Firstly counselling is a ‘place’, but a place like no other that you come to. This ‘place’ provides a non-judgmental environment and facilitates you to safely explore your inner most thoughts and feelings. A great deal of rapport is created during the counselling sessions.
Counselling is also a special kind of relationship with a stranger - who you do not know, and who doesn’t know you - but this stranger is another human being who is trying to understand the uniqueness of you. Unlike other relationships, it does not exist outside of the counselling environment. Everything that happens within the counselling room stays there. Counselling is confidential; if you were to meet your counsellor outside of the counselling setting he would not approach or talk to you unless you approached them first.
The counselling relationship can be one of the most intimate relationships you will ever experience; you may choose to discuss things with your counsellor that you would not talk to anyone else about. The counsellor will always hold you in absolute positive regard no matter what you say and he will value you unconditionally. He will also strive to understand your unique view of the world and ‘get inside your reality’ and ‘walk’ with you along your journey, creating a deep empathy for your experience. Most importantly of all you will know that your counsellor is congruent in his relationship with you - he is on the inside what you see him as on the outside. He is genuine, and because of this a trust is built that allows you to be completely congruent too; you become real to each other!
The counsellor in effect becomes the ‘perfect stranger’! Someone who knows and understands you, but who is not a part of your everyday life, and when the counselling sessions end the relationship ends also. This is seen as a positive thing as the counsellor’s role is to help you get in touch with your own ‘sense of self’ and to begin to trust your own judgment and make your own decisions; a counselling relationship must not become dependent. From a counselling perspective, a job well done is when the counsellor has made himself redundant! The counsellor and client do not usually become ‘friends’ outside of the counselling environment. This is so that the ‘door is always left open’ for the client to return to counselling at any time in the future.
Counselling is about being human; it's about knowing that we are all on a personal ‘journey’ and that we are all a 'work in progress'.
I had always considered myself to be mentally very strong but 2016 was an immensely painful and difficult year for me. In January 2016 something happened which caused me to experience a mental breakdown which I would never have believed I was capable of and, in fact, I refused to acknowledge for several months until physical symptoms also began to manifest.
I had tried conventional counselling in February/March 2016 but found this a terribly negative experience and therefore very counter-productive. I stopped attending and thought I could simply carry on with my life and "power through" the difficulties.
However, I became progressively more unwell and by May I was unable to work or to properly function in day to day life. It was at this time I recognised that I needed help beyond standard counselling. Through a search engine I came across Gary and, like you now, I read the testimonials. The issues I was battling with were complex. I could see no resolution to my problems and I felt there was no realistic prospect that I could be "fixed".
I had six weekly sessions with Gary in May/June 2016. Unlike the earlier counselling I had undertaken, the sessions with Gary were a proper two-way interaction. I did not need to go into too much intimate detail and yet Gary had incredible insight into why I was reacting to situations as I was and he helped me to understand how I "ticked", how past events had shaped my behaviours. Gary has a very calm manner and made me feel very at ease. His help also extended beyond the actual sessions and he would send text messages and provide links to useful information to read.
To my amazement I did not need to actively change or do anything. I simply felt what I can only describe as a mental "inner shift" one day, leaving me calm, at peace with myself, and in control. Most notably I have learnt to accept what I cannot change and to always live for the "now", that the past has gone and cannot hurt me.
Plainly and simply, Gary's methods work. I will always feel a huge debt to Gary for his support and, most particularly, for his guidance towards achieving a happier life. I have no hesitation in wholeheartedly recommending Gary to you.
J, Gloucestershire. January 2017
Meeting Gary was the best thing I have done in regards to my personal wellbeing. I had over the years tried counselling, however it left me feeling worse as I had to go through the events that led me to seeing the counsellor.
Whereas with Gary it's different he taught me how to deal with the problem and that I'm in control. He taught me how compassion and love is a great healer and great way to survive.
On top of all this, Gary is a lovely man who I have found to be direct in his approach and passionate about his working and belief in his work. This is what I feel make him a success.
