Old Homepage 77B, withdrawn 21st March 2017

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ABC Coaching and Counselling Services, Hebden Bridge, near Halifax, West Yorkshire, HX7 8HJ

Counselling, coaching and psychotherapy with Jim Byrne or Renata Taylor-Byrne

Established since 1998

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We’ll help you to solve all your emotional, behavioural, relationship, lifestyle and career management problems

Counselling, coaching and psychotherapy available all over the world via the telephone system; by email; or via Skype-webcam: in the UK, US, Ireland, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Hong Kong, and for English-speakers everywhere (except California)

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Definitions of counselling, coaching, psychotherapy

Counselling, coaching and psychotherapy all overlap and complement each other. Sometimes coaching is said to be more skills-based, and not so deep.  Sometimes counselling is assumed to be more about listening and clarifying; while psychotherapy is seen to go deeper, and to seek a more radical overhaul of the client’s life history and future possibilities.  But in our system, coaching, counselling and psychotherapy are integrated, including elements from:

# CBT;

# the more emotional (psychodynamic) approach; and:

# the person-centred (humanistic) approach.

# Plus some theories of attachment, personality adaptation, and emotion (or affect) regulation.

# Plus some elements of moderate Buddhism and moderate Stoic philosophy.

So let us try to clarity some of our definitions, so you know what to expect from us.

Counselling is sometimes thought of as a process where you go to see a counsellor who listens to your problems, and clarifies what you are saying, and allows you to find your own solution.  But other systems of counselling use different approaches, such as: helping you to think more clearly about your goals, options, and current realities; or helping you to reduce your emotional upsets by reducing any distortions in your thoughts and beliefs; or helping you to clarify your needs and how you might better meet them.

Life coaching mainly focuses on helping you to clarify your goals, and to work out strategies for pursuing them; but lifestyle coaching (which we use at ABC coaching and Counselling Services) is much broader than that, and takes in your diet, exercise, self-talk (or belief system), relaxation, sleep pattern, current relationships, early childhood experiences and relationships, and many other factors.

We also integrate the body and mind, in a wholly new form of talk therapy, which includes talking about your lifestyle and how lifestyle factors impact your emotional experience of life.

We have gone beyond the CBT or REBT approach of merely talking about your thoughts or beliefs, or your behaviours, etc.  We care about the whole person, and we know that your thoughts are linked as much to your diet and exercise approach as they are to your ‘mind’.

E-CENT Counselling focuses on the whole person – body-brain-mind-environment.  We care about your diet, exercise program, relaxation, life balance, and various other factors.  For example, we do not overlook your philosophy of life: “Anybody can read philosophy uncritically, and believe what they read.  But we must develop the ability to critically evaluate what we read.  For example, when Epictetus writes (in the Enchiridion) that people are not upset by their experiences of life, but rather by their evaluations of those experiences, it is important to know the contrary view from Epicurus, which teaches us that ’the cry of the flesh’ to be free from hunger, cold and thirst, is far louder than our weak, little mental evaluations of hunger, cold and thirst!”

Dr Jim Byrne, Doctor of Counselling, Creator of Emotive-Cognitive Embodied Narrative Therapy (E-CENT) – January 2017

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And we can either see you in Hebden Bridge, or work with you over the telephone system (and one of us [Jim] also uses Skype, and offers email counselling).

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In E-CENT counselling, we teach the importance of the connection between body and mind.  We do not relate to our clients as free-floating ‘heads’ or minds.  Dr Ron Anderson, in describing his approach to mind/body medicine says this: “I try to have people understand wholeness if I can, because if you don’t understand the mind/body connection, you start of on the wrong premise.  You also have to understand the person within their family and community because this is where people live”.

From ‘The Healing Environment’ by Dr Ron Anderson, in: Quoted in page 25 of Healing and The Mind, by Bill Moyers, London, Doubleday, 1995.

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Background

It has often been said that “most humans lead lives of quiet desperation!”  And whatever ‘life script’ we created in our childhood tends to control the ‘drama’ of our lives.  This kind of life script is addressed in the ‘narrative element’ of our approach to counselling and coaching.  We want to know your story, and to teach you that it is not ‘the’ story!

Counselling-div-quoteAccording to Stoic philosophy, we are “actors in a play” that the manager directs.  However, the manager is not, as the Stoics thought, ‘providence’, or ‘nature’ – with the implication of inevitability and intractability.  The manager is the interaction of your early (and later) personal history (and how that shaped you) – on the one hand – with your current external environment, on the other.  We can coach and counsel you to an understanding of how to better manage your life-interactions.

