Counselling & Psychotherapy in Edinburgh with Gary Smith

About Counselling and Psychotherapy - plus fees

I charge £55 for a full 1 hour session.
I offer a concession rate of £45 for students or people on a low income.
For Couples I charge on a sliding scale of £65 - £75 per hour, concessions £50.
Family work is charged at £65 - £75 per session.
Supervision is £50 per 1 hour individual session, £40 for each member of a small group.

Missed sessions or cancellations of less than 48 hours notice will be charged for.
Please phone, text or email at least 48 hours beforehand if you are unable to make one of your sessions.

What is Counselling and Psychotherapy?

Counselling is a way of exploring problems and personal issues in a safe, supportive and confidential setting. This can be done with individuals, couples, in a group setting or with whole families.
Counselling training involves rigorous self-examination and the development of skills in listening, empathy and understanding, in order to help facilitate self-awareness, personal growth and change. A counsellor receives regular supervision from a trained supervisor and agrees to abide by a code of ethics.
There is no simple and clear distinction between counselling and psychotherapy, and what they both deal with is broadly similar, but generally psychotherapy will be exploring issues in more depth and over a longer period of time. However, counselling can and does work at depth and psychotherapy can also be short term.

Client testimonial - "I feel ready and have gained so much from all this support. I’m so grateful and pleased I managed to find you online again. It takes me quite a bit of time to trust people. I always felt so safe in the therapy with you and really felt I could grow.
So I wanted to say something as I feel it’s important to share the positive stuff"

What is Creative Therapy?

Creative Therapy and Gestalt
The Creative Therapy that I offer is broadly integrative, with firm roots in gestalt psychotherapy. Gestalt is a holistic and humanistic client centred approach, that acknowledges the unity of mind, body, emotions and spirit, allowing all aspects of an individual to be included and valued. It takes a positive view of human potential, acknowledging the natural tendency of individuals towards growth and development and the recognition that we are all in essence complete and whole individuals with our own unique relationship to the world.
Past events often leave deep wounds that limit the full expression of our personality.
While acknowledging these past events and unresolved issues, gestalt therapy attempts to work in the here and now, with a focus on gaining awareness of your inner state, your current needs and your present life situation, exploring how you relate to the world and your potential for growth and change.
Accepting things as they are is one of the key concepts in gestalt therapy and the basis of any change. Without accepting 'all of you', even the parts of you that you dislike and want to change, you are creating a split and resistance to the full expression of yourself and the fulfillment of your needs.
The main focus and goal of therapy is to support you to achieve a greater awareness of how you relate and interact in the world, to become aware of what nourishes you and what is less satisfying, and come to an appreciation of and access to a wider range of life choices and ways of relating.

Childhood Wounding and Trauma

As psychoanalyst Carl G. Jung noted, the enduring emotional impact of childhood wounding “remains hidden all along from the [person], so that not reaching consciousness, the emotion never wears itself out, it is never used up.”

We can all experience adverse childhood conditions, where we are left powerless to hold any agency over our situation. This can lead to storing up powerful feelings of anger, shame and intense overwhelm. When we are unable to express or process these feelings they can become stored in our body and lead to adverse health conditions later in life.
Processing this trauma is a slow and careful aspect of therapy, and trust needs to be built with your therapist, before coming to acknowledge and explore the effects of the trauma.

Being Trauma Informed

My own trainings in Gestalt Psychotherapy and Psychodrama Psychotherapy have equipped and prepared me to work effectively with clients who have experience of trauma in their lives. Trauma can take many and varied forms for individuals who seek therapy, from childhood abuse, including neglect, to disability and intrusive medical interventions and all manner of unexpected life and life changing experiences.
I work with individuals and with groups.
The way I work is to go at the clients pace, inviting exploration of their experiences only when a strong and trusting relationship has been formed. Nothing is forced, and the client always has the option to say that is enough now. This is particularly helpful in group therapy as it is also modelling for other group members to really take care of themselves and be clear about their boundaries.
I also offer mindfulness practice and breathing exercises when appropriate.
Creative work can also be beneficial to explore thoughts and feelings in a visual or written language.
I would also  say that Wellspring the organisation where I am based and the environment that clients come into is very holding and therapeutic, and clients immediately sense that when they enter the beautiful and calming building.
The important thing to remember is to slow right down and give space for the work to unfold.
I like to read articles about trauma work, I have taken part in online training as well as day long in person psychodrama based trauma workshop by a world leader in this field.
This psychodrama group training was particularly helpful as it emphasised and acknowledged strengths within an individual through visual means and ways to embody these strengths, to help build resilience.
I always start group work in this way.

