Will my therapist insist on setting a goal in therapy?

As a therapist I have had this question asked a number of time over the years, so it maybe worth talking about.

It can be important to have goals, if you need help to make changes, or you want to set up focus points, that you can use to help you keep on your path of choice, it is  generally beneficial to set goals in therapy.

But in my opinion a therapist should never force someone to set goals, sometimes people need to meander in therapy, to spend time reflecting and expressing their thoughts and feelings, it can be important to just be in the therapeutic space, and not just setting goals because they feel pressured to do so.

When you set goals you are committed to making progress towards achieving something, but sometimes people do not want to change anything, until they have made sense of what is going on in their own head, some times people are not able to even contemplate what goal is even needed at that moment in time.

There is nothing wrong in enquiring if the client wants to set some goals, that can be very helpful, and it may even give the client some focus, as long as it is a free choice for them to make, and not an order to comply with the wishes of the therapist.

Counselling session

Setting a goal in therapy is always a negotiation, the client wishes to set up a task and the therapist is there to try and challenge any unrealistic expectations, and help clarify what the client wants, and understand if the task is achievable. This is to stop the client setting themselves up to fail.  

If you do not want to set goals in therapy, just say so, you do not have to, some therapists insist that not setting goals is bad therapy, I say that a therapist who insists on setting goals, is actively pushing someone into making a choice, they may not be ready or able to make, (and in my opinion is bad therapy).

Applying this kind of pressure is all about the therapists needs, not the clients, maybe it’s a need to feel they have influence, or wanting to be seen as important, or something else within themselves, that they are then channelling through their clients.

It’s not good to force or pressurise a client, to conform to the therapists will, after all therapist are supposed to help build autonomy and self reliance.

If a therapist is pressurising you to set a goal, just ask Why do you insist I have to set a goal, when I do not want to at this time, are my wishes not important.

Are your needs as a therapist more important than mine?

If you do not like the answer find a new therapist

How to afford therapy and keep costs down.

Money worries?

I have clients who through no fault of their own, have limited finances, and if they cannot find any free or government subsidised therapy, they can’t normally have therapy.

I understand that therapy can be very expensive, especially over time, and I do what I can to help by balancing my need to earn a living, with the client’s ability to pay the required fees, (as stated on my website).

I often offer my clients a way of having therapy that lowers the financial pressure while keeping therapy relevant.

I can often help people with limited financial options, by providing a mix of self-help possibilities and homework, and a reduced number of therapy sessions spread out over a longer time period, while keeping my fees as flexible as I can.

Normally, one session per week is usually required when having therapy, and that does seem to be a favoured amount of time, that most therapists use, it appears to be a good balance between attending therapy sessions, while allowing suitable time for the client to reflect on internal content between sessions, but that is only a guide and not always needed.

Sometimes by having options to have one session every two weeks, or once every three weeks, or even once per month, while also giving homework that has to be completed in between the sessions, can prove to be very effective.

But in some cases, it can require more commitment from the client, especially if there is only one session per month without a therapist to help and support them.

when it works it usually works very well, in fact you can argue that having to do most of the work on their own, builds both self-reliance and personal autonomy, possibly at a faster rate than it will otherwise happen.

Although it is not suitable for everyone, it can be well worth trying for yourself to see what’s possible for you.

Check it out now

Are online therapists respected?

In my opinion the sound only therapy session can in some cases be far superior to any in person therapy, yes I did say superior.(in some situations)

I have always like using technology, often spending time using computers and learning about building websites, it was a keen interest of mine.  After seeing people in person while working as a therapist for a few years, I could see the way modern technology could revolutionise how people have therapy, after some testing and risk evaluation, I eventually moved my private practice online, ultimately becoming one of the very first therapists to work full time online,

When I first started seeing clients using the internet, some therapists looked down upon me and judged me quite harshly, by some therapists standards I was taking unethical risks and putting people in danger, they could not see the positives, or I suspect sometimes felt threatened by the way technology was bringing new ways of working to the world of therapy. I also suspect some others did not like the way it threatened to reduced their influence, and how it empowers the client, amongst other reasons.

In 2011 I was regularly personally insulted and ridiculed, often called unethical and much worse by other so-called therapists. As a result, I was seen as an unethical quack by some, who thought I was a bad therapist, and I suffered from some hate mail for a short time regarding that opinion

Online therapy is not without its problems, that is true, and if you want to be an online therapist there are more risks to appreciate and allow for, but it also has some very important positive advantages, these advantages have enabled people to have therapy who would not otherwise have been able to do so, I know that without this option, some people would not be alive today. As always, it’s a complex mix of positives and negatives, and therapists should not just buy a computer and do it, it should not be entered into lightly, you do need to understand the differences and possible issues, these can be complex.

