It is probably safe to say that I was on the verge of being suicidal when I first worked with Gaynor. I had just discovered my husband was having an affair. He continued to lie about the relationship for over three months during which it was our daughters’ wedding, my birthday and our 25th wedding anniversary.
From the very first session, Gaynor gave me techniques to use at home to keep me safe. It might have been a saying or an action but those were literally ‘life savers’. Once the initial horror of what was happening calmed down, I then worked on improving my own self-esteem and learning to cope with life’s ‘knocks’. I learnt how manage my anxiety (which stopped me eating) . With Gaynor’s help I was able to see that relationships I had with other members of my family were so destructive, I was unable to say clearly what I wanted (probably because I didn’t even know what I wanted – it had been beaten out of me as a child). I learnt about ME. I learnt how my own behaviours can impact on others. I learnt not to ‘rush in’ but to deliberate about what I want. I learnt to say ‘no’.
I have come out of the ‘other side’ a calmer, more thoughtful, more resilient individual. I still have some way to go in terms of improving my self-esteem but I can do that in my own time. The urgency of keeping myself safe has now receded.
I’m sure I could not have coped without Gaynor at the time of the discovery and subsequent lying and her continued support in my recovery has led me to be a stronger more rounded individual.
I’m her biggest fan!!
‘Paula has given me the techniques, understanding and confidence to manage my anxiety and underlying faulty thought patterns. Although I had a rudimentary understanding of the various CBT techniques from reading books; I lacked the confidence and direction to apply these in a sustained basis. I found that working with a therapist/Paula was like having a coach that could guide me.
Provided a layered approach to tackle and unbundle what was troubling me. The initial key was to realise that avoiding, suppressing or trying to neutralise my intrusive thoughts was counter-productive. I was given techniques to help me face and be with my anxiety, this being the behavioural part of my therapy. From there the next step was to unravel and challenge what was driving my faulty beliefs and assumptions that were driving the anxiety – the cogs that kept it going.
I would recommend to anyone who is being troubled by intrusive thoughts to make an appointment and not be embarrassed. This was my initial worry as my thoughts were quite bizarre and disturbing; yet I encountered a totally accepting environment.
Remember that the hard work has to be done by yourself and there is no ‘quick fix’. Accept that there will be setbacks but keep with the practise and don’t give up and eventually you can experience change’.
‘Counselling helped me understand what the underlying issues were and why they were happening. The ways to deal with the issues were particularly helpful for when similar issues arise in the future’.
‘I didn’t believe talking to somebody would help so much. Never been a believer in therapy now i am a big believer’.