Abigail Swift

          

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    How I can help you

    “The pain is there; when you close one door on it, it knocks to come in somewhere else...” ~ Irvin D. Yalom

    Do you ever feel trapped in an endless dark tunnel, with no hope of finding light at the end? Is there an inner scream trapped inside you, but you don't know how to let it out? Is there a heaviness, darkness, or knotted feeling inside you, but you're afraid to know what it is, or what's hiding beneath it? Perhaps there's just too much despair, confusion and suffering? 

    Nobody should feel like that, and you don't need to. 

    I use an integrated and holistic therapeutic approach, which views our behaviour as determined more by how we feel, and less by what we are thinking at the time. This is why it is so difficult to make changes in our life based on logic and rationale: we have not yet dealt with the underlying emotional blocks. 

    "Negative" emotions often get suppressed, buried or denied. Sometimes, they are buried so deep, you may not realise that they are there. This is a natural coping mechanism, however, these suppressed feelings cause emotional blocks which can lead to repeated self-defeating behaviour, depression, anxiety, low self-esteem, persistent difficulties with interpersonal relationships, misplaced anger, and many other issues. It can become exhausting, depressing, and fills us with self-doubt.  

    By talking things through, my model helps the client to "connect the dots" between the areas in life where they are experiencing difficulties and the blocked feelings underneath which are the invisible driving force. Sometimes the blocked feelings lead back to an original emotional wound from long ago, and if it does, we use a variety of tools and techniques to promote healing. 

    I assist and support clients in acknowledging and dealing with suppressed or overwhelming emotional pain in a healthy and integrated manner. The client gains self-knowledge and personal strength, as well as being equipped with practical tools and techniques for dealing with future life challenges. 

    My relaxed interactive talk therapy is designed to help people who are suffering from problems in their lives, whether brought about by a crisis, a long-term situation, persistent unhappiness, feeling "stuck", or difficulties in relation to others.  

    What to expect

    Really, I'm here to listen without judgment. Using "active listening" I pick up on words or other subtle cues that might offer you a clue as to the underlying problem. We move forward at your own pace, and I offer empathy, emotional support, and help you to discover options and solutions. Sometimes I may suggest easy and straightforward "tools" (simple exercises for self-exploration) that can be truly illuminating, and which assist in self-understanding. 

    My method is tailored to the individual client, and may draw from a variety of holistic tools, for example, creative, emotion-based, and visualisations. Neuroscientists have shown that the conscious mind provides about 5% of our cognitive (conscious) activity. That means that approximately 95% of our decisions, actions, thoughts, words and emotions are controlled by our unconscious mind.

    By exploring the unconscious mind through dreams, inner work, journalling, music, symbols and Jungian Archetypes, clients get to the root of the issue, which is the only way to discover long-term solutions and achieve a happier life. 

    "Until you make the unconscious conscious, it will direct your life and you will call it fate.” ~ C.G. Jung  

    About me

    Life is tough, and we all go through trials and tribulations. A Dark Night of the Soul is an all too common part of the human experience, and it can feel less alone with the right support. Many Counsellors were drawn to this profession as part of their own journey of self-awareness, including myself. I consider therapy to be a proactive step towards achieving a wholeness of mind, body and spirit, which puts us in a stronger position to help ourselves, and even others, when future challenges arise. 

    I have spent my life giving support to others, first in Law - human rights and civil liberties in various countries - and then training in both NLP and Emotional Therapeutic Counselling. I specialise in Emotional Therapeutic Counselling because I know that it works at a deep and profound level; and I may incorporate other tools from NLP, as well as Jungian Shadow work

    Many of the “darker” human emotions, such as depression, grief, suicidal thoughts, loss and anger can be channelled into creativity, and - although these emotions feel awful at the time - they are often fertile ground for breakthrough understandings into ourselves. 

    “It is only through mystery and madness that the soul is revealed” ~ Thomas Moore

    There is a purpose to all human feelings, and my job is to help you find ways to move through them, instead of getting stuck there. At the end of this process, we often emerge from the darkness as a better, more authentic and wiser version of ourselves. 

    “During the dark night there is no choice but to surrender control, give in to unknowing, and stop and listen to whatever signals of wisdom might come along. It’s a time of enforced retreat and perhaps unwilling withdrawal. The dark night is more than a learning experience; it’s a profound initiation into a realm that nothing in the culture, so preoccupied with external concerns and material success, prepares you for.”  ~ Thomas Moore

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