I am happy to say that over time, other therapists have seen the advantages, so yes opinion is changing, there are many therapists who understand that although it is not the same as face to face therapy, it is a valuable option, and in my opinion the sound only therapy session can in some cases be far superior to any in person therapy, yes I did say superior.(in some situations)

Today there are people who have experienced online therapy and knowledgeable therapists who know why audio sessions in particular can be so advantageous.

Today I think in general therapists working online are getting more respect, although some therapists still feel threatened by change, and some can’t deal with the lack of control and the way it can dilute their influence, but you cannot turn back the clock. Online therapy is here to stay, love it or hate it will not go away.

Are you a therapist working online?

Does poor mental health affect your physical health?

Does poor mental health affect your physical health?

Your mental health can affect your physical health and vice versa, in my opinion it is best not to separate them, but to see it as one intertwined entity, although physical and mental health is often quoted separately, suggesting that they are apart and not the same, in fact, if one is detrimentally affected for whatever reason, the other will also feel the impact of that affect.

Within the physical you will find the emotional.

For instance, if you have the flue or a bad cold. your usually not going to be in a content or happy state of mind, and if you feel anxious your physical self will show symptoms, maybe your heart rate will rise and your breathing become shallow and faster, in some cases stopping you from doing something or starting a panic attack.

Some kinds of medication can make people anxious or depressed, that is just a physical reaction having an emotional impact, from a side affect of the drug that has been prescribed.

Alcohol, although a physical substance, when it enters into the body and reacts with the physical chemistry of the body, it has a reaction that changes the way people react, it provides both emotional and physical changes that can sometimes become extreme in nature

Another way people can understand the how the mind can affect the physical body is when they become sexually aroused after seeing an attractive sexual photo, or after having a sexually stimulating thought, after all the mind can be a powerful physical stimulus.

A poor mental state of mind can lead to poor life choices, people who are overly stressed often forgo healthy eating, or increase their levels of smoking or drinking, and that will in time have a detrimental affect on the physical self, so yes poor mental health can have a negative impact on the physical body.

Anyone doing more exercise and eating well will find it often has a positive effect on the body, as well as having a possible positive beneficial impact, on the persons mental health, if you improve one you will probably improve both.

Poor mental health can kill, problems such as depression can lead to suicidal thoughts and increase the risk of suicide, and that is a direct threat to the physical self.

So take care of both your mental and physical self, see it as a single harmonious entity with two sides that need equal care and attention and you will be better served by both.

lose weight effectively


How you can lose weight effectively.

Why you eat can be more important that what you eat

Many people struggle with the constant battle with their weight, trying to lose weight effectively and reduce body mass and feel fitter and enjoy more energy  is a goal many cannot seem to realise, but there is often an unseen unknown reason why they fail.

Have you ever kept a food diary?

When people write down everything they eat it can be surprising and often some find it very scary to do, in fact some find it very emotionally uncomfortable to do, but it can help you to lose weight effectively

Bad memory or emotional convenience

Most people do not remember everything they eat over a period of time, and you can argue that our memories can conveniently forget what make us uncomfortable.

People who are asked how many cigarettes they smoke will usually lie and give a lower figure rather than face the reality or embarrassment they feel, and it is sometimes the same with food.

People will complain that they can’t seem to lose weight even when they are on a diet secretly knowing they do eat to much, do you know someone like that?

Finding it hard to lose weight?

Recording everything you eat for 14 days can help you understand your eating habits, you must be honest with yourself for it to work, yes it can be scary to do, but remember that the information is not used to punish yourself, but to help you understand what is going on.

If the mountain is too steep to climb, try going around

If you can’t do it, then you may need to rethink your next move to lose weight effectively,  or stay as you are, the choice is yours.

When we eat and why we eat is a complex area and using therapy to help identify the emotional food triggers can help people to renegotiate their thinking and change the emotional responses around food, I won’t lie, it can be difficult to do, but it is possible to find success as many of my clients have.

One common emotional problem stopping people having a healthy relationship with food is low self-esteem and sometimes learned behaviour also plays its part, did your parents always give you sweets or other food to stop you from crying if you were hurt or upset, or to give you something to eat so you stopped annoying them?

