Simon Crosby, Hindleap Corner, Priory Road, Forest Row, East Sussex, England RH18 5JF.
Telephone 07812 565231
Some psychotherapies focus mainly on the things that have gone wrong in life, the bad things. As a former psychotherapist, and now coach, I encourage people to deal with those, but I also include some focus on clients' best qualities - those strengths which are a natural basis for a fuller life beyond any current difficulties. My work identifies and builds on clients' positive qualities whilst encouraging the development of new ways to manage life better. Treatment is much more than fixing what is wrong, it is also about finding how to live a satisfying and benevolent life.
I have twenty-five years experience of working as a psychotherapist. During this time I came to realise that viewing people as in need of therapy is not the most effective approach to working with personal change. This has been confirmed in the recent rise of Positive Psychology. In 2008 I decided to drop the therapy part of my description and redesignate myself simply as a positive psychologist and life-skills coach, which is what my approach had gradually become anyway over the last few years - to the satisfaction of many clients. My original studies and training, plus my experience, remain of great value - both in understanding clients and in promoting what they want to achieve by way of change. The following question and answer section describes what I now do. A reading list is included at the end
All prospective clients are offered a free orientation session to ask further questions and to describe what they want to work on. Below you will find answers to the most frequently asked questions about my work and what it is useful to work on in terms of personal growth. Towards the end of the document you will find a list of conditions that respond to this approach.
It begins with my fully understanding your situation and how you have come to be as you are. My considerable training and experience as a psychotherapist enables me to have a clear view of just why your life may work less well than you want it to right now. Using this understanding and experience I design strategies and assignments to promote and enhance positive outcomes for you that are relevant to how you want to be.
How does your work differ from your previous practice of psychotherapy?
The word therapy implies there is some unfitness around, so that a cure is sought for any damaged aspects of personality. In my current work I do not regard you as damaged – I prefer to explore just how aspects of your personality that do not work too well have become over-dominant so that your life is less satisfying than you want it to be. Rather than concentrating on problems we would work to discover some effective solutions – we would also find ways to reduce the influence of any negative situations in the past so that they lose their power to spoil aspects of your life now. The past is not irrelevant, just not very helpful.
CBT is very popular, how does your work differ from that?
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, which is based on the work of the first cognitive psychology theorist Albert Ellis, is highly similar to what I do, The cognitive work is done by uncovering and changing unhelpful thinking and language; the behavioural work is to do with designing and trying out practical adjustments to life and seeing what differences occur. However, my emphasis is less on the therapy part and more on personal management – more coaching than curing.
It is not dissimilar to psychotherapy except that you are not in a process to get cured of anything. Work with me is more to do with finding out how to manage the past and reduce its power in your present life. The scars and influence of past experience cannot be removed but we can make all of that less relevant in the here-and-now. That is done by gradually separating out who you really are - aside from all your conditioning - by creating a boundary between your past and your present. There are some indications about that on the page about Advaita. I see myself as working to illuminate and expand people's possibilities.
Does this work uncover issues that can't be fixed?
Not usually. However, being a one-to-one process it cannot create the kind of context that that is found in groups. I suggest to some clients that they round off this work by taking a large-group awareness training, such as the Forum, the link will tell you why.
Most people can benefit - after all, no one goes through life without some emotional or psychological predicament. If there is something that regularly interferes with the proper enjoyment of your personal, social or work life, or if you feel you have some psychological difficulty, then coaching would probably be fruitful. It is also appropriate to consult a coaching psychologist simply to have your life be more as you want it.
It is sensible to contact other people you might work with. Ask how long the person has been working as a practitioner - the longer the better [surprisingly few therapists work at it full time]. Having made your shortlist then ask for an initial interview so you can see if you are likely to get on with the person and their approach.
Yes, I am one of a small but growing number of practitioners using a constructivist psychology orientation. More unusual ia that I also use ideas culled from the Advaita tradition which I see as making my work as complete as possible. My work is strongly aligned with Positive Psychology currently being developed by Dr. Martin Seligman at the University of Pennsylvania - see reading list.
What are your clients mostly working on?
There is a list at the end of this document. Most people I see want to resolve relationship difficulties at home or beyond it. Others are working on things like anxiety, obsessions, low self-esteem, eating disorders, problems with children, and so on.
That is quite usual. But people generally find coaching and training to be a positive experience. Some aspects may be challenging, but meeting challenges usually makes people feel better. Seeing a coach does not mean that a person is weak, stupid, inferior, bad or crazy - but people often use such imaginations to put off getting down to resolving matters.
Yes, unless something arises which has a medical or legal bearing. Also, just like doctors, I do discuss some cases with professional colleagues, but always in the context of work.
Yes, and my clients have come from many cultures. In a sense, everyone I see is from a culture different from mine - after all they grew up in a different family in a different town. Anglo-Saxon people, no less than others, have cultures that differ widely. It is part of my job to be fully aware of clients' cultures and what they mean to them. Everyone is welcome whatever cultural background, religion, age, sex, race, or situation. We share a common humanity.
