Self Esteem (low)

Where does low self esteem come from?  (see full article on self esteem)

If a child lives with encouragement they learn how to be confident. If a child lives with criticism, they can become anxious and shy. If you have been ridiculed or ignored in your formative years, you can easily end up feeling shy and unimportant, with low self esteem. Equally you can develop a facade of confidence when underneath you may feel constantly fragile.

As parents we do the best we can, but if we weren’t dealt the cards ourselves such as value, praise, love, worth and patience, it’s hard to pass them on. If your parents, who will have done/be doing their best, were brought up in a limited, low self esteem environment, they will pass on what they learnt. They may not realise the damage they suffered or the damage they are passing on.  full article.

Contact us to see a therapist

Sex Therapy

Many people go through phases where they are unhappy with their sexual relationship.

Your sex therapist is trained & experienced in working with couple relationships and can work with you either as an individual or a couple.  He or she will also be a trained and qualified psychosexual therapist who will listen sensitively to your description of your problem to ensure the treatment plan meets your needs.

The therapy sessions involve talking & you will be given homework to do in the privacy of your home.

Some examples of difficulties that can arise are:

  • Loss of desire
  • Pain during sex
  • Anxiety
  • Premature ejaculation
  • No erection or loss of erection
  • Difficulty reaching orgasm
  • Vaginal soreness etc

Sexual difficulties can arise either for psychological reasons (eg stress, effects of loss, personal or relational difficulties) or physical reasons (eg illness, the effects of medication, disability) or a combination of both. A psychosexual therapist is experienced in supporting people whatever their issues.

Sex therapy can help you to overcome the difficulties you are experiencing through talking openly and frankly about your needs and desires, and help you to explore and understand the reasons behind the problem, either as a couple or an individual.

The sessions last 1 hour and are generally weekly, but this is flexible in order to meet the needs of the client.

To find out more or book an appointment please contact us.

For directions click here.



Eating Addictions

Sharon Osborne talks openly about her emotional issues including the need to get up in the middle of a meal and go and make herself sick after eating a lot. That’s called bulimia and has little to do with food and a lot to do with trying to find some emotional comfort through eating and then purging the guilt by being sick. We all call on things to reduce our emotional discomfort, like a drink or a drug or a gamble etc etc. However, when the taster doesn’t prove to be enough we take some more, until we become reliant on it to keep us sane. Behold it has morphed into an addiction before we notice.

These are all the symptoms not the cause. The cause is the initial bad feeling. Maybe we were disrespected, ignored, or treated poorly and the trauma and abuse left a very nasty taste we couldn’t get rid of, except by our helpful substance – whatever that might be.

Interrupt the addiction – easy … you’re joking. It’s never easy but with good support it’s the chance to reclaim your life by re-finding what you lost. Working with the cause, not just trying to take away your comforter. This provides the opportunity to reclaim a zest for life as you find your own way out, clearing the distorting negatives in your life that you start to believe are the truth. They’re a distortion from someone else’s needs, not the truth at all.

In counselling you will get respected, listened to and treated well, so you start to value yourself again. We will support you to build up a good feeling about yourself, which is a great way to start the rest of your life.

Click here for more information about how counselling can help.

See the full article here.  

To speak to one of our team and make an appointment, call us on 0121 429 1758 or email:  If you would prefer us to call you, please click here to request a callback.  See all contact details here.

Queen’s Honour for local practitioner

WE ARE THRILLED THAT KATHRYN LIVINGSTONE from the West Midlands, has been awarded the Queen’s BRITISH EMPIRE MEDAL in the New Years Honours list for services to people with DID (Dissociative Identity Disorder – that used to be called Multiple Personality).

At Birmingham Counselling & Psychotherapy Centre we have therapists who support and work with DID. We also provide a regular peer support group for therapists who work with DID clients, as well as their usual therapeutic supervision. DID is one of the more complex difficulties to work with but it is better supported and more understood than ever before because of people like Kathryn. This makes the honour to Kathryn for her work in this field all the more special.

Kathryn founded First Person Plural (FPP – a grassroots organisation dedicated to supporting persons with DID and based in Wolverhampton). For those of us familiar with her work and been trained by Kathryn, she herself manages a very complex, often challenging life with DID and this prestigious recognition could not go to anyone more deserving.

Kathryn has worked tirelessly, for over 20 years, for those whose lives have been affected by DID – survivors, supporters, family members and colleagues. Many clinicians working with persons with DID have benefitted tremendously from attending her trainings.

Kathryn passionately believes in the contribution people with lived experience have in training and awareness raising and her pioneering work in this area remains an integral part of her contribution – as demonstrated by her invaluable involvement in FPP’s two training DVDs.  Since the news of her honour has become public, she has received many congratulatory e-mails touching her deeply, especially those from survivors whose lives she has been a part of when they were at their most desperate; her tenacity has reminded them that things can change and to hang in there. Those of us living in the UK know how fortunate we are to have her working so professionally to get DID the recognition it so much needs.

The above comments are also drawn from something put up on the ESTD (European Society for Trauma & Dissocation). web site, honouring Kathryn’s award.

