top of page
DSC_0954.jpg

ABOUT GREG

A native to year-round sunshine, I am originally from South Africa but moved to the UK in 2000.  I now live in Trowbridge with my wife and children and I run my practice from a comfortable and private therapy room. I am a trained trauma specialist and Somatic Experiencing® Practitioner, and  hold a Master's degree in Counselling and Psychotherapy Practice as well as a diploma in Integrative Therapeutic Counselling. I am the founder of 'Somatic Resilience™', training programme developed to help those on the frontline of social care avoid the significant impact of burnout, compassion fatigue and secondary trauma. I have published academic research based upon my practice in both the British Journal of Psychotherapy and The International Body Psychotherapy Journal.


 



 
 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 My Approach

 I believe that the patterns that reveal themselves in our day to day lives and which prevent us from living wholeheartedly have their origins in the past, however recent or distant, and can manifest themselves not only in our relationships with others, but also ourselves. I recognise that you are an individual and that your experiences are unique to you which is why I make no assumptions about how you might have responded to any given circumstance in your life. By honouring your personal experiences, and those consequent adaptations that helped you survive, we can acknowledge the impact that these events, or people, have had on you. I also believe that it is essential to recognise the brain and body connection in therapy.  Research increasingly shows that what we experience in our minds is not confined to our heads; our bodies respond intuitively to our lived experience and it is as important to listen to our bodies as it is to listen to our heads. While Somatic Experiencing is not used exclusively or needed in all cases, somatic awareness alongside psychotherapeutic interventions is always helpful, whether you're working with, for example, anxiety, stress management, anger or grief. 

Somatic Experiencing
® & Nervous System Regulation

Somatic means ‘of the body’ and the word 'experiencing' is a verb. So, Somatic Experiencing (SE) is simply the experiencing of the body; what it ‘feels’ like. The goal of SE  is to help re-establish a natural balance, or regulation of a dysregulated nervous system.

Your brain and body do not exist independently and becoming aware of how they interact and respond to each other is an essential part of fully understanding your reactions and responses to stressors in your life.  As a somatic practitioner, I work with you holistically which means that I understand the importance of the intellectual as well as the somatic understanding of your life experiences. While your brain may make sense of things, your body experiences them so it is important to attend to both in therapy. Your brain is, after all, a part of your nervous system and so we experience life exclusively through this complex system of pathways.  Somatic Experiencing can help you learn how to settle physiological activation in your body and increase your tolerance to stress or anxiety by drawing intentional focus to sometimes subtle cues of distress or threat. SE is a gentle and natural approach that uses the body’s innate capacity for self-correction and healing. You can read what a session may look like in practice here.


In the case of working with trauma, we may spend more time working with the physical responses than we do in the narrative of the trauma itself. This is because our goal is never to relive the trauma but to renegotiate the experience. We do this by gently introducing small amounts of activation into the nervous system’s memory of a traumatic event, using your body's natural ability to counter the effects of trauma. Somatic Experiencing Practitioners are trained to keep the process slow, intentional and always within your tolerance so that it remains safe and effective.

Why I chose to be a therapist
If you’re going to be a therapist, first and foremost you have to care.  You have to care about people,
and be willing and able to sit with them in their sadness and cheer them in their victories. You also have to be curious about what makes them tick, what they struggle with, what they are passionate about, what they dream about and what is making them feel stuck. You have to want to keep learning because learning never ends and with that knowledge and experience, apply it in playing a role in the empowerment and rebuilding of people’s lives and then, as if you were never there,  become entirely obsolete.


Somatic Resilience™ Training:
I have trained staff and volunteers in the UK and abroad who suffer, not only from the impact of their own personal trauma, but from exposure to the trauma of those they work with. Somatic Resilience offers two unique programmes designed to mitigate the impact of chronic stress and burnout in the workplace. Click here to learn more.

