Are you struggling with depression anxiety or loneliness? Need someone to talk to? Maybe I can help. Please feel free to fully explore my online therapy sites. You'll find I have a wealth of experience and can offer you a compassionate, safe, effective and convenient 'listening-ear'. No matter what emotional difficulties you may be facing, let me support you to find a life less distressed and lonely.

My therapy practice offers:

a 'personalised' multi-media service with a greater level of flexibility and convenience than is available via the traditional model

a service which makes your access to counselling as easy as possible. This gives 'you' the 'lead role' in deciding how and when your therapy will proceed

Furthermore, it is becoming clear that the conventional, face to face model for therapy is not a ‘fit’ for everyone; it is in any case limited to those who live within a certain geographical radius to a specific counselling office. In this modern, digital world, it is understandable that people are not prepared to wait a week or, more likely, weeks for a solution to their difficulties. Whilst online therapy is incredibly suitable for all ages, many, particularly young people may shy away from the very thought of sitting across a strange consulting room, facing a ‘silent’ stranger in order to get to the root of their personal difficulties.

Do bear in mind though, that counselling is not a quick fix – it may be that you feel you have important decisions to make and only need to talk something through to clear your mind, and would prefer to do this with someone outside of your close family and friendship circle, in which case one or a few sessions may be sufficient. On the other hand, if there are some deep-seated issues that leave you feeling depressed, anxious, lonely and/or confused – then maybe a longer-term therapy might provide us with more opportunity to explore these and many other difficulties in more detail.

What Exactly Is Counselling?

First let me explain a little about what counselling entails; whether online or in a traditional format, counselling is a type of talking - or, increasingly, ‘texting’ - therapy that takes place over a regular period that allows a person to talk about their problems and feelings in a confidential and dependable environment.

Counselling itself is particularly suited to those who have both the motivation and commitment to seek a deeper understanding of their ‘inner selves’ - with incredible reward and fulfilment to be gained from living a life in which you are the key ‘active participant’ and guide.

Counselling is essentially, the building of a relationship of trust between two people where the therapist seeks to gain a deep and empathic understanding of you (the therapy ‘patron’), and your difficulties, by means of seeking to absorb themselves fully in your ‘lived experience’.

The Role of A Counsellor / Therapist

My role as your counsellor is to assist you to explore difficult aspects of your life and feelings, by enabling you to talk openly and freely. Talking in such a way is rarely possible with family or friends, because they are likely to be emotionally involved and understandably, to have opinions and biases that may make it difficult for you to come to identify and adopt your own views. I will neither judge you, nor offer advice. Most importantly, I will provide you with the opportunity to express difficult feelings such as anger, resentment, guilt and fear in a confidential and non-critical environment.

We might explore some of your early childhood experiences to throw some light on why you might react or respond in certain ways in given situations. However, we do not dwell significantly on this aspect, our major purpose is, where appropriate, to use the understanding we gain to consider ways in which you might improve your enjoyment of relationships with the most important people in your life.

At all times, the aim of counselling is to enable you to make your own choices, reach your own decisions and to act upon them accordingly.

BACP Links: Information about the Counselling Experience

You may find the information provided by the British Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy useful in deciding whether counselling may be an effective option for your current difficulties. Please follow the link provided below:

BACP: Information and Factsheets: 'What is Counselling?'

It's Good to Talk

The Mandy Alexander Traditional Counselling Service

I have a wealth of experience in, and continue to provide, a face to face, or 'in-person', counselling service wherever it is felt most appropriate for you; however, this type of service is limited to those living within my local geographical area (postcode LE12) and to my available time slots.

Sessions last for 50 minutes and are held weekly at the same time/day each week. However, I’m happy to work with you on either a long- or short-term basis, even for one session only – depending on your needs; I'd love to explore these options more fully with you when you get in touch.

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What Kinds of Difficulties Can You Help Me With?

I have a wealth of knowledge and involvement in supporting people experiencing a wide range of difficulties, especially those who are struggling with feelings of being 'different', lonely or isolated. They include young people and adults who are:

feeling confused, and dealing with the stigma attached, as to their true sexuality, identity or culture

feeling undermined and misunderstood within important relationships at home, work or college

struggling through periods of stress, depression anxiety or bullying; not least that of Domestic Violence.

young people struggling with bullying and harassment arising from their use of social media.

bereaved, lonely, anxious or depressed

facing terminal illness; and also their families and friends who are supporting them

carers both before and after the loss of their loved one

young people and adults with a long-term chronic illness, such as ME, Fibromyalgia etc

The Mandy Alexander TexTalk Online Therapy Service

Online counselling is a form of therapy that takes place over the internet on online therapy sites and is also sometimes known as: online therapy; email therapy; or online therapy chat. The Mandy Alexander TexTalk Service offers a text-based mode of communication via email or Instant Chat, using secure platforms that ensure that your privacy and confidentiality are preserved.

There is growing evidence that online therapy can be equally as effective as face to face therapy. It is most particularly effective if you are comfortable using technology to communicate and have the commitment and motivation to engage in counselling. Although it is a relatively new form of therapy, it is interesting to note that the Samaritans have successfully and effectively provided email therapy, for people facing a crisis in their personal lives, for more than ten years.

