For people who are thinking about seeing a counsellor, finding the 'right one' can seem puzzling.  This is intended to help remove some of the mystery and tackle some myths about finding a counsellor or psychotherapist in your area. 

a) Your GP

The NHS does provide access to mental health services including therapy/counselling, however your access to services may depend on the resources in the Trust or in your surgery.  Types of therapy available do vary (as do waiting times) so ask the questions if your GP informs you that they will advise their talking therapies team that you would like to be seen.  They might also have information about other service providers that you could access whether that be a voluntary organisation or a private therapist.

[Myth buster - You don't have to be referred by a GP to access therapy.]

b) Ask a trusted family member, friend or colleague

If you were looking for a builder, plumber or mechanic, asking family and friends to recommend s...

Issues of death, loss and bereavement enter counselling conversations regularly.   Anxiety about death (those overwhelming thoughts about death and dying) isn't necessarily about bereavement and it strikes me that this is something that isn't openly discussed very often  When it is, the person experiencing those feelings can be confused about the strength of feelings, where they are coming from, why they can't turn them off.  They often feel silly too knowing that their thoughts are irrational so talking about it can cause embarrassment and discomfort.  

In this spirit of being 'comfortable with the uncomfortable' I thought I'd put some proper thought into it again and that refocusing brought me to this book, Staring at the Sun by Irvin D Yalom.  As is the wont in the counselling vocation, I have turned the reading into reflection.  When have I felt that I couldn't avoid thoughts of death?  Surprisingly, I have realised that there have been lots of differen...

I have been surprised by the number of people who have asked me why I chose the name Number 11 counselling for my counselling business.  The most obvious reason is that it's the number of the address of my work and home.  However, a bit more thought did go into it than that.

Although I know very little about these sorts of things, what sealed the deal was when I came across the spiritual significance of the number 11.  I know, right, doesn't sound like me but seriously, when you read about the meanings of the number 11, you will get an idea of the things that are important to me and why it became such a no-brainer.

Apparently, in numerology, 11 is the number of vision, balance, congruency, fulfilment, invention and refinement.  Wow! As if that wasn't enough, I also read 

  • That the number 11 represents male and female equality, and being able to respect differences whilst considering different perspectives, 

  • That seeing the number 11 over and over again reveals refle...

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