T's Story

My Emotionalskills sessions have been really good and a great help in moving forward.

I have been able to talk to Kirsty freely and openly about my difficult issues in a comfortable environment.

This whole experience has been very fulfilling and I would recommend it to others who are struggling with personal problems that are bringing them down.

R's Story

When I first came to Emotionalskills I was insular, withdrawn, low, numb…. I had anxiety and would often get the shakes as well as panic attacks.

My sessions helped me to slowly unthread and detangle cables of overthinking. I found the speech patterns exercise particularly enlightening and useful and am now much better at empathising. 

My self dialogue is so much more positive - I no longer ‘brain fart’.

One of the main things I have learnt is the power of meditation and the benefits of giving my brain a deliberate break and clearing space in my mind. Previously, I just wallowed in my thoughts and sunk into a low trough and switched off. I am much more aware of my thought patterns now and if I begin to think in a negative way.

I’m pleased to say that I’ve stopped taking medication; I am open, relaxed, able to process and deal with ‘real stuff’ and I’m happier than I’ve ever been.

I can’t imagine a therapist doing more to help me than Shane.

O's Story

It’s hard to think about the situation that I was in when I first came to Emotionalskills. I could hardly get out of bed and I was suicidal and I had spent time in hospital. I was too scared to drive. I sat there and couldn’t do anything…. I hated what was going on in my life.

I was impatient and wanted to skip everything. Initially sceptical about therapy, I felt comforted that Shane had also gone through a psychological collapse and was now in a good place.

The Timeline exercise brought up a lot of memories and I began to see why I had become who I was – someone who was constantly worried about the future.

The Mindulness activity was really helpful; the meditation was great as it helped give me some respite from the constant worries. Getting in touch with my felt sense, how I felt inside, allowed me to understand my issues. Each stage of the Emotionalskills programme helped guide me towards feeling better.

It feels like I’ve been through a transformation. I’m more active now and sociable, things don’t worry me so much. Even before I was poorly, I worried, but now I’m quite chilled about most things.

At one stage I thought I’d be unemployed forever. Now I’ve got a job I really enjoy and I look forward to things.

I’ve learnt how to make the most out of life.

G'S Story

I came to Emotionalskills because I struggled to focus in class at school and even in every day conversations. I was coming up to ‘A’ level exams and I was having difficulties planning my revision. This lead to me being stressed and ended in no revision happening.

Overall, I found my Emotionalskills sessions to be a really good experience. I was able to talk to someone confidentially about anything I wanted and it helped give me some clarity.

The Speech Patterns exercise was particularly useful and is something that I think I’ll turn to again, now and in the future.

Shane showed me how I could plan an exam revision timetable and split it all up and break it down into topics. I could clearly see what I needed to do and this was really beneficial. The planning eased me and I then felt I could focus and concentrate. The plan also included relaxing and down time, which gave me a balance.

I felt comfortable in Shane’s company and trusted him and his knowledge to help me move forward.

J's Story

When I first started my sessions with Shane (Emotionalskills therapist) I was in a very bad place – borderline thinking of calling it day. I felt a great deal of fear and was pretty much at breaking point.

I thought I was a terrible person and I didn’t understand how to change. I had already tried other counsellors and I hadn’t felt any better.

I immediately related to Shane’s own story and I felt as though he truly understood me as he reassured me.

The Timeline exercise was emotionally difficult to work through but it was significant in helping me place my anger. Once I was able to put my anger aside, it felt like there was a vacuum left.

In order to fill this void, I needed to find out who I was and who I was going to be. I had to release the new me.

By attending the sessions at Emotionalskills, I feel I have been given the energy, the thought process and the conviction to do what I want to do.

The skills I’ve learnt are invaluable; I’m a human being as well as a human doing.

A's Story

I used to be unsure of myself and very nervous.

If I had a problem I couldn’t deal with, I would run away, returning home to my comfort zone.

I felt pressure to participate in social events that I was uncertain about – I thought, “I should do this,” rather than thinking, “What do I actually want to do?”

I was uncertain about my identity and what I should do in order to fit in. I was scared to be alone. I felt I had to have someone around and tried to make others happy and comfortable whilst neglecting myself.

This gave me anxiety and sometimes made me feel low. By visiting my Timeline with Kirsty (Emotionalskills therapist) and learning why I had become who I had become, I began to feel and think differently about myself.

