Noel Martin MSc/Graduate Dip & MBACP
3 Belmont House
- Can I get by without a therapist?
- Others just get on with it, so why can't I?
- What good is there in talking anyway, I need real change?
- How can a complete stranger help me if they don't know what it's like to be in my situation?
- What would my friends, family or partner think if I start therapy?
- What does it say about me if I admit to needing outside help?
I genuinely appreciate the need to feel independent and to be able to say 'I made it on my own steam.' Rather than admit we need support, we often battle on in quiet desperation hoping that life will somehow improve in time. The thought of asking for help can be an anxious process especially if we are not used to reaching out, but think of it this way--you need not be alone in your situation. If you are willing to take a leap out of your comfort zone, it may just be the first step to finding ways to claim back your life and unlock your full potential.
Where to start ?
Psychodynamic, Psychoanalytical, Humanistic, Person Centred, Gestalt, Cognitive Behavioral, Existential, EMDR, REBT and the list goes on.
So how do I know what's right for me? Regardless of what model of therapy is used, it is my belief that the unique relationship between client and therapist is ultimately the catalyst for change.
Finding the right type of therapy that suits you is very important, but finding the right therapist is crucial. One of the first questions asked when thinking about having therapy is not what model do I prefer but will I feel comfortable with the counsellor? I know this because I ask my clients what is important for them in the process of choosing a therapist, and most if not all, make comments about the importance of feeling at ease when they meet the counsellor.
This is very important because it can be daunting sitting in front of a stranger hoping that you feel comfortable enough to share your intimate thoughts. A therapist you feel at ease with is a good starting point. The more you feel comfortable, the more you are likely to trust and the more you are likely to want to share. I would encourage you not to become too overwhelmed with the confusing array of models of therapy at this stage.
What is Counselling?
In a nutshell, counselling is about being understood and about having another person truly listen to what matters to you in an accepting and non-judgmental environment. The minimum expectation, regardless of how qualified the therapist may well be, is to be in the presence of someone who is genuinely intrigued about your life and how you experience it.
We often try to understand one another by using our own life experiences. Because we don't like the unknown, we often use what information we have at our disposal in building an understanding about others.There is something quite human about using our life experiences as a starting point, but there can be a problem with this:-
The importance of not assuming: I make every effort not to assume how a person feels feel based on my own personal experience. We are all very different in how we perceive or interpret life. Two people standing next to each other looking at the same sunset will see something similar but not exactly the same. It is my intention to try and tune into your unique way of how and why you interpret life the way you do.
Tapping into your potential: Counselling is useful because it takes a neutral position in that it does not impose ideas about how you 'ought' or 'should' be feeling. There are no 'correct' ways to 'get through' your difficulties. Counselling has no set standard for how individuals ought to respond to what causes them distress. Counselling is about unlocking what works for you.
Process can feel strange in the beginning: The actual process of counselling may feel somewhat strange or even frustrating at first. It is not uncommon to feel uncomfortable as you try to understand how it all works. These types of feelings in the beginning are quite typical especially in the beginning as I try to tune into your way of experiencing.
How I work
- I will try to understand how you experience your life from your perspective.
- I will make every effort to not to assume that I know what you feel like simply because I may have had a similar experience, and will do all that I can to treat your experience as something uniquely different from my own.
- It is important to me that you feel safe during therapy and I will continually assess your needs in this respect.
- Clients sometimes ask for my opinion on what would I do in their situation. I choose to respect your own process of finding what matters to you. This can be difficult at first because for many of us we have lost touch with ourselves and have learnt to value the opinions of others over our own. My approach attempts to encourage you to trust in your own inner voice, which I believe leads to a much richer and fulfilling way of moving forward.