Some of the variables which affect how well or how badly you cope with this current external environment, then, include your diet, exercise regime, self-talk (or ‘inner dialogue’), relaxation/ meditation practice, sleep pattern, current living arrangements, self-management skills, current relationships, historic relationships, and general environmental stressors.

In our system of counselling and coaching, we help our clients to figure out what is going wrong in their lives, and teach them some new strategies for putting things right.

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drjim-counsellor9Jim’s Holistic Counselling and Psychotherapy Division***

Email: jim.byrne@abc-counselling.com

I can help you with your emotional, behavioural and relationship problems – including anger management and couples therapy. Also problems of anxiety and depression.  And many more besides.  For more information, please go to Dr Jim’s Counselling Division.***

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nata-lifestyle-coach8Renata’s Lifestyle Coaching and Counselling Division***

Email: renata4coaching@btinternet.com

I can help you to evaluate your lifestyle, and how lifestyle factors influence your moods and emotions. Or how to create new habits and break old habits that are spoiling your happiness and success. For further information, please see Renata’s Lifestyle Coaching Division.***

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Are you aware of feelings of anxiety, depression, anger or low self-esteem?  Do you struggle to maintain good relationships at home and at work, despite your best intentions?  Have you resigned yourself to a small, safe life, and no longer strive for self-fulfilment?  If you struggle with any such problems, we can help you.

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counselling-non-conscious-clientsMost people go through their lives with minimal consciousness of the ‘pot’ in which they are being ‘cooked’: like a boiled frog.  They are creatures of habit who cannot even begin to conceive of a different life for themselves.  But change is possible!  Emotional intelligence can be learned.  ‘Attachment styles’ (which control our approach to relationship today) can be improved. And ‘personality adaptations’ (which can work against us, at home or in our professional lives) can be worked on and reformed.

Our system of counselling and coaching offers the hope of learning to be secure in your relationships; effective in your approach to communication; emotionally intelligent; and well able to manage the stressors in your life.

We can help with problems or issues of anger, anxiety, depression, stress, self-confidence and self-esteem; goal setting, goal achievement, willpower, resilience, time management; assertive communication; couples therapy; relationship skills; and much more besides.

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Homepage-quoteJim’s Holistic Counselling and Psychotherapy Division***

If you need my help, then please contact me today:

01422 843 629, from inside the UK.

44 1422 843 629 from outside.

Email: jim.byrne@abc-counselling.com

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Renata’s Lifestyle Coaching and Counselling Division***

Would you like me to help you to clarify and resolve any of your lifestyle problems?  Is so, please call me today:

01422 843 629, from inside the UK.

44 1422 843 629 from outside.

Email: renata4coaching@btinternet.com

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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.

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Narrative Therapy

Our system of counselling, coaching and psychotherapy includes a substantial element of ‘narrative therapy’, which involves encouraging you to examine the story of your life, the narrative elements of your history, and the implicit ‘script’ which seems to be driving your life’s direction. We encourage our clients to write at least one long email about their story of origins; or their story of relationships (in their family of origins); or some other important aspect of their storied life.  We have used this approach extensively in our own lives, with great results in terms of understanding ourselves and our goals; of spotting unhelpful behaviour patterns which we ideally should change; and of processing our daily experiences of stress and strain.  Jim has published papers on his Story of Origins and his Story of Relationship (especially with his mother).

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Metal Dog – Long Road Home, by Dr Jim Byrne

front-cover2This book is the nearest thing you will ever find to an autobiography of the first forty years of the life of Jim Byrne, the creator of Emotive-Cognitive Embodied Narrative Therapy (E-CENT).  However this is not how Jim describes it.  Instead, he writes: “This text is my ‘revised personal mythology’. That is not to say that it is untrue.  The core of the story is true to my recollection of my felt experience.  But it is embellished with elements of another person’s life; plus hundreds of years of Irish history/mythology; and several strands of mysterious ‘fictional’ story, about the timeless struggle of good against evil; of love against hate and ignorance; and of the heroic journey of an innocent goat and a curious boy, from passive victimisation towards the possibility of personal liberation, with the help of a mysterious ‘tall woman’. It is a story of hope and despair; of courage and cowardice; and of the alchemical power of curiosity and perseverance”. For a Free Extract, please go to Metal Dog – Dr Jim Byrne’s autobiographical novel.***

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Aspects of Holistic counselling (E-CENT)* and Lifestyle Coaching (E-CENT)

