Empathy Zone - Counselling that inspires

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About Me

Peter Ryan photoI work empathically, ethically and constructively with clients who bring a number of different concerns into therapy including addictions, physical/sexual/emotional abuse, bullying, bereavement, depression, self-harm, anger and aggression, domestic violence. 

What helps me establish deeply meaningful therapeutic relationships is my natural ability to work with people from diverse backgrounds. This ability is strongly rooted in my belief that every person matters and my empathy, underpinned by my courageous sensitivity, shapes the communication process to match the uniqueness of each individual client.

Revisiting painful memories and talking about sorrowful experiences may be upsetting, but it is worth remembering that shame can not survive being spoken. It can not survive empathy.

People do not gravitate to the counselling profession in the same way that people choose to become insurances agents, plumbers, or corporate executives. (…) there is usually a person searching for a life of more meaningful connection, both with self and with others.

My getting involved with counselling was brought about by a near death accident I suffered, followed shortly by a sudden, painful family bereavement. The depth of loneliness, depression and turmoil which resulted from these events deeply informed my counselling studies and, together with years of personal therapy, helped me reinvest in a new and rewarding life.

As is well known, “empathy is felt and reasoned simultaneously. It is a quantum experience” (Rifkin, 2010). Empathy has always been a crucial focus in person-centred counselling not least because “the therapist role is to be the ‘midwife’ of change, not the originator” (Rogers, 1978). Besides, “the development [of the therapist] is not about learning how to counsel but about becoming a person who can counsel” (Mearns & Thorne, 2008). I have become that person who can counsel.