Garon Sheppard Counselling Bicester, Oxfordshire

Psychotherapy and Counselling. Forest (old)

Psychotherapy and Counselling

Psychotherapy and Counselling are two of the ‘talking therapies’. They offer you the chance to understand your personal growth and to make possible sense of your past and look forward to the future.

We all go through difficulties from time to time in our lives. Counselling and Psychotherapy provide a confidential and non-judgmental place to explore any issues you may have and help you understand the many aspects of your life.

Counselling usually offers shorter-term support with present-day issues that may be troubling you and thus enabling you to find a better way of coping or providing direction if you are feeling ‘stuck’.
Psychotherapy is a longer in-depth process which involves exploring many parts of your past, present and future. It is potentially a highly rewarding process in which you can make lasting positive changes.

I offer a secure professional relationship through which difficulties can be identified and a chance to discover that you have choices.
The opportunity to work through past hurts or conflicts and the possibility for you to move on and look towards a positive future

Through the process of exploration, we can be enabled to identify and change various patterns from our past which may be having a negative effect on our life. Having a greater sense of control through understanding and altering certain behaviours and thought patterns can be highly effective and providing you with opportunities for personal growth. Getting in touch with your personal power can give you insight into the choices open to you and help you to gain control to make positive changes in your life.

What Conditions Can it Help?

Mental health conditions, such as depression, anxiety or an eating disorder
upsetting physical health condition, a difficult life event, such as a bereavement, a relationship breakdown or work-related stress
difficult emotions – for example, low self-esteem or anger other issues, such as sexual identity.

What Benefits can be Expected?

The experience of exploring your thoughts and feelings with another individual can relieve your sense that you are entirely alone with your problems. Greater self-knowledge and understanding can enhance your relationship with your self and others and improve your sense of choice and self-esteem. This, in turn, can cultivate the feeling that life can be enjoyed rather than endured.
At the core of therapy is a confidential and collaborative relationship where the therapist guides the person on a journey of increased understanding. Therapy offers a relationship with the intent of alleviating distress and rekindling hope.

Many situations in life leave us feeling powerless and a feeling of no choices. My hope is to help the person move from a position of self-doubt or insecurity to one where they feel more in control to give you back choice in your life and hopefully the confidence to use that choice.
As my client, you will be positively and warmly accepted for all that you are. I will see your world and your relationship to it as it appears to you.

To help you assess the many ways in which counselling can help you, here is an overview of some of the ‘counselling modalities’ or approaches to counselling, which I may use in our work together.

Person-Centred Counselling

The person-centred approach to counselling is founded on the belief that given the right conditions, everybody has the ability to develop, grow and change, to deal better with the problems of day to day life and to achieve their unique potential.

Person-centred counselling honours the individual. Rather than trying to fit you into some psychological box, this approach helps to free you from deep-seated patterns of living according to other people’s expectations or desires, be they your family, parents, or society. The aim is to help you to be more yourself, to be more authentic, which in turn helps you to feel freer and happier.

The great pioneer of the person-centred counselling approach was Carl Rogers. Rogers broke away from the old psychoanalytic paradigm of Freud and the original founders of psychotherapy. Rogers’ unique contribution is most readily evident in the way today’s counselling session is structured. Gone is the old doctor-patient approach, dry and based on analysis, where a client is told what is best for them by a therapist who supposedly knows better.

Instead today’s Counselling – and the kind of Counselling session you can expect with me – is characterised by warmth, acceptance and openness. You are seen as the expert on your own life, while I, as your Counsellor, bring the therapeutic know-how which can help you. We work together as a team whose purpose is to help you come through your difficulties, be happier and to grow as a person.

Psychodynamic Counselling

Psychodynamic therapy developed out of psychoanalysis and the work of Freud and his followers such as Carl Jung, Alfred Adler, Otto Rank and Melanie Klein. The primary aim of psychodynamic therapy is to bring the unconscious mind into consciousness. It takes the view that our unconscious holds onto painful feelings and memories, which are too difficult for the conscious mind to process. In order to ensure these memories and experiences do not surface, many people develop ‘defences’ which will often do more harm than good.

In practice, this counselling approach looks at the influence of the past and particularly of childhood, on where you are today. It helps you see how the destructive patterns you learnt long ago still keep on repeating themselves in your life, causing present-day problems. It helps you unravel past experience and understand your deep-rooted feelings and drives, in order to resolve them.

