Hello and Welcome

I'm Nick, a BACP registered counsellor based in Fishponds (BS16) and central Bristol (BS2). Please read on to find out more about me and how I can help you. Alternatively, give me a call or text on 07988 136267 or send an email to nick@tangata-counselling.co.uk to book your free consultation.

A Counsellor in Bristol For You

I can help you feel better about yourself. I am experienced in counselling many concerns that arise is today's busy world. These include but are not limited to social anxiety, bereavement, depression, relationship issues or general low self-esteem. If any of this resonates or you need to improve your confidence, then contact me for a free consultation. My Bristol based counselling practice runs from two easily accessible locations - Fishponds and central Bristol.

Your counselling sessions with me allow you the time to be heard and understood. You may discuss whatever is on your mind, no matter how big or small it appears. Together we can understand and reflect giving you the opportunity to choose different thoughts or actions. Working with me you are giving yourself the best chance to achieve your aspirations.

I am a registered member (MBACP) of the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP) and work to their Ethical Framework. This means that I will always put your best interests first and foremost - you can check my membership here. I am also fully DBS checked.

Relational

Our relationship and trust in each other are at the core of the bond we will develop during counselling. This will naturally develop at a comfortable pace through respect for each other. I will hold you in the highest regard and your commitment to the process is important. You will have the opportunity to discuss your needs from low self-esteem, social anxiety or depression. I also have experience helping people with bereavement, relationship difficulties, general sadness, additions and family issues, amongst many others.

Integrative

I will work with you integratively. This means I use a core theory but will incorporate skills from other approaches as appropriate. To quote a few buzz-words, I work in a person-centred manner, integrating CBT, solution-focused and transactional analysis, amongst others.

Creative

An alternative to talking-based counselling are a variety of creative techniques. If appropriate, my training in creative writing or sand play can provide the opportunity for deeper levels of understanding. My BS16 counselling room has the equipment, so we will arrange sessions here if this is something you would like to try.

Latest Blog Posts

Social Media and Teenage Suicide

How Social Media and Teenage Suicide are Linked

Previously, I have written about the use of screens. My concern is how they can negatively influence the mental health of all of us, especially teenagers. Recently, it has been revealed that this is becoming a matter of life and death. More specifically, how social media and teenage suicide are being linked.

Image of a meadow on a summer's day

Alarmingly, around 200 British schoolchildren take their own lives each year. At a rate of more than one every other day, I was shocked to read this on the BBC website in this article. Another stand-out piece of information from the BBC is as follows. Due to the private nature of mobile phone use, parents are not up-to-date with the online persona of their children. As such, the type of content they are viewing is unknown. The video on the above BBC web page makes the point that disturbing self-harm or suicidal content is still freely and easily available to all.

Therefore, in some cases parents and friends of suicidal teenagers have no idea of deteriorating mental health. One cannot begin to the imagine the shock of discovering a dead child. So what can be done? How can we understand social media and teenage suicide?

Ways to Approach the Problem

To me there seem to be a number of different corners to the problem to smooth off in order make some headway. Initial thoughts might be to blame the social media companies – we live in a blame culture after all! Yes, there is definitely much they can do to improve the way in which harmful material is so readily available. As an optimist, I am sure there is plenty of work behind the scenes but it needs to be quicker and more effective. With all of today’s technology, how is it that a 14 year old can access suicidal images? Unacceptable.

However, can a teenager’s mental health deteriorate that quickly that parents and friends have no idea? Despite the confusing whirlpool of hormones that swish frequently through a young person’s body, we must regularly keep maintaining contact. By that I mean face-to-face interaction – let them know we are available to listen. Try to understand. It might appear to fall on deaf ears or is received with a grunt but on some level it will go in. Furthermore, there are always ways to connect with a teenager. As unlikely as this may seem, each personality will have a unique way in. This could be a board game, eating pizza in the car on the way home or buying an ice cream on a snowy day.

