Soulful, Compassionate Counselling:
With Alex Moseley, MBACP counsellor
Psychotherapeutic Counselling in Exeter & Chudleigh Knighton, Devon
*During the current Coronavirus pandemic, sessions available online via Skype /Zoom and by telephone.*
Free exploratory first session.
"Maybe you are searching among the branches for what only appears in the roots" Rumi
You may be feeling anxious, confused, angry, sad, ashamed, envious, lost or uncertain at the moment.
Most clients that I see have tried lots of different ways of managing their lives, their thoughts and their feelings, in the hope that they can fix themselves and return back to life being 'normal'.
I offer what most people think of as 'therapy' - sitting together, talking, exploring thoughts and feelings, working with the parts of us that may feel vulnerable, lost, abandoned, low... and at the same time, I offer an approach that goes deeper than merely fixing the symptoms of our unease, sadness, lack of meaning and sense of disconnection.
Rather than focusing on getting rid of your 'problems', you and I will aim to make sense of them, asking what the deeper part of you may be trying to communicate as you face them. The problems may well change, or disappear, but as we turn towards this part of us, exploring the hidden valleys, the dark forests and the breathtaking mountain peaks within us, we begin to notice what is being communicated. We may find that our life naturally changes in ways that weren't expected and yet is richer, more intimate and more meaningful.
We listen together for how our anxieties, our moods, our anger, our fear, our passions (and lack of it) may be signalling to us something that we need to know. Life can feel like a rush to simply manage, to surf the waves of problems while keeping your head about the water. We may have written off our deepest yearnings and hopes as ‘pie-in-the-sky’. We may be too tired to even think about them. We can get too literal about them, and it might be helpful to listen for the whispers of our deepest self in images, dreams, stories and myths, and our body’s movements…
If we can pay attention in this way, then maybe we can re-view and re-imagine our own history and make new, fresh meaning of our lives, and choices that align with our deepest yearnings and desires.
Compassion is at the heart of my approach. Sometimes clients say that they are worried that being compassionate will make them less able to cope. Victorian attitudes about ‘tough love’ lie deep within our society, often in our families and attitudes towards school discipline and ‘being productive’. In my experience, developing the ability to be compassionate towards ourselves softens the harsh inner critic within each of us, and we find ourselves better equipped to face our reality, shaming and blaming ourselves (and others) less.
What do we do in a counselling session?
Often the work begins with finding a safe way to feel the emotions that may be present, or may be difficult to access within. We may work with paying attention to what is happening in the body and in the relationship between us, or in our conversations we may draw on myth, self-soothing techniques, archetypes, story, artwork, movement, ritual and looking through the lens of depth and soul.
Who am I?
I am a qualified counsellor, offering private counselling sessions to adults and young people. I also work at Force, Exeter’s cancer charity, offering counselling and support to adults and young people diagnosed with cancer, and their relatives. I have a background in training health and social care professionals and young people, particularly in the areas of sexual health, safeguarding, intimacy and sexuality. In addition to being a qualified and experienced counsellor, I am currently training to be a psychotherapist.
Call me on 07834 066150 or email me at email@example.com to arrange a free exploratory first session or for a chat to find out more.
Welcome to my website. I hope you find something here to support you.
I am a qualified psychotherapeutic counsellor and trainer, working with clients since 2014, and offer counselling in Exeter and Chudleigh Knighton.
I am registered with the British Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP) and with the United Kingdom Council for Psychotherapy (UKCP).
In addition to working one-to-one with adults and young people, I am an experienced group facilitator. I currently co-facilitate a support group for women with secondary breast cancer. I most recently co-facilitated a men's group at the University of Plymouth during the 2017-18 academic year, where I also ran sessions for students on managing low mood and anxiety.
I have had the privilege of seeing clients young and old, at different stages of their lives and each facing their own unique challenges.
Many of the clients who I have worked with were seeking support, even if it was very difficult for them to reach out. We are often taught by society to believe that we should be able to manage everything easily, without fuss and on our own. Coming to counselling can be difficult at first if you have taken in the idea that you 'shouldn't' ask for help - and this is very common!
Some were facing a major transition in their lives - whether bereavement, loss of purpose, career change, illness or family issues - and wanted to understand themselves more deeply, to spend time considering how they could live a life that served them better. Others wanted someone to walk alongside them for a while on their journey, to explore creatively what their lives meant to them.
I have worked with clients to explore issues around subjects such as:
bereavement and loss
managing the effects of trauma
serious illness and ageing
family breakdowns and adoption
seeking meaning out of life
career dilemmas and much more.
I am qualified with a Diploma in Integrative Transpersonal Counselling from Re-Vision, a training organisation that specialises in offering counselling and psychotherapy services with a soulful perspective. I am currently in training to be a psychotherapist (2018-2020) which supports working more deeply, attending even further to soul and story, and working on a longer-term basis.
I regularly facilitate workshops on body image, sexuality and intimacy. In recent years I have delivered training to local healthcare workers working in end-of-life care, working with people with cancer (and their relatives), and working in the local hospital. I have also delivered training on running groups and on understanding trauma.
My most recent professional development has been attending a weekend on shame and a 'Poetry, Politics and Psychotherapy' conference organised by Re-vision in London in September 2018. Other recent professional development includes training in Mental Health First Aid and in 'Solution Focused Therapy'.