Having therapy can sometimes lead to some surprising discoveries and even change peoples lives, are you worth investing in?

Find help here



How do we cure depression naturally?

How do we cure depression naturally?

Well it seems that just by taking food supplements or natural remedies
and keeping fit people can cure depression, or so some websites and products claim, I do believe that this can help some people who suffer with depression in some instances, but just to claim it cures depression makes me think this is wrong, it must be just another cure-all advertisement, to make money based on dodgy ideas or unfounded research for pulling in the cash from desperate people.

And what type of depression are they talking about, Major depression or Dysthymia for instance? not all depression is the same.
What makes me sad is that some people suffering with depression will try
anything to find a cure or find release from the suffering they have
come to understand as depression. unfortunately big claims are not always what they seem but are in fact just a marketing ploys to part you from your cash.

In some cases natural remedies  could possibly provide some limited help, as will eating a good varied diet and exercise, depression can be a complex and a very personal experience and not to be confused with feeling a bit down or upset. If we could cure depression with such simple practices we would have no people suffering with depression, a cure is just that, like how medicine can CURE some diseases and infections.

Well the unfortunate truth is we cannot cure depression just by using drugs or supplements, normally drugs like antidepressants can help in the short term or when combined with counselling or psychotherapy, but supplements on their own are not going to provide any benefit if you eat well.

If your interested in using supplements or natural remedies remember
that even if they can help reduce symptoms or help in other ways, remember what are called natural remedies can actually behave just like drugs and can come with side affects, so remember to check with your Doctor, because even a natural remedy can interact with any medication your taking at the time and lead to some serious consequences.

Eating well and regular exercise is always good for you and worth trying as it will have a positive result in one way or another.


What have you found helpful for your depression?

Need support with a relationship brake up or divorce

Going through a relationship brake up or trying to struggle with a divorce?
It can feel like the end of your world, the emotions involved can be overwhelming and feel impossible to handle, everything from anger and rage to despair rejection and embarrassment, all valid emotions people feel in such hurtful life changing experiences.

Friends and family are an important support network usually offering love care and concern, I say usually because unfortunately some people do not have supportive family’s, sad but true.

In such time being on your own can be a good thing, allowing some time away to heal can be very helpful, shutting the door and having a good cry is what many people do, a bit of me time to feel sad in a safe place is often very helpful now and then.

Some times people going through such traumatic life changes can feel isolated or don’t want to overburden their friends to much so keep some distance, this can leave people to feel lonely and isolated, not a good place to be in such painful times.

Healing takes time, and how fast you will heal will depend on the feelings and emotions involved, the way it ended and the situation that is left for you to cope with, there may be children to consider or there may have to be ongoing contact for other reasons.

This is where online therapy can be very helpful, you can talk in confidence without feeling you are overburdening anyone, express your feelings and thoughts in a safe space, I know talking does help

Hypnotherapy live online?

I got an e-mail asking why I do not provide hypnotherapy over skype?

To be honest I have tried it, I had some volunteers and did a few sessions of hypnosis over skype a few years ago.

It was in general a problematic experience for both me and the client.

A very important consideration was the inability to control the clients environment, instances of people visiting delivering parcels or phone calls could disrupt the session and not forgetting the quality of the client’s equipment, good quality head phones and a comfortable chair seemed to affect the ability to induce a trance state or deep relaxation, as most people at the time seemed to spend the minimum required on a headset and chair.

Also problems with back ground programs like antivirus programs starting up and disrupting the service due to no keyboard or mouse clicks from the client could also be a problem after some time of no interaction.

So yes it does work but as far as charging a fee for hypnosis delivered over the internet live, I can’t provide it as an online service as yet, not without the possibility of upsetting clients and possibly giving them a unsatisfactory experience.

I’M not saying it won’t happen and there are therapists providing that service right now, but at this time for me it’s not an option I feel comfortable doing for the foreseeable future.

Can you change who you are by using online therapy?

Who are you, find out with online therapy
I am?

If I said the way you think and feel about yourself can either help you see the possibilities and choices you have, giving you a sense of direction and control in life, or actually by restricting your ability to see the options you have leaving you struggling to find a way to hold on to your autonomy.

If someone feels helpless to change their situation or circumstances they can become stagnant unable to see a way out, or find any motivation to attempt to change their life, increasing the risk of developing mental health problems like depression.

It is not just about your self-confidence, that’s just an easy way to explain the complex inner relationship between our self-esteem and our ability to interact with the outer world. So all we have to do is think and feel differently and everything is going to be much better? Well yes, and no, your ability to change how you feel by challenging your old ways of thinking can be a difficult transition for most people and this can take time to achieve.

