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21st July 2018 
Home. Tom 3

Counselling and Psychotherapy in Battle, East Sussex with BACP registered counsellor


I have helped people with difficulties including anxiety, depression, panic attacks, relationship issues, addictions, bereavement, or just feeling unhappy and lost and not sure what to do about it. I don't expect you to "sign up" at the first meeting, as I know it often takes time to think before making a decision, it can also be difficult to tell someone you have just met that you don't think they can help you! You can ring or text me on 07436 019987 or email me at tomjcowan@hotmail.com. I'm happy to answer questions on the phone or via email for no charge. I am also able to offer home visits within reasonable travelling distance if this is easier for you.I am based in Battle, near Hastings,East Sussex.

I have worked as a Counsellor in Sussex, at Nursing homes in Surrey, Hospices,at a centre for the homeless and at Redhill Counselling Centre. I have provided psychotherapy in East Sussex for people with alcohol addiction, in the NHS, for an organisation that helps carers in East Sussex and as a Samaritan in South London. I previously worked in the music industry, recruitment and at a local animal sanctuary. I don't use websites that charge me a percentage of your payment and I would advise you always to contact Counsellors direct because this added charge may be passed on to you!

Our first meeting will last 60 to 80 minutes and costs 20, this will give both of us time to explore whether we would like to continue. After this the charge for one hour sessions is 40, whether for an individual or couple. I am happy to charge the same for two people as I don't see it as twice the work.I can also offer longer appointments if this would be easier as sometimes an hour can feel too short.

I often work with couples to try to help understand what is causing any difficulties in their relationship,again this is often connected to past experiences being replayed in some way. Sometimes people feel they are in a battle with their partner rather than being on the same side! it usually helps to try to look at what is happening when the "heat" is off, and this is often easier with a third, neutral person present, bit like a referee! Humour can also be very useful to defuse volatile situations. We are often attracted to people who are different to us, eg a "planner" who has difficulty acting spontaneously has a partner who is impulsive and likes to wake up and go away for the weekend! if they can balance each other and see the value in the other way this can be great, if not there is likely to be conflict. It can help to avoid thinking of right or wrong, just different.

There is so much uncertainty and change around whether in the world of politics or economics,with distressing events happening with depressing frequency. The political situation does not provide much certainty or stability, whatever your political beliefs. In the US It seems Mr Trump the expert salesman has done a very good job of selling himself to the American people. These huge events,like our own Brexit also have an effect on our personal relationships and interactions with each other. The issues around misuse of power by famous or influential people to exploit others are shocking, and understandably this brings up very strong feelings,which seems to be making any discussions of what actually happened very difficult.Shame is a very powerful and upsetting feeling, which damages our self esteem, there are some very public examples of this around in TV entertainment and sport at present. Even writing this I feel very aware of not saying the "wrong" thing!

Although Counselling and Therapy are complex subjects which can be explored in great depth, there are also some simple ideas which can help,for example experience and thinking are often seen as the most useful guides to help us make good decisions, but sometimes using our instinct or gut reactions can also be very helpful. So how do we get the best out of these seemingly contradicting abilities we all have? We need thinking and feeling to work together in balance to help us live and work in harmony with the world and those around us. Although we rightly see experience as something useful sometimes what we "learn" can lead us to make assumptions about people or ourselves that are wrong, for example " I always meet people that let me down" - these things can become a self- fulfilling prophesy and we are in danger of sabotaging ourselves.

Often it’s the conflicting emotions that we find the most difficult to cope with, it can seem more comfortable to decide we either love or hate something or someone rather than deal with the upsetting changes in our feelings about the world and the people that we care about.

Counselling can be seen as a way of holding up a mirror in front of you but instead of reflecting your physical appearance you can see yourself as others see you behaving and reacting to them. In a way this is the most important thing we try to learn and do as counsellors, to try to feed this back in a helpful and sympathetic way. I often see people who don't love or even like themselves very much, though this is so painful that it's often very hidden, and usually comes from difficult experiences when young.


On average I see people for 6 to 20 sessions though sometimes I work with people for months if there is a deeper issue, or if you are a counselling student. Counselling should help you become more able to look after yourself and your feelings, not to become reliant on another person,including the counsellor, so I always work with this in mind.I also have experience in working with people on the autistic spectrum, or who think they may be on the spectrum but have never been recognised, maybe wondering about aspergers or high functioning autism. I find this very interesting and rewarding, and sometimes challenging as well! Sometimes the difficulties with other people that might be diagnosed as due to these issues may be also connected with past attachment or emotional issues, whatever the cause I believe that counselling can be helpful.

It seems that anxiety is becoming a problem for more and more people, not helped by being still a more "hidden" issue than say depression, making it harder to talk about. There is more about anxiety on the anxiety page of my website.

It can sometimes feel that moving to a new town or even different country will solve our problems- described recently by Dr John Cooper Clarke as "doing a geographical"- however he also said the problem is you have to take yourself with you! it may be better to look at ourselves first or as well as our surroundings, which of course may need to be also addressed.



I have helped people struggling with many different feelings and situations they find themselves in, especially when they lead to anxiety, depression, panic attacks, or problems with the various ways we try to distract ourselves from our problems which can then feels like the problem itself.This could be unhealthy use of alcohol, drugs, bingeing on food or shopping, gambling, sex etc. We often avoid thinking about painful events or feelings from the past, either consciously or without realising it, as we want to protect ourselves and avoid pain, but sometimes this can cause problems with our relationships which can be significantly helped by revisiting some of these past experiences in a safe supported way. People usually find that however difficult and painful this might seem it is very useful, partly because talking about our fears and insecurities makes them real and what is real is always less frightening than what we can imagine might happen.However dwelling too much on the past can be unhelpful, and is often why people are wary about counselling. It seems that putting these painful things into perspective is what helps, acknowledging the pain and experience, accepting it is in the past allows you to move forward in a more positive contented way.

I am also interested in how men may feel about coming to counselling. Men often find it harder to talk about their feelings and what might be troubling them than women do, it seems that the fear of being thought weak or admitting we have problems can get in the way of this. We are all often under pressure to succeed and look after our family, the threats may have changed from things like attacks from animals but the fear of losing a job or being tricked by con artists can be just as disturbing.

We have a lot of clever technology; phones, tablets, apps etc, to help us "communicate" now which can be very useful, but they can sometimes distract us from being present in our interactions with others and make it harder to enjoy what is happening now. Filming events or concerts on mobiles may be fun (unless you are standing behind!) - but does it get in the way of enjoying the experience fully? It seems that many of us have issues around relationships with other people; partners,lovers, parents, children, colleagues and friends; and that the feelings we have for others affect the way we feel ourselves.When we struggle with these feelings we often use other things to avoid feeling bad and this can lead to problems such as those mentioned above.

Counsellors are usually careful about telling you personal details about themselves, this is because you should be the focus of the work we do together, however it is also important for you to find someone you feel comfortable with so I am happy to answer some questions about myself.

I am 56, married and have recently moved to Battle from Caterham in Surrey.

I have premises in Battle in East Sussex,within easy reach of Hastings,Bexhill,Hailsham, Rye,Winchelsea,Northiam,Robertsbridge,

I can offer short or longer term counselling or psychotherapy in East Sussex.
So if you are in the Battle, Hastings,Bexhill,Rye,Lewes,Hailsham, Northiam,East Sussex area and looking for a Counsellor in East Sussex or thinking about counselling or psychotherapy please don't hesitate to contact me.