Our approach to Holistic counselling and psychotherapy, and Lifestyle coaching and counselling have much in common with the more traditional approaches to counselling and coaching, as illustrated in the following definitions:

Definitions

nature-and-health3Dr John McLeod presented the following definition of counselling which is a good starting point:

A good counsellor helps clients to overcome those difficulties they cannot manage in their normal ways: “Counselling is a wonderful twentieth-century invention.  We live in a complex, busy, changing world.  In this world, there are many different types of experience that are difficult for people to cope with.  Most of the time we get on with life, but sometimes we are stopped in our tracks by an event or situation that we do not, at that moment, have the resources to sort out”.  If we cannot find ways to sort this out in our family, with our friends, or with a priest or doctor, etc., then “Counselling is a really useful option at these moments”.

John McLeod, An Introduction to Counselling, 2003. (140)

Of course, E-CENT* Holistic counselling goes much further than this, and considers the whole client, in terms of diet, exercise, self-talk (or inner dialogue), relaxation/meditation, current relationships, environmental stressors, historic family relationships, and many other fathers, including attachment style, personality adaptation, and so on.

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* Footnote: E-CENT = Emotive-Cognitive Embodied Narrative Therapy

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In E-CENT counselling, we are busy ‘adding back the body’ (to the ‘disembodied mind’).  In holistic medicine, progressive doctors are busy adding back the mind (to the material body).  For example: “When someone’s belly hurts”, writes Dr Thomas Delbanco, “I ask very quickly what’s going on in the mind as well as in the abdomen.  When someone is depressed, I think also about what might be going on in the body that’s leading to the depression.  Mind and body are inextricably woven together”.

Quoted in page 8 of Healing and The Mind, by Bill Moyers, London, Doubleday, 1995. (-3)

Dr Jim’s comments: I have treated a good number of men who have been depressed because of systemic candidiasis (or overgrowth of fungus in the gut), resulting from eating a junk-food diet high in sugar, salt and transfats.  I have treated some women who were anxious because of lack of physical exercise and overuse of caffeine and sugar. And I have had clients whose psychological symptoms were more directly related to life stressors, unworkable relationship arrangements, inadequate sleep, and so on. Sometimes the main problem is about what the individual is doing with their thoughts and attitudes; but life is most often much more complex than that! (-4)

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natajim-coaching-counsellingAnd the Life Coach Directory offers the following definition of life coaching, which helps us to build up a definition of Lifestyle coaching:

What is Lifestyle Coaching (E-CENT)?  It is a particular form of life coaching.  According to the Coaching Directory, life coaching can be thought of like this: “A life coach is someone who aims to help and empower others to make, meet and exceed personal and professional goals – including excelling in the workplace, becoming happy and fulfilled in the home, exploring the self and the world, and achieving ambitions.”

“By harnessing specialist techniques based on core psychological principals and natural intuition, life coaches provide clients with the tools to confidently face difficult situations, push past emotional barriers and eventually view life with fresh, hopeful and enlightened eyes.”

E-CENT Lifestyle Coaching goes beyond that definition, to incorporate the idea of helping the whole body-brain-mind-environment of the client.  This is the most holistic form of coaching currently available anywhere in the world.

Quotation from The Life Coach Directory.

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At ABC Coaching and Counselling Services, we can help with problems or issues of anger, anxiety, depression, stress, self-confidence and self-esteem; goal setting, goal achievement, willpower, resilience, time management; assertive communication; couples therapy; relationship skills; and much more besides.

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Jim’s Holistic Counselling and Psychotherapy Division***

Email: jim.byrne@abc-counselling.com

01422 843 629, from inside the UK.

44 1422 843 629 from outside.

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Renata’s Lifestyle Coaching and Counselling Division***

Email: renata4coaching@btinternet.com

01422 843 629, from inside the UK.

44 1422 843 629 from outside.

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We have two main divisions

ABC Coaching and Counselling Services is structured into two main divisions:

(a) Dr Jim Byrne offers Holistic counselling and psychotherapy to help individuals who are angry, anxious, depressed, stressed, lacking in self-confidence, or stuck in couple conflict, relationship problems or marriage difficulties.  See Dr Jim’s Counselling and Psychotherapy Division.***

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(b) Renata Taylor-Byrne offers Lifestyle coaching and counselling to help people who are feeling stressed, low self-confidence, lacking in self-assertion, and generally in need of support with the setting and achievement of important life goals.  She has extensive knowledge of the link between diet and exercise on the one hand, and mood and emotion on the other. See Renata’s Lifestyle Coaching Division.***

lifestyle-coaching-division

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E-CENT counsellors explore the narratives of their clients, with a view to helping them to manage their feeling-stories better: “Creating a consistent self-narrative (or personal story) that feels true to ourselves is a challenge at any stage in life.  Our stories give shape to our (unformed, fragmented), fleeting impressions of everyday life.  They bring together the past and the future into the present to provide us with structures for working towards our goals. They give us a sense of identity and, most importantly, serve to integrate the feelings of our right brain with the language of our left”.

