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Adv Dip Couns MNCPS (Accred), Dip Sup, DC Hyp (MNRAH), Lic ASK Counselling, Psychotherapy & Hypnotherapy for individuals and couples
in Farnham on the Surrey & Hampshire Border

Blog. counselling and hypnotherapy

Combining Counselling and Hypnotherapy: A Holistic Approach to Mental Well-being

Have you ever wondered if there's a way to dive deeper into your unconscious mind and unlock the power of lasting change? As a counsellor and hypnotherapist in Surrey and Hampshire, I've witnessed firsthand the incredible synergy that occurs when these two therapeutic approaches are combined.

Hypnotherapy is a powerful tool that works hand in hand with counselling to help you access your unconscious mind – that part of your psyche that holds the key to your behaviours, beliefs and automatic reactions. It's like having a secret gateway to your mind allowing you to identify and change the behaviours that may be holding you back.

Through certain relaxation techniques, hypnotherapy guides you into a wonderful state of deep relaxation where your unconscious mind becomes more open and receptive to positive suggestions and change. It is a safe and natural process that empowers you to break free from limiting patterns and embrace new, healthier ways of being.

Counselling, on the other hand, uses the conscious mind to provide a safe non-judgmental space for you to explore your thoughts, feelings and experiences. This is a place where you can gain insight into the root causes of your challenges and develop strategies for personal growth and change.

When we combine the power of counselling and hypnotherapy something truly magical happens. Together we can work to identify and understand the unconscious and conscious beliefs and patterns that are influencing your life and then use the tools of hypnotherapy to enable your mind to make the changes you wish to see.

Whether you're struggling with anxiety, stress, phobias, low self-esteem or relationship issues the combination of counselling and hypnotherapy can help you unlock your inner resources and create lasting transformation.

In my practice, I often incorporate elements of person-centred counselling and psychodynamic models into hypnotherapy sessions. This holistic approach allows us to tailor the treatment to your unique needs and goals ensuring that you receive the most effective support possible.

If you feel ready to embark on a journey of self-discovery and personal growth, I invite you to experience the transformative power of counselling and hypnotherapy. Together we can work to uncover your hidden strengths, overcome obstacles and create the life you've always dreamed of.

Take the first step towards unlocking your full potential. Contact Imogen Ellis Jones Counselling today to schedule a session and discover how the synergy of counselling and hypnotherapy can help you achieve profound, lasting change.

Blog. microcheating

Blurred Lines: Spotting the Signs of Microcheating

Do you catch your partner laughing at their phone, typing away with a smile on their face? You may ask them what's so funny and they quickly dismiss it saying "Oh, it's nothing." Perhaps something about their behaviour just doesn't sit right with you but you’re not sure what is happening. Did it cross your mind that they might be microcheating?

As a counsellor in Surrey and Hampshire I've seen how the digital age has blurred the lines of emotional and physical infidelity. Microcheating, a term that's been gaining traction in recent years, refers to those seemingly small actions that may not be as harmless as they appear.

So, what exactly is microcheating?

It's the little things that might not be considered outright cheating but still fall into a grey area. It could be constantly liking and commenting on someone's social media posts, engaging in flirtatious banter online or at work or even confiding in someone else about the intimate details of your relationship.

While these actions may seem innocent enough, they can slowly erode the trust and emotional connection in your partnership. When your partner is investing time and energy into someone else, even if it hasn't turned physical, it can leave you feeling neglected, insecure and questioning the strength of your bond.

If you find yourself in a situation where you suspect your partner might be microcheating, trust your instincts. Some common signs include:

• Your partner is secretive about their phone or online activity
• They downplay or dismiss your concerns about their behaviour
• You notice them spending more time with online interactions instead of quality time with you
• They become defensive or evasive when you ask about their digital communications
• You feel a growing distance or lack of emotional intimacy in your relationship

Remember, a healthy partnership is built on trust, respect and open communication. If your partner is willing to work with you to address the issue of microcheating then it's possible to rebuild a stronger and more connected relationship.

