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Cherry Blossoms

MARTIN LEACH

MSc. BA (Hons)
Counsellor

Do you have a particular life obstacle you’re trying to overcome? Sometimes, seeking help from a professional is the best way to put things into perspective. As a committed therapist, your well-being and mental strength is my number one priority. My fundamental stance in therapy with my clients is a human encounter that is open to their lived experience. I approach my clients with respect, listen deeply with compassion and in recognition that whilst I cannot necessarily make life easier I can help make life easier to live.

I am currently based at The Banbury Therapy Centre (see Contact Details). My regular sessions are on Thursday evenings and Saturday mornings and afternoons. I am available at other times by appointment

A BIT ABOUT ME

    I am a member of the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP) and I adhere to their code of professional ethics.  I am a member of The Society for Existential Analysis (SEA) - a professional forum for the expression of views and the exchange of ideas amongst those interested in the analysis of existence from philosophical and psychological perspectives - and The EMDR Association of the UK & Ireland.

 

        My background is in healthcare, initially as a residential social worker and then as a nurse. In addition to being a qualified counsellor I am a registered mental health nurse and I have over 30 years experience in mental health work in various settings including the NHS, private healthcare providers and prisons covering a wide range of issues. I offer individual, face-to-face sessions in the Oxfordshire area. I have experience with a broad range of clients including anxiety, depression, PTSD, trauma, abuse, psychosis, complex needs, addiction, personality disorders, self-harm, suicidal thoughts, attempted suicide, gender dysphoria and identity issues. I have a particular interest and specialist training in:

  • trauma

  • anxiety and PTSD

  • self-harm

  • depression

  • lack of confidence and self-esteem

  • shame and self-criticism

  • personality disorder

  • clients with complex needs

 

In my experience many people who have been told they have a personality disorder (especially borderline personality disorder) or have complex needs experienced trauma in early life.

 

   

Forest

A BIT ABOUT MY APPROACH TO THERAPY

My initial training in counselling was as a humanistic-integrative therapist, the key modalities were Person-Centred Approach, Gestalt Therapy and Transactional Analysis (TA). A core theme that runs through these modalities is existentialism and I have undertaken further training in existential therapy. In addition I have undertaken further training in trauma-focused counselling including EMDR and 'third wave' CBT approaches - Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) and Compassion Focused Therapy (CFT).  My current approach is a trauma-focused, integrative therapist. 

As an integrative therapist I will use the way of working that is right for you at any specific time. I integrate a variety of mainstream psychotherapy practices within an overarching trauma-informed framework (click the button below for more information). I take the view that there is no single approach that can help each client in all situations. people need to been seen as a whole and counselling approaches need to be adapted to their individual needs and situation. At times, you might need someone to listen and just let you tell your story. At other times, you might need someone to be more directive and give you practical skills to help you navigate life and work with your emotions and thoughts. At another point, you might need someone to challenge your own view of life and help you find a better way of being and existing in the world.

Trauma therapy helps people overcome psychological trauma. A traumatic event is defined as one in which you perceive a threat to your life, bodily integrity, or sanity. The other component of the definition is your reaction to the event or situation.  Trauma occurs when your ability to handle the event is comprised.

Trauma therapy is not one specific type of treatment, a variety of therapies can be used alone or in conjunction with one another to help you deal with the trauma and move on with your life.

During my many years as a mental health professional and therapist I have worked with a variety of different approaches to bringing awareness and freedom from deeply embedded ways of thinking, feeling and behaving. Whilst we usually adopted these patterns as part of our upbringing, often they were a result of trauma. These historical patterns have probably been with us for most of our lives and whilst they may have been useful earlier in our lives their functions are less useful and are perhaps harmful as we mature. Trauma in later in life can dramatically affect how we see ourselves and the world.  Trauma-focused therapy changes the question from 'What is wrong with you?' to 'What has happened to you?'.

For more detailed information on how I work click the button

'Anshin' is a Japanese word often found in Buddhist literature meaning 'peaceful mind' or 'heart at peace'.