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy

CBT is now the counselling approach of choice for the NHS. It’s an approach that helps you manage your problems by seeing how your thoughts influence how you feel, how thoughts and feelings influence how you behave, and how the way you behave sets up the patterns of your life.

The great plus point about CBT is that it is clear, logical and highly structured. It breaks down problems that may seem overwhelming into bite-size chunks that are easier to cope with. Some people prefer this approach because of its logical clarity and because of the similarity to academic study, where you are given homework after each session.

CBT can also help you to feel less of a victim, since the work you put in to analysing how you think and feel, brings clear rewards of greater self-understanding and awareness. This understanding then helps you see how to make things change and then to take appropriate action.

CBT concentrates on the here and now, rather than on the past. It’s usually short term, giving you the help you need without making a commitment to long-term therapy, with the price tag that involves.

CBT is proven to be particularly helpful if you are going through certain difficulties, which include:

Self-esteem problems
Obsessive-Compulsive tendencies
Post-traumatic Stress
Eating Problems

Walk - Talk Therapy

Walk-Talk Therapy is just like it sounds – linking walking outdoors with traditional talking therapy.
With Walk-Talk Therapy, the client receives the benefits from mental health therapy, while at the same time receiving the benefits of physical exercise; a powerful two-in-one treatment. “Research has consistently shown that exercise can significantly improve anxiety, stress and overall mood. Walking is not only good for physical well-being but it is also good for your mental health”. The simple act of walking and moving while talking creates an environment of possibility and change; healing and breakthrough occur at your pace!
Many people say that Walking Talking Therapy is a more relaxed environment than the conventional counselling office. Others state that it is a great motivational tool to jump-start a more active lifestyle.

People often feel better immediately because of it:

1. It is easy, natural and relaxing to be outdoors or out in a natural environment.

2. It doesn’t require a lot of eye contact and it is more comfortable to walk and talk side by side than in an office.

3. It allows you to think clearly and creatively about your problems. Therefore, find solutions quicker.

4. Is healthy and uplifting because walking improves your health and energy levels, so you sleep better and
feel more energetic.

5. It is distressing, soothing, calming and nice to be outdoors or walk in nature. So you fret less about your problems.

6. Is suitable for everyone. You set your own walking pace, from a gentle stroll to a brisk pace – whatever
you are comfortable with.


Walk Talk Therapy gets you moving - both literally and figuratively – reaping benefits both mentally and physically.
Here are just some of the reasons why Walk Talk therapy is a great approach to choose.......
Walk Talk Therapy is conducted outdoors; being surrounded by nature can be meditative and grounding.
Walking releases endorphins through physical activity which can elevate your mood and spur more creative, deeper ways of thinking. Physical activity has also been shown to reduce levels of depression and anxiety and can help to prevent depressive symptoms.
You may find yourself anxious when confronting and talking about difficult issues in the traditional seated, face-to-face interaction.
Walking in parallel with visual distractions may allow for easier engagement and help you get “unstuck”.
Walk Talk Therapy is an excellent choice for several different kinds of issue.

Walk Talk Therapy tends to do very well whether who are going through a life transition, have anxiety, or experiencing some kind of loss or grief, relationship issues, as well as many of life’s other challenges.
The emphasis in Walk Talk Therapy is on the therapy, and the walking is a secondary benefit.
You set the pace of the session. You should not expect an extremely strenuous workout or any sort of personal training.
If you prefer a meditative, relaxing session of walking or a more active session.
Walk Talk Therapy will match your pace.

In conclusion

Whatever counselling approach or combination of approaches turns out to be best for you, you can be sure that the counselling you receive will be professional but warm. You’ll get the help you really need. Counselling can sometimes be challenging, but you will always be fully supported and never judged or made to feel small.

In our first sessions, I can usually provide you with an awareness of how counselling may be able to help you. It’s also sometimes possible to give an indication of how long I feel we may need to work together – though of course this depends completely on what you want from therapy and may change as the work progresses. You will never feel rushed or pushed out of your depth; we go at the pace which is right for you.

In order that counselling sessions stay on a professional footing and support you best, counselling has strong boundaries.
I won’t impose my beliefs or opinions on you. What you say in a counselling session will be kept confidential.

Theoretical approach, warmth and genuineness, along with the clear boundaries, work together to ensure that you feel heard, understood, cared for, able to be open and to be yourself. Then through the counselling process, you can freely explore, heal and grow.

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