Hello and Welcome

I'm Nick, a BACP registered counsellor based in Fishponds, BS16. 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 sessions.

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, trauma, bereavement, depression, relationship issues or general low self-esteem. If any of this resonates or you need to improve your confidence, then contact me. 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

Loneliness: How to reduce with small gestures

A Loneliness Epidemic?

Loneliness can have such an impact on the physical and mental health of the population. It is something that can impact people of any age. From children spending hours in their bedrooms looking at a screen to adults struggling to find the motivation to get up in the morning. The effect is very similar – that of the belief that no one likes or cares about them. Left to fester, this belief can turn towards suicidal thoughts and actions. I have blogged about suicide related to men and teenagers.

A lonely person - small gestures and loneliness

As The Guardian newspaper reports here, it is not something that can be fixed overnight or by one individual. It is suggested that there needs to be a nationwide effort to put support measures in place. This can take many forms from telephone support lines to activity groups to making small conversations with people you meet. However, as a species, humans have become adept at ‘putting on a brave face’ and pretending to the world that everything is alright.

But How Do We Know There’s A Problem?

If we are all so good at hiding our loneliness or social isolation, how are we supposed to support others? It could be a matter of taking the time to strike up conversation with a neighbour. Alternatively, choosing to use the ‘manned’ checkout (rather than self-service) and give the operator a smile. Small gestures but they may go a long way. I suppose the answer to the question above is that we don’t need to know. Just taking the time to interact with real people in real situations could be enough.

Of course there are people where the epidemic has really taken hold and more proactive action may be required. People that are truly isolated through a physical incapacity, for example. In cases such like this it is much harder to reach out. Potentially, it’s about raising awareness to those in need through the communication channels they are using. These could be things such as social media, television and radio.

Other Options

It has been heartening to see adverts relating to mental health during major broadcasts. Furthermore, there are an ever increasing amount of celebrities speaking out about very real challenges in their personal lives. It’s becoming OK to talk openly about your mental health. As a counsellor I see many people that have taken the step to talk to someone. I have worked with many clients that have felt quite cut off from friends, family and society. Low self-esteem is a common problem. However, it is not a permanent way of life. It does not need to be set in stone. Much can be achieved and improved by talking to someone without judgement, in a safe and confidential space.

To find out more, please get in touch or read a little more about me.

Positive Stress and Anxiety: Use them to your advantage

Looking From a More Positive Angle

Recent research highlights how viewing stress and anxiety from an alternative perspective can be beneficial. Positive stress and anxiety can change a person’s outlook on life. Typically, stress and anxiety are viewed as negative concepts, from events that are generally accepted as negative. Examples are something like the loss of a job or family bereavement.

A picture of someone biting their nails - not positive stress and anxiety!

The research, which is summarised by Science Daily here, points out that positive events can also bring on stress and anxiety. Bringing a newborn baby home for the first time is cited as an example. A very positive part of a person’s life but it can come with much stress and anxiety as the new parents work out how to provide for the infant.

Anxiety: Positive early warning

Considering anxiety alone for a moment, it can be useful to view it as an early warning system. As a therapist, I often point out to clients to listen to what their body is telling them. For example, if someone notices tension in their body, it can be a sign they are experiencing an increased level of anxiety. By paying attention to physical sensations in the body, raising awareness, gives control back to clients. For example, noticing a tightness in your chest may be a sign that you are anxious about an upcoming exam. At this point, using relaxation tools such as breathing, meditation or grounding can help to arrive at the exam in a more positive, calm mental state.

Listen to Your Body

However, if stress and anxiety go ignored for too long, that is when more serious problems occur. There is only so long that the body can continue to function in an extremely stressed state. Stress increases cortisol levels, which if maintained for a sustained time can lead to auto-immune conditions such as chronic fatigue or fibromialgia. Therefore, it is very important to listen to what our bodies are telling us. Notice the tension, energy levels and unexplained pains. They are there for a reason – to use as a positive sign that our bodies have been functioning near their limits for too long. If we do not take action, our bodies will – by beginning to shut down!

Viewing events from the alternative perspectives outlined above is a part of counselling. Many times the alternative perspectives can change our view to a more positive one. Stress and anxiety are givens in modern life, so learning to use them positively is a great skill.

To find out if I can help you do just that, please get in touch.

Mental Health Problems: The Media is Raising Awareness

I am an advocate of raising awareness of mental health problems. As such, I like to write about positive stories that further reduce the stigma of reaching out for help. This one, click here, from the charity Mind, is the latest to have caught my attention. In short, they have conducted a brief study looking into traffic to various pages of their website. They have uncovered a link between an increase to specific pages around the time a mental health documentary or drama was aired.

Mental health problems supported by portrayal in the media

Mind observed for several major TV shows that page views to related pages of their website had doubled. The inference here is that people are trying to find out more, potentially with a view to getting help. As a counsellor, I find that clients are often in search of answers. From the answers come understanding and this often starts the empowerment process, enabling people to gain back control. Essentially, it is knowing why things happen that can start the tide turning. When things makes sense, we can start to see choices and can begin to make changes.

Therefore, by watching a good quality program on TV, people are wanting to find out more. They start to research on the internet and discover that there are resources and help available. After all, some mental health problems are such that people are too embarrassed to get help or feel that their self-worth prohibits reaching out. So, anything that reduces stigma and promotes the acceptance of mental health problems should be acknowledged very positively indeed. As such, Mind themselves promote the Mind Media Awards, which recognises significant achievements across many media categories.

One option available to people with mental health problems is counselling. If you would like to find out more about the services I offer, please contact me.