Why I became a therapist
I became a therapist as I experienced its power for myself. Oh, the relief I felt! Someone to whom I could go every week and who was there to listen to me and my stories, feelings and thoughts. Someone with whom it was ok to feel angry, sad, lonely, excited, confused, hopeful...or numb. Someone who I grew to trust and who modelled such compassion that I could start to treat myself compassionately, too. And someone who was authentic, challenging me in service of me becoming more true to myself, and living my life as the person I knew I was.
Am I the therapist you are looking for? Click here..
what is counselling?
Some people describe it as 'talk therapy' where you would arrange to see a counsellor, for example, me, and we would agree to meet for several 50-minute sessions, most often on a weekly basis.
It is a space for you to bring whatever you need to bring - for example, you may want to talk about the events of the previous week, what is on your mind, your feelings or a dilemma you are facing. Or you may want to say very little, and have time for yourself, knowing that someone is there to see and hear you if you choose.
Take a look at the 'it's good to talk' website, set up by the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP), for their perspective on what counselling is and the benefits. You may find this leaflet helpful -
Does counselling sound intense or scary to you?
I know it did for me! It took courage to make that first call to my therapist. I was very glad that I did it, and that I took the risk.
I felt reassured after my initial meeting with him that I could do it, that it was going to go at my pace and that I didn't have to be a certain way in order to have counselling.
How have other people been helped by counselling?
Some of the people I have worked with have talked about
How they benefited from having time and space to explore their lives
The sense of relief in speaking openly and being witnessed in what they really thought and felt, without being criticised
A renewed sense of confidence, direction and awareness of their own strengths
The sense of being held emotionally as they worked through 'dark and difficult' emotions such as grief, anger and jealousy
Feeling more confident with their ability to manage their own anxiety levels
A greater understanding of the dynamics underpinning their own lives and how they relate to others in their relationships
Take a look at these testimonials to read about how counselling has helped many other people.
Finding a counsellor
The BACP has some great advice on finding a counsellor that is right for you. I found it helpful to take a look at a few counsellor profiles on the 'It's Good to Talk' and on the 'Counselling Directory' websites to help me consider what I wanted out of counselling, and what kind of counsellor I was looking for.
If you sense that it could offer something to you, and something in what I have written appeals to you, please do get in touch.
what to expect
Initial contact and free introductory session
Please do contact me if you wish to ask about counselling in general, or have specific questions about working with me.
If you decide to meet for an exploratory session, we will set a date and time for this meeting which will usually be within a week or two. This session will be free of charge and will take approximately 30 minutes.
The aim of the first session will be for us to get a sense of one another and work out if we both feel we will be able to work together. At this session, we would explore any questions that you may have, what your hopes would be for working together and a bit about what has brought you to make contact. At the end of the session, you are very welcome to take some time afterwards to reflect on whether you would like to continue the sessions.
If you decide to continue, we will then establish a contract for working together that will establish boundaries to support our work together, for example, relating to fees, cancellations and confidentiality.
GDPR and Confidentiality
All counsellors are required to have what is known as supervision. This is a process designed to support our work together by giving me the opportunity to ask questions, reflect and be challenged by a more experienced practitioner. The sessions have strict confidentiality guidelines.
Sessions will be charged at £45 - £50 per session. I ask for payment in cash at the start of each session or by bank transfer before the session.
If you cannot make your session, I will seek to offer an alternative appointment in the same week if possible. Once you have committed to our work together, I keep the slot for you every week. This means that I will ask for payment from you every week apart from when I am away, or when you have given 28 days notice that you will not be able to make the session. I will seek where possible to find an alternative time for us to meet in the same week if you cannot meet due to sickness or a last-minute event.
Ethics and code of conduct
As a qualified counsellor, I am a registered member of the BACP (British Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy) and work within the BACP ethical framework for good practice in Counselling and Psychotherapy. As a psychotherapist-in-training, I abide by the UKCP (UK Council for Psychotherapy) ethical principles and code of professional conduct.A copy of these frameworks and codes can be found on the BACP’s web site at http://www.bacp.co.uk/ethical_framework and at the UKCP website http://www.psychotherapy.org.uk/registers-standards/standards-guidance-and-policies/#standards.
Ideally we would explore any problems during our sessions together, but complaints can be made to the BACP, the body responsible for issues of professional conduct regarding counsellors. For further information, visit www.bacp.co.uk, or call 01455 883300
I offer an integrative approach that draws on different models and theories such as Jungian ideas, mindfulness, archetypal psychology, child development theory, neuroscience and ecopsychology. We may also weave in ritual, myth, and the natural elements into our work together if that suits you.
Compassion is at the heart of my approach and informs all of my work. Whatever you are with, your thoughts and feelings, are offered a space of acceptance.
Evidence suggests that it is the 'relationship that heals', and so our relationship will form a crucial part of our work. We may pay attention to what is going on between us. This may sound scary, or challenging, and it can be! But what happens in the relationship can reveal a lot about what has happened to you and what happens between you and others in your life, and can open up doors to our work that can be illuminating and transformative.
I seek to offer ‘soulful counselling’. This is not about any religious idea of soul. And it is not about aiming for you to be 'fixed' so that you function as society tells you that you 'should'!
Instead it is about exploring together what it is to be alive, what moves, inspires and affects you. This approach includes seeking to feel the quality and depth of your wounding, and creating a life that has more depth, meaning and heart in it.
The soul speaks through story, imagery, dreams, archetypes, symbols and turns of phrase, all of which we can pay attention to in our work together. Our work may support you to ‘re-vision’ the place of emotional wounding in your life, and your hopes, dreams and desires.
The beauty of this approach is that daily life, the niggles, the difficulties, the daily irritations and the little anecdotes, reveal to us the information we need to move towards a more soulful life.