Counselling services

Every single one of my clients has unique needs and so is my approach to helping them meet those needs.

Counselling comes in many forms. Sometimes we meet in a quiet room to talk about your thoughts and feelings. Sometimes you may not be able to talk and you just need to cry without being interrupted or asked to stop. Sometimes the words simply aren’t there, so we support you using different methods of expression, drawing, writing, playing. Sometimes it’s screaming and punching or kicking a cushion, or tearing something up. However, some things that will always be present; Confidentiality and Safety, on-judgemental Atmosphere, Honesty, Respect and Appreciation of who you are.

Please click on specific themes listed below for more information about what we offer

We would have an initial session so that we meet each other, for you to tell me what you come to counselling for and what you would want to get out of the therapy sessions. I ask some questions to that I get a better understanding of where you are in your life so I can assess how we would work together.  You may have some questions you need to ask me, or things you would like me to clarify about the sessions. The initial session is a full length session, 50 minutes, to ensure that there is enough time for us to talk about things which might be difficult in a safe, supportive environment. There is no obligation to continue with me if you decide that we wouldn’t get on, or if counselling isn’t for you at this time.

If you decide to continue, we would meet at the same time each week online or face to face. Sessions last for 50 minutes.

Click here to book an initial session

Due to the physical distancing measures in place in Taunton and all over the UK to contain and reduce the spread of the COVID 19, I am now providing online video consultations using a variety of platforms including Zoom, Skype, Facetime and others.

My online counselling sessions are tailored to meet the needs of all ages of clients and you can expect the same level of engagement in the digital platform as you would in our in-person room sessions. I expand the possibilities of therapy from the safety and comfort of your home.

What to expect

I will lead you through using the technology and provide support while you get confident. It may take time to get used to online sessions but they can be just as effective and as important for maintaining your health and wellbeing during this time. 

Effectiveness of online counselling

When was the last time you talked to someone on the screen using your mobile or laptop? Was it personable? Could you sense their mood? Did it feel like you were close? Despite what people think, online counselling doesn’t compromise the quality of connection and understanding. Meeting remotely for counselling and support, is just like talking to a counsellor in person!
In months years, with covid19 and the rapid growth in advanced technology, the use of video for counselling has increased.

Comfort

When you seek counselling or psychological and emotional support, your comfort is of paramount importance to me. I think sitting in front of the camera on your smartphone, laptop or tablet, is easy and comfortable. It reduces the hassle of getting ready and commuting to your face to face counselling appointments; online counselling also allows you to choose the space from which you wish to communicate. Video counselling sessions I have had with my clients show that the space from which they speak to me varies from in the car, open fields, cafe, under a tree, bedrooms, balcony and more.

Affordable counselling

I have noticed that online video counselling is affordable and cheaper for some clients because it saves time and money on travelling and the counsellor spares the expenses on the overhead costs associated with renting a room.
The quality of my counselling is not going to change just because I use online video counselling. I will give you the same support as you would have received face to face in a therapy room.

I may decline providing online counselling and suggest alternative support if I feel that I cannot support you due to the nature of your problem, if my client list is full or if you are suicidal, self-harming or suffering mental health crisis. Where possible I may suggest alternative support, face to face therapy or that you contact the emergency services.

The acorn therapy online counselling service is not suitable for a suicidal crisis; if you are suicidal, or considering self-harm please contact the emergency services or The Samaritans Website: www.samaritans.org Email: jo@samaritans.org , Tel: 08457 90 90 90

How does online video counselling work in practice? 

We will agree an ‘appointment time for sessions to be held online. The online video counselling sessions could be weekly or more frequently if you wish.  I currently use the Zoom platform which is secure and encrypted and can be accessed via the Zoom website at https://zoom.us/

Please ensure you have Zoom installed prior to the online video counselling appointment. I will need  to email you  prior to the appointment.  If for any reason we experience technical issues during a ‘real time’ appointment I will try to reconnect with you, but if this is not possible we will make contact via telephone.

Tips for better online video counselling  sessions: 
1. Find a private space where you feel comfortable.
2. It is preferred for both I the counsellor and my client to sit in one place, rather than moving around during the call, as it can be disorienting to the viewer.
3. You may wish to wear headphones to increase privacy and sound quality.
4. Computers are best, but if you need to use your phone or tablet, please find a way to secure it during the session so that your hands are free to move, just like you would in the therapy room.
5. Consider placing a white noise machine or a phone with a White Noise app just OUTSIDE the door, to ensure sound privacy. The sounds must be on the side of the door where you do not want people to hear (not inside with you).

Payment for your sessions Session:

Fees are currently £40.00 for 50 minutes. The Payment of £40.00 for your online video counselling session should be paid at least 24 hours prior to the appointment time. Payment may be made by bank transfer through the link on the website.

Availability of Appointments

Online counselling sessions are available Monday to Saturday, including after hours and evening appointment times

I offer individual,one on one counselling which allows you to speak to me in confidence.

