Matthew Gettins MBACP (Reg)
Wingate Rex & Partners
26 North St
I am a fully qualified therapist at degree level and a registered BACP member, based in the Havant area. I have been perceived as laid back, approachable and easy to talk to, whether discussing a minor concern or a larger problem.
I am a compassionate person because I have experienced great loss myself. I also like to use my sense of humour; only at appropriate times ensuring to show sensitivity within situations. This is purely because I hold the belief that laughter is a wonderful tonic when the occasion calls.
I work with both young people and adults, on whatever's bothering you
I work with a variety of issues, namely whatever someone chooses to bring and explore with the aim to gain a resolution or become more comfortable. Highlighting the most common would range from, relationships, stress, depression, anxiety, anger, bereavement, loss, self-harm, sexual abuse and disabilities. I work with all ages from young people to adults. I enjoy working with young people because this can help shape someone at an early age to overcome the struggles of daily life. This could be learning to cope with relationships, as an example, whether this is friendships, on a professional basis or on an intimate level. This early exposure to relationships can promote resilience, as well as, learn to communicate in a more productive manner.
I also like to work with adults as well because adults have the capacity to go deeper into their issues by explaining in more detail what is concerning them. Through communication this can often be the key to discover hidden meanings or unearth avenues leading to valuable insight. I have the utmost respect for someone who begins the process of counselling in these busy times where life is stressful. I understand the courage it takes to make that first step, seemingly daunting, yet can become an empowering journey.
A bit about me and my own experience of counselling
Well, where better to start than talk about the journey that led me on this path? It was many years ago, when I was going through a difficult time in my own life, I discovered counselling for myself and I realised just how important this experience was. Having someone there who actually listened to me was surreal because I had never had this before. Friends and family gave their opinions and reassurances, with the best of intentions at heart, yet being listened to was ground-breaking for me. This then gave me the space where I was able to resolve these issues in my own life and move on.
I can acknowledge I was resistant to counselling before my own experience, as this was something I would have never considered until it was suggested to me. I can remember feeling anxious about starting counselling purely because I didn’t know what to expect. I knew I wanted to give this a go and equally go into this experience with an open mind. I soon found myself looking forward to these sessions each week because I had the space to explore my thoughts and feelings and make sense of them in my own mind. Having experienced counselling for myself, I found this to be extremely liberating.
The difference counselling made was I was able to feel free, trust the choices I made and ultimately, I became comfortable with who I am. Over the years this experience stayed with me and I changed the way I approach situations. Following my initial exposure to counselling, I realised I wanted to give something back to the profession that helped me so enormously. I simply wanted to help people and help them come to their own conclusions. Changes in my own circumstances meant I was able to take a different direction, I decided now is the time to retrain and become a therapist.
I progressed through the necessary counselling courses and achieved the qualifications along the way. I began the BA (Hons) Humanistic Counselling degree course at the University of Chichester with similar feelings to when I started counselling. I experienced anxiety and a general state of being overwhelmed, these feelings eased and soon passed. Most noticeably, I realised I had developed in the way I would respond to others around me. Not always immediately speaking my mind, taking the time to think of an appropriate response. This meant I matured as a person, with the use of language and recognised my communication skills had enhanced. I became aware speaking from the heart, instead of the hurt, was much more therapeutic for the soul and opened the lines of communication much better.
So, over those years I have grown in stature with personal and professional development blossoming. I now want to work in the counselling field and offer people a place to come that is safe to explore their thoughts and feelings. I have a philosophy that include three main aspects, these are, listening, acceptance and remaining non-judgmental. This involves listening to whatever issues the person has brought to unravel. Accepting he or she for who they are along with their concerns, and I do not have any judgments. I believe those three aspects are of the utmost importance and revolve around therapy, without them the therapeutic process cannot take place.
