Richard Barker

Name Surname

Who am I ?

I am a British counsellor and life coach (please see the top of this page for life coaching). I am a member of the British Association of counsellors and Psychotherapists (BACP). I work with adults, adolescents and children. I see clients for both long-term and short-term therapy and I have experience of working with a broad range of issues including addiction, anxiety, workload stress, depression, bereavement, relationship problems, self esteem, separation and trauma.

I believe the essence of counselling is to help others make a success of their lives. As such I offer a safe, empathic and non-judgemental space for us to work together to achieve this.

At the core of my practice is a belief in the importance of the therapeutic relationship and I count among my primary influences Humanistic and Psychodynamic theory. But what I bring to the therapy is guided by the clients’ needs and individual psychological perspective. As such it is a client led process. I work with my clients to identify the areas that they particularly want to address and to identify the approach that they feel would be the most useful and meaningful to them.
Sometimes just having someone who has set aside the time to listen and empathise can be the most useful therapy, but often I find that an understanding of childhood attachment and developmental stages and how they colour our everyday lives, provide useful insight, as does the application of mindfulness practise to help re-orientate the negative scripts we tell ourselves.

I believe the essence of counselling is to help others make a success of their lives.

My knowledge and understanding of spiritual practise or ‘transpersonal’ therapy may also be of use to you. I have been practising meditation for 25 years and spent 7 years as a monk and have a deep respect for all religions and a willingness to hear, listen and work with your spiritual perspectives be they positive or negative.

In order to be aware of ourselves, we need to be aware of our bodies (mindfulness). This is true of short-term therapy, but particularly so for long-term work: sometimes with an experience of trauma we often forget ourselves: A victim of abuse may shut down and become immobilised in the face of threat. To counter this we need to become aware of our bodies again. To feel what it is like to be alive again. The aim of therapy is to help you find yourself again; to accept and find your innate self-compassion; to help you make a success of your life. I can help you reframe your experiences, but deep healing comes when we learn to fully accept ourselves.

At the centre of the counselling relationship is trust. Many emotional difficulties have come from autonomy or trust being denied or defined by others or their objects (alcohol or smoking is an example of this) and in therapy you will learn to trust yourself again. Healing comes from a relationship in which the self is fully accepted and valued in the here and now.

To do this we will use the key skills of empathy, genuineness and respect. These are skills for life. To a greater or lesser extent these are always present, yet we are always finding them and therapy provides a perfect opportunity to understand the wisdom of everyday life.

Ultimately, the message of therapy is that you are an authentic, worthwhile human being, who is able to find your way back to your innate right of self-actualisation and self-development.