Philippa Perry, How to Stay Sane (2012). Page 74. (-2)

Our comments: But we must never lose sight of the fact that the maintenance of those stories depends upon the state of our physical well-being – our body-mind – through diet, exercise, sleep, relaxation, relationship support, and environmental stressors, and so on. It is not about free-standing stories in a ‘floating head’.

Jim Byrne and Renata Taylor-Byrne, November 2015

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What do people gain from Holistic Counselling and Lifestyle Coaching?

Counselling and psychotherapy – and, by extension, certain forms of coaching – change the brain of the client for better functioning in the world.  Norman Doidge makes this point forcibly in his book on brain plasticity:

doidge-brainfixes-selfCounselling and therapy make permanent changes to your attitudes and emotions by changing your brain structures, physically: “… ‘There is no longer any doubt’, writes Kandel, ‘that psychotherapy can result in detectable changes in the brain’.  Recent brain scans done before and after psychotherapy show both that the brain plastically reorganizes itself in treatment and that the more successful the treatment the greater the change”. Page 233.

Quotation from: Doidge, N. (2008) The Brain that Changes Itself: Stories of personal triumph from the frontiers of brain science.  London: Penguin. (21)

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And we have all heard stories of famous sports personalities who were failing or floundering until they changed their coach, and then their performance improved dramatically, and they moved into a new level of competence and achievement.

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Blue-logo7We can help with problems or issues of anger, anxiety, depression, stress, self-confidence and self-esteem;

goal setting, goal achievement, willpower, resilience, time management; assertive communication;

couples therapy; relationship skills; and much more besides.

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Jim’s Holistic Counselling and Psychotherapy Division***

Email: jim.byrne@abc-counselling.com

01422 843 629, from inside the UK.

44 1422 843 629 from outside.

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Renata’s Lifestyle Coaching and Counselling Division***

Email: renata4coaching@btinternet.com

01422 843 629, from inside the UK.

44 1422 843 629 from outside.

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E-CENT counselling and psychotherapy theory emphasizes the integrity of the body-brain-mind-environment of the ‘socialized individual’.  We do not buy into the Western capitalist creation of the ‘separate individual’, the ‘free floating mind that wills its own destiny’.  “Instead of artificially separating mind and body, Merleau-Ponty emphasized the centrality of the body and gave an account of how the subject inhabits it.  This more organic and biological view of the human being as a human animal (which also has culture, sociality and a meaning-endowed world) sees the body as the seat and sine qua non of human existence.  To be is to have a body that constantly perceives the world through sight, touch, smell and so on. … Human existence takes place within the horizons opened up by perception”. Havi Carel, Illness, Page 26.

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Dr Jim’s comments: Of course Carel does not here clarify the fact that perception is itself mainly non-conscious and habit-based – dictated by past experiences!  But this is still a step up from the Western notion of the free-floating ‘mind as self’, or ‘self as mind’.  We are body-brain-mind-environment wholes; and we are strongly affected by our economic and political contexts – so promoting greater social inequality harms humans!  Ignoring economic deprivation harms humans!  Treating humans as ‘assets’ harms the world!

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[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cultivation_theory

What you gain from consulting us

natajim-coaching-counsellingPeople who come to see us normally achieve the goal which brought them to our doors.  They learn to accept themselves more; to accept the frustrations of life; to set realistic goals; to function intelligently towards those goals; to read their own and other people’s emotions; to manage their own emotions; to communicate better with others. They reduce their angry responses to frustrations; manage their fears, anxieties and phobias better; get over their depressed moods; and so on. They often improve their marriages or other couple relationships; increase their self-confidence; improve their self-esteem; manage their stress levels better. And they increasingly take responsibility for managing their own health and happiness, by managing their diet, regular physical exercise, and other lifestyle factors.

In brief, they often get very much better lives that they had ever expected.

