Graham Griffin, BACP Accredited Counsellor
As a therapist that has practiced for over 20 years and as a man now in my sixties I am particularly aware that many people find it incredibly hard to accept that they need help through personal therapy. The prospect of talking about their inner feelings to a complete stranger seems embarrassing and perhaps shameful. I think that particularly for men to consider personal therapy at whatever stage of their life, can be a very daunting prospect. I know that from my own experience of entering therapy for the first time when in my late twenties. I also know that to be the case from seeing many male clients over my time as a therapist where the struggle for men to accept that they need help that they can't fix on their own can feel painfully difficult to come to terms with.
I work with a philosophical perspective drawn from experiences of my own personal therapy that has lead me to conclude that so much of an individual's past history impacts upon the day-to-day living experiences that brings with it inevitable emotional and psychological distress. Often the significance of past traumas and challenging childhoods are obscured from memory. As a consequence the often painful and disruptive experiences of early childhood emerge in adults as symptoms such as depression, despair, and social challenges of one kind or another. Whilst these current experiences are very real and hard to manage, the focus of my work is with the early period of a person's life that is actually responsible for these day-to-day challenges.
So, for example, relationship problems leading to partnership breakdown whilst distressing and often chaotic, may bring a person into therapy as an indication of a wider relational problem such as an inability towards intimacy or an avoidance of sustained closeness with a partner.
Often, current and episodic depressive feelings are associated with early life experiences where perhaps an individual was implicitly discouraged from expressing what are essentially natural human emotions such as love and intimacy on the one hand but also strong feelings of anger and frustration on the other. As a result, clients frequently report feeling an 'emptiness' in their stomach as if something is missing that often leaves a person with acute feelings of aloneness and a sense of hopelessness.
I offer what I hope is a safe space for individuals to feel able to explore feelings and emotions that have perhaps never been permitted to be fully expressed before. For some people this takes longer than others and for many it is a like a gradual unfolding of their past feelings. However long it takes for these past often buried feelings to emerge, I aim to be there for each individual as a consistent and supportive confidante.
Equally I see my role as an honest challenger to what I often experience in clients as quite pernicious negative perceptual distortions towards themselves. Like a sense of deep shame or ‘not good enough’ feelings. Some people develop very strong avoidance mechanisms to protect themselves from their own feelings. This is where my role is crucial to avoid collusion by being straightforward and honest within a context of valuing each individual who enters into therapy with me.
Over time, with consistent weekly attendance and with a willingness to increasingly engage with these current feelings comes a gradual easing of the emotional pain. Sometimes this process of therapy is described as a 'reawakening' of long forgotten feelings. As these feelings become more accepted and acknowledged so the prospect of a more positive outlook towards 'self' and indeed the world may begin to emerge.
Without any commitment beyond the payment for my time, you are very welcome to come along and meet me for an initial session so that we can work together to explore the possibility of us developing a counselling relationship between us.
Training, qualifications & experience
MBACP (Accredited), UKRC Registered Individual Counsellor, Post Graduate Diploma in Counselling Supervision, Diploma in Integrative Counselling, Certificate in Psycho-synthesis, Certificate in CBT, Cert Ed in Education & Training Post Compulsory Education & Training.
Over 20 years experience as a therapist in private counselling practice.
I am also a qualified counselling supervisor.
Registered / Accredited
Being registered/accredited with a professional body means an individual must have achieved a substantial level of training and experience approved by their member organisation.
British Association for Counselling & Psychotherapy
BACP is one of the UK’s largest professional bodies for counselling and psychotherapy. Therapists registered with the Association fall into a number of different membership categories such as Individual Member, Registered Member MBACP and Registered Member MBACP (Accred), each standing for different levels of training and experience. MBACP (Accred) and MBACP (Snr Accred) members have achieved a substantial level of training and experience approved by the Association.
Registered members can be found on the BACP Register, which was the first register to achieve Accredited Voluntary Register status issued by the Professional Standards Authority. Individual Members will have completed an appropriate counselling and/or psychotherapy course and started to practise, but will not appear on the BACP Register until they've progressed to Registered Member MBACP status.
All members are bound by a Code of Ethics & Practice and a Complaints Procedure. Accredited by the Professional Standards Authority.
Accredited register membership
Accredited Register Scheme
The Accredited Register Scheme was set up in 2013 by the Department of Health (DoH) as a way to recognise organisations that hold voluntary registers which meet certain standards. These standards are set by the Professional Standards Authority (PSA).
This therapist has indicated that they belong to an Accredited Register.
Areas of counselling I deal with
Individual Counselling - £60.00 per session
Supervision - £75.00 - 1.5 hours
I offer Supervision sessions to Counsellors.
The primary focus of clinical supervision is evidently towards serving the needs of your clients. Additionally, my supervision aims to encourage continual self-monitoring of how your personal history has the potential to influence your client-work.
By its very nature, counselling makes considerable demands upon all of us that practice. Therefore we work with an expectation and an acceptance that all counsellors have the potential to become over-involved, ignore some important point, become confused as to what is taking place within a particular client or have undermining doubts about their own usefulness.
My approach is to recognise and acknowledge that it is difficult, if not sometimes impossible, to be objective about one's counselling. Accordingly, my supervision is intended to be an opportunity to discuss in professional confidence the challenges that you are grappling with in your practice.
In doing so we can monitor the relationship between you and your clients to maximise the therapeutic effectiveness of the relationship and ensure that ethical standards are adhered to throughout the counselling process. I think that this approach best serves you, both as a person and a professional, and as a consequence provides crucial safeguards for your clients.