Online therapy can help you say no when you need to
Saying no to others is often about saying yes to yourself

A good way to think about this is looking at why some people who want to say no just can’t, forever trapped in a cycle of saying yes to others when they need to say no, always doing what others want and unable to stand up for themselves, its as if they can only see one possible option.

What stops people from protecting their own independence by saying the word no more often is about the way they think and feel about themselves, if someone has issues around their self-worth they find it harder to say no to someone they see as being worthier than them.

So, if you can change the way you feel about yourself by challenging your thinking and increasing your self-worth, in time you will automatically feel more able to stand up to the people who you now see as equals and as equals they become less threatening and saying no when you need to more often is not wrong.

People can be affected by all kinds of experiences in life such as experiencing verbal physical or sexual abuse, being bullied and even from becoming unemployed, there are many more experiences in life that can lead to people developing poor levels of self-worth or even the more extreme version, self-hate.

You do not have to suffer in silence, this online therapy service can and does help people challenge and change their own ways of thinking and in turn change how they feel about themselves. But I also understand that this can be difficult to achieve and everyone has to be ready to make the necessary adjustments in their own time, it is of real importance that therapy empowers people to make changes and never forces them in to taking steps they are not ready to take, that just sets people up to fail, and that can make it even harder to find progress.

What changes do you need to make in life?


Another new year’s resolution? two common reason why it can fail.

Just a quick thought on new years eve resolutions and how online therapy can help support you to do what you need or want to achieve in the new year.

New Year’s Eve is almost upon us, and this time of year has diverse meanings for people, some see it as a positive new start or opportunity and look at the new year with hope, others live in fear of the future and can see no reason to celebrate, some see it as a time for remembering and reflecting on people who have passed for life and have contemplative thoughts on the events of years gone by, or just acknowledging the passing of time and its importance to them.

What ever it means to you there is no doubt that people often use this time of year to try and make personal changes, anything from giving up smoking and drinking to making promises to get more exercise and finally starting that diet, some people do manage to do what they set out to achieve, but I think its fair to say that the majority don’t succeed, after a few weeks some slip up or give up, why is that when they set a date and feel motivated? There are a couple of common reasons why people fail to succeed.

1/ A lack of preparation.

If you’re not one of the fortunate people who just wake up on new years day and just decide at that moment in time to just stop doing what is not good for them and succeed in doing it, whether its stopping smoking/drinking or being more assertive, then you need an approach that gives you the best chance of making it a successful new year’s resolution and that mainly requires motivation and preparation.

Sometimes you may know what you really want to change, and you want it so badly that you get a knee jerk reaction to do it right then on new years eve, perhaps it is powered by intense feelings of guilt or shame that manifests into an emotional desperation that leads to an ill prepared attempt that turns out eventually to be unsuccessful.

Sometimes making changes in life can be a major task that needs both preparation and support for it to have the best chance of it being successful, just telling people what your going to do loudly is not always a very effective method of motivation, it can just lead to feelings of being seen as a failure later on and that may make it even harder to restart the changes you want to make in the future.

I talk to lots of people who want to make life changes and I find that everyone is unique, people have to take account of differing strength’s and life complications that need to be taken in to account to help them plan and prepare to help them succeed in what they want to do.

2/ Not being truthful with yourself.

This is a complex but important aspect of making personal changes, if you want make a change in life you need to understand why you want to make it, is this what you actually want, or are you only doing what you think others want you to do?

If you are only motivated by society or peer pressure there can be problems with feelings of inner resentment or even anger at having to do something you do not really want to do, not a good motivator for successful change, but still possible to do eventually depending on the overriding reasons.
For instance, if your place of employment introduces a strict non-smoking policy or starts requiring regular alcohol and drug testing for the work force you may feel you have no choice but to make changes or otherwise lose your job, if your doctor warns you that continuing with your life style is killing you, once again you may have to make life changes you do not really want  for your personal benefit.

There is a big difference between wanting to make changes, having to make changes and only making changes to please others.

You could argue that you can make changes at any time in the year not just new years eve., so why not start the preparation in the new year, find some clarity, focus and support with some online therapy, then when your ready, go for it on your terms.

Do you want to increase the possibility of success with therapy? If not maybe you need to ask yourself why is that?

This online therapy service has been helping people to make life changes for several years, why wait, give it a try on your terms with no obligation.