FREE initial 15 minute video or phone consultation to check our compatibility, and to find out a little more about how I work
Becky Franks - counselling and psychotherapy
Tel: 07920 004974

Therapy in Stoke Newington

Therapy is a collaborative relationship between two people. It is a therapeutic relationship based on trust, respect and honesty, and with the shared endeavour of helping the client to understand who they are in the world, and how the way they are in their world impacts upon those around them, but most importantly how it inpacts themself.

I believe that lasting understanding and change can come about through this therapeutic relationship. It's not about being told what to do, or which way to go by the therapist, that is for the therapist to help the client to work out.

Through the awareness gained from the therapy itself, a person can see how they may have got to their present impasse or dilemma, and how the repetition of these self destructive or unproductive thoughts and behaviours can limit their relationship with both themself and the important people in their lives. They can then use this insight and their tools to make the changes they feel necessary for a happier journey through their lives.

Life is hard, it is unfortunately as simple as that. We all suffer, some of us more so than others, but we don't have to just accept what life throws at us and suffer in silence. That's not to say that suffering doesn't come into the process of therapy, of course it does, but it is only when we reach our tipping point in our suffering - where we really feel we will break if we don't make a change - that we have the courage and strength to reach out for help.

It can seem an easier option to just cope with everything life throws at us, and to try to hold it all in and carry on. Often it's possible to manage this for a time, but eventually that suffering becomes too much and we snap, it is only then that the healing process can begin.

I always think that therapy is a very strange endeavour indeed, afterall, who would automatically think that sitting with a complete stranger and telling them their deepest, darkest secrets was going to be the most helpful and healthy option? But I truly believe that it is.

Even if you are lucky enough to have good family and friends around you, they are not trained to listen without judgement, they do not always hear what is being said, and generally they will have an idea of what they think you should do, which however well intentioned, is not neccessarily what is right for you.

Only you can truly know what is right for you, sometimes we just lose sight of that - or it may feel that that information has never really been within your reach - but through exploration of yourself in therapy it's possible to connect/reconnect with that lost sense within yourself.

It can feel a daunting or even terrifying idea to consider having to get in touch with those lost or damaged parts of yourself, and it's natural for us to want to avoid that fear, but with the support of the right therapist it's possible to have that fear contained and held, and through this process for a safe space to be created for this difficult work and healing to take place.

Schools of thought that inform my integration

Humanism was founded by Carl Rogers, who had the idea that there needed to be three 'Core Conditons' present in the therapy for there to be the environment for change. These three conditions are Empathy, Unconditonal positive regard (for the client) and Congruence (therapist honesty and disclosure where therapeutically appropriate), and these are central to my humanistic foundation. He also believed that every person has within themself a driving force towards living, self fulfilment and positive mental health. The importance of the therapeutic relationship is also strongly advocated in humanism, and I'm a firm believer that the therapist can use the trust that is fostered throughout the work, for the therapist to challenge some of the negative or more toxic coping mechanisms the client may have adopted over the years.

The three underlying ideas of existenalism are of life, death and personal freedom. All of these are understood through the prism of life as a struggle and hardship, which of course it is. It's really difficult to be in, and to maintain relationships with our nearest and dearest, as well as with ourself. Life can throw us some real curveballs at times, and then we die! But there is a liberation and power that comes from understanding it's central idea of personal freedom, and how although we cannot change what people may do to us, that we can choose how we react to that which is done to us, or that which happens to us.

CBT and Mindfulness ideas:
CBT has at its root the idea that the way we think about ourselves (our cognitions), affects our mood, which then affects our actions (our behaviours), and how by gently challenging and examining these thoughts we can over time change these actions. I use this coupled with the concept of mindfulness, and it's central idea of awareness, and paying attention to our thoughts, feelings and actions. We generally just react in life, but if we can start to get in tune and 'notice' how we feel in the moment - before we just react in our usual way - we can better understand what we truly want and need in the present moment, and this creates a space to make better decisions in the here and now. It's described as 'paying attention to our intention', and can be a very powerful and positive tool for transformation.

Some of the issues I work with:

Anger/ aggression
General feelings of 'stuckness' in life
Loss of meaning
Low self-esteem
Managing emotions
Panic Attacks
Relationship problems
Stress & change
Suicidal feelings
Well being
Insomnia/sleeping issue
Race (personal and/or issues and experiences relating to it)