One-to-one, couples and relationship counselling in central Peterborough
Does life feel like it's getting on top of you? Not sure who to turn to? Counselling is an opportunity for you to discuss what's on your mind with an independent professional, where you're given the space and time to work things out in a way that feels right for you.
I'm Thalia Martin, an experienced counsellor – I've been working in mental health for over twenty years, and have a Diploma in Therapeutic Counselling. I have also completed the Open Dialogue Foundation Training. I work with clients experiencing problems in the following areas, amongst others: relationships, anxiety, depression, abuse, bullying, family, panic attacks, stress, bereavement, self esteem, feeling alone, and work/life balance.
I'm an accredited member of the National Counselling Society, and follow their code of ethics. I provide a confidential, supportive environment, where you can explore your thoughts and feelings without being judged. Whether you are looking for open-ended or short-term counselling, my aim as a counsellor is to help you to live your life in a more fulfilling way. Together we can work on finding a way forward for you.
Short-term counselling can help you to deal with a specific problem, and can be very useful. Open-ended counselling is an opportunity to look at things in more depth, to explore underlying themes in your life that are affecting long-term or recurring issues.
My approach is to treat you as a unique individual, with your own experience, understanding and potential to grow. If you've never seen a counsellor before and don't know what to expect, it can seem like a big step to take. I'll do what I can to help you to feel at ease and explain how counselling works.
As well as one-to-one counselling, I also provide couples and relationship counselling in Peterborough. Coming to counselling as a couple gives both of you some valuable time to reflect on your relationship, with an independent person present. This can lead to a greater understanding of the issues that bring you to counselling, and your relationship as a whole. This approach can also be applied between friends, and family members.
My fees are £40 per session for individuals, and £50 for couples. Sessions are 50 minutes long. With couples, I also offer longer sessions of 1 hour and 20 minutes, which gives more time for both of you to explore what's happening for you. The fee for these longer sessions for couples is £60.
You can find out more about my approach, qualifications, training, experience, couples work, and fees on the other pages of my website. If you think I could help you, please contact me by phone or email to find out more. If you decide to arrange an introductory session, we can talk about what you'd like to get from counselling, and how we could work together.
My counselling practice is in central Peterborough, based at 16 Crawthorne Road, Peterborough PE1 4AB – convenient for Market Deeping, Stamford, Whittlesey, March and Corby also – click here to see where it is. There is metered parking outside the building.
Thanks to Paul Thoma for his photographs.
New report from Public Health England on dependence and withdrawal problems
This evidence review looks at problems linked to five classes of commonly prescribed medicines in England, including antidepressants and benzodiazepines. Long term prescribing of some of these drugs continues, even though it goes against guidance and evidence of effectiveness. People who experienced problems with prescribed drugs said they felt uninformed when starting them, and unsupported when problems occurred. Amongst other things, the report recommends a national helpline for patients.
The Council for Evidence-based Psychiatry welcomes the report. You can see their comments at cepuk.org.
Donna Orange makes philosophy interesting
I must confess I wasn't expecting to enjoy Thinking for Clinicians by Donna Orange, but I really have. In this book she explains how the work of five twentieth-century philosophers is relevant to psychotherapy and counselling today. She's saying that listening to clients, and working together with them to find meaning for their often painful experiences of life, can be more helpful than trying to be an expert who claims to know the answers beforehand. The philosophers are Martin Buber, Ludwig Wittgenstein, Maurice Merleau-Ponty, Emmanuel Levinas and Hans-Georg Gadamer. Some of them are difficult to read, but she brings them alive.
TV Detectives are Great Listeners
I've noticed that TV detective Montalbano and his colleague are great listeners. Amidst the carnage that provides the plot for each episode, Inspector Montalbano and his assistant Fazio spend a lot of time with the people involved. They slow things down, give their full attention, and offer the person being interviewed plenty of time to tell their story. They're the best listeners I've seen on TV. I have no idea if real detectives work like that, but it reminds me a bit of what I do as a counsellor. I'm not trying to solve crimes, but to give each client my full attention, and the time to tell their own story.
Civilization and Its Discontents
Sigmund Freud wrote this towards the end of his career, and it can be seen as an assessment of his life's work in a social and historical context. What stands out for me is the way he crashed through taboos about subjects people found hard to talk about in his lifetime. Maybe there are just as many taboos today. He was certainly brave, in questioning deeply held assumptions of "civilized" societies. He opened things up for discussion, and showed how attending to the details of an individual's life can be therapeutic. Freud believed that the values required to hold society together come at a cost to individuals, and I can't help thinking that he's talking about his own discontent as much as anyone else's. In this book, he doesn't choose whether the results of civilization are good or bad overall – but it's a great discussion.
Sanity, Madness and the Family
This book was written by two British psychiatrists, RD Laing and Aaron Esterson. It's based on interviews with families where one member has been identified as schizophrenic. Their aim is to show that the experiences of people with a diagnosis of schizophrenia make sense, in the context of their family relationships and society. The interviews they conducted with family members show how confusing such relationships can be – it's a fascinating book, and relevant today.
An Interesting Read – Mikhail Bakhtin
I've just finished The Bakhtin Reader. Russian philosopher Mikhail Bakhtin provides a collective understanding of psychology, seeing people as continually developing through dialogue with others. This differs from the more individualistic approach to psychology in Western culture. I think both have their place. Bakhtin offers a refreshing perspective on how we interact with each other, and has been a big influence on the Open Dialogue approach to mental health.