Individual counselling provides an opportunity for children, adolescents, or adults to work one-on-one with a clounsellor for guidance and support to resolve an issue, recover from an upsetting experience, explore thoughts and feelings, examine beliefs and work towards making healthy changes.

Counselling is a collaborative process – the process relies on both the client and the counsellor working together as a team. It is important for you to want to change and commit to the therapy. You will only heal, change or grow based on how much you are open, willing and ready.

When you contact me for the first time, we will book an initial session straight away. The first meeting allows both of us to get a sense of each other and the issues which you will have brought to counselling. we will then agree on the dates and time for the following sessions should you chose to go ahead.

Are you a parent who is:
  • Feeling tense and stressed out
  • Exhausted all attempts to negotiate with your teen?
  • Running out of goodwill/losing patienceWithdrawing as your child goes through major changes?
  • Struggling on your own (or in partnership) to put down clear limits and boundaries to help your adolescent or teenager in a stepfamily situation where getting the needs of your stepchildren met in a relationship is proving challenging for all
Perhaps counselling could help your young person?

Adolescents and teenagers encounter so many physical and psychological challenges as they develop and grow. Young people sometimes may encounter periods of ‘stuckness’ and experience difficulties in making or sustaining relationships, or managing a particular aspect of their constantly changing lives. Young people who risk being labelled as a ‘problem’ at school or among peers may be caught in a destructive cycle of negative behaviour. Therapeutic help and counselling can offer an opportunity to break this pattern and replace it with more positive alternatives. A good experience in counselling and therapy can help young people recover their ‘spark’ and recover their confidence, enabling them to catch up and get back on the growth path.

Who can benefit from counselling?

Counselling may be useful for young people aged 13–21 and older who have experienced any of the following:

  • Anxiety/panics
  • Attention difficulties, ADHD
  • Abuse or neglect
  • Bed wetting/encopresis
  • Behavioural difficulties
  • Bereavement
  • Bullying or cyber bullyin
  • Difficulty making friends
  • Disability-related difficulties, developmental delay
  • Exam worries/performance anxiety
  • Family changes (eg adoption, divorce, fostering, stepfamily situations)
  • Fear of needle
  • Health worries
  • Identity issues
  • Loss or separation
  • Peer pressureper
  • Pectionism
  • Sad feeling
  • School-related difficulties
  • Shyness and under-confidence
  • Sleeping problems
  • Social anxiety
  • Transgenerational trauma
  • Transcultural difficulties
  • Worries about the future
How my counselling works

As a therapist/counsellor,  I take particular care to establish a safe environment within which young people will feel welcomed and safe.

I aim to create an accepting and trusting relationship so that the young person can relax and begin to talk about whatever is of concern. The quality of this therapeutic relationship between us is essential for growth and for a successful outcome.

I am interested in the whole person: body, mind and spirit of the people I work with . I try to take a holistic approach to health, aiming to encourage a flexible balance between body, feeling, intellect and imagination.

Distressed young people often cut off or restrict part of these vital functions; in so doing they lose connection with a key part of their unique sense of self. Restoring this becomes an important aspect of therapy, helping to recreate wholeness and wellbeing.

I use a range of creative therapy means, including; sensory and arts-based experiences that help restore balance and aid informal communication.

I carefully tailor activities likely to help young people explore troublesome thoughts and feelings in our dialogue. This approach helps young people let go of deeply buried worries. 

My counselling work with young people may include acting, drawing, working with clay, music-making, puppetry, rapping, making sand tray scenes or story making. Some teenagers and young people prefer direct talking counselling to arts-based therapies; others like to combine both, making use of both approaches.

Why see a counsellor?

People tend to be wary of therapy or counselling, feeling that if they are struggling they ought to be able to simply talk it over with their family or friends but it’s not that simple.

Because our family and friends are intimately involved with us, it might be hard for those closest to us to be able to help. With an experienced and qualified counsellor like myself, it becomes easier to talk. As a counsellor, I am an outsider who listens to you in confidence and without judgement.

I encourage my clients to talk freely about whatever is on their mind, to feel more resilient and rediscover their clarity of purpose.

Who can benefit from counselling?

Counselling can be an effective treatment for people who:

  • Feel anxious, stressed and find difficulty coping with the burdens of life
  • Experience underlying sadness or are struggling with a bereavement/ loss
  • Feel continuously ‘stuck in a rut’
  • Lack confidence or feel they are not fulfilling their potential
  • Experience uncertainty about their identity
  • Experience difficulty making or sustaining productive relationships
  • Are experiencing a life-crisis brought on by changing circumstances, eg divorce, work related problems, cultural change
  • Suffer from shyness or obsessional thoughts
  • People who live with disability, chronic health or somatic difficulties
  • Have experienced trauma, neglect or abuse
  • Those seeking personal growth/creative development.

