Redbridge Counselling & Psychology
Peter Miles Berger, BA. MA. Ed.D. CPsychol MBACP
Orion House 104-106 Cranbrook Road, Ilford, Essex, IG1 4LZ /
Individuals, families, young adults, couples, special needs
RELATIONSHIPS, FAMILIES, TEENS
Anxiety, depression, stress & mental health
Career & vocational counselling
for Redbridge, Ilford, London
“Self love declares that we care for ourselves enough to assume responsibility for our lives”
George S Holden- “On Loving”
Pathway to Recovery
Well-being, Growth, A meaningful life
Hopefully you never need counselling or psychotherapy. Still, if you need talking therapies I am able to help in a number of unique and special ways. My higher education and psychology training covered nine years of full time university study in Chicago and Los Angeles. This background allowed learning a variety of helpful approaches as well as the humility to know we do our best in an imperfect world. Try as we might, life can offer many challenges.
My work with violent mentally ill offenders, prison based work, and with profoundly disabled people means that I comfortably accept people as they are. You don't need to worry what I may think - I have seen a lot!
My aim is to enable and empower you to learn your own successful ways of coping. My approach is client centred in that I work to your objectives. I am here to help you with what you feel you need. Your viewpoint is my starting point.
In addition to individual therapy I work with couples and families, especially with young people coping with family stresses or school concerns. I can help families communicate and recover trust between parents kids. I help couples communicate like grown-ups so they stop quarrelling and instead understand each other and together deal with their real challenges.
I also take a long-term interest in people with learning disabilities and their families. My London career includes management for Mencap in Redbridge, Together (Working for Well-being), Bridgemarsh Hostel in Chelmsford, and many housing charities for special needs people.
I welcome people with severe and enduring mental health problems who must deal with medication, stigma of hospitalization, misunderstanding, and isolation. I try to see the world through your viewpoint and help sort through inner turmoil and daily demands of life.
My aim is to de-mystify counselling and treat people fairly, with respect, dignity and straight talk.
Research shows that, as counsellors become more experienced, their styles and approaches converge. The point is that, even with all the different theories, abiding principles are shared as life never follows the plan we expect so we must always be flexible.**
** Research by Truax & Carkhuff (1966 etc.)
I actively invite people with major mental health issues including those recovering from hospitalization or crisis
Brammer & Shostrom
"Therapeutic Psychology" (1968)
My approach is called “Actualisation Counselling”. Rather than a prescriptive set of rules and outlooks, Actualisation Counselling encourages therapists to continually learn and grow in their skills and knowledge creating “Emerging Ecclesiasticism”. Simply put, each counsellor uses their basket of skills and knowledge to help people.
In my case I use a range of models and I explain a number of them on this page. I am both a counsellor and psychologist which means to me that I provide expert talking therapies as well as technical psychological work such as assessments, evaluations, and therapeutic interventions. I also do biofeedback stress management described on another site.
My training includes nine years of university devoted to psychology and counselling including three degrees culminating in a doctorate in Counselling and Educational Psychology. I use a learning approach as much as any medical model. In a formal psychology role I provide evaluation reports and rehabilitation plans. I provide assessments and person-centred behaviour plans for learning disabled people. Common sense indicates that a learning expert could be good at helping learning disabled people. My LD / PBS service is described on another site in development.
Actualization Counselling is founded on the principle of effective communication with active listening and accurate empathy that make sure trust and a therapeutic alliance is formed. A therapeutic plan is made based on a shared assessment of the goals for each individual. Actualization Counselling aims to remove barriers to achieving your goals and helping you overcome problems by encouraging growth and achievement as much as repairing what has gone wrong for you. We look for the model that most fits your personality, perspective, and needs. I offer three specific CBT models as well as talking therapies based on a spectrum of perspectives from Gestalt to Rational cognitive behavioural therapies, to Client Centred and psychodynamic counselling, deep trance-reciprocal inhibition (for phobia), family therapies, mental health counselling
Finely, I have devoted nine years of university and thirty five years in helping professions and I have encountered really disturbing behaviour and highly challenging circumstances. I made a point to work in secure hospitals, and prisons, and with people having severe and complex neuropsychiatric needs. I have done substance misuse rehabilitation with inner-city heroin addicts. I have done much work with violent offenders and criminally insane killers. As a result of my experience it is easy to accept whatever might be troubling you. You will find acceptance, respect, and a genuine desire to help.
Rational Emotive Behaviour Therapy (REBT)
"Reason & Emotion in Psychotherapy" (1967)
I use Rational Emotive Behaviour Therapy, a long-established cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT). In REBT the assumption is that you think through everything you do and, for better or worse, act on your calculations. REBT challenges your reasoning and inner-talk helping you challenge irrational ideas that cause your mental distress. REBT teaches you to think less radically. Often we really create a problem by exaggerating it or thinking about it in a distorted, self-defeating way and obsessionally, at that. With REBT rational well reasoned thinking replaces old habitual auto-pilot-like action. By thinking rationally, you act better in every way. Especially you learn to relate more honestly and proportionately with yourself and with others. Your expectations become more realistic and less insistent. Dogma is replaced by reason. As a result of more rational, less dramatic thinking you get on better with people and also stop doing the things that are ruining your life and making you miserable.