Whilst online counselling is not intended to take the place of in-person therapy, a growing number of people are finding that their ability to develop an effective therapeutic relationship is equal to that when working face to face and furthermore, it can provide support for the same types of issues as those that are discussed in face to face therapy.

You may also utilise my service via the PlusGuidance Online Therapy platform. You may find my PlusGuidance online profile here. (However, please note that the platform has now instituted a subscription only service - so following this route would now, unfortunately, involve extra costs.)

What Are The Advantages of TexTalk Online Therapy?

Working online provides you with several advantages, both in terms of choosing the 'right' therapist for you; often shorter, or none at all, waiting times; and in the accessibility and convenience of meeting arrangements - especially if:

you prefer the relative anonimity afforded by online therapy - maybe because you'd find it easier to talk about the important issues that you might otherwise have felt less able to express in person

you would like the opportunity to enjoy sessions at a more frequent rate than are provided within traditional counselling

you struggle with the isolation of depression, social anxiety, shyness or agoraphobia

you prefer the fact that you are attending therapy to remain private

you feel more comfortable 'opening up' whilst remaining in your own home

you prefer to have time and space to 'structure' your thoughts

you are unable, either practically or physically to undertake the journey to a therapists' office

you travel extensively for work, educational needs or recreation

The Mandy Alexander TexTalk Email Therapy Service

As its name suggests, email counselling allows us to work via an exchange of encrypted emails; the process involves you typing out your problems and concerns in an email, and, afterwards, me taking the time to read the email before replying with a considered therapeutic response; I will commit to responding to you within 48 hours of receipt of your email.

This form of therapy is ‘asynchronous’ in that should you elect to pursue this format, you type out your problems or concerns in an email of around 750 words or 2 sides of A4, and I take a minimum of 50 minutes to absorb your information before replying to you with a considered therapeutic response within a mutually agreed time-frame.

Writing down whatever it is that may be troubling you can be an extremely effective way of processing negative emotions. Putting pen to paper, or in this case, hand to keyboard - is an ideal way for individuals who do not feel comfortable speaking their problems ‘out loud’ to express themselves effectively.

Because emails can be written at any time over a continued period - and you are in control of determining the timing on your side of the contract - you have the freedom to document what is on your mind as it occurs, rather than waiting several days for a face to face counselling session.

Just knowing that there is someone there to receive, acknowledge and respond to your problems without judgement can provide an enormous sense of comfort and support to anyone attempting to overcome a difficult period in their life.

All therapeutic email communication will take place utilising the encrypted email service provider Hushmail; for further information regarding this service, please visit the Security and Privacy section of the website here.   You will also find details of my Fees and Payments here.

The Mandy Alexander TexTalk Instant Chat Counselling Service

Instant Chat Counselling takes place at a pre-arranged time using the messenger service based within a secure, encrypted online therapy platform. This form of counselling allows you to receive an instant 'real time' response which can be very comforting for clients who wish to interact and respond with their therapist immediately.

Similar to email counselling, online chat counselling is more accessible and convenient than that of face to face counselling, and it also gives you the option of remaining relatively anonymous.

Should you decide to go ahead with this form of counselling, I will provide you with full instructions how to access the chat messenger platform in order to commence our therapy.

If you have decided that online chat counselling is an avenue you would like to explore further, please feel free to get in touch with me and we’ll arrange a mutually convenient time for us to "meet" to discuss this further.

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Privacy and Security

It is vital, in building our therapeutic relationship, that you are able to trust that your information is maintained in confidential and secure manner. In order to achieve this, I make full use of the following encrypted services:

Hushmail encrypted email service - for my Online Email Counselling Service

VSee - for my Online Chat Service

You will find detailed information about your Security and Privacy and these specific encrypted services here.

Some Thoughts to Consider

TexTalk Online Therapy particularly suits people who are comfortable communicating via the written word. Indeed, such people often find the process of writing down the things on their mind very helpful in itself. Moreover, the act of sharing in this way can bring some relief, as putting thoughts, feelings and concerns down in writing can begin to provide considerable insight into what is happening in a person's life.

It is also important that you have a private space to work in and have the same commitment and motivation to engage in counselling as you would do if you were to come in for face to face counselling.

The counselling exchange is certainly changed by the online medium of communication and this is a phenomenon you may well notice, and may want to bring up during our work together - and this is particularly important in aiding us to avoid any misunderstandings. However, it is possible to work effectively with problems using this method - I am trained to pick up clues in different ways - from the written word, from your speech patterns, etc. – and, of course, whilst this is different from trying to understand someone’s body language, many people today have discovered ways to communicate effectively using the written word.

You should also keep in mind that technologies can fail to function properly at times – and prior to your therapy we will discuss the actions we can put in place to mitigate against this. We will also consider the safeguards to be put in place to protect your privacy - if, for example, other people have access to your computer, the confidentiality of your Online Therapy session has the potential to become breached and, again, we will discuss this prior to the commencement of your therapy.

You will find detailed information on ethics, confidentiality and privacy in Online Therapy, in my ‘Terms of Service' document here.