Learning to live mindfully and placing events and feelings appropriately and getting in touch with my felt sense released me and allowed me to take myself more seriously.

Now I am more self-aware and I have discovered my identity. I realised that I could be independent and value my own decisions and feelings. I took ownership of my life.

Thankfully, I can now place and deal with issues that previously overwhelmed me. I do things on my own terms. 

B's Story

I approached Emotionalskills after a chat with a friend who had used the service before. Although I was not angry constantly, I had started to notice that I was having explosive outbursts more frequently and that my exaggerating or catastrophising of certain situations was negatively affecting my way of thinking.

As the sessions progressed, I realised that I had to come to terms with accepting reality and adopt an adaptable, flexible outlook on life…to learn not to see things as so rigidly black or white.

Talking to Kirsty (Emotionalskills therapist), about current situations in my life, helped me to understand how to embrace and accept certain scenarios, rather than react badly.

F's Story

I was a very irritable man, and in some cases angry, in particular towards my partner. I felt stuck and unable to see a way forward to ease my worries.

I found my sessions with Shane very useful and the different elements of the programme have meant that I now have a better understanding of the root causes of my frustration.

I now have a toolbox that I can draw upon to help me in the future. 

I am aware that moving forward, I need to continue with what I have learnt in order that I don’t slip back into bad habits.

P's Story

When I initially went to Emotionalskills I was really quite disorientated… very insecure, dejected and feeling pretty hopeless. I had completely messed up my 'A' levels. My girlfriend had left and gone to university and I was full of self-doubt. I was initially doubtful if Shane could help me, but slowly we worked through my issues. Originally I talked about my becoming a plumber or going into the army to get a trade… I craved stability... security. 

I recently got offered a place at Cambridge University. I don’t think I’d have ever applied had it not been for seeing Shane at Emotionalskills 

I can remember being encouraged to think creatively and discover what I truly wanted. Eventually, I realised I was underselling myself. I started to believe in myself and was inspired to resurrect my education. 

M's Story

I was fearful and nervous of change and at the start I was resistant to the idea that I could change. For example, the ‘Focusing’ and the ‘felt sense’ exercises were a little airy fairy for me… and I felt the same about the ‘Mindfulness’ activity, but once I gave mindfulness a chance was really good… really useful. Living mindfully and stopping and thinking… breaking down issues and exploring them, rather than rushing in and making a big mess. It has really helped me.

The ‘speech patterns’, communication section has made me easier within myself and I’m better at interacting with people and making friends… I’m more likeable.

The changing habits and reconditioning statements parts are all very good, but need to be used regularly until they become sort of spontaneous… natural. 

One habit I changed while I was with Emotionalskills was I consuming alcohol. I was drinking a lot of alcohol in a form of self-medication and now I drink none.   

My therapy sessions at Emotionalskills have enabled me to manage my moods better; I’m less irritated these days…. I really didn’t realise how fixed and stuck in my ways I was. On this course, I found discovering my self and how I’d become the person I was eye opening. This has opened up new parts of my life… at work and at home. 

S's Story

I felt so clouded… closed in. I was incredibly anxious about certain things, to the extent that I had massive panic attacks. These attacks stopped me from doing things… stopped me from joining in. I would then I have massive regret that I had missed out and this made me feel really low.

It really is good to be able to go through things with someone who understands and then helps you unravel stuff you’ve never thought about before. At Emotionalskills we unpicked my issues slowly and with great care. I can plan without panicking or overthinking and I have also learnt that at times I should take care to stand and stare… relax appropriately. I have gained a new balance and cohesion.

Sometimes splitting issues or situations down and taking things one thing at a time… even one day at a time can really help. 

Overall I’d say that by being able to put things into perspective, big problems have become small problems… 

L's Story

When I first started I wanted a quick fix. I ended up with something deeper, which has helped me long term.

I was sort of coping on the surface but underneath I was depressed. My way of dealing with that was to over compensate and work excessively hard at my job. It was the one bit of my life that I felt positive about. I didn’t want to lose that; I felt I didn’t have much identity outside of work.

What the course showed me is that by busying myself with work and motherhood, I was neglecting myself and the things that were important to me.  This was having a detrimental effect upon my health, and my children were not benefitting from their mother, as they should be.