For more information about the benefits of consulting one or other of us, please go to the Benefits of coaching and counselling page.***

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Contact us today:

We can help you with any of the following problems: Anger, anxiety, confidence issues, depression, couple conflict, communication skills, self-assertion, personal boundaries, dietary and exercise habits, developing a secure attachment style, managing stress, and working on personality adaptations (from an unhelpful past).

Renata’s Lifestyle Coaching and Counselling Division***

Email: renata4coaching@btinternet.com

01422 843 629, from inside the UK.

44 1422 843 629 from outside.

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Jim’s Holistic Counselling and Psychotherapy Division***

Email: jim.byrne@abc-counselling.com

01422 843 629, from inside the UK.

44 1422 843 629 from outside.

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Contact form:

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In E-CENT counselling, we teach our clients to explore the stories they are living, which mainly come from their family of origin.  Even some novelists understand this process, as illustrated by Donna Tartt, writing about the family of Charlotte Cleve: “…the Cleves loved to recount among themselves even the minor events of their family history – repeating word for word, with stylized narrative and rhetorical interruptions, entire death-bed scenes, or marriage proposals that had occurred a hundred years before… … (T)hese family discussions were how the Cleves made sense of the world. Even the cruellest and most random disasters … were constantly rehearsed among them, her grandmother’s gentle voice and her mother’s stern one merging harmoniously with her grandfather’s baritone and the babble of her aunts, and certain ornamental bits, improvised by daring soloists, eagerly seized upon and elaborated by the chorus, until finally, by group effort, they arrived together at a single song which was then memorized, and sung by the entire company again and again, which slowly eroded memory and came to take the place of truth”.

Donna Tartt, 2003. The Little Friend, London: Bloomsbury. Pages 3-4. (-1)

Jim’s comments: In reality, every family follows something of this kind of pattern of story-creation, and the result is both helpful narratives (that help to guide us safely through life) and unhelpful, neurotic narratives.  But the family stories you can remember are not the dangerous ones.  The ones that do the most damage are wholly non-conscious (and false maps of the world); but these are responsible for controlling some of your most unhelpful emotions and behaviours!

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Our story 1

Our lives began in the kind of ordinary confusion and suffering which is universally human.  One of the biggest breaks we got in life was being strongly influenced by Zen Buddhism – Jim since 1980, and Renata much earlier.  We still meditate together, most mornings of each week. There is scientific evidence to support the idea that counsellors who meditate are better at listening deeply to their clients than counsellors who don’t. Here’s a quick introduction to Zen:

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E-CENT counsellors teach their counselling clients this lesson: Parental love is a hugely important aspect of the developmental foundations of every individual.  If you don’t get it, or not enough, it leaves a scar that has to be healed somehow, at some later date: “The time and the quality of the time that their parents devote to them indicate to children the degree to which they are valued by their parents.  Some basically unloving parents, in an attempt to cover up their lack of caring, make frequent professions of love to their children, repetitively and mechanically telling them how much they are valued, but not devoting significant time of high quality to them.  Their children are never totally deceived by such hollow words.  Consciously they may cling to them, wanting to believe that they are loved, but unconsciously they know that their parents’ words do not match up with their deeds”.

Scott Peck (1983/1990) The Road Less Travelled: The new psychology of love, traditional values and spiritual growth. Page 23. (1)

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Jim and Renata comment: We all benefit from ‘good enough’ parenting, which includes a real sense of being loved and cared for.

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Our story 2

Later on, we discovered Stoicism, and studied and practised it for many years, including the form developed by Dr Albert Ellis as Rational Emotive Behaviour Therapy (REBT), until we realised that Stoicism has both a moderate (realistic) element and an extreme (unrealistic) element, and so now we only practice the more moderate forms. Here’s a quick overview of Stoic philosophy:

Video footnote: How the Stoics can help us tackle anxiety, fury and loss of perspective – and realise that very little is needed to make a happy life.

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Counsellors who engage in regular meditation may be able to be more helpful to their clients, by being more attuned to them: “Bishop (and others, 2004) report that in a mindful state, (counselling) practitioners are better able to observe thoughts, feelings, and sensations dispassionately and without attachment.  This dispassionate state of self-observation, according to Bishop (and others), may introduce a delay between one’s perceptions and response.  Mindfulness (including meditation – JWB) may therefore enable practitioners to respond to situations more reflectively”.

