Henry Fryer
Psychotherapy & counselling in central south Hampshire

How I work

Counselling and Psychotherapy are both talking therapies: we have a dialogue about the issues that have brought you to therapy.

I work in a relational gestalt style: this means paying attention to the here-and-now of what happens between us - our dialogue, and all the responses we both have to this, whether thoughts, emotions or physical feelings.

I believe that our past has a strong influence on how we behave in the present: particularly our early experience. The environment in which we grew up - family schooling, culture, an atmosphere of safety or of threat and so on - all have a strong influence on our personality and adult behaviour. I believe that this is a more significant influence than our genes.

Our experience 'there and then' will manifest in the 'here and now' of our relationship in the therapy room. The purpose of our dialogue is to help you bring into your awareness how you operate in the world today.

Very often our ways of being in the world have been so firmly rooted in our early experience that we behave, out of our awareness, as though we are living back there and then rather than right in the here and now.

Sometimes this is called neurotic behaviour.

A simple example is our habit of being self-critical. A degree of healthy self-criticism helps us to stick to the conventions of the society we live in. ('If I left ten minutes earlier for work, I wouldn't have to break the speed limit every morning.') But many of us are so self-critical that we live in a constant state of anxiety, guilt, or paranoia about what others are thinking about us. For some people this can be a crippling inhibition. Very often this habit is based in a highly rule-bound early life, where the smallest mistake led to criticism, chastisement or even physical punishment. Out of awareness, we preserve this early experience in the form of an 'inner critic'. But we are the only one doing this to ourselves!

In therapy, such habits of thought become evident in our dialogue, and we can then bring them into awareness, examine them together in a non-judgmental manner, and find alternative ways of relating to our actions.

Working in the here and now of our relationship also allows me to monitor my responses to your story and to reflect back my own felt and thought responses. In this way we can co-create new ways for you of thinking, feeling and behaving in relation to the issues you are bringing to your therapy sessions.