Self-discovery, talking and thinking about the things I liked and disliked about myself broke down the big issues – The self-awareness Timeline section made a lot of painful stuff just go away.

I accepted things, got rid of self-blame and stopped hating myself.

What I found very freeing and liberating was that I was I could identify actual faults in how I thought about my life and myself and change rather than just be hopelessly stuck.

K's Story

I was really anxious about all sorts of things: I felt lost generally, stuck in the past, worried about the future, stressed about family problems, trapped in a bad relationship, in the wrong job… just very stuck.

After spending a period of time with Emotionalskills and gaining a better understanding of my emotions I now feel very different. A lot has changed in my life.

I am more aware of my way of thinking and feeling. I recognise my ‘triggers’ and have ‘brakes’ I can use. I also have a better appreciation of the thoughts and feelings of others around me.

I’m happy to say that I can now look to the future and feel more balanced in myself.

I can control my emotions much better and the small things don’t get to me as they once did. I feel less rigid in my thoughts about the future and any plans I make. With my new found confidence it’s much easier to make decisions about myself. I genuinely feel hopeful.

D's Story

I came to Emotionalskills worried that my anger was re-emerging and I was afraid that I couldn’t control it. Irritability was having a major effect on my personal life and I was short-tempered and sharp or blunt at work.

Self-awareness and learning about my long list of personal inhibiting rules gave me a clearer insight. Then recognising and changing bad habits and developing and replacing them with practices closer to my true self really helped. The guided meditation and being mindful in life generally has eased me.

I found the whole process like a practical step-by-step personal development course, which I can use forever.

I communicate differently at work. People have noticed and mentioned a new positive approach. I have a more supportive attitude and this is more productive.

At home I listen. I am more understanding and I take my time. I support and empathise whereas previously I just simply neglected these things.

N's Story

I had angry outbursts – shouted at and belittled my wife. I didn’t even realise I was doing this. I felt bad afterwards and couldn’t understand why. I was incredibly knotted up at work and was always making silly mistakes and getting frustrated.

Emotionalskills changed my way of thinking and how I felt about things. I now spend quality time with my wife and children. I am more in the moment, more mindful. I now understand my feelings and have become more self-aware.

I was sort of all jumbled up with lots of things all moving at once. I worked out how I wanted to be and I began to move closer to that person. 

I’m no longer stressed at work… more measured and I’m closer to my family… more relaxed… I can actually feel in touch with them. 

P's Story

I had severe social anxiety. In places where there were lots of people and banter I used to prepare and shield myself with alcohol, which nearly always spoilt occasions.  Even one on one meetings like dates were often ruined by drink.  I desperately wanted to be more relaxed in myself and come out of my shell.

Completing the Timeline really helped my self-awareness and self-understanding, especially when we linked it with some theory. I had blocked a lot of stuff out, but placing it all was really helpful.

I’m a lot more relaxed. I’m far more confident than I was and I’m gaining confidence as I go on.

Mindfulness and Focusing, or getting in touch with my felt sense has relaxed me. My personal mantra and changing habits are things that really helped me as I moved on. Overall I’ve gained the strength to stop my drinking permanently and this means I can enjoy social events instead of them passing me by.

C’s story

As a child I was treated badly by most people, including my family. I was bullied at school and at work and controlled by abusive partners. My self-esteem was incredibly low and I felt truly worthless and hopeless.

I always felt a lesser person when I compared myself with others. I felt I didn’t deserve anything better. Eventually I just couldn’t cope with my life. My feelings were out of control. I was perpetually sad and low, nervously disorganised and I started to get upset in an irritable way.

I found the Emotionalskills website and started having sessions. It took a while, but now I have faith in myself.

“I am able to be assertive and I have the strength to make choices, especially about people. Now I decide who I want to have in my life. I have found a new independence.”

In the past I’ve gone from one boring job to another. Now I have got a job that I enjoy, which has prospects and makes me feel like I’m making a difference. My life is more organised and calmer.

I now sleep well and I’m kind to myself, I’ve got nice friends and I give myself time to do things that I want to do.

W's Story

I had an uncontrollable temper, which was usually reserved for my wife.

To start with I didn’t realise it was happening… what I was doing.  Eventually I realised it was a much bigger problem. I went to my GP who referred me to Emotionalskills. I had totally underestimated the importance of my irritation and frustration and the effect it had on my wife and children over many years. I couldn’t see the damage I was doing.

