Christopher Mills, MA, DipHIP, UKCP
COUPLES THERAPY AND DIVORCE MEDIATION IN BATH
If your relationship is struggling, the temptation might be to keep quiet about your problems, brush them under the carpet and hope that things improve of their own accord. This is completely understandable, but probably not helpful in the long run. To seek professional support at a time like this is a brave move, and a positive one. Talking things through with a trained specialist who is empathic but not otherwise connected to your daily life can relieve stress, bring heightened awareness of what's really going on, and open up new possibilities for how to move forward.
I specialise in Couples Therapy. I help couples in distress identify the past and present causes of their conflict, and support them to work towards sustainable and meaningful change. This usually involves looking at the differences between you in a fresh light - differences in values, expectations, communication styles and stages of individual growth. Although this process can sometimes be very challenging, many couples with whom I've worked over time experience a profound renewal of intimacy, fulfilment and energy in relationships that had previously lost their way.
My experience suggests that success in long-term couple relationships depends on the couple sharing a particular belief about conflict - that it's normal, inevitable and needs to be talked about rather than avoided. The benefits that come from being able to do this make for less brittle and defensive communication, and greater tolerance of the many differences that inevitably exist between two people - differences that probably formed part of what attracted them to each other in the first place. If managing conflict is a big issue for you, don't be disheartened. You're not alone. Most of us were never taught to understand that conflict isn't just dangerous, it's actually an attempt to communicate the need for positive change. It may be that I can help you harness some of your most difficult feelings in a way that brings about a new lease of life in a relationship that had reached deadlock.
The core value that I bring to my work is that the agenda is driven by you, not me. My role is neither to save your relationship nor to be the cause of it ending. It is to help you be as aware as you can be of who you are, how you want to live your life, how your relationship together fits that vision, or doesn't, and how to creatively work towards whatever needs to change. All decisions that are reached will be yours, not mine. But I will do what I can to ensure that those decisions are as well informed as they possibly can be.
Divorce Consultancy and Mediation
If you approach me, either individually or with your partner, to look at the possibility of separation or divorce, I will support you both as you assess your options and will help you to be as clear as possible that the choices you make are carefully thought through and their implications fully considered.
If you decided to separate, I would be available to work with you through each stage of the process, right through to divorce and beyond if that was your choice.
My work with you could take one of two forms.
a) Collaborative Divorce
I would be in a position to offer an interdisciplinary service based on the Collaborative philosophy, which turns all our traditional notions about divorce on their head. It is a radical non-adversarial approach to family transition in which psychological, legal and financial professionals work together for the long-term best interests of both partners and their children. My role would be to support you through the emotional challenges of the process, enabling you to focus in a more holistic and informed way on the legal negotiations that would then provide the fine detail of your settlement. Collaborative Divorce combines a joined-up interdisciplinary process with an approach that is flexible and case-sensitive. In other words, it's about you. Through constant dialogue between ourselves and with you, my colleagues in the family law and financial advice sectors and I would be committed to making sure you saw the right professional for the right reason and at the time that is uniquely right for you. This might even include your children getting their own expert support from a child specialist, if they were obviously in difficulty but struggling to express it. And, if you and I had already been working together for a while, I would be in the position of being able to recommend particular solicitors that I think you would personally get on well with.
Alternatively you might choose mediation. Here I would be offering you a short series of highly structured proposal-making sessions, focused on the welfare of your children and the division of your financial and material assets. Depending on the issues under discussion, I often choose a co-facilitated mediation model, working alongside my colleague Richard Sharp. Our different backgrounds provide a wide breadth of perspectives from which to view the challenges involved in re-shaping family life, so that proposals reached are as well-informed as they possibly can be. These proposals would be entirely yours. As individuals, during and after the mediation, you would seek your own legal advice to ensure the viability of the agreed proposals. Richard and/or I would assist you in this by providing detailed summaries of your proposals in a format immediately accessible to your legal advisers. In situations where sufficient trust still exists between the two of you to maintain a co-operative dialogue, mediation can greatly reduce the financial and emotional costs of divorce.