However, if your partner dismisses your feelings or continues to engage in hurtful behaviour, it may be time to re-evaluate your relationship and consider if it aligns with your needs and values.

If you're struggling to navigate the blurred lines of microcheating in your relationship, you really don't have to face it alone. As a couple's counsellor, at Imogen Ellis Jones Counselling, I'm here to provide a safe, non-judgmental space for you and your partner to work through these challenges together.

Together, we can help you identify the underlying issues, develop healthy communication skills and build a relationship that prioritises trust, respect and emotional intimacy. If you're ready to take the first step towards a stronger, more fulfilling partnership, I invite you to reach out and schedule a session today.

Blog. gaslighting

Is Your Partner Gaslighting You? Recognising the Red Flags in Your Relationship

Have you ever found yourself questioning your own memories or feelings in your relationship? Do you constantly second-guess yourself, wondering if you're being too sensitive or overreacting? If these experiences sound familiar then you might be a victim of gaslighting.

As a counsellor in Surrey and Hampshire, I've seen the impact that gaslighting can have on individuals and their relationships. It's a subtle yet manipulative form of emotional abuse that can leave you feeling confused, isolated and even questioning your own sanity.

Imagine coming home from a night out with friends and your partner accuses you of flirting with someone at the bar. You're certain that you were just being friendly but they insist that they saw you crossing the line. They make you doubt your own memory and you find yourself apologising for something you're not even sure you did.

Or perhaps you've expressed your feelings about a hurtful comment your partner made only to have them tell you that you're being too sensitive and that they never said anything of the sort. Over time these instances of manipulation can erode your self-confidence and make you question your own perceptions.

Gaslighting is named after the 1938 play ‘Gas Light’ in which a husband manipulates his wife into doubting her own sanity. In reality gaslighting can take many forms from denying events that you clearly remember to twisting your words and using them against you.
If you find yourself constantly apologising, feeling like you're walking on eggshells or questioning your own judgment then these could be warning signs that you're experiencing gaslighting in your relationship. It's important to remember that this is not your fault, and you are not alone.

Breaking free from the cycle of gaslighting takes courage and support. As a first step try to validate your own experiences and feelings. Reach out to trusted friends, family members or a professional counsellor who can provide a safe space for you to share your story and receive guidance.

Remember, you deserve a relationship built on trust, respect and mutual understanding. If you're struggling with gaslighting I invite you to reach out to me at Imogen Ellis Jones Counselling. Together we can work on rebuilding your self-worth, setting healthy boundaries and developing the tools you need to navigate this challenging situation.

Blog. Loneliness

Coping with Loneliness: Building a Support System During Separation

In my experience as a counsellor in Surrey and Hampshire, I've witnessed firsthand the huge impact that separation can have on individuals. It's a time filled with uncertainty, heartache, and yes, loneliness. But here's the thing – you're not alone in feeling lonely. It's a common experience that many people go through during separation. So, let's talk about how to cope with loneliness and build a support system that can help you navigate this challenging time.

Loneliness during separation can feel overwhelming, but it's essential to understand that it's a natural response to the loss of companionship and routine that comes with separation. You might find yourself missing the little everyday moments shared with your partner or feeling adrift without their presence. It's okay to feel this way, and acknowledging your feelings is the first step towards finding comfort and support.

Building a support system is key to coping with loneliness during separation. Reach out to friends, family members, or even colleagues who can offer a listening ear and a shoulder to lean on. Sometimes, just knowing that someone is there to listen can make all the difference in the world. And if you're feeling overwhelmed, don't hesitate to seek professional counselling or therapy. Talking to a trained therapist can provide invaluable support and guidance as you navigate this challenging time.

