"If anyone is feeling in doubt with themselves and need anyone to talk to can come here, and its good for adults and children and you can really express yourself”. (Child, age 9 years)
“I just wanted to say another massive thank you again for helping [child’s name]. There’s been such a big difference in him already, he really likes his Counsellor and looks forward to seeing her. I saw him laughing…I suddenly realised I hadn’t heard him laugh or smile for so long. We’re all over the moon.” (Parent)
“I wish everyone could have this. Before coming here I had been led to believe that I was a bad parent, from the first session it was made very clear it was not my fault I had just not been given the right help” (Parent)
Before my sessions with my Time to Listen Counsellor I was struggling with numerous family issues and losses, since airing and being able to talk freely with her I am now able to get on with my life and am able to concentrate on the things that make me feel happy. I am eternally grateful to her as she has given me a different outlook on life. Thank you!
Having set up some private counselling sessions for my daughter with Time to Listen I was kindly offered the funded attachment focused parenting course. I think it’s important to highlight that had this not been funded I may not have gone ahead with it so it certainly influenced my decision.
Having just completed the 15-week course with the Time to Listen Counsellor I wanted to offer my reflections in the hope this will help other parents and continue the funding.
When I was offered the course my relationship with my daughter was at crisis point. She had become very aggressive both physically and verbally and I felt completely out of my depth handling this. We often had scenes at home that would unfold into very ‘ugly’ situations as I struggled to maintain control and influence as a parent. I felt powerless, exhausted and It just felt beyond my parenting skills, I didn’t know what to do for the best for either of us. I was becoming concerned about my wellbeing and hers.
When my daughter started counselling, we were both introduced to the concept of attachment and I even did my own research reading the book by Daniel Hughes. Whilst I understood some of the concepts, I couldn’t relate this to our situation. My daughter had not gone through some horrific childhood trauma like abuse or neglect, she came from a loving and supportive family. I couldn’t therefore understand how the attachment issue could apply to our situation and therefore I was sceptical at first. Had I not done the course I may have remain in that position of scepticism.
Fast forward 15 weeks and we are in a much more positive situation, partly due to my daughter no longer being in an environment that was negatively affecting her and partly due to me learning and practising PACE (playfulness, acceptance, curiosity and empathy). Here are my highlights:
I would have no hesitation recommending the PACE course and the team at Time to Listen. It’s been enjoyable, informative and supportive.
“My son has responded amazingly well and I feel much more in control now”
“We have learned to be more inquisitive, learned not to talk over each other, not to overload our child giving him one task at a time, how important our routines are, learned to listen more”
“[Young person] has become closer to [family member’s name]”
“Life at home and school is much calmer for my son and I have a better understanding of my teenage daughter”
“Helped him to have a voice which we listen to”
“ It is still early days but early signs are positive”
“We will continue what we have learned knowing we will have more challenges along the way but feel [our DDP Therapist] has given us the tools and knowledge to be able to succeed which we are looking forward to doing in the future”
“Still early days”
“Feel we are near start of a very long process but input is having small steps positive effect”
“DDP is helping but it’s a long road as there are 3 children and for every step forward there is another challenge in the family”
“As time has gone on we're seeing each step forward that [child’s name] is taking to get to grips with his emotions”
“The therapy has been life changing for me, my children and school is much more manageable for my son. He is now accessing his education and is happy there. Home life is drastically calmer and changed for the better. I cannot believe the difference from six months ago pre therapy”
[Our DDP Therapist] has been an absolute pleasure to work with, extremely professional kind compassionate she has always been available calling us and email when necessary her time management is exceptional which is important for us and her other clients.
[Our DDP Therapist] has given us advice and support with school and advising us of different activities and what could work for our child keeping us open minded.
[Our DDP Therapist] is an outstanding Counsellor we really wouldn’t have been able to continue our life as it was without her consistency, dedication, to us all. Thank You
“We find that this therapy is very helpful”
“Alternate week approach allows me time to reflect and evaluate and offers me invaluable support. My daughter is benefitting from this therapy and it is giving me great insight into how she feels, thinks and perceives herself. Her massive vulnerabilities are painfully apparent in sessions behind her controlling and blaming behaviour”
Thank you for your constant support and encouragement through many stages of my life. You have helped me to feel confident and excted to go back to uni - who'd have thought!