My style is to be quite directive and apart from what is said above, I work in a solution-focused way. I see people as clients inhabiting unique personal worlds - not as patients with standard diseases for which there are standard treatments. I use a synthesis of processes that I have found effective (see Advaita and Constructivist Psychology). That means I can tailor my work to individuals' needs, and I do not have to follow one orientation to the exclusion of others. I align my work with what clients want to achieve. I suggest between-session tasks to optimise work done jointly with clients. Work on these assignments reduces the time spent working with me and therefore the cost as well.
Effective, well-established coaching is rarely on offer cheaply; my charges reflect that. To find out about current charges, please telephone 0134 282 4545, or write to the address at the top of the page.
I have a University of London B.Sc. for which I studied Psychology and Philosophy [amongst other subjects]. In midlife I took a change of direction with a course in counselling, then came a course in the traditional Freudian approach to psychotherapy, and finally a four year course in Personal Construct Psychology, I was then listed as a UKCP practitioner [with my recent change of orientation I have given up that listing]. Additionally, over the years I have attended many shorter trainings and workshops relating to my practice. From an early age I have always been an avid reader in psychology and philosophy.
Not unless a client feels fearful or untrusting. However, eventually it may be very useful for people to work with a coach of whichever sex may be problematic now.
Apart from progress with specific issues, important gains are to be had in insight and self-knowledge. These provide favourable conditions for shifts towards positive patterns of behaviour; viewing issues differently; becoming calm and peaceful; having improved quality of relationships; becoming generally more effective; and finding life more meaningful and fulfilling. Many clients find that their range of possibilities expands, especially as they encounter the aspects of my work that have to do with the development of strengths and qualities.
When is a good time to deal with problems?
If you have a difficulty like one of those mentioned below then coaching should lead to resolving it. If you've lived with it for a while and it hasn't got better, then now could be a good time to get to grips with it.
How does the process start?
It begins with a free orientation session which enables you to see if I am the sort of person you would be happy working with. In that free session we would also explore your problems and needs, and deal with any questions you may have about the process. Sometimes people are not quite sure what sort of work is appropriate - coaching, counselling or psychotherapy - that can also be discussed.
How long will all this take to work?
Not easy to answer. Some people find that a few sessions make a real difference - just by gaining some new perspective about a problem. But most people find it more productive to be in coaching for quite a few months of weekly sessions - that is similar to the psychotherapy mode. However, it is seldom that I find myself conducting long-term work.
If you live in or near mid-Sussex, or can travel there, and you want to explore the idea of coaching further please telephone 0134 282 4545 to arrange a free orientation session.
Regrettably, problems with alcohol and drug addictions need specialist treatment beyond my skills, as does schizophrenia, paranoia, dementia, manic depression and psychoses generally. However, in some cases I am able to offer coaching back-up to specialist treatments, this amounts to providing a routine by which to manage matters in the present and to take advantage of opportunities in the future.
GENERAL PSYCHOLOGY AND SELF-HELP
Argyle, M: The Psychology of Interpersonal Behaviour
Berne, E: Games People Play
Csikszentmihalyi, M: Flow
Dyer, W W: Your Erroneous Zones
Gallwey, W T: The Inner Game of Tennis
|Harris, T A:||I'm OK,You're OK|
Jeffers, S: Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway
|Lomas, P:||Cultivating Intuition|
|The Limits of Interpretation|
Peck, M S: The Road Less Travelled
|Seligman, M E P:||Authentic Happiness|
|What You Can Change and What You Can't|
|Skynner, R & Cleese, J:||Families and How to Survive Them|
|Life and How to Survive It|
Storr, A: Human Aggression
ON COMMUNICATION AND RELATIONSHIPS
Bly, R: Iron John
Faber, A & Mazlish, E: How to Talk so Kids will Listen and Listen so Kids will Talk
How to Talk so Teens will Listen and Listen so Teens will Talk
Gray J: Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus
Harding, E: The Way of All Women
Norwood, R: Women Who Love Too Much
O'Hanlon, B, & Hudson, P: Stop Blaming, Start Loving
Satir, V: Making Contact
Adams, R; Silence of the Heart
Adyashanti: The Impact of Awareness
Beck C J: Everyday Zen
de Mello, A: Awareness
Epstein, M: Thoughts Without a Thinker
Godman, D: Be as you Are
Gunaratana H: Mindfulness in Plain English
Klein, J: Ease of Being
Who am I?
Krishnamurti, J: Freedom from the Known
Leighton, D: Cultivating the Empty Field
Long, B: Knowing Yourself
Morinaga, S: The Ceasing of Notions
Morrison, S: There is Only Now
Powell, R: Zen and Reality
Suzuki S: Zen Mind, Beginners Mind
Tolle, E: The Power of Now
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|Site last revised||Copyright 1999, 2008 ASB Crosby||Site maintained by|
13 October 2008
||All rights reserved||Gabriel Harrison|