A native to year-round sunshine, I am originally from South Africa but moved to the UK in 2000. I now live in Trowbridge and I run my practice from a comfortable and private therapy room in Trowbridge.
I respect that you are an individual and that your experiences are unique to you. My practice is integrative which means that I make no assumptions about how you might respond to any given circumstance in your life and I am able to tailor my approach to your individual needs.
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 and can manifest themselves in our relationships with people, and most importantly with ourselves. 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.
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. Somatic Experiencing is less of an approach and more of a tool used within my existing practice. That simply means that while you are talking about something that is on your mind I may ask you to focus your attention on how your body is responding to what your'e telling me. We may stay there for a little bit and just see what comes up before returning to the narrative. This has two effects; firstly, and without going into too much detail, it can help resolve physiological reactions to certain stressors, and secondly it slows you down so that you can give enough attention to the emotions that may emerge when you attend to areas of the body that are reacting i.e tension in the shoulders or legs, an urge to move, escape or collapse in on yourself.
In the case of trauma, we may spend more time working with the physical responses that your body has to the recollection of traumatic events. Somatic Experiencing uses the body's natural ability to counter the effects of trauma and practitioners are trained to keep the process slow, intentional and always within your tolerances so that it remains safe and effective.
What to look for in a counsellor
If you’re going to be a counsellor, first and foremost you have to care. You have to care about people, to be 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. Finally, you need to want to play a central role in the rebuilding of people’s lives and then, as if you were never there, become entirely obsolete.
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.
Diploma in Integrative Therapeutic Counselling (CPCAB)
MA Counselling and Psychotherapy Practice
Somatic Experiencing® Practioner - Intermediate Trainee
As a registered member of the BACP I am required to work to a high professional standard, adhere to the BACP ethical framework and commit to continued professional development/training throughout my career.
Volunteer & Other Work
As a crisis volunteer for SHOUT and a Mental Health Officer for Bath Mind, I have 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