Here are some of the comments from those attending in relation to what they most enjoyed about the day: -
I feel that I have been able to address long standing trauma and I feel that this is starting to have a very positive effect on my well-being and my outlook on life. I feel more confident and I am kinder to myself as a result
To Gail. There are people in the world that you nod and say hello to, and people you build a friendship with and enjoy good times, there's your family that yo love and depend upon. And then there are people that come into hour life that you never forget and change hour life forever, like you! Our lives have changed beyond belief with all the help and guidance you have given. i can't tell you how much we are all going to miss you Gail but know that the passage of time has now come to say good bye. To see (him) at ease and confident with himself, you have helped him come to terms with his past and helped him to understand how much he is loved. Our family life is so different now, it's so precious. (He) now trusts us and does not feel shame any more. Before we go to bed we check him to make sure he is ok and think about the book we read with you regards the mum who always made sure her son was ok at the end of the day. That was such a lovely moment and such a breakthrough for (him). We can't tell you how much we respect you and the work you do. i only wish more families could have your help. Once you understand PACCE and work through it regularly it starts to come naturally. The gain from this is immense, like a precious jewel. We wish you all the best, may your work keep on going to help more families like us!!! All our love
Feedback received from this days training in February
"Every school should provide this training to teachers. Behaviour in schools would be dealt with differently and help would be given to children"
"I enjoyed all of the day it was very interesting. I learnt so much that I'd never thought about. I have plenty to put in to practice"
"Very informative, great delivery from Gail, learnt lots of new information and strategies"
"Essential training for foster carers and residential staff in looked after care system"
"Thank you. I really enjoyed it and thought Gail did a fantastic job. If there are any other training opportunities I would love to hear about them as I really got a lot out of the day"
"The links made were clearly explained, within contexts that were easy to understand"
"For the same reasons as presented I have had issues with the buzz word 'resilience'. Today gave me a very comprehensive understanding. It ticked all the boxes and more"
"The lecture was presented in a professional, friendly environment and given in an informal manner to help audience comprehend/understand subject being presented. Very informative, enjoyable, providing lots of knowledge. I would definitely recommend it"
"Lots of information and knowledge that I can share with staff and new strategies for my own parenting. It was well presented and our knowledge was shared brilliantly. Thank you"
"It surpassed my expectations. Lots of information that I could understand and relate to my role of teacher"
"Gail - We need to bottle her!"
"I have previously attended training with Time to Listen and this fully met my expectations yet again. More training days Please! A Brilliant Day"
"The day delivered more than I expected. Subject content and how Gail delivered this using real life examples which put things in to context. Thank you I really enjoyed the day"
"I got so much more than expected. The knowledge and understanding gained about attachment was so informative but not heavy going. I felt very welcomed by Gail. Fantastic day thank you"
"Wasn't sure what to expect, but a brilliant informative day. Real life examples, great trainer"
Kelly has recently been the recipient of 10 free counselling sessions funded by the Lottery. She has given her permission for her responses from the evaluation at teh end of therapy to be put on the website.
What has been the difference after receiving these free sessions?
"I feel like a weight has been lifted, having someone to talke to and trust"
"If I had not received this support I would have struggled with daily life, trying to work out why I'm feeling the way I do. I would ahve had to stay on mediaction that I did not want to be on"
What could improve the counselling service?
"More funding for people that need it"
"Life is a little esaier with someone to talk to. Thank you"
The comments below are from some of the staff from the school after this one day training on Practical Strategies and Techniques For Use in the Classroom to Aid Understanding and Promote Learning:
"A great selection of ideas and strategies that will further enable our staff to better support our most vulnerable pupils"
"Gail's session was extremely well presented. Her course was both based in research as well as full of practical ideas. I would thoroughtly recommend this course to other teachers of 'troubled' children, as it will make you think about your own approaches to dealing with these children and finding a 'key' to unlocking their porlems and work towards some solutions."
"I found the analogy of sitting like a frog very useful and feel that it will help the chilfen and provide a rare opportunity of stillness/"
"Plenty of very useful techniques for improving children's sense of safety and wellbeing."
"Really pratical ideas that can be used with individual children or a whole class to support mindfulness."
"An excellent session! Gail provided a range of practiccal techniques useful for both whole classes and individual children."
"A training day where I felt that I am leaving with new ideas and skills that can help me be a better teacher. Thank you I really enjoyed the whole day."
Through the GP service we tried to access many different counselling serviess but quickly eralised that there were not many services out there for young teens. I don't know what we would have done if we had not found you as we had phoned and tried everywhere. Since Callum has recieved support from your service (via James Reckitt Charity) and Lisa in particular he has got his smile back on his face and is happy again and its been the best thing that could have happened. Its great to have the hapy Callum back!
Can I just thank each and everyone of you that have helped. We tried everywhere for months without success and then finally found you and at that time there was no funding available but you still remembered and got bak in touch when the funding was in. As a proud father cannot thank you enough. Since the sessions Callum has become more confident and back to the happy lad he was. Its just a shame there isn't the money there from the 'State' as this service ahs been one of the tmost positive experiences Callum has every undertakend. Thank you all so much from all of the family.
I would highly recommend this training to anyone involved in supportive work. Sarah and Gail (the trainers) were well informed, engaging and I felt that for a one day course the amount that was put on was fantastic. I often find that when I participate in training, if I am relaxed and having fun I learn a great deal more. This was certainly the case with this course! I was able to reflect on myself and my practice in a creative way and have found it hugely beneficial. Thank you so much for a great experience – I will certainly be on the lookout for other courses that are running. Fergus Williams, Counsellor
I feel a lot more positive in myself. Anxiety was over taking my life and I can now manage it thanks to Gail. I was struggling to ge on with day to day life so I would probably have gone downhill without this help. I tried other counsellors but they did not help. I think this service is brilliant.
