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Gateway Counselling and Therapy Leicester

Safe Professional Counselling and Therapy in Leicester

My Blog


My Favourite Poster, Thought I'd Share

Posted on March 9, 2015 at 7:36 AM Comments comments (43)

Counselling in Leicester with Gateway Counselling

Posted on December 6, 2014 at 6:34 AM Comments comments (22)
If you live in the Leicester area (England) and think you or someone you know would benefit from counselling then please do get in touch.

Tel. 0116 2120807

So what kind of issues to people seek help for:

  • Anxiety, Panic Attacks, Phobia's

  • Stress, either at work or at home

  • Relationship Issues (not just marriage)

  • Feeling stuck in unhelpful habits, moods, behaviours

  • Eating problems and body or self image issues

  • Depression, low moods, suicidal thoughts

  • Oppressive or Intimidating Relationships

  • Bereavement. Grief, or any kind of loss

  • Anger Management

  • Unresolved Childhood Issues

  • Self Harm or Other Addictive Behaviours

Seeking Help Is Not A Sign Of Weakness
It Is A Sign That, Very Often, We Have Tried To Be Too Strong For Too Long.

If you or someone you know would benefit from counselling, then please do get in touch or encourage them to get in touch.

The picture above is the back page of my brochure. If you would like a brochure or several brochures for yourself or your workplace, contact me. 

Grounding Technique For Nightmares (also works for other anxiety stuff)

Posted on November 21, 2013 at 11:00 AM Comments comments (75)
Nightmares can be truly horrible and waking from one can leave you feeling very shaking and vulnerable. Trying to banish the pictures in your head of what has been happening in your dream can be very hard. 

Grounding techniques can be helpful in bringing you back to the real world, for nightmares, anxiety attacks, panic attacks.

Put on a light. Try to get out of bed and put something warm on if you feel shivery. Make a hot drink and sit somewhere safe and comfortable. As you sip your drink say out loud your name, where you are and tell yourself you are safe. 

Look round your room and identify familiar objects. Your pictures on the walls, a favourite ornament, a special soft toy, which you may want to pick up and cuddle. 

If there are still images in your head that you don’t want to be there tell them out loud to go away and immediately focus on something very familiar in your room. 

Put down your drink, place your feet firmly on the floor, hold the arms of your chair, or clasp your hands in front of you, and physically feel the floor with your feet and feel the arms of the chair, or one hand grasping the other. Achieving this will literally “ground” you in the here and now.

Now try to focus on your five senses;

SEEING – look around you and say out loud five objects that you can see – maybe a picture, a bedside rug, a vase of flowers, your curtains, and a clock.

HEARING – Maybe you can hear your own breathing, a clock ticking, birds beginning to sing outside, a familiar creak of floorboards, a car in the distance

TOUCHING – the softness of one hand against the other, the fabric of your chair, the material of what you are wearing, the warmth or coolness of your skin, the hardness of a wooden table.

SMELLING – any scent you might be wearing or soap you have used, the detergent you have washed your clothes in, maybe a cigarette if you are a smoker, any flowers that are in your room (leaves too have a distinctive smell), furniture polish

TASTING – the saltiness of your own skin, the trace of toothpaste in your mouth, the drink you have made yourself, imagine the taste of your favourite food, the cold taste against your tongue of the by now empty mug.

All the above are only suggestions – you will find your own “five senses”. This will take as long as it takes. There is no time scale. Everyone is different. Like anything else it takes practise. We are all individuals.

When you feel strong enough to return to bed tell yourself very firmly that you will not have that bad dream again. If it does visit you again, don’t blame yourself – it is NOT YOUR FAULT

Mind Full or Mindfulness

Posted on September 3, 2013 at 4:03 PM Comments comments (86)

One of the best and most useful things I have learned this past year has been MINDFULNESS.

Have you ever felt that life is just too damned busy. Sometimes it just seems to race by and before you know it, another birthday, gone. Another year, gone. Another friend, gone. Another bill to pay ... Another job to do ... on and on and on ...

And life is so busy. If we're not worried about something that's going to happen we are worried about something that has already happened.

What will my boss say?
How will I cope?
What will x, y or z think when they find out?
Was I OK? Did I say the right thing? Why do I get everything wrong?

And on and on it goes.

Sometimes we just need to stop.
That's where Mindfulness comes in.

Mindfulness (to me) is about stopping and, as they say, smelling the coffee. Taking time out of your day, your business, those chaotic thoughts, the demands others keep making on you and pressing the pause button.


Listen to your breathing
(If you can't hear it or feel it you don't need a therapist, you need a doctor!)

Spend a few moments listening to your breathing. 
Relax your shoulders. Close your eyes if you can and just feel your breathing.
In and out, nice and slowly, nice and easy, just breathe.

Before long your mind will start thinking about something else. 
Don't worry about it, just gently recognise it and bring your focus back to your breathing.

Again your mind will wander. Don't judge or criticise yourself.
Just gently recognise the thoughts and bring yourself back to focusing on your breathing.

(Now if you're working or in the middle of something, that may be all you have time for. That's OK. Try just that, a few times a day. But if you have more time then continue with what follows).

As you continue with gentle breathing, eyes closed, gently begin to feel where your feet are, what your legs are touching, how your stomach feels, your back, your neck. Relax your shoulders. 

Focus back on your breathing. 

Mindfulness (and this is only an introduction) has so many benefits:

  • It can help us to stop being busy and pause to reflect
  • It can help us to feel how we really feel (which surprisingly we don't always do!)
  • It can be a huge proven help with depression, anxiety and panic attacks
  • It can help us to stop worrying about the past or the future and focus on now
  • It can help us to genuinely stop and see the world around us with fresh eyes

Here are some other ideas:

Try and stop for a few minutes. Listen to your breathing and then slowly focus on each of your five senses one at a time. 

It may seem strange but we often see things without even noticing them. Take time to really look, look at the colours, the shades, see the beauty that we so often take for-granted. Go for a walk with no other agenda but to really look at what is around you.

What can you smell? So often in the city we don't even smell the pollution or petrol because it's there all the time. 

Take a small chocolate. What does it feel like in your hand? Does it weigh anything? Feel the inside of your mouth, do you feel the saliva. What does it feel like to swallow? Place the chocolate in your mouth. What does it actually taste like? As it stays there, are there different tastes? Bite into it. What does it feel like? Does the taste change. 

Light a small candle. Sit and watch the flame, how it dances and moves. Look at the colours. Put your hand near enough to feel the warmth. What memories does it bring. How do you feel?

When you sit to eat something, try and eat slowly and taste each mouthful (this takes alot of practice, so just try a minute or two to start with). We so often eat whole meals without really pausing to taste what we are eating.

And, without being creepy, take time to casually look at people's faces, every one so incredibly different. See what makes them them. What kind of eyes do they have (don't try and put words to it, just experience it). What makes them unique?

These are just a few ideas. Experiment. Have fun, and above all, don't get stressed trying not to be stressed.

Regards and Love

Garry x