Conclusion, with Extra Awareness

Finally, by reading this article you are now hopefully a little bit more aware of the potential issue. Just this information will likely start-up your radar for signs of problems at home. Furthermore, if things seem unmanageable it is important to address issues through an open, sensitive and non-judgmental discussion with your teenager.

More help is available through the BBC Action Line, the Samaritans or personal counselling, please get in touch here.

Benefits of Sleep – and learning to sleep well

Benefits of Sleep

Many of us are familiar with the benefits of sleep. However, even as adults it can be difficult to recognise and acknowledge that sleep should be the next thing on the agenda. It becomes all too easy to squeeze in one more little task or another few minutes of TV. Therefore, it is hardly surprising that young people struggle more than adults. They will often rebel against the idea of going to bed (and sleeping). Almost as if it is seen as some kind of punishment.

A person, unable to sleep, staring at the clock. Sleep deprivation provides misery to many.

The Guardian report that, especially in adolescents, insomnia can be more damaging than lack of physical exercise, too much screen time or bullying. The article outlines how sleep lessons are becoming available to children across Britain. This situation is quoted as a ‘hidden public health crisis’. The inference is that poor behaviour or performance at schools could be put down to sleep deprivation.

A Personal Sleep Theory

Reasons aside (and there are many, including social media and obesity) it must be in everyone’s interest to promote the benefits of sleep. Furthermore, I believe it is necessary to go a level deeper and talk about how to achieve good sleep. I have written about the benefits of physical exercise on mental health and how excessive screen time can damage a person’s well being. Combining these aspects of life provides a starting point for good sleep. I have a long standing personal theory. Our minds and bodies should be equally exercised every day. Therefore an achievable level of movement and thinking should be targeted. My belief is that this provides a good starting point for settling oneself.

Some Ways to Move On

There are of course many other recommendations to achieve the benefits of sleep. The NHS provide a good starting point for more reading here. Of course, my theory of equal mental and physical tiredness is only a concept to help most of the time. In life, problems accumulate and often feel unmanageable. Whilst often perceived as harder to manage when tired, outside help can be what is needed. Counselling is one type of support to help surmount life’s obstacles or management of life events. Please get in touch to find out more.

‘If I can do it, anybody can’ – Fury’s message on mental health

‘If I can do it’…

If you have been reading my recent blog posts, you will have gathered that I am keen to raise awareness of good mental health. Furthermore, how important it is that people feel comfortable to reach out when they need help. As such I was full of admiration for Tyson Fury and his message during the BBC Sports Personality of the Year 2018, which you can read about here.

Tyson Fury speaks out about mental health

Boxers are viewed as the hard men of sport. Tyson Fury is no exception, especially because he stands at six foot nine and eighteen stone. However, he has had the courage to speak out about his personal issues, at an important public event.

Whatever your views of boxing and sports in general, it cannot be argued that Fury makes a good point. The BBC quote him as saying that [sports] ‘people are still living in darkness and are too afraid to come out and speak about it’. However, I believe that this extends far further than sports and into the general population. Therefore, when a celebrity comments publicly about their own mental health, bravery is a word that comes to mind. For many of us, asking for help with mental health is a big and scary step to take. Tyson Fury has helped to normalise this feeling. He is evidence that improvements can be successfully be made to ones own mental health.

 

…’anybody can’

Fury goes on to say ‘no matter what you’re going through, you must always continue to get back up and keep going forward and fight back’. Clearly, he is referring to a boxing match. However, this struck me as a valid metaphor for life in general. As we live our lives, there are constant setbacks and obstacles to overcome. Our ability to deal with these and manage their successful navigation is an indication of our mental health. If the obstacles that knock us down or out become too frequent or too large, things may seem too dark, foreboding or overwhelming.

This is the when counselling can help. It is OK and normal for this to happen. It is OK to ask for help. Even the big tough guys are doing it, without shame or worry about the impact on their image.

Please get in touch if you would like to find out about counselling in Bristol or read more about me.