Navigating relationships with others during separation can be tricky, but it's important to focus on healthy connections. Be honest with your friends and family about how you're feeling, and let them know what kind of support you need. Whether it's a simple chat over coffee or a night out with friends, don't underestimate the power of human connection in easing feelings of loneliness.
Self-care is another crucial aspect of coping with loneliness during separation. Take time to focus on yourself and your well-being. Engage in activities that bring you joy and fulfilment, whether it's painting, gardening, or going for a walk in nature. Remember to try to take care of your physical health as well – eat well, exercise regularly, and get plenty of rest.

Coping with loneliness during separation is challenging, but it's not insurmountable. By reaching out for support, nurturing healthy relationships, and practising self-care, you can navigate this difficult time with resilience and strength. Remember, you're not alone, and there are people who care about you and want to help. So, don't hesitate to reach out and lean on your support system when you need it most.

If you're struggling with loneliness during separation and need support, don't hesitate to reach out to Imogen Ellis Jones Counselling. I'm here to help you navigate this challenging time with empathy and understanding. Contact me today to schedule a counselling session and take the first step towards healing and resilience.

Blog. Bristle effect

Managing the Bristle Effect: Navigating Intimacy in Relationships

As a counsellor in Surrey and Hampshire, I've noticed a growing trend that's sparking conversations and searches across the internet. With over 2.8 million Google searches the ‘Bristle Effect’ has gathered momentum as more individuals find themselves grappling with this phenomenon. Coined by Vanessa Marin, the host of the Pillow Talk podcast, it's a term that describes that moment of hesitation when their partner's touch feels, well, not quite right.

Picture this: your partner leans in for a kiss, and instead of feeling butterflies, you're hit with a sense of dread. "He's kissing my neck. That can only mean one thing, and I don't want that right now." Sound familiar? You're not alone. It's like your body's instinctive reaction is saying, "No !”

Mismatched sex drives are totally normal in relationships. Some of us are more comfortable with physical touch than others and that's okay. But what if the recoil has nothing to do with your partner at all? It could be linked to past trauma, resentment within the relationship, feelings of being unattractive or simply craving a deeper connection from your partner.

So, how do we manage the Bristle Effect?

Honesty is Key

It's important to be open and honest with your partner about how you're feeling. Instead of letting discomfort simmer beneath the surface try your best to have a calm heart-to-heart conversation. Share your thoughts and emotions in a compassionate and understanding manner. Remember, communication is the cornerstone of any healthy relationship.

Discover Your Love Language

Have you ever heard of Gary Chapman's five love languages? Take the quiz to discover your and your partner's. Understanding how you both express and receive love can provide invaluable insights into your relationship dynamics. From acts of service to physical touch, each love language is unique, and knowing yours can help bridge any gaps in communication.

Me Time is Essential

In the hustle and bustle of everyday life, it's easy to forget to prioritise yourself. Schedule regular "me time" and communicate this with your partner. Whether it's indulging in a solo hobby, taking a long bubble bath, or simply curling up with a good book, carving out time for self-care is essential for maintaining balance and harmony in your relationship.
Connect with Your Body: Sometimes the Bristle Effect can stem from feelings of insecurity or poor body image. Engage in activities that help you reconnect positively with your body. Whether it's going for a hike, practising yoga or treating yourself to a pampering spa day, find what makes you feel confident and empowered in your own skin.

Share the Load

Don't forget to share the responsibilities at home whether it's childcare, household chores or financial management. Feeling overwhelmed with tasks can take a toll on your emotional well-being and, consequently, your intimacy with your partner. By working together as a team you can lighten the load and create more time and space for intimacy and connection.

Prioritise Touch Every Day

Finally, prioritise touch every day, but remember, it doesn't always have to lead to sex. Whether it's a gentle hug, a lingering kiss or simply holding hands while watching TV, physical touch is a powerful way to foster closeness and connection with your partner taking the pressure off physical intimacy.

Ready to navigate the Bristle Effect and strengthen your relationship? Reach out to me today. Let's work together to create a more intimate and fulfilling connection with your partner.