Steven Hick and Thomas Bien, Mindfulness and the Therapeutic Relationship.  2010, page 15.  (2)

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We offer counselling, coaching and psychotherapy services via our two separate 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

Or see my Couples Therapy page.***

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2. Lifestyle Coaching and Counselling in Hebden Bridge, HX7 8HJ, West Yorkshire

With Renata Taylor-Byrne

Distinguishing ‘Life Coaching’ from ‘Lifestyle Coaching’

What is life coaching?

Here is a formal definition of life coaching from LifeCoaching.com:

“The coaching process addresses specific personal projects, business successes, general conditions and transitions in the client’s personal life, relationships or profession by examining what is going on right now, discovering what your obstacles or challenges might be, and choosing a course of action to make your life be what you want it to be.”

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What is lifestyle coaching?

We will now clarify the distinction between life-coaching and life-style coaching.

While life coaching is concerned with helping the client to work towards their goals, lifestyle coaching is about that aim – plus helping the client to understand how their lifestyle impacts their goal-directed behaviours.  In other words, while life coaching helps you to focus on trying to succeed at work – for example – lifestyle coaching helps to track down what is stopping you.  This could include: blind spots; lack of willpower; unclear vision; distractibility; or bad habits: such as over-use of alcohol; inadequate sleep; unhelpful dietary practices; lack of physical exercise; and so on.

For more information, please go to Renata’s Lifestyle Coaching Division.***

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Our story 3

We were also strongly influenced by Transactional Analysis (TA), through reading Eric Berne and Claude Steiner; taking the basic TA101 training; and also by going through TA Couples Therapy in Leeds in 1984:

First in a series on TA, offering some of the metaphors the presenter thinks can be useful in conceptualising and dealing with interactions. This first video looks at the Parent, Adult and Child states, and basic transactions.

See our page on Transactional Analysis.***

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Contact us:

Are you in need of help with problems of anger, couple relationship, stress, lifestyle or life direction, goals, anxiety or panic, depression, or any other problem of daily living, then we can counsel and coach you, and offer you therapeutic support and guidance, to get you through where you are to where you want to be.

jim.byrne@abc-counselling.com

renata4coaching@btinternet.com

Or use the following form to contact us:

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In E-CENT counselling, we teach some of the core insights of Buddhism and Stoicism.  Here’s a simple example of how that works:

The Buddha said: “Get a grip on your mind”.

The core of the work of an E-CENT counsellor is designed to help our clients to get a grip on their mind; their thinking; their feeling states; their behaviour patterns. (2b)

However, unlike the Buddha, and because of historical changes, we emphasize that you will never get a grip on ‘your mind’ unless you realize you are actually a body-brain-mind-environment whole; and you have to take seriously the self-management of each of those elements, especially by paying attention to diet, exercise, nutritional supplementation, (which were not big issues in the time of the Buddha), as well as meditation and self-discipline of your thinking-feeling (which were!)

Dr Jim Byrne and Renata Taylor-Byrne

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Our Story 4

We have also been strongly influenced by Gestalt Therapy, by studying the teachings of Fritz Perls.  Renata also took some training in Gestalt therapy with Barry Hinksman and Associates, in Coventry, and trained Jim in some of the basic processes.  Also, Jim studied Gestalt as part of his Diploma in Counselling Psychology and Psychotherapy:

Contemporary Gestalt therapy described in 3 minutes by Steve Vinay Gunther

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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).”

However, they also are aware of the importance of diet, exercise, self-talk, relaxation, mediation, sleep patterns, life/work balance, and so on.

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

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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.***

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Contact us for more information, or to let us know how you experience this page:

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:

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Our Story 5A:

Wounded psychotherapistSomewhere between 1990 and 1992, Renata came across Rational Emotive Behaviour Therapy, in the form of a book by Dr Paul Hauck.  That led her to a book titled ‘Executive Leadership’, by Dr Albert Ellis, which she passed to me at the end of 1992, in an effort to help me with a huge career crisis.  We were both very taken by Albert Ellis’s approach to thinking your way out of emotional problems, and we followed and promoted REBT for at least 22 years.  Then, in 2005, when we got involved in a campaign to defend Albert Ellis from his colleagues in New York, who had ousted him from control of the Albert Ellis Institute, we began to spot some weaknesses of REBT.  The first one was that REBT theory would not allow us to take a moral stance regarding the ousting of Ellis, because REBT discourages us from using any form of “should”, “must” or “ought”; but these words are essential if we are to engage in moral discourse.

Later we discovered more problems, including the fact that Albert Ellis’s REBT is an extreme form of Stoicism, as opposed to a realist, moderate form of Stoicism.