Education:

MA, Counselling and Psychotherapy Practice
Somatic Experiencing® Practitioner (endorsed by Somatic Experiencing International, SOS Internationale & the European Association for Somatic Experiencing)

Diploma in Integrative Therapeutic Counselling (CPCAB)

Professional Body:
Accredited registrant of the National Counselling and Psychotherapy Society (NCPS). As a member of the NCPS, 
I am required to work to a high professional standard, adhere to their ethical framework and commit to continued professional development/training throughout my career.
 

My Research:
1. James, G (2023) The psychological impact of sending children away to Boarding Schools in Britain

   The British Journal of Psychotherapy 2023 (Open Access, free to read or download)
2. The client perspective of Somatic Experiencing as an effective treatment for PTSD. Preparing for publication
    International Body Psychotherapy Journal (2024)
3. Ethics and the Law:  To what extent does the erosion of the presumption of innocence in British courts and in the public   

    arena influence decision making for counsellors.
4. Awareness, management and resolution of secondary trauma: Existing strategies and the introduction of Somatic       
    Experiencing as a healing and preventative modality.

Supervision
All practitioners are required to have supervision once a month to ensure best practice.

My supervisors are:
Anki Karr
Psychotherapist
Somatic Experiencing® Practitioner
Neuro Affective Touch Practitioner and trainer
NARM Practitioner (developmental trauma) 

Tanya Orr
Psychotherapist
Sensorimotor Practitioner


Faith:
My Christian Faith, while important to me, is mine alone and does not enter into any therapy session unless that is an explicit request from you as a client. I felt it important to put this on my profile for several reasons. Firstly, I encourage my clients to be authentic and to boldly live their lives outside of the shadow of the fear of any judgement for doing so. I, then, must do the same. Secondly, Christians coming to therapy sometimes find it helpful to know that they can talk about their Faith freely and without the concern of not being understood. Lastly, religion in all its' various forms has a lot to answer for in terms of making people feel marginalised, judged and guilt ridden. Religious trauma is a reality for many people and if I can, without ever saying a word to you about my personal Faith, model a different way of being while supporting you in your journey to healing, then I've done my job, not just as a therapist, but as a human being.  

counsellingroom.jpg

Volunteer & Other Work



Somatic Experiencing Committee for Humanitarian Response (SECHR)
(Co-chair of the subcommittee for Africa) - 
2023 - present
This is a global initiative between Somatic Experiencing International and the European Association of Somatic Experiencing to connect, support and train practitioners and disaster relief response teams to help alleviate the devastating effects of trauma in times of crisis. 

Training facilitator for Domino in Durban, South Africa on behalf of SECHR (2024)
Workshops aimed at the prevention and resolution of secondary trauma among social workers helping traumatised populations



Training Facilitator for Borderlands, Bristol (Somatic Resilience™) (2024)
Workshops to share skills and practical tools to prevent burnout and secondary trauma among staff that support asylum seekers and refugees.

 

441C9D8B-5EBF-4903-9A34-5E8350E2AF8E.png
F8036EDC-368A-48B9-A586-3AEE76A30042_edi

As a crisis volunteer for SHOUT  (2018-2020) and a Mental Health Officer for Bath Mind (2020 - 2022), I worked with a lot of people who are experiencing acute anxiety or panic attacks as well as people who are thinking about, or imminently planning to harm themselves or to take their own lives.

It is a privilege to hold a space for those who cannot contain the darkness alone any more. I welcome and encourage you to reach out to arrange some sessions if you feel this way. 

If you feel that you cannot access counselling at this time but still need to reach out you can text
SHOUT to 85258 and a trained volunteer will be there to have a confidential conversation with you via text.  If you prefer to speak to someone, please call the Samaritans on 116123.

If you are in need of immediate medical assistance call 999.

About Greg James Counselling, a counsellor in Trowbridge offering counselling for anxiety, counselling for men's issues, PTSD, counselling for anger, counselling for depression, counselling for trauma.Somatic Therapy, Somatic Experiencing for healing trauma

bottom of page