Blog. argue

Top 10 Tips for Couples to Have Healthy Arguments

In the realm of relationships the saying goes "Couples that argue together, stay together” but what exactly does this mean and how can couples navigate disagreements to strengthen their bonds? At Imogen Ellis-Jones Counselling I believe that effective communication is the key to healthier more resilient relationships. Let's explore some do’s and don’ts for having productive arguments with your partner.

1. Address Behaviour, Not Character

When offering feedback during arguments it's crucial to focus on specific behaviours and not your partner's character. Instead of making sweeping statements about your partner's personality, discuss particular actions that bother you. For instance, say "I feel hurt when you don't show affection in public" rather than saying "You're never affectionate with me."

2. Avoid Absolute Statements

Using words like ‘never’ and ‘always’ in arguments can lead to defensiveness and escalate conflicts. Instead of making sweeping statements express your needs using ‘I feel’ statements. For example, say "I feel overwhelmed when household chores pile up. It would mean a lot to me if you could help with the washing-up" instead of saying "You never help out and you're lazy."

3. Steer Clear of Stonewalling

Giving your partner the silent treatment, known as stonewalling, can be emotionally damaging. It leaves your partner feeling abandoned and can intensify conflicts. If you need space say something like, "I'm not in the right headspace now, but I value your feelings. Let's take a break and reconvene in an hour."

4. Contempt: A Relationship's Worst Enemy

Contempt, which involves showing superiority through eye-rolling, mocking, or derogatory comments, is a dangerous communication strategy linked to separation. Instead, express your true feelings directly and avoid sarcasm or ridicule.

5. Avoid Parental Language

Treating your partner like a child when they act immaturely can backfire. Treat your partner as an equal adult to avoid making them feel controlled. Say, "I'd appreciate it if we could work together as a team" instead of saying “I've told you multiple times to do this."

6. Acknowledge Different Perspectives

Partners often recall events differently so focus on feelings rather than the details. Acknowledge your partner's emotions and express your willingness to understand their viewpoint.

7. Setting the Stage for Effective Communication

Initiate conversations thoughtfully. Ask if it's a good time to talk ensuring both of you are emotionally available and in a calm state of mind. Avoid discussing important matters when overwhelmed.

8. One Issue at a Time

Address concerns promptly rather than bringing up past issues. Stick to the specific matter at hand to prevent overwhelming your partner.

9. The Art of Repair

If an argument goes awry revisit the conversation and apologise for how it was conveyed. Avoid sweeping issues under the rug.

10. Change Requires Mutual Effort

Positive change in a relationship necessitates both partners' willingness to work together. If your partner isn't committed to change consider your own boundaries and the path forward.

At Imogen Ellis Jones Counselling, I understand that effective communication is vital for healthy relationships. If you're facing challenges or struggling with arguments, my counselling services are here to help. Contact me today to embark on a journey toward a stronger, more resilient love. Together, we can nurture understanding, empathy, and connection.

Blog. co parenting

Navigating Co-Parenting After Divorce

Divorce can be an emotionally tumultuous journey marked by the challenges of communication with your former spouse. The wounds may still feel fresh and conversations with them may trigger past pain. However, amidst this emotional turmoil, it's crucial to remember that your children’s well-being should always be a top priority. In this blog we will explore how to maintain healthy communication, whilst putting your children’s needs at the forefront, all the while continuing on your own healing journey.

Acknowledging the Challenges

Co-parenting after divorce can be incredibly challenging especially when communication feels like walking on eggshells. Past hurts and unresolved conflicts may resurface making interactions tense and triggering. It is essential to recognise these difficulties as part of the process but not as roadblocks to providing a stable and loving environment for your children.

Putting Children First

The cornerstone of successful co-parenting lies in your commitment to putting your children's needs above all else. Your children didn't choose divorce; they deserve a nurturing and secure environment where they can thrive emotionally and psychologically. By focusing on their well-being, you can find common ground and build a cooperative co-parenting relationship.