"The Skilled Helper" (1975)
I use “Active Listening” and virtually all principles of “Person Centred Counselling”. You may know these as “Rogerian” (for Carl Rogers, it's founder). A truly abiding and powerful principle incorporated into my work is “Unconditional positive regard”. Counsellors need to let go of normal expectations and understand that others see the world differently and we accept and respect people regardless of their deeds. My work includes intensive therapy within secure hospitals with the most violent of criminals. Among other disciplines within my nine years at university was sex counselling. I have certificates in youth work and drug counselling, I can't say I've loved every client I ever had, however I have always treated everyone with respect and dignity. In most cases there are good reasons why people run into difficulties. I see my job as helping people move forward from where they are. I see psychology as being about the present and future. Our past formed us, and understanding helps, yet; in my view, nothing excels a good plan for today, tomorrow and the future.
"Gestalt Therapy Verbatim"
James & Jongeward
"Born to Win"
So I do some psycho-dynamic counselling when things from the past are troubling you and they won't let go, and you can't let go. I use a really neat hybrid approach that combines Gestalt Psychotherapy with Transactional Analysis (TA). Gestalt takes us to the core of the problem and gives techniques to make a dialogue with ourselves. It brings out the depth of raw emotion of unfinished business left lingering from the past like an albatross; and must be got rid of. TA provides an organising system based on traditional psychoanalysis made easy. TA helps with how to use the liberation from Gestalt work to reorganise one's self and bring order to communication with others. The result is increased self esteem, less nagging guilt, much more effective relationships, and more rational goal directed action. Those who learn TA become far more sociable and bad habits that used to offend people can stop.
Biofeedback Assisted Therapy
John V. Basmajian
I often use stress reductions methods and I specialise in Biofeedback, a drug free method to reduce physiological stress for people suffering from headaches, hypertension, and general stress. For people with phobias or anxiety this method created deep trance relaxation that overcomes what makes you fearful. You can't be afraid and relaxed, so you are taught to relax in the face of your feared object and thus overcome debilitating anxiety. This principle of Systematic Desensitization by Reciprocal Inhibition is a long established behavioural approach that is considered front-line therapy for anxiety and phobias.
"Behavioral Counseling" (1969)
I use a method called “Behavioural Counselling” (another cognitive behavioural approach) that applies behavioural science to enable people to understand and organise what they do and apply what we know about the power of rewards and punishments to persuade desired changes. With Behavioural Counselling the therapist is allowed to have empathy and take account of people's depth of feelings. The counsellor works side by side with the client to create personal programs that use contingent rewards and punishments to shape behaviours for more pro-social living and to overcome self-destructive harmful habits and replace them with new behaviours or activities that have intrinsic reward or accrue extrinsic rewards. Thus behavioural science is applied with honesty and mutual alliance.
yet another CBT
"Reality Therapy" (1965)
I use “Reality Therapy” to help young people fully understand the logical consequences of their actions and their need to re-organise themselves to achieve truly aspired for personal goals. The point also is to re-organise conduct to avoid consequences that are harmful to one and all. When people have something to aspire to, they can keep focussed and feel meaning and accomplishment. Reality therapy focuses a lot on time structure to assure that people do something and do it satisfactorily as a way to climb out of the spiral of negativity.
As you may note, I seem to work with a number of therapeutic approaches to best help clients. I have described here a number of approaches I like to work with. There are many more that apply, depending on what is needed. For example, I do family therapy using a very well established model. I do vocational counselling based upon at least three models. I use Kubler-Ross's and Victor Frankl's models for working with grief, death, dying, and suffering.
You can rely that within the "Actualisation" model I often have the skills needed for effective and potent work. Finally, in the event I don't have the skills to help I will tell you directly and honestly, and help you find the individual resources you need. I promise also to inform you when I feel we have reached resolution and time for moving on. I see my role to get you independent on your own feet, so I do not want to prolong issues needlessly.
0208 636 1615
0208 123 8408
07834 352 260
Another service from Dr Berger
Peter Miles Berger,BA. MA. Ed.D CPsychol
104-106 Cranbrook Road
BPS Member 082600 since 1995
BACP No. 554793
*As a member of BPS & BACP
I am bound by their Ethical frameworks
for good practice and subject to their
Professional Conduct Procedures.*
Appointment phones open through 10:00 pm daily
This practise is limited to a total of eight sessions per week based on pre-booking and available time slots. Book early to avoid disappointment
Please book well in advance to assure your appointment time
0208 636 1615
07834 352 260
0208 123 8408
Dr Peter Miles Berger, BA., MA., Ed.D., CPsychol, MBACP