I am now (still, as at 24th August) doing the final edit and polish; and then I have to construct the index.
And Charles has now produced a revised and updated cover design, as shown opposite.
On this page you will find information about our new book on couple relationships. We have posted the full Preface; plus the full set of (revised) Contents pages; plus an extract from each of the main chapters (1-13).
“I have recently finished reading Dr Jim Byrne’s immensely useful book: Lifestyle Counselling for Committed Couples, and their counsellors. This book is full of cutting edge thinking and priceless wisdom about couple relationships; which inspires us to believe that we can undoubtedly shape and improve our most important relationships. The approach is comprehensive (despite being Volume 1 of 3), covering as it does: the nature of love and relationships; common myths about love and relationships (which tend to lead young people astray); some illuminating case studies of couple relationships that have gone wrong; and very helpful chapters on communication skills, conflict styles, and assertive approaches to relationship; plus a very interesting introduction to the theory that our marriage partnership is shaped, for better or worse, in our family of origin. I particularly liked the chapters on how to manage boundaries in relationships; and how to change your relationship habits. I can highly recommend this ‘must read’ book to couples and counsellors alike”.
Dr Nazir Hussain
Positive Psychology and Integrative Counselling Services, Whitby, Ontario, Canada.
Here’s a sneak preview of part of the contents of Chapter 1:
…For more, please go to this link: Lifestyle Counselling for Committed Couples and their counsellors.***
ABC Coaching and Counselling Services, 27 Wood End, Hebden Bridge, HX7 8HJ, UK. Established since November 1998.
If you want to write to us, then please use our official address above, as used by the Post Office: (27 Wood End, Hebden Bridge, HX7 8HJ, West Yorkshire, UK).
But if searching for us on Google Maps, try 27 Keighley Road. (Because Google Maps mismanaged the mapping of this area!)
To find us on Google Maps, please click this link: ABC Coaching on Google Maps.***
For further information, please:
Telephone: 01422 843 629 (UK): 44 1422 843 629 (from outside the UK)
Or email us: Jim Byrne
We follow a set of ethical codes which are described on our personal pages. We help adults only, aged above 18 years, and preferably above 21 years of age. We do not do any work with children.
Link to free self development resources: Self Improvement from SelfGrowth.com
Link to Alexa Internet Inc.: https://www.alexa.com