The self-awareness process was really enlightening and the security of the confidentiality was wonderful – I felt I could be myself privately and safely. The speech patterns and empathy exercises opened up another side of me...a more sensitive me.

I am no longer blunt, forthright and hurtful. I’m far more thoughtful; I’m not enslaved by rules, just more easy-going.

My wife says I’m a better man since I’ve been to Emotionalskills.

I was displaying a weakness by letting anger control me. I feel stronger now because I no longer feel the need to rant and rave.

Through the course I realised I was distorting the real link, for me, between alcohol and anger. I can now control my drinking. I feel fresher and I’ve moved on and have new insights and my energy for work has been renewed. 

Q's Story

Eventually I realised that I had totally underestimated the distress these outbursts gave my wife and children.  I just couldn’t see the damage I was doing.

My family say I’m easy to live with now 

The confidentiality aspect of our sessions was liberating… I felt could be myself… privately and safely. The self-awareness part of Emotionalskills was really fascinating… and illuminating. The speech patterns and empathy exercises opened up another side of me… the more sensitive side of me. I am no longer blunt and hurtful… I’m far more thoughtful and I feel a stronger man for it… This ranting and raving no longer enslaves me. As the course progressed I also discovered the link between alcohol and my anger and now I can control my drinking. I’ve also moved onto new challenges and interests.

O’s story

I struggled with psychological difficulties from childhood. They gradually worsened and by 2013, when I was in my early twenties they became unbearable. My main issues were my extreme lack of confidence, my low self worth and my inability to recognise my true abilities. I spent six months being unable to function in any meaningful way and was homeless for a while.

My GP referred me to Emotionalskills and we went through the various parts of the therapeutic course. I found the self-discovery timeline and the self-awareness elements very helpful.

“I went from being depressed, anxious, internally angry and unable to function to being optimistic, stable and balanced.”

I was able to relate to others and understand my own feelings. I’m actually happy with myself. I have opened up to the acceptance of my own strengths and abilities. 

F’s Story

I had angry outbursts – shouted at and belittled my wife – I honestly didn’t realise I was doing this, whilst I was doing it…but I felt bad afterwards and became low and confused about it.

Emotionalskills changed my way of thinking and how I feel about things.

I was previously all jumbled up with lots of things all moving at once. I now spend quality time with my wife and children… more in the moment… more mindful.  I’ve also learnt how to place things logically and calmly and work is much less stressful.

I now understand my feelings... I worked out how I wanted to be…  I use the techniques I’ve learnt to move closer to that person and closer to my family.

T's story

My mother died soon after I was born and whilst my father did his best, he worked long hours and I became independent very young. I skipped school in favour of work and cash... ran with a bike gang for a few of years, had a few ‘run in’s’ with the law for drinking and fighting, etc. 

To avoid I prison I joined the Para’s; whilst serving with the armed forces I was injured quiet badly, so reluctantly I left the army. By 30 I was extremely confused and frustrated with civilian life. 

The problems associated with change started to pile up. I could not accept other people’s ways, or views, or logic. My way of life was rigid and disciplined… like the military. I was always on the edge… It would just take someone to take a wrong look, an unrelated action, or a mere gesture of the hand for me to react angrily… verbally or physically. I would get really angry and upset co-workers, my family and even complete strangers.

I knew I needed help and eventually went to my GP. She gave me a leaflet and said, “Give this a try.” As there was no other help about, I did. 

Emotionalskills is not a quick fix, you have to work at changing the way you see and feel things and above all be honest with yourself... but it works. 

I have changed and I feel more relaxed and grounded. My family has really seen the change for the better and they no longer expect me to explode at every small thing. My job is high pressure, but the people who I need to give tasks to now respond more cooperatively and constructively to me. Really importantly… I have got in touch with my feelings and now I am really close to my teenage son.

W's Story

I found Shane after my anger landed me in trouble with the police. I came to Shane confused, contemptuous, very lonely and full of self-doubt.  Even though it took me a while to fully relent and really open up I immediately found my weekly sessions cathartic and always looked forward to them.

It wasn't long until I started making real progress and seeing changes in the way I felt and acted outside of therapy.

I no longer carry that knot of anger and stress with me, I'm easier in myself and my confidence has soared; the best thing is I'm more ambitious than I ever thought I would be!

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