About the counselling approach that I use
I mainly work from a person-centred background, which comes under the Humanistic umbrella. This is because it is really important to me that the client is at the centre of their own process. I believe that the client always knows what he or she needs at a conscious or unconscious level and will remain the expert of themselves, knowing what feels right for them. I also like to work in an integrative manner at times incorporating challenges from the gestalt approach. Challenging can be very important to unblock someone when feeling stuck with a particular problem. However, on occasions I feel it is useful to work in a more creative fashion where some people find it especially helpful to work within the here-and-now. This could be a case of using drawings, paints, Play-Doh, or even hand puppets, as another form to illustrate what someone is experiencing. During my training on the course I enjoyed the creative way of working. This really helped me open up at certain times and show there are other methods. I found Play-Doh and hand puppets a source of encouragement to express myself and could recognise the power in this kind of work.
Alternatively, I personally find music to be therapeutic, considering the trials and tribulations of daily life. Certain songs or genres of music can be destressing, I would describe listening to music as a way of connecting to a more healing place. This is another form of expressing emotions and moving into a transformational state. I enjoy listening to a diverse range of music from rap, rock, pop, and even classical. There have been particular times in my own life where I found music to be extremely powerful and a great support. This is a simple case of some gentle self-care, used as a distraction or as a change of mood.
Training, qualifications & experience
- BA (Hons) Humanistic Counselling Degree
- Diploma in Humanistic Counselling
- NCFE Level 3 Counselling - Certificate in Counselling Skills & Theory
- NCFE Level 2 Counselling - Certificate in Counselling Skills
- NCFE Level 1 Counselling - National Award in Interpersonal Skills
South Downs College
- Cognitive Behaviour
- Psychodynamic Therapy
- Referral and Supervision
- Group Dynamics
- Human Development
- The Law and Counselling Abused Clients
Portsmouth Counselling Service
- Celebrating Diversity
- NLP - Theoretical Principles & Useful Interventions
- Abuse - What, When & How to Respond
- Introduction to ACT & The Matrix
- Guilt & Shame
Off The Record
- Drug Awareness
- Safeguarding Children & Child Protection
- Sexuality, Prejudice and Diversity
- Mental Health and the Developing Mind
- Information Talk from Victim Support
- Helping Clients/Service Users to get Debt Advice
- Self Esteem, Assertiveness and Anger Management
- Child Sexual Exploitation
- It’s Not Me … It’s My OCD
- ADAPT - Adapt Domestic Violence Abuse Prevention
- The Existential Approach - Is That All There Is
- Children and Young People with Courage
- Loss and Bereavement
- Engaging young people through Play Therapy
- Bereft - The powerful bond of attachment shockingly disrupted by separation, divorce and loss impacting the hearts, minds and lives of young people
- Safeguarding Children & Child Protection
- To develop an awareness of Safeguarding children and young people
- Engaging Young People through Creative Play
I do recognise the importance to maintain information surrounding various subjects that impact on the counselling profession. This is known as, continuing professional development. This is through sources such as, attending workshop training days and watching documentaries. As well as, reading books and journal articles, ensuring I stay up-to-date with current knowledge and broaden my understanding.
I particularly enjoyed the play therapy workshop training day, especially using sand trays. This is a method used to enable someone to go deeper and gain valuable insight in the process. Even though I have attended workshop training days, I do not claim to be an expert. Surrounding loss and bereavement, there are stages of grief, yet there is no fixed pattern. I believe that everyone is different, as this is a sensitive area and is paramount to go at someone’s own pace. This cannot be rushed or have a time scale, remove any pressure, as grief is something that eases in time. This is more of a case of acknowledging that loss and bereavement will take as long as it takes.
Over the years I have gained valuable experience in the field of counselling, beginning in early 2008 when I joined Spotlight, based in Havant. This was a substance misuse service and I began by co-facilitating the men’s group. Following changes within the service, I soon took over this role and became the facilitator of the men’s group on a weekly basis. This was a safe place with boundaries attached, where thoughts and feelings could be shared and explored without being condemned. I gained first-hand experience by actively listening and respecting clients’ real life situations, which proved more insightful than reading any material. I learnt that substance misuse is not always as simple as making a choice, this is an addiction.