Mrs S.S. Cheltenham
I didn’t know what to expect when I first visited Gary. I guess I was going to “lie on the couch” and talk about myself whilst he passively listened, delivered his rehearsed spiel, gave me some cognitive behaviour exercises, blah, blah, blah. Having had some previous experience and preconceived ideas, I was sceptical to say the least. Well, all I can say is, that didn’t happen! It was very much a two-way discussion. As Gary said to me, it’s not necessarily talking about things you don’t want to talk about, but also hearing things that you might not want to hear. This was not in the form of negative criticism, but rather busting open long held perceptions and behaviours. It’s not that Gary told me how and what to think and do, I would have hated that, he only told me why I think and do things the way I do. This helped me to understand my inner frustrations and turmoil, by giving me some surprising insights into where my perceptions and reactions come from. Equally as importantly, and as a result of this, it has helped me to modify my outward reactions. He has helped me to learn “to engage my brain before putting my mouth into gear”. It has also enabled me to realise that others have certain conditioned thoughts and reactions, which are inevitably going to be different to mine. This has given me an empathy with others that I have never had before. Due to this simple education, the rage at perceived injustices, that was always just below the surface, has disappeared in a very short space of time. It’s not that it's just been suppressed, but quite simply, has vanished completely and I have attained an inner peace that I would not have thought possible just a short time ago. Perhaps most surprisingly, it has been a pleasurable and enlightening experience and I now have a hunger to not only discover more about myself, but about others too. A little knowledge is a very powerful thing.
Patrick Wilson. Cheltenham 2016
At the beginning of this year I had an anxiety dream. My family had all had a run of the mill winter vomiting bug and I was anxious about getting it myself. I woke up in a panic having a panic attack. This was not normal for me as I didn’t suffer with anxiety on a day to day basis. I felt increasingly stressed and anxious and I looked on the internet for help near to me. I googled ‘phobia’ and ‘dealing with anxiety’ in the Cheltenham area and Gary Redmond came up. I sent an email to the address on the website and was contacted by Gary later that day to make an appointment. I instantly felt better after seeking help and Gary’s informal approach made it much easier to attend the appointment. I found his kind manner and relaxed room helped me to open up and discuss my issue, to which he immediately understood and helped me deal with.
The information and tools he gave me are invaluable and the difference his guidance has made for me and my family is priceless. I met with Gary twice and felt like a different person. I have recommended Gary to other family members and friends already with a variety of issues to which they have had and continue to have life changing results within very few appointments. I can’t thank Gary enough for his help.
Jenny. Worcestershire 21st April 2015
I went to Gary after my third long term relationship had broken down, my daughters were disappointed in me, my family had failed me and let me go years ago. I was drinking too much too often, I really felt and looked like a broken woman. I had only 4 sessions with Gary. During the very first session he identified the issues in my life and there were plenty that were being dealt with by my inner child, her need to be loved not abandoned, her need of trust, respect and loyalty were causing, me, the adult to revert to my sad childhood emotions when dealing with the majority of things! Gary taught me to be 'OK even if things aren't ok' to 'empower' myself and most importantly to 'stay in the now' and to love my inner child and let the adult 'me' reign supreme. Gary is straightforward, plain speaking but really does identify with you. He gave his time when I needed reassurance and sent me informative links which have given me great insight. I very highly recommend Gary and appreciate greatly his help so I can get my life back on track!
Mrs B. Cheltenham 2016
I was very troubled at the time when I saw Gary. After the second time talking to him I experienced a wave of relief. Though I slipped back into anxiety, I found each session helpful. Sometimes just being understood, sometimes being able to rethink, at other times helpful ideas would occur to me much later. It was a process I had to go through, but it helped immensely to talk to someone I found highly intelligent, perceptive and with a philosophy which challenged me to examine my often unhelpful ways of thinking. I have seen several counsellors and even one or two psychiatrists in my time, but I would have no hesitation in saying that Gary helped more. If you are looking for an effective, kindly and even challenging counsellor to help you, then I would have no hesitation in wholeheartedly recommending Gary.