Mandy Bowler Therapy
Helping you find your way
“Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we’ve been waiting for. We are the change that we seek.” Barack Obama
Perhaps you’ve found yourself here because you’re feeling lost, fearful, unhappy or confused? Perhaps you’re experiencing loss, depression or are in a difficult relationship? Perhaps your anxiety is preventing you from living the life you want, or your work is so stressful it is affecting other areas of your life? Perhaps there are things in your past you are tired of carrying around unresolved?
Maybe life isn’t so bad but you’re looking to achieve a goal and don’t know where to start; there are changes ahead and you want to prepare, or maybe your would like a regular space to reflect and bounce ideas around.
Having another person from outside of your situation, someone who’s really listening to you, can help you to find your way again, reassure you that what you’re feeling is normal. Whatever your situation it’s OK to feel this way. Accept and embrace your feelings and know that change is possible.
With the space and safety to explore your feelings or identify your goals, together we can help you back on the right path.
I am a fully qualified and insured psychotherapeutic Counsellor, Clinical Hypnotherapist and Performance Coach. The combination I offer is unique. This means I offer help for people whatever their circumstances, experiences or needs, and using a variety of therapeutic approaches. Counselling, hypnotherapy and coaching are ‘enabling’ – helping people make changes in their lives.
My first career was in Education where I began as teacher, then senior manager with an interest in Special Needs, and eventually as advisor and consultant. So, providing support and helping others has always been a satisfying part of my professional working life.
My approach to counselling, coaching and hypnotherapy is about being with you, and not doing for you. All three respect that you are expert in yourself, and are ultimately capable of finding your own way through your issues or achieving your goals. From time to time, people need help in doing this, that deciding to act and seek help is the first step on a journey they would rather not begin on their own.
Like you, I experience feelings of fear, joy, sadness, and anger and recognise them as natural emotions within us all. My motivation is to help people recognise these feelings, explore them safely, and even perhaps see them as helpful – a natural part of being a human.
We know that the most positive outcomes in therapy and coaching happen when the relationship between client and therapist is a good one. I offer warmth, compassion and empathy and, although I am trained and experienced, it is by being ‘myself in contact with you’ that the therapy truly happens.
I believe firmly in ethical practice and working safely within professional boundaries. I am a member of the BACP (British Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy) and the National Hypnotherapy Society. Each has a Framework of Ethical Practice which underpins all my work.
We begin with an initial consultation. This is an exploration of your needs – an insight into your world. I will ask you questions about you, a little about your lifestyle, your history such as your health and family, and anything else you would like me to know. This enables me to understand your world from your perspective. Entirely non-judgemental, I listen to whatever you would like to share about you. Anything you tell me is kept strictly confidential.
Our first session is like a two-way street – you deciding if you would like to proceed, and me establishing whether my personal set of skills can help you. Sometimes I may know someone with a different set of skills that I believe could help you better so would refer you to them.
You might already have decided which therapeutic approach you would like. For example, you might feel that counselling is preferable, or you may have chosen hypnotherapy to help you kick a habit. Or perhaps you have a professional issue or situation you would like to be coached through.
Together you and I will identify your needs or goals as clearly as possible. This is our “contract” which means agreeing on the focus of our work. We will review this regularly to check your progress or the effectiveness of your therapy. A review might mean deciding to extend or finish our work.
We will agree the duration of our work together, the time and any other arrangements which is usually put in writing and signed. This is not a formal binding agreement but just ensures clarity between us.
Each 50-minute session is dedicated entirely to you – a safe confidential time and place for you in an otherwise busy, crowded or noisy world, enabling you to explore whatever is troubling you safely, or working on whatever you would like to change or achieve.
“Our finest moments are most likely to occur when we are feeling deeply uncomfortable, unhappy or unfulfilled. For it is only in such moments, propelled by our discomfort, that we are likely to step out of our ruts and start searching for different ways or truer answers”
M. Scott Peck.
I am counsellor/psychotherapist with a Diploma in Humanistic Integrative Counselling from the Wealden Psychology Institute (BACP Registered). I also provide counselling for the NHS.
