My name is Michael Whiteley, and I’m an experienced counsellor, working in North London.
I focus on a way forward in areas including:
What do you want?
The impact of feelings that one denies, represses, are hidden or in shadow.
The challenges of relationships.
Fears of confrontation.
Issues of isolation and loneliness.
Moving on from the limitations of the past.
Rites of Passage from one life stage to another.
To have direction in one’s life with a mission – and what gets in the way of achieving this.
My approach involves creating a safe space where you can begin to value who you are, know that you have choices and can take responsibility for your life.
I offer an assessment free of charge. I work one to one or via Skype. You can reach me on 07940 706 675. Or you can email me: firstname.lastname@example.org
Whatever your concern, I look forward to hearing from you.
What is a “Shadow”?
Shadows are the unknown areas in ourselves that we hide, repress and deny, but which show up as a feeling, or somewhere in your body, in relation to someone else. These feelings can be either positive or negative. Usually we proceed from here to blaming the other person, but in actual fact the other person can be seen as giving you a “gift”, something you might not otherwise have been aware of.
By bringing these feelings to counselling you can shine some light on them – and develop free choice about whether or not you react every time they pop up. This, to me, is taking responsibility for your life instead of the usual “victim” stance that most people wade through life with. This new stance is empowering rather than disempowering; it is about not going down a familiar route.
Your feelings can inform you about what is going on around you. Unfortunately we are encouraged by every aspect of the media to concentrate on what will make us feel good – for example, a new car, clothes, food (with lots of sugar and fat), going to clubs, alcohol, drugs, etc. I am not judging any of this, but the question always to ask oneself is “What am I attempting to avoid?”
What do you do with feelings such as anger, sadness, grief, joy and depression? Feelings and emotions often take control of us, and then we respond with behaviours that don’t really serve us. In counselling we will have a look at these; where they come from and how to move forward. It may not be easy to start with, but through practice, through new ways of thinking and communicating, in time your relationship to them changes, so that instead of denying what is happening, you have conscious choice. It takes courage and perseverance, but change is possible. I can certainly testify to this with my own life!
Do you like yourself?
Sadly the prevailing attitude is “no”. I heard from a leading psychotherapist and doctor that around 90% of his clients with cancer have a low self-worth. And low self-worth stems to a large extent from unresolved feelings one pushes down or covers up (sadness, grief, anger, even joy).
Beliefs are usually taken on board early in life – and we often receive negative messages. We may then act them out for the rest of our lives. This can change through counselling: it is like creating a new script just for yourself!
Just listen to the news: always full of what is wrong. In my counselling and group work I am constantly aware of how easily individuals take on negativity, and how they usually find it very difficult to hear anything positive about themselves, or even to name some positive qualities about themselves!
You could try a little test yourself: in the course of a day notice and write down how many times you are negative, put yourself down, compare yourself in a low light to others; versus how many times in the same day, you actually honour yourself, are truly proud of who you are. You may be surprised. I suspect you are so unaware of doing this. Most people walk through life unconsciously, pushed from pillar to post, and controlled by negativity.
Through working together in a counselling environment, all this can change. To make the changes requires practice, but I have seen individuals transform around difficult areas and issues by first realizing that the same old way of behaviour no longer works. To have a life that is meaningful, fun and makes you get out of bed in the morning – is this not the longing of your heart?
Rites of Passage
Rites of Passage are about working in a group with others to transform areas of your life, a process which goes hand in hand with individual counselling. I have experience facilitating both.
Rites of Passage are about putting a “stake in the ground” to claim your birthright. Through a set of processes conducted in a safe and supportive environment, you can be guided into a new and different stage of your life, having a look at what does not work, challenging beliefs, and moving into a new place for yourself. This is all experiential. We can speak about this process in counselling to see if it is something you might like to experience.
Colour is a revealing medium to work with alongside counselling. What do the colours you wear reflect about your inner world? The colours with which you decorate your home, the flowers you grow, the colours of the clothes you wear; all these reveal something about you, your feelings and emotions.
For example, dark colours may perhaps reveal heaviness, depression and not feeling OK about oneself. In counselling we can explore this area together and discover new expressions of colour for your world.
A mission is a statement of intent. In our counselling session we can look at this to discover what you want for your life and what measurable steps you can take to achieve this. A major block that gets in the way is one’s lack of self-worth, which can be worked with in our counselling sessions.
Counselling in North London by Michael Whiteley.