Chris McConnell MSc. Psychotherapy, Dip. CBT (MAPCP, MBACP). I am a fully trained, qualified and accredited counsellor and therapist. I have over 15 years experience working with people to overcome problems, such as depression, anxiety and addictions. I originally trained in psychotherapy through University College Dublin, based at St. Vincent’s University Hospital. I have also trained for two years in London in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy at Goldsmiths University London.
I have extensivley trained in and utilise mindfulness based CBT therapies, including, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT), Compassion Focused Therapy (CFT) and Functional Analytic Psychotherapy (FAP).Read More
As it was my first time getting counselling I was so nervous but straight away Chris made me feel very relaxed. I explained to him all of the different areas of my life that I wanted to work on and he made sure these were all addressed. When he saw I was struggling he wouldn’t push me to talk and let me do everything at my own pace. It really has changed me and made me a much more positive and happy person.
Firstly, even the fact that I was going to the sessions was a great help to me, as I could speak honestly and openly, in a relaxed environment, about what was constantly going through my mind. I soon came to realise how caught up in my thoughts I had become, and how, through practice how easy it can be to release myself from that unhelpful thought process. For the last few years I had spent pretty much every day thinking I was on the verge of some kind of mental breakdown, and I no longer need to waste so much time and effort struggling with the idea that I’m about to ‘crack up’. Even though I still get anxious from time to time, I’m no longer a slave to these feelings and sensations and can see these for what they really are!
Having never attended therapy before I did find it a really helpful experience. For me personally it was nice to be finally doing something positive about what I was going through. I soon realised that there are so many people out there that suffer in silence and turn to other methods to try and control uncomfortable thoughts and feelings. Obviously you will be nervous, anxious and probably a bit scared by starting therapy, but the things and the skills that you learn are proving invaluable to me getting on with my life. It feels good not to be constantly struggling with anxiety
I found it very helpful to focus on things that are valuable to me and to focus on these things rather than worrying about the anxiety and depression that I was feeling. I remember in some of our sessions you mentioned that you can still carry out things that are valuable and meaningful to us even though we are struggling with uncomfortable thoughts and feelings. Before this, I was of the opinion that I would try to overcome these difficulties prior to doing things that I value in life. I had my life on hold in some ways. I have found that changing this way of thinking has really helped me. Also, when I experienced uncomfortable thoughts and feelings in the past I worried a lot about them. This made the situation even worse. I have found your technique of “unhooking oneself” form negative thoughts very effective. I am now much more aware of these thoughts when they arise so being aware of them means that they don’t effect me as much.