‘Integrative’ means I work with several therapeutic models which help to make sense of the way we are in our world. ‘Humanistic’ means placing you at the centre of our work; establishing a trusting relationship between us; helping you to understand who you are and what you feel, and enabling you to discover you own ways forward.
Counselling is not about giving advice, being judgemental, sorting your issues out for you, or telling you about ways I solved my own problems.
In a counselling session, you are free express whatever you would like to express. You may be holding on to ‘unfinished business’ or have an experience you would like to explore safely. Sometimes we carry around unexpressed painful emotions such as sadness, fear, or anger until they become almost too heavy to hold anymore. In counselling these words, thoughts and feelings can be released until we can accept them for what they are.
But counselling is not always about releasing the negative. In long term work, our sessions take the shape of whatever may have occurred in your world beyond your therapy. Sometimes we might laugh, celebrate your successes, consider your possibilities, and just simply provide a space dedicated to you and whatever is on your mind.
Counselling focuses on you and is ‘one way’. Therefore, it is not a ‘friendship’. We sit together as two human beings, you as expert in yourself, and me your therapist, interested and caring.
“Hypnotherapy is not only a tool to make wonderful changes in your life. It’s a way to destress. Your pulse slows, your blood pressure comes down. When you do that, you see things more clearly.” Sandra Garcia
I am a qualified clinical hypnotherapist with a Diploma in Hypnotherapy and Counselling Skills (Distinction) and am a member of the National Hypnotherapy Society.
Hypnotherapy is a safe effective approach using your senses and imagination in a state of deep relaxation. It is a natural state of mind we already experience drifting off to sleep, day dreaming, in prayer or meditation.
You are aware of the process of hypnotherapy throughout and are never ‘out of control’ (as it appears in ‘stage hypnosis’). It is a beautiful sensation of relaxation and calm whilst your mind remains aware. In this state, we can challenge unhelpful thought patterns or behaviours and establish new ways of thinking, feeling and responding.
The most effective hypnotherapy is ‘personalised’. This means that in our first session I carry out a detailed assessment where we identify what you would like to change (such as smoking, nail biting, a phobic response, pain management, anxiety, etc.). I collect language, images, and ideas that you believe are helpful and create a therapeutic script designed around your own personal needs and ideas.
A hypnotherapy session is conducted in stages, each one taking you deeper into a relaxed state where we can begin to work on your subconscious mind where difficulties, fears or habits are held. Through suggestions we can help release these safely. I cannot ‘do’ anything to you, neither is hypnotherapy ‘magical’ or a cure. My role is to guide you through your state of relaxation while you choose to reject or accept suggestions we have planned together.
At the end, I gently return you to a full awareness so you are ready to continue your day. People often leave feeling calm, relaxed and optimistic. Sometimes one session is sufficient whilst others return for further work.
Some people choose to have hypnosis simply to experience healthful deep relaxation when this is difficult for them to achieve in their day to day lives.
“The quieter you become, the more you can hear.” Ram Dass
“Coaching is about creating an action plan that moves you forward from where you are to where you want to be” James Himm Mitchell
I am a qualified Coach holding a Post Graduate Diploma in Management Coaching and Mentoring from the Institute of Leadership and Management.
Coaching like counselling and hypnotherapy is about change but coaching sets out to clarify where you are now (your current reality); where you would like to be (preferred scenario) and how to get there (an action plan). It is solution focused and goal orientated.
In a series of coaching sessions, we look carefully at your current situation. This might be personal life situation or professional. I use questions and listen carefully to your responses. You are thinking aloud and I am helping you to hear yourself through gentle challenging, prioritising and encouragement.
I will then help you to explore your own potential options. This is the creative phase of the work where we play with ideas and begin to create a realistic plan of action helping you to decide on a specific goal or outcome.
Finally, we will establish what you need to do next and how you will move forward. Together we might begin your journey, or you will set out equipped with the motivation, understanding and focus to achieve your goal for yourself. We might meet again to review your progress and celebrate your successes.
For some people, knowing that their coach is also a counsellor is reassuring so that should any emotions arise that are blocking their path, we can work through these using a counselling approach.