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18th July 2024 
Home. Portrait orientation of self

Counselling online and in person at Westerham - covering Oxted, Surrey and Sevenoaks, Kent

Welcome to my website. I hope you find here what you need to make an informed choice about whether to approach me. The first step is often the hardest and I do not underestimate its difficulty.

Whether you feel overwhelmed by anxiety or anger or are finding it difficult to communicate with someone close to you or you are fighting off depression or suffering from bereavement, I will listen to you with respect. As a trained therapist I can help you find your direction again, realise the choices you have and act on them.

As an experienced Psychosynthesis counsellor who also uses CBT tools and techniques I can help you with;

  • Relationship difficulties
    Love is a prerequisite for human flourishing. Holding and being held, intimacy and support, respect and being given space to breathe, companionship and fun are all components of healthy relationships. Problems arise when there are different expectations between the parties about the nature of the relationship and the relative importance of these components. This can lead to misunderstanding, frustration and resentment. Understanding, therefore, how we typically relate to others is a first step to resolving these difficulties. It is then important to identify what we want from a relationship and learn how to ask for it. This is a skill which, as a counsellor, I can teach you.

    "The most satisfying thing in life is to have been able to give a large part of oneself to others." Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

  • Sexual and Gender identity
    Sexuality and gender are life-giving dimensions of our humanity. Their development is surrounded by mystique and we can be more - or less - comfortable with who we turn out to be. Societal pressures exert influence on us to conform to differing stereotypes, yet it is important for us to be authentic if we are to find happy, healthy ways of expressing our sexuality and gender. With the help of a skilled therapist, exploration and self-acceptance can lead us to welcome the ways we live out who we are.

    "Sexuality throws no light upon love, but only through love can we learn to understand sexuality." Eugen Rosenstock-Huessy

  • Spiritual issues
    Spirituality can be tricky to pin down. A working definition might go something like this; spirituality is that which gives meaning, purpose and value. Where do we find meaning, purpose and value in life? How do we understand our place in the world? Do we see the world as fundamentally hostile or fundamentally friendly? These are spiritual questions. Equally, we may have lived with spiritual answers for years only to find our certainties challenged by life events. Counselling offers a safe and respectful space in which to explore your spiritual journey.

    "The true mystic is always both humble and compassionate, for she knows that she does not know." Richard Rohr

  • Depression
    Depression is a debilitating condition which can leave us feeling numb, overwhelmed, without energy or all three. What is the cure? First, a proper diagnosis. Is the depression caused by a life event, such as bereavement, which needs to be worked through or does it lie deeper in our psyche, perhaps a pattern of thinking and feeling which limits our ability to respond to these challenges? Patient listening by a skilled therapist will reveal the root cause. Bringing that into awareness means we have a new freedom to choose how we respond to such events. This, in itself, is empowering. Often, once we realise we have a choice, the way ahead is clear.

    "Depression is a prison where you are both the suffering prisoner and the cruel jailer." Dorothy Rowe

  • Anger management
Anger is a natural emotion. Expressed cleanly it is a legitimate assertion of our needs and is often evoked in response to injustice. However, we can often become stuck in a cycle of stimulus and reaction and find it hard to free ourselves from feelings of active aggression (hot temper) or passive aggression (cold fury). Again, knowledge is the key. Did disputes in childhood end in shouting? Alternatively, was anger the only emotion that was taboo? Once we accept and understand the origins of our behaviour, we are free to change it. Rather than merely react, we can choose to respond, giving us the chance to achieve the outcome we desire.

"All saints have a past: all sinners have a future." Oscar Wilde

  • Bereavement
It is inevitable that we will be hurt by losing someone we love. Defending ourselves against this hurt may lead to the natural grieving process being blocked. When this happens, a gentle loosening of the fear of feeling the hurt may release us to grieve openly and so move forward to acceptance. It may be more difficult if the loss is one of many, where the previous losses have not been worked through, and the loss may be further complicated if it is unexpected or arises through violence. Traumatised, we may go numb, deny the reality of what has happened, be overcome with 'what-ifs' or feel responsible for the death. If this happens, a careful unpicking of the thoughts and feelings attached to the loss is called for, examining which are justified by the facts and which not. Both sets of feelings then need to be accepted and laid to rest, before the loss can be accommodated and we can move forward in life. What we feel in response to losing a person, we can also feel in response to losing a relationship, a job, our health or any number of things. Again, a patient and self-loving process of acceptance is what I would encourage you to discover and nurture.

"For all that has been, thanks: to all that shall be, yes." Dag Hammarskjold

  • Low self-esteem
Low self-esteem is a sickness of the soul. If we have been ignored we may believe that we do not amount to much. If we have been bullied we may feel that we do not deserve to. When we interpret the world through these lenses it is likely that we will see only what confirms our low opinion of ourselves. We need therefore to develop awareness of our patterns of thinking and feeling since with awareness comes choice. We can choose to appreciate ourselves for who we are rather than deprecate ourselves for who we are not.

"What progress, you ask, have I made? I have begun to be a friend to myself." Hecato, Greek philosopher

  • Loss of identity
Our identity is not something we have normally chosen. Rather it has grown up in us. We may find we have identified almost completely with our role as a parent or a worker. Redundancy, retirement or an empty nest can leave us devastated. But we are more than the roles we play. A change in life is a chance for us to discover the unlived parts of who we are. New roles in life may then emerge without our losing the discovery that it is who we are rather than what we do that counts.

"There are two great days in a person's life - the day we are born and the day we discover why." William Barclay

My counselling practice in Westerham is situated just off the A25 between Oxted and Sevenoaks and is easily accessible from south-east London, east Surrey and the rest of Kent.

Counsellor online and in Westerham, Kent, covering Oxted, Sevenoaks and surrounding areas.

Do you need someone to talk to in confidence about the challenges you are facing? Taking the first step to seeking help can be a daunting prospect. However picking up the phone and calling, or clicking on the email link above, to book a counselling appointment can be the first step in your journey towards making peace with the difficulties you are faced with and moving into a new phase of life.

I am an experienced therapist based online and in Westerham, Kent who can support you on your healing journey.

Martin Kelly
Therapist Online and in Westerham, Kent.