I have always had an interest in human psychology and a fascination with what makes us ‘tick’ as individuals, as well as what makes us stutter, stall and stop. If we are honest, most of us are more familiar with the faulty and failing parts of our body and psyche, than the functioning and well ones.
Life is hard, almost from the start. Our journey, long and meandering – full of obstacles, deviations and blocks. Everyone that we interact with, and everything that we experience, has an effect on us, whether positive or negative. We are complex beings and our take on and our absorption of our environment is entirely unique to us as a species.
Animals suffer slights, grievances, accidents, traumas, tragedies and trials and yet manage (for the most part) not to get affected. Still connected to the innate nature of their being, their primal instincts, they deal with and cope within the circumference of the moment, and then move on.
We, as humans – having lost touch with where we came from and who we once were, who we were supposed to be – do not. This is why many of us find ourselves tangled, tied up in knots. It is also why we are capable of doing amazing and creating infinitely beautiful things, and why I find the study of us, of you and me and others out there who are just like us, so compelling. We are a mystery, a miracle, and the fact that our minds are deeper than the darkest ocean, our potential greater than we can ever imagine, captivates, inspires and entrances me. It is also what has led to my making it my life’s mission to study this field. If I can grasp and gain control over even one percent of the mind’s latent ability: just think what I would be in a position to do?
Like most, I started my journey in the traditional field of counselling and psychoanalysis and devoted a significant amount of time to it. This was fifteen years ago and the field of psychology was a vastly different place.
I sought help covertly, as it was not socially acceptable to seek help openly like it is today. I was ashamed, embarrassed and humbled by my need and by my inability to heal myself. But something had happened to me that I couldn’t move beyond and the reality of that event had manifested into a daily trauma, repeating upon me without warning or invitation.
I was experiencing insomnia, nightmares and regular panic attacks. I could no longer tolerate being touched. I had been sexually assaulted and, although I had no clear memory of what had happened as I had been drugged, I recalled enough to know that something that shouldn’t have had and that I wasn’t alright about it. No amount of self-persuasion could change this. And family and friends failed to have a lasting positive impact. In fact, the blame that some of them dealt me led to my feeling even worse about myself and the event than if they had ignored me and it entirely. I was stuck and living inside a rapidly shrinking box.
Out of desperation, I quit my job and began to work from home. I also withdrew socially and stopped going out, unless it was unavoidable.
When the panic attacks entered into my home, attacking me in my safe place, I knew that it had gone too far, further than I was prepared to permit.
At breakpoint, I called the number the policewoman had given me when I reported the assault and arranged to see someone at the Victim Support Centre. This was the pivotal moment in my life. More than just a big and courageous step, more than just taking responsibility for myself and for my feelings and accepting that I, on my own, had become helpless and stuck: it was the point where my motivation and interest and career plans experienced an acute change in direction, and I began to feel my way tentatively along a new and previously unexplored path.
What followed is far too lengthy a story to share here, but Victim Support led to my realising that counselling was profoundly useful as a life tool and immensely beneficial, not just to one, but to multiple areas of my life. And the more I explored, the more I discovered.
After Victim Support, I began to see a Jungian Psychoanalyst, exploring dream work and art therapy, amongst other interesting and incredibly beneficial things. And as I worked, I studied, reading as much as I could about and around the subject.
One form of therapy led on to another – Behavioural Therapy, Psychiatry, CBT, NLP, Hypnosis, Art Therapy, etc. And I realised that weekly sessions were a gift, quite possibly the best gift I could ever hope to give myself.
Later, when I finally felt significantly healed, free from all of the mental baggage that I had picked up and carried around with me and more whole as a person than I could ever have imagined being able to be, I started to look outwards and made the decision to qualify myself, so that I could share my own experience with others and help them in the way that others had helped me.
My mission is to share the message that I arrived upon as a result of my own journey: it is never too late to fix, to cure, to heal, to change, even to go back and alter (if only in the quantum sense). There is always hope. There is always help. There is always a solution and an answer, even if it isn’t the one you expected it to be at the beginning of your journey.
In between the beginning and the end (i.e. somewhere in the interim), I worked as a graphic designer, a web designer, a literary consultant, a freelance writer, an editor, an art director, a writer, an illustrator and a poet. I also founded, launched and ran a literary arts magazine called Inside Out, which specialised in promoting the expressive arts therapies and encouraging self-development and emotional well-being.
It has been a long and bumpy road with many twists and turns. But it has all led me to a place of arrival, and I truly believe that each fresh experience, whether easy or hard, both pleasant and not, has been part of a necessary lesson, a piece in the puzzle that I am here to complete.
I offer one-to-one sessions in person as well as via Skype. I also hold various workshops, trainings and retreats, alongside my therapist partner and other professionals in the field.
In my work I use a variety of modalities. In each case, I modify my approach to best fit the individual I am seeing.
It is always a predominantly gentle process and, as often as possible, pain free. I have never aligned myself with those who believe that tears are necessary for successful therapy to take place and feel very strongly against re-traumatising and/or victimising the individual, something that is all too easily and far too often done.
My work is centred on personal growth and self-development, along with emotional well-being and physical health. With each case, my approach is different. Whether fast or slow, the results are measurable right from the start. I always work with the client at the speed that is right for them, blending the modalities they are drawn to and feel comfortable with into a technique that fits.
If you would like any further information about how I could specifically help you, or about the workshops and retreats that I and my partner offer, please contact me with your questions.
Additionally, if you would like to enquire about booking a session, please fill in the short form available from the booking enquiry page and email it to me with your request. I will endeavour to reply to all enquiries in person at the first opportunity available.
© Rebecca Atherton | all rights reserved 2014
tel: +34 674 545 238 | email: firstname.lastname@example.org | skype: thelifeenrichmentconsultant