And then we discovered this… See our page on the Limitations and Errors of REBT.***

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Our Story 5B:

More recently, while Renata was studying the link between diet and mood and emotion, Jim was studying Affect Regulation theory, which is very similar to the E-CENT approach to understanding the body-brain-mind – except that the Affect Regulation theorists do not include consideration of diet and exercise!

Dr. Allan Schore explains how to optimize a child’s capacity to regulate their own emotional states.

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See our book on Holistic Counselling in Practice.***

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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)

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Dr Jim’s Holistic Counselling and Psychotherapy Division.***

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Renata’s Lifestyle Coaching and Counselling Division.***

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Are you feeling angry, upset about your relationship, in need of help with anxiety, panic, depression, stress or any problem of daily living, then please contact us and we will arrange to help you.

jim.byrne@abc-counselling.com

renata4coaching@btinternet.com

Or use the following form to contact us:

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4. Renata’s Lifestyle Coaching and Counselling Blog

nata-lifestyle-coach8I have been producing an occasional blog for the past four or five years, ever since I reduced my hours at Calderdale College, and began to work part time as a Lifestyle Coach/Counsellor.  Then, when I finished at college, two years ago, I went full time at ABC Coaching, and produced more blogs from that time onwards.  Most of my early blog posts survived our transition from our old website to our new one, but a few got lost.

Some of my favourite posts were as follows:

# Don’t go shopping on an empty stomach: no glucose – no willpower!

# A ‘Rave review’ of “The Power of Habit – Why we do what we do and how to change”, by Charles Duhigg

# Why meditation is really good for you…

# A rave review of Dr Carol Dweck’s book – ‘Mindset’ – which is about mental attitude, resilience, achievement and success…

To go to my blog page, please click here: Renata’s Lifestyle Coaching and Counselling Blog.***

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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:

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For a brief introduction to the content of this book, please take a look here: Holistic Counselling in Practice: An Introduction to 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.***

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Do you need help with an issue of anger management, couples therapy, marriage guidance, stress management, confidence or self-esteem, life goals, lifestyle, life coaching, counselling for emotional control, or any problems with your behaviour at home or at work.  If so, we can help you:

jim.byrne@abc-counselling.com

renata4coaching@btinternet.com

Or use the following form to contact us:

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5. Dr Jim’s Counselling Blog

DrJim-Counsellor9.JPGJim Byrne has been producing regular blogs for many years – though they have been a bit intermittent over the past year, due to the change-over of websites, which has been very time consuming.

Initially he wrote a Happiness Blog and a Success Blog every week, for a couple of years; then dropped the Success Blog, because of lack of time; and then changed the main blog emphasis from Happiness to Counselling, with an emphasis on seeking wisdom.

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The counselling approach of Emotive-Cognitive Embodied-Narrative Therapy (E-CENT) is to look at both our actual (felt) life circumstances and our stories about our lives.  Both are important, and both may be amenable to some degree of change: “Our usual emotional, cognitive and physical response to the wold – that is, our typical pattern for dealing with recurrent situations – will come from our own stories. Our way of being in the world will also come from stories that we read and that are told to us, from films, sitcoms and the news; they might be family legends, or parables and metaphors, or religious tracts and fairy stories.  We make up stories, we read stories, and we hear stories.  Our lives interweave these stories and respond to them”.

Philippa Perry, How to Stay Sane (2012). Page 71. (3b)

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Dr Jim’s comments: However, it is important not to make the mistake of thinking these are “cognitive stories”.  These stories that run our lives are emotive-cognitive-behavioural.  They are woven from our feelings and images and thoughts and actions (action plans; action intentions).  They are woven into our body-minds. We are emotive-story-tellers, and we never stop feeling!

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What is E-CENT Counselling?

Holistic counselling in action

Copyright (c) 2016 – Jim Byrne and Renata Taylor-Byrne

natajim-coaching-counsellingE-CENT counselling is the system of coaching, counselling and psychotherapy practised by Dr Jim Byrne and Renata Taylor-Byrne.

It is a holistic system of psychological, philosophical and emotional help, which incorporates the best elements of all pre-existing systems of both talking therapy, behaviour therapy, and alternative therapies for whole body-mind health (including systems of diet and exercise).

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E-CENT theory sees counselling clients as whole body-minds, in current social environments which are either viable or non-viable; supportive or stress inducing; happy or unhappy.  We also take account of the life-history of the individual client, since we are shaped by our personal history in our family of origin.