Effective Communication Strategies

Establish Boundaries: Set clear boundaries with your ex-partner to avoid misunderstandings. Discuss and agree upon important aspects of co-parenting such as visitation schedules, child support and decision-making responsibilities.

Open Dialogue: Maintain open lines of communication focused on your children’s needs. Keep conversations child-centred and avoid discussing personal grievances or past relationship issues.

Use Written Communication: For sensitive matters or discussions that might escalate, consider using written communication such as emails or co-parenting apps. This allows you to express your thoughts more thoughtfully and avoid confrontational in-person exchanges.

Consistency is Key: Consistency in schedules and routines helps provide stability for your children. Stick to agreed-upon plans and show respect for each other's time.

Seek Mediation: If communication breakdowns persist, consider seeking professional mediation or counselling services. A neutral third party can help facilitate discussions and find solutions that benefit your children.

Continuing Your Healing Journey

Remember, your healing journey is just as important as your co-parenting efforts. Seek support from friends, family or a therapist to work through any unresolved emotions relating to the divorce. By addressing your own healing you can be more emotionally available for your children and better equipped to handle the challenges of co-parenting.

Co-parenting after divorce may be challenging, but it is vital to prioritise your children’s well-being whilst maintaining effective communication. By putting your children first, and implementing healthy communication strategies, you can create a nurturing environment for them to thrive. As you continue your own healing journey, remember that support is available to help you navigate this complex and emotionally charged process.

If you are struggling with the challenges of co-parenting after divorce, please reach out to me at Imogen Ellis Jones Counselling for support

Blog. forest-path-fw

10 Tips on How to Reclaim Your Identity After Divorce

Divorce can be one of life's most challenging journeys, often leaving individuals feeling lost and overwhelmed. However, amidst the pain and uncertainty, there lies an opportunity to rediscover your strength and reclaim your identity. Here are some compassionate and practical tips to help you navigate this transformative period in your life.

Acknowledge Your Feelings: It's natural to experience a range of emotions after divorce, from grief and anger to relief and sadness. Allow yourself to feel these emotions without judgment. Counselling with Imogen Ellis Jones can provide a safe space to express and process these feelings.

Self-Care is Non-Negotiable: Make self-care a priority. Nurture your physical, emotional, and mental well-being. This could include exercise, meditation, spending time with loved ones, or seeking professional help when needed.

Rediscover Your Interests: Take this opportunity to reconnect with your passions and interests that may have been sidelined during your marriage. Which hobbies or activities once brought you joy? Reintegrate them into your life.

Set Boundaries: Establish clear boundaries with your ex-spouse to protect your emotional space. This is crucial for maintaining your sense of self and moving forward with your life.

Focus on Your Future: It's easy to dwell on the past during a divorce, but try to shift your focus toward your future. What do you want your life to look like post-divorce? Setting goals and envisioning a brighter tomorrow can be empowering.

Seek Support: Reach out to friends and family for support and companionship. Professional counselling with Imogen Ellis Jones offers a structured and empathetic space to work through complex emotions and develop coping strategies.

Self-Reflection: Take time to reflect on the lessons you've learned from your marriage and divorce. What can you take away from this experience to grow and evolve as an individual?

Build a Support System: Surround yourself with people who uplift and encourage you. Join support groups or connect with others who have gone through similar experiences. Building a strong support system is vital.

Embrace Change: Change is an inevitable part of life. Embrace it with an open heart and a positive mindset. This is an opportunity to redefine your identity on your terms.

Forgive and Let Go: Forgiveness is not about condoning actions but about releasing yourself from the burden of anger and resentment. Letting go can be a powerful step toward healing.

Remember that healing and rediscovering your identity after divorce is a personal journey, and it takes time. Be patient with yourself and seek professional help when necessary. Imogen Ellis Jones Counselling specialises in helping individuals navigate through the challenges of divorce, providing guidance, support, and a compassionate ear to help you find your strength and rebuild your life.

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