Do you need a place to talk?
Someone to listen?
I have eighteen years’ experience of helping people with all kinds of problems
What would the experience of counselling be like?
Receiving counselling is very individual. Whether you want to talk something through, understand what’s happening to you, express emotions, make sense of past or present experiences, I would want to listen to you very carefully and to hear, very accurately, what you are saying. Then, as the counselling progresses, I would want to communicate back to you, what I’ve heard you say, both in words and the feelings that generate your words.
At the same time as hearing your concerns, I would want to accept you as you are in the present. If I can listen, hear and accept you, there’s the possibility that you will feel safe enough to be real with me; in other words, to be yourself. Sometimes in counselling a person’s progression is rapid and the length of time a person comes for counselling is relatively short and sometimes the period is much longer.
When a person comes to counselling looking for help, they might already know why they want counselling. Perhaps, an important relationship isn’t as fulfilling as you’d like, a work situation is continually distressing you, or a loss always seems present, no matter how much time has passed. Sometimes a person can have a more generalized feeling that their life is unfulfilled or stressful with no obvious or single cause.
How an ending is made in counselling is dependent on a number of factors. There are no hard and fast rules. My main aim, as in all the work I do with clients, would be to help you explore your own decision making, including deciding what ending most benefits you.
How have I helped people?
Kevin is a young professional making his way in a competitive profession. He came into counselling feeling that his self-esteem was very low. He had the clear goal of wanting to improve his confidence. In the counselling sessions, he quickly expressed the feeling of being trapped inside a transparent box, in his private life. His work, in a new job, had started very well and his confidence had been improving. I was able to help him look at these feelings of being trapped and, bit by bit, over a period of 6/8 months he was able to take responsibility for the very angry feelings he had been holding since his schooldays when he had been bullied. Raising this matter from his childhood proved to be very significant. It was the turning point. After this, he was quickly able to make more satisfactory decisions in different areas of his life, particularly in his interactions with women. And his confidence soared. With this person, I was able to help him achieve his goal of greater self-esteem.
Linda was a young woman in her mid-20s who came for counselling as a consequence of having panic attacks in meetings at work. As counselling proceeded, I helped her to uncover that her panic attacks occurred when work meetings were chaired by a senior male in the company. She also connected this to some traumatic incidents at home in her childhood. It appeared to me that she became anxious and even frightened, with these new intense feelings. She then suddenly announced that she was stopping her counselling. The counselling lasted 8 months. It seemed to me that she felt shocked by her memories of childhood and didn’t feel able to share any more with me and abruptly left counselling. Even though I gently attempted to get her to re-consider her decision to leave, once she had made up her mind, that’s what she was determined to do. As the counsellor, I communicated that I respected her decision and that she could always come back.
Barbara, a woman in her 50s, came for counselling at a crisis point in her working life. She was constantly angry and in conflict with a number of colleagues. She had self-harmed at some stages of her life. Previously, she had had a number of encounters with mental health professionals which were unsatisfactory and even traumatic. She was very mistrusting of any mental health professional. Counselling, in the initial stages, revolved around whether I was trustworthy and whether I was really prepared to listen to her and respond to her experiences. Over a long period of time, about 3 years, she began to open up to me about many painful losses and experiences she had had as a child and as an adult, including losing her daughter at a young age. Even though progress, at times, seemed slow, at each stage she was able to pursue some interests and educational ambitions which she had previously been frightened to involve herself in. She successfully completed a number of courses in adult and further education and was able to move on from the painful experiences which were severely limiting her.
Edward was a Senior Manager in industry. He came to me about a change in his job description which meant that he would have to make presentations to large gatherings and this created, in him, huge anxieties. During the initial counselling sessions, we explored and were able to identify, the source of his anxiety. It connected back to his experience of being frequently humiliated in class, at school, by a teacher. Once he had uncovered this experience and the painful feelings which were associated with it, I used a combination of drama therapy and talking through these feelings. He then became freer to make his presentations without overloading with anxiety. The outcome was that he gained confidence in his own ability to stand up and speak authoritatively. He settled into his new role and over time received promotion which needed his newly developed steadiness with his presentational skills. These initial sessions, with Edward, dealt with his anxieties concerning presentations and took place in twice weekly sessions over 4 months. He went on to take a further long period of counselling in which he addressed a number of issues left over from some personal relationships in the past. As a result, he was able to let go of these experiences and felt freer to pursue his personal life in the present.
What do people say about their experience?
I was having a major problem with my manager at work. He would ignore me in meetings, but didn’t ignore others. In counselling I looked at what the obstruction was to my being more assertive and I was able to speak to my manager. Actually the manager continued to ignore me, but I gave him a proper chance to hear me and respond. When he didn’t, I could see this more clearly and had the confidence to then take the problem to a more senior manager and the issue was dealt with. I began to enjoy my work again.Alex
I’d got to my mid-sixties and didn’t trust anybody. Well, that’s okay if you want to be a hermit. I didn’t, but I didn’t know what to do. During counselling I constantly tested Len out, trying to make him go away, put him off me, but he didn’t. I started to bring my art work, which was not only personal and precious, but a very good medium to help me explore things; he was open to all of this. It helped. I don’t believe it’s ever too late.Sonia
The most important thing in counselling, for me, was the safety of the space. I don’t mean that it was comfortable, at times it wasn’t. But the safety was in knowing and trusting the confidentiality which was explained clearly from the beginning.Hamish
I would summarize my experience with Len Evans in counselling as him helping me to draw out some painful experiences, going back to school days, which were seriously inhibiting me. I began facing those painful episodes. I felt very angry, then sad and began to let go of some of my feelings.Duncan
What is my counselling training?
Post Graduate Diploma in Counselling Studies (University of Chester) 2014
Certificate in Therapeutic Group Work, 2001
Diploma in Counselling, 1999
Certificate in Counselling Skills, 1998
Registered member of the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP)
My background and why I do this work
Having worked in administrative jobs after leaving school, I trained, in my twenties, in Drama and Community Arts. It was while I was involved in this training that I had my first taste of counselling and started to confront the issues that I felt were limiting me. After a decade of teaching and directing drama with adults, I felt inspired to undertake training to be a counsellor. In 1999, I gained the Diploma in Counselling and began working as a counsellor, in education and in private practice. I also currently work in the voluntary sector.
During my drama training and subsequent drama work, I noticed how people sometimes limited themselves in the drama workshops. In this drama work, I valued and placed an emphasis on the individual’s experience. As part of my own personal development, I looked for ways to extend my understanding of the individual and I directed my interest towards counselling. I realised that I felt, and continue to feel, passionately about people having the opportunity to realise their full potential. I feel I’m always learning, both from clients and the wider world.
In addition to my professional counselling qualifications I have undertaken other training including ‘Working with Addictions’, ‘Clients who self-harm’, ‘Conflict Resolution / Alternatives to Violence’, ‘Hard to Help Clients’, ‘ Working with Adolescents’ and a Masterclass in the Person Centred Approach to Counselling with Professor Dave Mearns.
How do you book your first session?
The first session is a free consultation of 30 minutes to see if there is a match between what you are looking for and what I can offer. This first session will also cover confidentiality, payment arrangements and other relevant details of how the counselling would work. After that, sessions are usually once a week, but can be more frequent.
I work from a base in South Manchester, Chorlton / Didsbury.
I operate a sliding scale of fees in the range of £30 to £45.
If this sounds like what you’re looking for, please call or complete the contact form
Len Evans 07875 981 135
Personal counselling in South Manchester