©2019 by Martin Leach. Created with Wix.com

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 Ashcroft Therapy Centre in Deddington, Oxofrdshire and at The Banbury Therapy Centre near Banbury town centre.

A BIT ABOUT ME

I'm a member of the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP) and I adhere to their code of professional ethics. I have regular supervision as do all professional counsellors and this helps to ensure I am working in a safe and ethical manner. I am also 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.

 

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 in:

  • trauma

  • working with survivors of abuse

  • self-harm

  • anxiety and PTSD

  • depression

  • lack of confidence and self-esteem

  • shame and self-criticism

  • personality disorder

  • clients with complex needs

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 rums through these modalities is existentialism; my current approach is as an existentially oriented 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 practices within an overarching existential 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. This takes us to the ‘existential’ part. An existential therapist works with how you position yourself in the world and how you view the world and those around you. In existential therapy, you might want to face some of the bigger questions or issues in life around freedom, choice, life events, what gives purpose and meaning to your life? What is essential for you, personally? Who are you beyond the daily patterns you live out? What makes you want to get up in the morning and what would you like to have achieved when you are on your death bed?

Facing these issues can be hugely rewarding and can impact all areas of our life, how we view the world around us and how we relate to others. This doesn’t mean that being in existential therapy is an intellectual pursuit where you sit around philosophising. Rather, it is about making a connection with your therapist that allows you to express your innermost feelings and to understand why you feel the way you do, and how you can make the changes to your life that you want to. It allows you to explore your life experiences openly and honestly and obtain a clearer sense of the meanings they may hold for you. Anyone from any background can benefit from this approach.

 

I aspire to facilitate self-understanding among clients and encourage them to adopt new attitudes and feelings towards life situations. It is essential to keep in mind that therapy is not a magic pill or a quick fix: therapy is a healing process that necessitates participation and investment from clients. Making small changes to self-defeating behavior and coping with feelings of sadness, fear, and pain can bring life-altering results. Therapy is not always easy, sometimes you may feel worse before you feel better. My aim is to guide clients in learning to take responsibility for their own choices and making choices that align with their values and help them to live in a way that embodies your personal values and to form a realistic and authentic relationship with life. The important thing is this: to be able, at any moment, to sacrifice what we are for what we could become.

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'.