Please look at links to initial consultation and other aspects of therapy.

I know that as a Teenager today you face a lot of challenges; you have to adapt to significant physical changes in your bodies and also deal with the increasing demands and expectations of society like the lure of the internet, pressure from exams and so on. This pressure makes adolescence and early adulthood hard and can cause mental health problems like anxiety, depression, low self-esteem, eating disorders, obsessive-compulsive disorder, drug and alcohol related struggles, relationship difficulties and much more. Counselling with Acorn therapy can help you to manage the challenges and mental health problems you face and navigate life.  We can help.
Are you a young person reading this, are you:
  • Getting in trouble from self isolation and too much computer-gazing
  • Not sure where you belong
  • Wanting to perform, maybe to front your band/club etc yet scared of getting all that attention
  • Feeling like all the adults in your life are all against you
  • Spending your time online/on the phone/gaming when you’d prefer to hang out with friends
  • Unsure how to maintain your own view when others have a different take on things
  • Easily phased and confused when thinking about what to do with your life
  • Constantly rowing with parents or teachers (sometimes called ‘flipping your lid’), frequently saying and doing things you later regret
  • Dying to find someone who is outside of your family circle to talk to?
Maybe I can help…

Who am I? Just call me Denis. I’m a man who has lived awhile and travelled quite a lot, originally from Uganda-East Africa.  I know what it’s like to live in a family that’s undergone big changes affecting everyone. I have worked a lot with young people over the years,  I know how important it can feel to have friends: a peer group, to fit in, to manage fear, anxiety or shyness, to feel able to step up and try out new ways of being and belonging in the wider world.
I am a therapist and counsellor, musician, charity worker and  performer. I’m not a teacher in the conventional sense – more of an interested listener/conversationalist and experimenter. I don’t ‘fix’ people or read their mind, no one can. However through my work with young people, I try to help them feel happier about who they are and stronger inside to deal with life’s challenges. I do not judge and I am not phased by anything. I imagine you want to make thought through choices and manage life’s challenges. If any of this strikes a chord with you I’d be interested in meeting up and finding out what’s getting you down or bugging you as well as what’s fun and worth celebrating in your life.

How it works:

I have some ideas on for example dealing with anger (which we all have at times). I’m also open to different ways of working, including using the arts so it’s not all talk. You might want to find a way of writing lyrics, or a poem to express how you feel, or of making music that ‘speaks’ to you about a situation or person that’s significant in your life. Perhaps there’s a song that captures what you are experiencing? Any of these can be ways in to working together here. Or you may want to explore a situation using painting or drawing rhythm. It doesn’t have to be a piece of art (therapy drawings rarely are!), just simply making marks on paper, mixing paints to make a glorious colour or a wonderful, gloopy mess can sometimes ‘hit the spot’ or help describe what is going on. we can also work with clay, sand tray, poetry, photography, drama, movement – there’s a host of ways of getting started.

Getting started

Initially, if possible I can meet you together with your parents and any other family members living at home if you like.  It helps us all get acquainted and enables me to learn something from you about the difficulties encountered, what has been tried and what solutions are being sought. 

Counselling may be brief, comprising a short series of weekly 40 minute sessions. With more complex or longstanding difficulties, meeting for a longer period of time may be advisable. In all cases progress is reviewed together by you and I on a regular basis.

I offer counselling and mental health support for students in Taunton and Somerset, to help you gain understanding and insight into any struggles you may be experiencing, to develop emotional resilience and put into effect real change, enabling you to fulfil your academic and personal potential.

 I am experienced in helping young adults and students dealing with:

  • Unemployment/ underemployment
  • Relationships, sex and sexual identity
  • Depression / anxiety / stress
  • Drug and alcohol abuse
  • Financial concerns
  • Work related problems
  • Illness / disability
  • Family breakdown
  • Pregnancy
  • Violence
  • Low self-esteem/confidence
  • Criminal activity / involvement in the criminal justice system

We need to understand what is behind behaviour in schools. The academic demands of modern-day education can have a significant impact on the well being of young people. At Acorn therapy I have a range of services available specifically catered to supporting teachers and young people in their pursuit for academic success.

Click here to look at my Mental health and mindfulness workshops for schools.

Mental health crisis help: The acorn therapy online counselling service is not suitable for a suicidal crisis; if you are suicidal, or considering self-harm please contact the emergency services or The Samaritans Website: www.samaritans.org Email: jo@samaritans.org Tel: 08457 90 90 90. If you are in a crisis or someone you know needs more help, please use our useful links section for contacts to immediate mental health help.

Disclaimer: The information in this website is not intended to be a substitution for diagnosis, treatment, or informed professional advice. You should not take any action or avoid taking any action without consulting a qualified mental health professional.

All messages left, whether voicemail, text or email will be dealt with in strict confidence. I aim to respond to all voice messages/texts/emails within 24 hours