For anyone who would like support for DID in Birmingham contact us on 0121 429 1758 or at

For those in other places in the UK you can contact:

FPP, (First Person Plural)

ESTD (European Society for Dissociation & Trauma)    www.estd.

PODS (Positive Outcomes for Dissociative Survivors)

Mental & Emotional Dis-ease

– does it really effect that many of us?

Mental illness is the leading cause of sickness and absence from work according to the Mental Health Foundation. Every year in the UK 70 million workdays are lost due to mental illness; including anxiety, depression and stress related conditions.

There is more in the news about mental health, which means it is more acknowledged and talked about, which is great. Unfortunately the understanding, resources and support needed to support people and work effectively with them is lagging way behind what is needed.

The number of people who are affected by mental health is rising. In 1990, 416 million people suffered from depression or anxiety worldwide – these numbers rose to 615 million in 2013 (World Health Organisation, 2016).

Mental illness is extremely common and exists in different forms, each of which can have an adverse effect on your well-being.

Current figures state that each year in Britain an estimated one in four adults will experience at least one diagnoseable mental health problem, though only 230 of every 300 who need help will actually visit their GP.

At BCPC a counsellor will respond to your enquiry within 24 hours and provide you with an initial session within a week, if that is what you need and want contact us here.

Lulu sings Cry

Lulu remembers the violence when she was growing up, her experience of macho men, her need to be strong and how she contributed to the downfall of her marriages in the first video below.

She has now re-written the lyrics to `Cry` with her brother and she goes on stage tonight 29.3.16 in Shrewsbury with the military wives choir. (unfortunately sold out ages ago). The wives also have to find a way of being strong while their partners are away and all the proceeds are being generously donated to the choirs fund to bring people closer together through singing.   Video with the military wives at the bottom.


Emotional Abuse

We as a Centre are here to support people who are struggling with the after effects of abuse of any kind, whether the abuse was historical or current !  When we have lived in a negative environment this induces shame, shyness, guilt and low self esteem. This of course makes it very difficult to move forward with confidence. 

The insidious after-effects of abuse often leave us blaming ourselves.This is why working `together` with someone to re-build `trust`, can help us experience working positively towards what we deserve and start to believe in ourselves again. This can be an incredibly meaningful and honourable journey to participate in (for both people) as you reclaim valuable parts of yourself that have been lost.

You choose what kind of therapist you want to accompany you on that journey. Have a session with them and see if they are right for you or if you want to fine tune your choice. These are your needs, your journey and your choices. We are here to support you in the direction you want to go. Whether it’s mental abuse, sexual abuse or physical abuse it always leaves emotional scars that can benefit from being healed. This can in turn release energy & feelings that have been locked up inside and be liberating.  Emotions locked away inside fuel addictions that are developed to swallow down or kill off (temporarily) the pain. 

If you would like to talk to someone about what help is available or book a counselling session, phone 0121 429 1758. Alternatively use the `Request a Callback`. See here for our contact details.

Relationship Greenhouse

Have you ever wondered what a therapy group would be like?

Those who have, can’t speak highly enough of the personal learning experience it provides. If you would like to find out more feel free to contact us for more information.

There are some spaces coming up in a women’s only group that meets on Friday at 3.30pm for 1.5hrs. There is also a space for a man in our weekly mixed therapy group on a Thursday.

Group therapy provides a wonderful opportunity to reflect on your relationships at any level, or other issues in a safe and supportive (& at times challenging!) space.

Juliet who runs these groups is a very experienced gestalt psychotherapist.

Email: or request a Call back:

For more details about group therapy click here.

Couples Counselling Workshop

An experiential follow-up day to the `Couples Counselling Introduction` day workshop is being held on Saturday 4th October. You don’t need to have attended the introduction Part 1 to attend Part 2, but some experience of couples counselling would be of benefit.

Sandra Boden will provide opportunities to develop skills, reflect on practice, revisit theory and briefly explore working with couples who present with difficulties concerning violence or sex.

If you are interested in attending further details and booking information is available here.

Congratulations Anna and Paul, but why is Paul `All Shook Up`!

Big congratulations to two of our qualified & experienced counsellors, Anna Baulch-Jones & Paul Wheatley, for completing the very demanding journey to UKCP registration as full Psychotherapists.

Anna Bausch-Jones Presentation

Anna completed four years of Gestalt Psychotherapy training at Manchester Gestalt Centre. This is after already completing four years of counselling training here at the Centre, not to mention becoming a qualified supervisor in the meantime. She has now satisfied all the very therapeutically challenging requirements to become a UKCP (United Kingdom Council for Psychotherapy) registered Psychotherapist. Fantastic achievement. Anna has successfully worked here as a therapist for many years, but unsurprisngly, very rarely has spaces!


Paul recently completed his Integrative Psychotherapy training at BCU (Birmingham City University)  while working here at the Centre. Having already completed a Diploma in Counselling and having provided over 1000 counselling hours he is one of the first at BCU to attain UKCP status. And there’s more.. He’s quite possibly the only person to combine being a psychotherapist with being award winning Elvis Presley tribute act!  Amazing …