Psychotherapy is to an extent a vocation for the second half of life. The subjective experience I mentioned in the previous page becomes a valuable asset when processed and understood. This is why all good therapists spend a long time in therapy themselves. The training consists of psycho-education, the various approaches and models and our own personal process which then continues throughout our lives.
I have always had an interest in ancient history, and reading history inevitably leads to the thoughts and feeling of those people who lived in past times. What surprised me was the similarities, rather than the differences to modern life. But it is a short step from this to psychology and philosophy which is why I am a psychotherapist today.
So many of our moods and motivations have their roots in unconscious behaviour, which is simply a description of what is not known to us. The source of which are often found in early life attachment issues. As Shakespeare said, we are but actors on a stage, and we can act out. Performing set pieces in order to make us feel a certain way. I work to draw attention to these things, to re-balance the personality and explore the unconscious.
Insight is usually the first stage of therapy, but insight alone is only a stepping stone to change. There is always resistance because we are deeply invested with our sense of self, our idea of who we are and even though that may contain damaging and destructive elements people are often reluctant to give them up. This is often where the real work of therapy lies.
An area of growing interest to me is therapeutic interventions that draw on findings from neuro-science, and the development of the brain. I see the beginnings of a new approach which will bring the two fields together, and I am devoting more and more time to this area of research.
I offer long and short term therapy, I work for employee assistance programmes usually six to eight sessions, also longer term work as required. The first appointment is always an assessment session. There is no obligation or contract to return following this session and I do not hold with trying to bind people into contracts or therapy agreements. I do ask for notice of cancellation of at least 48 hours.
I have in the past avoided collecting testimonials as psychotherapy is an intensely personal experience. However, partly because I have observed that it is now somewhat expected and although rare for the reason outlined above I have decided to add testimonials from clients who have agreed to publish their comments on this website below.
It's been quite a journey! Noel helped me to get to the deeper cause of the issues that were adversely affecting my life and relationships. I found him to be an unerringly calm, patient and kind counsellor, intelligent and vitally interested in his field. He often had an interesting background perspective or different angle, to help me understand better why people act as they do, how much of our lives are dictated by unconscious behaviour and interactions. I was able with Noel's guidance to access the deep places within my soul and psyche, the ones that scare you and you don't want to look at; to open them up and work on and with them for deep change.
I am still "me"; in fact much more "me" than before. I feel like I have gained the quiet, solid, calm inner strength that comes from being truly ok with myself. From this position, it feels like I can do anything.