Acceptance Commitment Therapy (ACT)
Acceptance Commitment Therapy (ACT) aims to provide a more flexible way of being. It recognizes that people can get stuck and hold on to rigid ways in order to survive the stormy experiences of life. There is an understandable attraction to the pleasantries of life and finding aversion to those experiences that are not so pleasant. It seems we have two options; either to ‘surrender/ soften or suffer’. The conflict between how I want it to be and how it is. This leads to acceptance. How to be open even in the face of adversity in order to lessen the struggle with life’s challenges. Commitment refers to willingness to change things and that acceptance and commitment go hand in hand. From what is unworkable in your life to what can be workable. An ACT therapist can guide you through the labyrinth of the mind to discover helpful ways to ‘not get so caught up in thinking’ and to get into living NOW!
Mindfulness is the energy of being aware and awake to the present moment. It is the continuous practice of touching life deeply in every moment of daily life. To be mindful is to be truly alive, present and at one with those around you and with what you are doing. We bring our body and mind into harmony while we wash the dishes, drive the car or take our morning shower.
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT)
Self-compassion is extending compassion to one's self in instances of perceived inadequacy, failure, or general suffering.
Mindfulness: Self-compassion requires taking a balanced approach to one's negative emotions so that feelings are neither suppressed nor exaggerated.
Temporary moods of feeling low are a common and often normal reaction to the stress of our everyday lives. Depression, however, is an illness that can affect how you feel and behave for weeks or months at a time. When you are depressed, your mood lasts, affecting your sleep, relationships, job, appetite and general ability to function
Anxiety is a feeling of unease, such as worry or fear, that can be mild or severe
Everyone has feelings of anxiety at some point in their life - for example, you may feel worried and anxious about sitting an exam, or having a medical test or job interview. During times like these, feeling anxious can be perfectly normal.
However, some people find it hard to control their worries. Their feelings of anxiety are more constant and can often affect their daily lives
The death of a loved one can be devastating. Bereavement affects people in different ways. There’s no right or wrong way to feel
The metaphor of the seasons and nature’s natural way can sometimes be a useful one to consider and contemplate in that winter can be a period of death and spring of renewal. Nothing stays the same; ‘this too will pass’
Experts generally accept there are four stages of bereavement:
accepting that our loss is real
experiencing the pain of grief
adjusting to life without the person who had died
putting lest emotional energy into grieving and putting it into something new - in other words, moving on
You’ll probably go through all these stages, but you won’t necessarily move smoothly from one to the next. Your grief might feel chaotic and out of control, but these feelings will eventually become less intense
Life Skills & Coaching
For all sorts of reasons, we may not get the life skills provided to navigate our way through life. There are a number of life skills/ tools that can be useful to have. To support and aide our life journey. These tools can be used and integrated like a compass to guide us through stormy & dark times. They can include tools such as
value driven goals
Denis uses a varied number of therapeutic frameworks to empower individuals to make the changes in life they need to make
Love demands the reassurance of touch. Most fights are really protests over emotional disconnection. Underneath the distress, partners are desperate to know: Are you there for me? What is love? It's intuitive and yet not necessarily obvious: It's the continual search for a basic, secure connection with someone else. Through this bond, partners in love become emotionally dependent on each other for nurturing, soothing, and protection.
Experiences of being ‘different’ and or ‘other’ can lead to celebration of identity for some. For others, it can lead to loneliness; confusion; excessive illicit drug use; self destructive and self sabotaging & avoidant behaviours
For some, it can lead to significant mental health issues with suicidal thinking. Many LGBTI people have at various times felt invalidated & susceptible to persistent self checking due to their sexual orientation. Being able to explore these & other experiences/ challenges, through counselling therapy can be empowering and insightful. To discover the natural right to be & experience authentic autonomous - validated lives
Denis has been providing LGBTI counselling therapy these last years’
Low Self-Value / Self-Doubt
Depending on our life experiences, we can have an overwhelming poor self view. Denis recognises that it is not enough to ascertain ‘better self esteem’ and at times this has been compared to ‘placing a plaster on a punctured tyre’. The inflated ego is slowing deflating over time, returning to the default & conditioned experience.
Partly through values & self compassion therapy plus other helpful therapeutic modalities to draw on, Denis aims to provide long term change, whereby connecting to ‘our original nature’ reveals what is required and needed to navigate through the ‘storms of life’. Once this is known; there is no turning back to old conditioned ways.
Existential Crisis / Spirituality
A sacred space is provided for those who wish to explore ‘what is their purpose in life’ and ‘what is the meaning of it all?’ Not having the space to investigate these vital questions, can lead to confusion; feeling trapped and at times, despair. Working out ‘what is it I want from life?’ and ‘what is it I aspire to?’ can lead to less struggle. ‘The mind will do anything to avoid the void’
How can I be ok with what is being known and revealed? Denis provides a safe space to explore this and other big questions and by doing so, facilitates potential for vital & vibrant insights to be revealed; integrated and continuous refining to occur
Managing Emotions in Healthy Ways
Emotion comes from the root meaning ‘to be in motion’. Emotions can be experienced in terms of a weather metaphor, where emotions are changing all the time depending on thought processes; internal & external conditions. Depending on our developmental experiences, we can all perceive & live our emotional landscape differently. Some emotions helpful; some not so helpful. Some incredibly painful and to be avoided at all costs
Denis draws on his wealth of Mindfulness practice and Acceptance Commitment Therapy to explore ways to manage our emotions in healthy ways & to reduce avoidance as much as possible. To live life as it is rather than I how I would like it to be.