I provided relaxation sessions each week for the male members who attended the service. This was a space where music was playing, drifting into a place of total tranquillity, along with candles burning. All in attempt to put outside stress to one side and ease the mind, bringing some calmness into the equation. I also delivered one-to-one counselling sessions with clients when this option was chosen. This was the foundation where my philosophy of listening, accepting and being non-judgmental began. Otherwise without those three aspects it is impossible to present with anyone in a therapeutic way.
I was grateful to Spotlight, who had provided my first opportunity within a counselling service. However, in the fall of 2008 I decided to leave the organisation for a change of direction. I was keen to develop in other areas, so I started work at Off The Record, also in late 2008. Following six months as a support worker, I transferred over into the counsellor role. I began counselling young people aged between 11 to 25, and parents too, who were also entitled to this service. These sessions were all on a one-to-one basis and I discovered being there for a young person was priceless. Without wanting to sound egotistical, this can help shape the core of their lives by witnessing how powerful the art of communication truly is. Enabling someone to talk freely, finding out their needs in life and ensuring these are met over time.
I still work at Off The Record, yet in mid-2013 I joined Portsmouth Counselling Service and stayed until the organisation closed at the end of 2016. This was a case of just working purely with adults and still the approach I took remained the same. I had an urge to expand the age range of clients I could work with each week, in doing so, this broadened my awareness into deeper issues. I always want to learn and evolve around any particular area, in order to gain further growth and understanding. This can only be beneficial for all parties concerned and assist with my on-going development as a therapist.
Areas of counselling I deal with
- Affairs and betrayals
- Anger management
- Anorexia nervosa
- Antisocial personality disorder
- Asperger's syndrome
- Attachment disorder
- Avoidant personality disorder
- Binge-eating disorder
- Bipolar disorder/Manic depression
- Borderline personality disorder
- Bulimia nervosa
- Carer support
- Child related issues
- Chronic fatigue syndrome/ME
- Dependent personality disorder
- Domestic violence
- Drug abuse
- Eating disorders
- Emotional abuse
- Family issues
- Feeling sad
- Gender dysphoria
- Generalised anxiety disorder
- Hearing voices
- Internet addiction
- Learning difficulties
- Low self-confidence
- Low self-esteem
- Obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD)
- Panic disorder
- Paranoid personality disorder
- Passive aggressive behaviour
- Personality disorders
- Physical abuse
- Postnatal depression
- Pregnancy and birth
- Relationship issues
- Seasonal affective disorder (SAD)
- Separation and divorce
- Sex addiction
- Sex problems
- Sexual abuse
- Suicidal thoughts
- Tourette's syndrome
- Work-related stress
- Young carers
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Are you a fully qualified therapist?
Yes I am a fully qualified therapist to degree level and a registered BACP member.
Do you work from home or will you travel out to me?
No, I work in a counselling room based in the Havant area.
Where are you based?
I am based in a counselling room within a local opticians in the Havant area.
What is the cost of the counselling sessions?
These counselling sessions will cost £35 each.
How long do the counselling sessions last for?
These counselling sessions will last for 1 hour.
How regular are the counselling sessions?
Counselling sessions are on a regular basis taking place each week.
Do you offer any concessional session prices?
There are a few concessional prices and can be discussed upon contact.
Do you offer a free initial counselling session?
No, I do not offer a free initial counselling session.
How accessible are you transport wise?
There is a train station and bus station in central Havant and a large car park in Prince George Street.
Do you work one-to-one, with couples or take groups?
No, I work strictly on a one-to-one basis.
What happens if I miss a session?
If cancellations are made 48 hours in advance no fee will be charged.
How do I contact you?
Contact can be made through my mobile telephone number or email address.
Maps & Directions
Type of session
|Face to face counselling:||Yes|
Types of client