For more, please click this link: What is E-CENT Counselling?***

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Contact us for further information:

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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:

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The holistic approach to stress management

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

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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.***

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Dr Jim’s Holistic Counselling and Psychotherapy Division.***

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Renata’s Lifestyle Coaching and Counselling Division.***

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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.

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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)

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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.

Dr Jim Byrne. (5)

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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:

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

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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’).

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Dr Jim’s Holistic Counselling and Psychotherapy Division.***

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Renata’s Lifestyle Coaching and Counselling Division.***

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Counsellors and their clients need to be aware that we humans are delusional beings, who cannot see ourselves objectively: “What people say about themselves can … be very confusing, for the simple reason that most of us aren’t very objective about ourselves.  That’s why, when we measure personality, we don’t just ask people point-blank what they think they are like.  We give them a questionnaire, like the Big Five Inventory, carefully designed to elicit telling responses.  That is also why (Professor John) Gottman doesn’t waste time asking husbands and wives point-blank questions about the state of their marriage.  They might lie or feel awkward or, more important, they might not know the truth”.

Malcolm Gladwell: Blink: The power of thinking without thinking.  (6)

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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

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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.

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Dr Jim’s Holistic Counselling and Psychotherapy Division.***

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Renata’s Lifestyle Coaching and Counselling Division.***

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In Emotive-Cognitive Embodied Narrative Therapy (E-CENT), we encourage our counselling clients to rethink their stories and narratives about their lives and their meanings: “Our minds are formed by narratives.  We evolved using stories and narratives that are co-constructed (with parents, teachers, etc.)  As our earliest caregivers transcribed out sensations, feelings and actions into words for us, our narratives took shape. We used these narratives to integrate our experiences into coherent meanings.  Children and their parental figures narrate their experience together and, in doing so, they organize their memories and put them into a social context.  This assists in linking feelings, actions and others to the self”.

Philippa Perry, How to Stay Sane (2012). Page 71. (6b)

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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:

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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.

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Dr Jim’s Holistic Counselling and Psychotherapy Division.***

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Renata’s Lifestyle Coaching and Counselling Division.***

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In E-CENT counselling, we teach that life is far from being meaningless, from a common sense perspective:  “It is in (the) process of meeting and solving problems that life has its meaning.  Problems are the cutting edge that distinguishes between success and failure.  Problems call forth our courage and our wisdom; indeed, they create our courage and our wisdom.  It is only because of problems that we grow mentally and spiritually.  When we desire to encourage the growth of the human spirit, we challenge and encourage the human capacity to solve problems, just as in school we deliberately set problems for our children to solve.  It is through the pain of confronting and resolving problems that we learn.  As Benjamin Franklin says, ‘Those things that hurt, instruct’.   It is for this reason that wise people learn not to dread but actually to welcome problems and actually to welcome the pain of problems”.

Discussing your problems with a helpful and accepting counsellor is one way to resolve them and to find the meaning in your life.

Scott Peck (1983/1990) The Road Less Travelled: The new psychology of love, traditional values and spiritual growth. Page 14. (7)

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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.

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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:

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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.

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Dr Jim’s Holistic Counselling and Psychotherapy Division.***

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Renata’s Lifestyle Coaching and Counselling Division.***

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A good counsellor is a lifelong learner: “Studying theories of counselling and therapy is both an intellectual undertaking and a personal journey.  All people develop a set of ideas, albeit not fully articulated, about how people become the way they are, how they stay the way they are – often at a great personal cost – and how they can change.  As a counselling and therapy student you are challenged to develop a more thorough and accurate theory of human behaviour so that you can help clients more.  However, when reviewing these theoretical approaches you will find yourself applying the concepts to yourself and testing whether they have validity for helping you to become happier and more fulfilled.  Thus, the fruits of your studying counselling and therapy approaches will become manifest in how you influence both clients’ biographies and your own autobiography”.

Richard Nelson-Jones, Theory and Practice of Counselling and Therapy, 2001. (10)

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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.

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Dr Jim’s Holistic Counselling and Psychotherapy Division.***

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Renata’s Lifestyle Coaching and Counselling Division.***

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ABC Coaching and Counselling Services, 27 Wood End, Hebden Bridge, HX7 8HJ, UK.

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 messed up the mapping of this area!)

On the other hand, if you are using a Satnav system, sometimes 27 Wood End will find us, and sometimes 27 Keighley Road.  (Sorry it’s so complicated).

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

Email: Admin at ABC

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REPEAT!

*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 [according to the Post Office] is 27 Wood End).  See the Directions for finding us.***

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Counselling and coaching ethics

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.

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