One-to-one sessions last for 1 hour and may include talking, using art materials and found objects, writing, action drama or meditation. Being good at art or having a creative talent is not at all necessary to find benefit from this approach. Many people find talking about a problem through the means of an image or a metaphor very helpful in clarifying and understanding the way they relate to the world. A simple image, a line from a poem or a fragment of a dream can reveal unexpected insights, helping the therapeutic work to reach a deeper level enabling you to see situations as they are without the filter of the rational mind.
Meditation can bring a quietness to the mind and help to focus attention on your needs in the present.

I view the therapeutic relationship as an integral part of therapy and I aim to work in collaboration with clients to encourage a sense of personal responsibility and autonomy.
Over a period of time, sessions can help to unravel the fixed and often unhelpful patterns of behaviour you have created in your life, to enable a freer expression of yourself and allow more fulfilling relationships to develop.
Having an awareness of the spiritual or the transpersonal aspects of life is also integral to my approach.

What is Transpersonal?
Transpersonal therapy is a holistic healing approach that evolved from the humanistic work of American psychologist Abraham Maslow in the 1960s. It integrates traditional spiritual rituals into modern psychology and emphasizes positive influences and role models rather than concentrating on negative experiences.
In my work and relationships I hold this sense of the transpersonal and spiritual as a way of being in the world and living with an awareness of the interconnectedness of all life.

'Dreams are the royal road to the unconscious'. This is a quote from Sigmund Freud.
I like to work with dreams that are revealing to us some hidden insights.
Carl Jung felt that, “The dream is a little hidden door in the innermost and most secret recesses of the psyche.”
In Gestalt Psychotherapy all aspects of the dream are a part of ourselves. I like to use creative approaches that can dialogue with the dreaming images. In addition, any image or metaphor can be worked on in the same way, to help reveal our own inner wisdom.

Family Therapy and Couple Work
I am available to work with couples and families. The complexity of relationships within couples and families can re-evoke unresolved issues from the past. Bringing together family members in the present to acknowledge the problems and try to listen to each other is a challenge for all involved. I aim to facilitate active listening and respectful communication to help improve relationships.

How Do I Get Started?
The first meeting will be an information gathering session to assess your particular needs. Following that we will negotiate a contract to meet weekly or fortnightly with regular review sessions built in.
There is no fixed length time for counselling or therapy. The number of sessions will vary according to need and will be discussed at your first meeting and reviewed regularly. Some people find a series of short-term sessions (10 - 12) helpful in dealing with a particular current issue, while others may want to spend a much longer period of time, perhaps over several months or years, to explore themselves in greater depth. It will be entirely your choice in how long you wish to work for.

What Conditions Can it Help?
Stress, anxiety, depression, trauma, childhood issues, bereavement, relationship difficulties, sexual problems, lack of self-confidence, sexual identity, low self-esteem.
Sometimes a person is not experiencing a particular problem but is aware that something is missing. This can take the form of a spiritual searching or a longing for greater satisfaction in life. These feelings can be explored in therapy through talking, creating images, writing or devising an appropriate experiment in collaboration with your therapist, to enhance awareness.
I can work with couples and families who are experiencing problems, including children and young people. I can also offer a group therapy experience. See Groupwork page.
I also have a lot of experience of working with men, both individually and in men's groups. Statistics show that fewer men present for counselling, and tend towards working their problems out on their own. I am interested to explore why that might be.

What Benefits can be Expected?
The safety of the therapeutic relationship can enable the expression of difficult feelings. These feelings may relate to your current life situation, or experiences in your past. To be able to find a voice, and speak about issues and struggles you face, or about a way of behaving that you feel has been with you since childhood, can be very helpful and healing in itself. Developing a trusting relationship with a therapist can be a first step in learning to trust other people.

I am an experienced UKCP registered and BACP accredited psychotherapist, having worked with individuals, couples, families and groups over many years, and I bring this breadth of experience to my supervision work.
I trained in supervision with Relationships Scotland.
I consider myself to be an integrative practitioner, having trained initially in Gestalt Therapy and then completed an Advanced Diploma in Psychodrama Psychotherapy.
I aim to establish and develop a warm, relaxed and collaborative approach to supervision, whilst maintaining a clear professional and reflective relationship with supervisees. I can offer creative ways to explore issues and help develop insights.
I am also interested in offering supervision groups as well as individual work and I am willing to work across different modalities, disciplines and professions.
Supervision costs are £50 per hour for individual sessions and £40 for group supervision.

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