Hi Gail I just wanted to thank you and Siobhan for all your hard work.
I am incredibibly happy, everything is getting better and I don't feel as if suicide is the only option. If I had not have recieved this support it would have been a disaster. I cannot express how grateful I am. Thank You. Bailey
Time to Listen provide the counselling support for this school on a weekly basis. In January the school were visited by the Ofsted Inspectors who have reported that "The care for the emotional well-being of pupils is outstanding" and the head teacher, Mrs Miller, requested that our achievement be publicised for you to read.
"I have just started working with someone who worked with you during their late teens.
They have spoken passionately about what a help you were, and how glad they were of your care. "she was brilliant" was the comment.
Although they accessed help in later years else where, that counsellor didn't measure up to you ...
No pressure for me then eh!
I thought you might like to hear how much a person out there still values the couple of years you worked with them, several years ago. You clearly made a huge difference.
I thought you might like to know."
"Thank you very much for all your help. I'm doing really well and don't know what I'd have done without your help! I have become more confident with myself and made more friends. Thank you again for helping me get back on my feet." (Client H)
I wanted to write to say a massive Thankyou for all you have done to help Harry (6yrs old) over the last few weeks.
Harry has really struggled with certain circumstances in his life that resulted in him being a very sad little boy which came out in frequent angry violent outbursts....You have spent so much time helping me understand his issues and thoughts and how to deal with them better. This has been essential in terms of my peace of mind and also giving Harry the right support to cope better.
Harry has actually loved his time coming to see you and has definitely benefitted from your sessions were he has opened up about lots of his fears and anxieties.
You have also included my ex husband, Harry's dad meeting with him again explaining Harry's issues and Harry's thoughts and giving recommendations on how to help him.
The above has been invaluable and Harry is now on a steady road to recovery.
Harry's outbursts are much less frequent and when they do happen I have the right skills to deal with them in the most positive way for Harry. Overall though he is a much happier little boy once again.
I can't thankyou enough for your help and support and you have always been on the end of the phone, again this has been invaluable.
By helping Harry you have in effect helped our whole family.
Thank you so much
Nicola and Harry
"Counselling has improved my self-confidence and worth tremendously, it has been an amazing help to my life" (S. Nov 2014)
“My counsellor has been truly fantastic. I have worked with countless agencies, services etc, since age 11, however I have achieved more with Gail these past 2 years than I did with all the others put together. She has supported me through some very difficult issues and worked through my trauma in a very empathic way. When I first met Gail I had numerous relationship difficulties, self-harming issues, confidence problems and a very poor self-image. I feel that with her ongoing support, EMDR and Inner Child work I have overcome many personal traumas and have grown in to a confident young woman. I would strongly recommend help from her and would like to take this opportunity to thank her for everything, her patience, support and her confidence in me” (Danielle Hall). Danielle gave her permission for this to be used in support of the service.
“Until you have witnessed someone you love suffering the loneliness and despair of a mental health issue, you will never fully appreciate the importance of being able to access a service like ‘Time to Listen’. When my 11 year old daughter started suffering anxiety and panic attacks I felt so helpless, it was heartbreaking to see her so unhappy and scared. With the counsellors help she has learnt to understand and control her anxiety, gained confidence and been able to enjoy her childhood again. Her future is looking a lot brighter than it did 6 months ago and it’s so nice to hear her laugh and see her smile again. (The parent of a client)
“If I hadn’t come here I would either be dead, in hospital or in prison now” (Charlotte)
"I was really worried at first about coming but I am so glad that I did" (Will)
"I would recommend this service, its not like you expect, the room is like being in your own home but with someone who actually listens" (Sam)
"If I could just keep coming I would. I'm a bit sad to end but feel so much better than I did. Thank you" (Pam)
Head Teacher reported "Everyone has been really positive about the training. Two totally unpromted responses':
"It was amazing! Really mind blowing and explains why some children behave how they do."
"It was the best training I've been to in ages - I told my husband all about it. I'm looking at everything differently now."
"Lovely flow, great facilitators and an excellent variety of materials"
"I would certainly receommend this training to anyone. I enjoyed every bit of it"
"Creating the jigsaw was a simple but fantastic idea, I learnt so much about myself"
"I got loads of ideas for future projects and I would recommend this training to anyone"
"This training was pretty darn good!"
We always strive to give our clients the best possible outcome from our work with them. We love it when we get the type of feedback that makes us proud of what we do.
Here are a few examples.
Funding grants successfully awarded from the following have enabled Time to Listen to thrive and grow as an essential therapeutic service despite the COVID-19 pandemic. This funding has enabled Time to Listen to continue being responsive to the needs of our local communities.