Richard Leah BA(hons) MBACP Accredited
01 296 658 377
I have been involved with psychotherapy and human growth for forty years - working alongside people in mental health, social work, education and the commercial world.
I embarked on my own personal therapy journey back in my twenties - a basic requirement before one can help other people on their journey; therapists are not people without problems - the good ones just know what their problems are and have worked out how to be with them, to avoid them interfering with their professional work) .
One never finishes the journey - the learning; although much older and wiser I still see myself as a fellow traveller.
Over the last few years therapy/counselling has often been presented as you being fixed by an expert in your 'problem' -as if one were attending a dentist to have a tooth extracted. Its not like that of course.
You are the only one who has experienced your problem so I focus on working with you to help you clarify what the problem is. Then, we can shift to how to resolve it; you are the only one who can know what is appropriate for you -so we will then be exploring those possibilities - from your point of view. And of course, finally, the decision about what to do will come from you - when you are clear and when you are ready.
At this point in time it may sound impossible that you could find a way through your current problems but it can and does happen. And in the process of finding that way forward you become better equipped to face future problems.
I don't claim to be able to fix hundreds of categories of 'problems' -because those are just labels. I know what the labels are - but I work with you, a unique human being - not with a label; the label is just what shows on the surface - like a bruise. The label can be a handy shorthand but whatever is behind the label is unique to you; your bereavement, your anxiety, depression or confusion is unique to you - so there can be no preset formula to 'fix' it. I listen to you whilst we explore your feelings and experiences. Out of exploring will come different ways of seeing the issues and from this will come different ways of dealing with them.
Training, qualifications & experience
I have my own private practise. In the past I have worked as a therapist for Social Services, the NHS and for a F E College I have also provided counselling to the Police and the Fire Service. My work has included running therapeutic groups and anxiety management groups. I am also a trained yoga teacher and have considerable experience of Bioenergetic therapy which contributes to my knowledge of the mind - body link.
I have experience of and am qualified as, a social worker.
I have also worked in education teaching liberal studies and sexual relationships.
I have worked in the commercial world -including engineering and software.
As a young man I set out to experience as much of life as I could - from working on building sites to nursing, from working with the homeless on the streets of London to working -and living - as a decorator in Amsterdam. I've been a bus conductor and a manager in a major software company. This too is part of the relevant experience I bring to my work as a therapist. And parallel to that experience is my emotional experience; I have lived my life as fully as possible -and like so many human beings have had times of both great happiness and of great sorrow and pain. All that comes together to help create the person I am - the person, the counsellor and therapist that you will encounter on meeting me.
Diploma in Counselling; Middlesex University at Harrow College; 2001
Certificate in Group Facilitation: Norwich Centre with Professor Brian Thorne: 2003
Certificate in Brief Counselling: Psychology Matters with Dagmar Edwards: 2005
Year 1 of Institute of Group Analysis: Bedford: 2005 ( not an approach I warmed to)
Advanced Diploma in Therapeutic Supervision: Warwick University: 2007
Accredited (MBACP) with BACP
UKRC Registered Independent Counsellor
Member World Association of Person Centred and Experiential Psychology
Diploma in Social Work: CCETSW: Oxford Brookes University 1996
BA (Hons) Humanities: 1975
My personal experience - which I regard as an essential precursor to training to be a therapist - includes 300 hours of my own one to one personal therapy and 1,000 hours as a participant in group therapies.
As a one to one therapist I have seen over 250 clients, providing about 3000 hours of therapy.
As a group therapist I have facilitated ongoing groups over a five year period
As a trainer I have taught counselling - and this has been very valuable experience -because I have been asked so many searching questions -to which I had to find the answer within me and within the knowledge base of counselling
Accredited register membership
Areas of counselling I deal with
- Low self-confidence
- Low self-esteem
- Passive aggressive behaviour
- Personality disorders
- Relationship issues
Other areas of counselling I deal with
Anything; I work with you
The labels attached to people -or adopted by them - are often just a hint of whatever symptom is on the surface whilst the deeper problem - the one that may be the root cause of the distress - may be something else; I support you in facing both the symptom and the possibility of an issue at a deeper level.
The Engineering Stuff
- And, having said that, whilst on our exploring it may become clear that something like eg anxiety symptoms, are interfering with your ability to live your own life; If you wish I can work with you to reduce those 'mechanical' symptoms. This may mean looking at breathing, body posture, relaxation, eating patterns etc
some people are clear about what the issue is and just want to focus on that. For others there is maybe a general feeling of life not feeling ok, not as they hoped; maybe nothing they can quite put their finger on - maybe just a general anxiety or feeling sad - or conversely a feeling of carrying a heavy weight around. It could be that you want to look at the meaning of life - of your life. It may feel as if you want to take a look at where you are going.
Any of this could mean you are interested in what is often called personal development; in growing personally, in becoming the best that you can be ( not the best that someone else can be or that someone else wants for you!) It is often spoken of as a journey - an exploration. Its going off the beaten track perhaps - perhaps at times there won't even be a track visible. And there are no maps, no rules. I have done my own exploring and am there to accompany you on your journey wherever you choose to go.
I charge £40 for a one hour session. (I don't do that 50 minute thing - and I don't rush you out of the door). The first session is £20. This first session is an opportunity for you to establish if you want to continue to work with me
Some clients find longer sessions more productive and I am happy to discuss that at any time.
TO CONTACT ME: The easiest way to set up an appointment is for us to compare diaries over the phone, so I suggest you phone my landline: 01 296 658 377
If I am not available you can leave a number for me to get back to you (I will be discreet)
If you choose to e mail that's fine but it generally takes longer to establish a mutually convenient date to meet.
The importance of the relationship in counselling leads me to suggest that you regard our first session as an exploratory one where you decide if you feel comfortable working with me.
Although I am a qualified supervisor of counsellors and psychotherapists I no longer provide supervision.
Maps & Directions
Type of session
|Face to face counselling:||Yes|
I am available most days. Please feel free to phone me; if I am not available at that moment leave a message or go to my e mail and I will get back to you.
Types of client