Whether you already clearly know what you want, or are in complete confusion, please feel free to contact me, in confidence and without any obligation. My aim is to work with you from your own starting point, wherever that is. The agenda is always yours. I'll do what I can to help you define it and move forward with it, in your way and at your pace.
I have been in continuous private practice as a psychotherapist in Bath for the past twenty years. My consulting-room is in the heart of the city, two minutes from Queen Square, the Circus and Milsom Street.
Training, qualifications & experience
- MA in Humanistic & Integrative Psychotherapy (Middlesex University)
- Certificate in Family Mediation (ADR Group)
- Diploma in Humanistic & Integrative Psychotherapy (BCPC)
- Registration by the UK Council for Psychotherapy
- Couples therapy training by Jill Gabriel
- Certificate in Supervision (Centre for Supervision and Team Development)
- Collaborative Family Consultant registration by Resolution
- Academic tutor and internal examiner for BCPC/Middlesex University MA programme
- Further training in Family and Organisational Systems theory
- Further training in Coaching by Anaptys/Julia Vaughan-Smith
- BEd Honours in Applied Primary Education (Lancaster University)
- Member of UK Council for Psychotherapy, International Academy of Collaborative Professionals, ADR Group Family Register, Bath Centre for Psychotherapy and Counselling Association, Institute for Reflective Practice
As well as a private practice mixing individual and couples therapy, divorce counselling, supervision and training, I also have 10 years' experience as a staff member at the Bath University Counselling Service and 11 years' experience as an NHS Primary Care counsellor.
Areas of counselling I deal with
- Adoption issues
- Affairs and betrayals
- Anger management
- Anorexia nervosa
- Antisocial personality disorder
- Asperger's syndrome
- Avoidant personality disorder
- Binge-eating disorder
- Bipolar disorder/Manic depression
- Borderline personality disorder
- Bulimia nervosa
- Career counselling
- Child related issues
- Chronic fatigue syndrome/ME
- Couples counselling
- Debt counselling
- Dependent personality disorder
- Domestic violence
- Drug abuse
- Eating disorders
- Emotional abuse
- Gender dysphoria
- Generalised anxiety
- Histrionic personality disorder
- Internet addiction
- Learning difficulties
- Low self-confidence
- Low self-esteem
- Narcissistic personality disorder
- Obsessive compulsive disorder
- Obsessive-compulsive personality disorder
- Panic disorder
- Paranoid personality disorder
- Personality disorders
- Physical abuse
- Post-traumatic stress disorder
- Postnatal depression
- Pre-nuptial counselling
- Pregnancy and birth
- Psychosexual therapy
- Relationship issues
- Schizoid personality disorder
- Schizotypal personality disorder
- Seasonal affective disorder
- Self harm
- Separation and divorce
- Sexual abuse
- Sexual issues
- Tourette's syndrome
- Work related stress
My aim is to work with you sustainably. That is, for you to benefit from the services I offer for as long as you need them, at a price you can afford that is also affordable by me. In certain circumstances some of the figures below may, therefore, be negotiable. All fees are inclusive of VAT and are for the session time rather than per person.
- Initial hour-long assessment meetings, £120;
- Relationship and couples therapy, £120 per hour;
- Interdisciplinary divorce consultancy, parenting coaching and family consultancy, £120 per hour;
- Mediation (single facilitator), £270 per 90-minute meeting;
- Mediation (co-facilitated), £585 per 90-minute meeting;
- Monthly supervision, mentoring or debrief meetings with legal, health or social welfare professionals, £120 per hour;
- Individual weekly or fortnightly clinical supervision for counsellors and psychotherapists, £70 per hour;
- Professional or organisational training and consultancy, £750 per half day.
Type of session
|Face to face counselling:||Yes|