How I started in psychotherapy
My name is Ian Tomlinson and I have been involved with counselling and psychotherapy for over a decade. My first experience of psychotherapy was as a client.
I was a young man in my early twenties and I was experiencing some real difficulty with jealousy. I was in my second serious long term relationship and noticed that I was having the same strong thoughts and feelings around my partner that I had experienced in my first long term relationship. If my partner was different then the issue had to be mine.
I sought therapy from a counsellor in central Manchester. I still remember skulking around outside his office building up the courage to go in and take part in this mysterious process that I knew little about. My therapist was a kind, down to earth Mancunian that put me at my ease within minutes.
It didn’t take long for me to relax into the process. I talked about what was going on for me and we explored it together. I talked about my childhood and started to see links between my relationships with my parents and the other significant relationships in my life. Gradually I worked through my stuff and started to let go of the jealous behaviour – it wasn’t something I needed to do to keep me safe anymore.
My training in psychotherapy
Therapy had helped me change my life dramatically – it was at this point I decided to look into how it all worked. I enrolled on the Certificate of counselling skills course at Salford College to see if I could find out more. The counselling skills course was a person centred based course recognised by the BACP. Although I found it interesting I wanted to find out more about psychotherapy rather than counselling and so a couple of years later enrolled on a four year training in Transactional Analysis.
I chose Transactional Analysis (TA) because it was the model that my first therapist had used and it made a great deal of sense to me. I had read extensively on the subject and it both interested and fascinated me.
As I started working with couples in my practice I realised quickly that I was going to need to be trained properly if I wanted to be a potent, useful couples therapist. I had read “Getting The Love You Want” by Harville Hendrix and so when I saw an opportunity to train as an Imago Relationship Therapist I jumped at it. That training changed my life and the way that I understand relationships. I’m passionate about how Imago can transform relationships and feel the power of it everyday in my own relationship with my partner.
Whilst on my TA training I met a great therapist who’s principle modality was Acceptance and Commitment Therapy. As he talked about it I grew more and more interested. I decided to do a couple of courses in London to find out more and had ACT therapy myself to see how it worked from the inside.
After a few years of training and reading in ACT I found Mark Webster, one of the foremost experts in ACT. I went into weekly supervision with him. Mark taught me ACT from a practical perspective and much of what I use in the therapy room and deliver in the training room I have learnt (and continue to learn) from him.
My beliefs about therapy
I have seen therapy and counselling have a huge impact on people’s lives. I have experienced this for myself too. The process of sitting with another person that is not related to you or a friend or work colleague and being able to explore what is going on for you can be a transformative one.
A well trained psychotherapist who knows what they are doing can give you support, help, guidance and point out things that you just can’t see for yourself because you are too close to them.
The theory of TA helps enormously in the process too but it is often the relationship of complete trust and intimacy that is the key factor. I have worked with people who have changed their lives for the better within four sessions, they have just been at the right point in their lives to make the change and needed someone to gently steer them in the right direction.
For others it can take over a year to even work out what the issue that is the root of their problems is. Either way it doesn’t matter. The experience of therapy leaves few people untouched. It’s rare that no benefit is taken from the process.
Why choose me?
I’m one of hundreds of people offering counselling in Manchester so what makes me different?
If it’s qualifications you are interested in then I’m a highly qualified UKCP registered psychotherapist and an Advanced Imago Relationship Therapist (one of only a few in the UK). I train other therapists in Transactional Analysis, Imago Relationship Therapy, Couples therapy and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy. I also supervise other therapists in all of these disciplines.
I believe there is a good therapist out there for all of us, what suits one person will not suit the other. I love what I do and have a thirst for learning how to do it better. I also get a real buzz out of seeing people change and grow into autonomous, contented individuals who feel at ease in the world.
If you do decide to give me a go then I promise to sit with you, accept you for who you are and give you support and just the right amount of challenge when the time is right. If you want to see whether I am the right psychotherapist for you contact me on 07966 390857 to make an appointment or email me by using my contact form here.