Victims of Psychological Trauma
There is a belief that only post trauma symptoms apply only to those in the military--wrong. Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) can occur as a result of any event that is outside of our usual experiences of life. We may have been involved with an event or someone who has gone through trauma, and find that we may be experiencing similar symptoms as those who have experienced the trauma first hand. Many will recover naturally while others remain in a form of psychological 'stuckness' where they continue to re-experience the trauma as though it is still occurring in the present.
The reactions alone to the trauma can be problematic contributing to an artificial benchmark for how we think we ought to be reacting. Understand that there is no correct way of reacting to trauma as we are all very different with unique personal histories. Some would argue trauma is a relative term because a trauma for one may not be for another. It is a very complex and researched area as to why some can walk away unaffected while others suffer. For this reason, those who have been traumatized often add to their own suffering by thier self critical attitude towards how they feel they 'ought' to be coping.
Negative self appriasal--refers to how one assesses self in a negative self demeaning way in the face of and how they react to trauma. Shame is often accompanied after trauma for not 'handling' oneself or for the lack of control over the emerging symptoms. If you are suffereing as a result of your trauma, may I say at this point, you are no less human than those who return to their lives shortly after the event and who appear unscathed. Comparing and contrasting coping styles adds a type of pressure to one's post-trauma performance--may I encourage you to try and not compare at this time. This is a time to be kind to yourself and to find new ways of self soothing. There are reasons for reacting to your experience the way you do, thus, part of my role is to provide you with as much information around your reactions in an attempt to normalize what is going on for you.
Those suffering with trauma related symptoms such as re-experiencing, hyper-arousal, avoidance/numbness may find the thought of talking about the traumatic experience overwhelming. I appreciate the importance of creating the right space for you to feel comfortable before any sharing around the trauma takes place. I have experience working with various forms of trauma and appreciate the importance of feeling safe, protected and in control.
Training, qualifications & experience
Graduate Diploma in Counselling
Psychological Trauma MSc
Certifacte Gestalt Therapy
Mental Health Recovery
BA in Theology
Some experience in CBT (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy)
Intro to Existential Counselling
Intro to NLP and Mindfulness
Dissociation and Somatic impact of Trauma
Areas of counselling I deal with
- Affairs and betrayals
- Anger management
- Antisocial personality disorder
- Asperger's syndrome
- Attachment disorder
- Bipolar disorder/Manic depression
- Borderline personality disorder
- Child related issues
- Chronic fatigue syndrome/ME
- Domestic violence
- Emotional abuse
- Family issues
- Gender dysphoria
- Generalised anxiety disorder
- Hearing voices
- Learning difficulties
- Low self-confidence
- Low self-esteem
- Narcissistic personality disorder
- Obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD)
- Obsessive-compulsive personality disorder
- Panic disorder
- Paranoid personality disorder
- Personality disorders
- Physical abuse
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Postnatal depression
- Relationship issues
- Schizoid personality disorder
- Schizotypal personality disorder
- Seasonal affective disorder (SAD)
- Separation and divorce
- Sex addiction
- Sex problems
- Sexual abuse
- Suicidal thoughts
- Work-related stress
Individual: First session £30 and £40 thereafter
Reduced rates for Students and Student Counsellors £30
Skype session £30
Free parking at Belmont Rd in front of Belmont House. The building has a large white door with a bell. Please make sure to press the bell firmly to ring as it has been known not to work when pressed lightly. I usually answer the door but on occasion someone might get there before me. Belmont House is a base for Adavance Brighter Futures so is often busy with various activities. The two rooms I use are the snug and conservatory. The snug is on the second floor and requires lift access (which is available) for those unable to climb stairs. The conservatory is on the first floor behind the building with its own access. Both rooms are confidential however it must be noted that the conservatory has a hard plastic roof and can create some noise while raining but is still quite conducive to therapy.
Let me know if you have any specific requirements and I will try to accommodate you in any way I can.
I am a member of the British Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP).
Maps & Directions
Type of session
|Face to face counselling:||Yes|
I try to be as flexible to your requirements as I can.
Types of client
|Employee Assistance Programme|