Choosing Change offers the opportunity to speak freely and confidentially in a safe way and in a safe place. Some find this difficult in their real world. Some clients have shared their experiences with me and have given permission to publish their words. Here are a few testimonials.
Names have been withheld where requested.
— I came to Phil in utter despair.
My self-esteem was at rock-bottom, I'd lost control over my negative emotions, and I was inflicting emotional chaos on my loved ones.
Unfortunately, through this process, I lost a significant relationship, causing a further spiral into grief and self-loathing.
Phil helped talk me through the initial turmoil of the loss, the most distressing event of my life so far, and eventually regain perspective and hope.
He then taught me the importance of fortifying myself with a strong sense of self, independent of others' opinions and wants, and helped me on the path to building one.
Through the concept of differentiation, I've come to better understand my emotions and check myself from self-defeating behaviours, and am of the path to finding self-esteem.
It's been an intense and often painful period of reflection, guided by Phil, but one that's been life-changing.
I feel I've managed to turn the lowest ebb of my life into changes and lessons that will better equip me to manage myself, my relationships and my life choices in future, and ultimately live a happier and fuller life than I've been able to in the past.
Male, 30 April 28, 2015
... I have not looked back!
I came to see you earlier this year about some problems I was having with the changes in my life. Firstly I want to say a great big thank you to you because since then I have not looked back!
I put a lot of it down to the way you helped me get a handle on things and I still have your voice in my head with lots of things that happen during the week! Especially with speaking up for myself - I can still hear you saying "did anyone die"! Great comment and oh so accurate.
I've been meaning to make contact for some weeks now to thank you for helping me. Things have changed a lot for me and I am happier than I could have imagined at the time I came to see you. In June I got a promotion - a really big deal for me.
They offered me a substantial amount more money which I was very happy with but I weighed it all up - you would have been proud of me - I walked in, presented my case and was granted the extra 5% I wanted on top of what they'd offered (and guess what, nobody died!)
I've also been asked to do some training of staff members in different parts of Australia as part of a new programme. Over the next few months I will be traveling to the States for training and then back here to give the training to other staff members. I'm very proud of what I've achieved so far this year.
Female, 31 April 28, 2015
... cathartic, emotionally intense, occasionally frustrating and a beginning...
I have found the last several months to be a time when I have observed more, started to recognise patterns of behaviour in myself and others, and become more aware of my reactive emotional self.
Counselling has enabled me to begin to address myself on a deeper level, at a time when I couldn't seem top find a way "in."
As I have begun to find or re-discover this inner self, I realise I would like to be present in all areas of my life —though I think I have to go a a way on this one.
I am now aware that compartmentalising life, which I have done for as long as can remember, is pretty self-destructive.
I experienced our sessions as being a safe place to be, no matter how I was feeling. I am aware that I can be "difficult" as you once pointed out, and I think that you worked with this (and me) in a consistent, non-judgmental and sensitive way.
You did challenge me at times, and I recognise the value of this in terms of dissolving patterns and ways of thinking that are no longer useful to me.
To sum up, counselling from my perspective, is cathartic, emotionally intense, occasionally frustrating and a beginning. I thank you for sharing your time, patience, skilled self, and insight.
Female 32 April 28, 2015
I found it a bit difficult at first, a bit confronting.
I realised though that I needed to be confronted. I needed to be taken out of my comfort zone to change my patterns of thinking because my old patterns were hindering me.
You re very insightful and incisive. You can say to me the things that I am too scared to say to myself, and you can understand these things quickly.
The things I don't want to say to myself I may not want to hear, but it is necessary as once I face it, the changes in in my behaviours and thinking can begin.
You have a great ability to target those things and help me work through them.
Although I may find it difficult at first to face them, at least I know I am facing them with someone I can trust and who will guide me along the way and learn to trust myself.
Sarah April 28, 2015
It was extremely useful ...
The counselling/psychotherapy support offered by Phil really helped me examine issues and change attitudes that have improved my confidence, self-esteem and happiness.
It was extremely useful to have an outside person to bounce ideas and speak to about my life and experiences. I'm sure it will not be my last therapy sessions, but I'm happy to sail on my own for a bit.
Male 28 April 28, 2015
— A place we didn't want to be but very grateful we ended up at.
When we went to counselling there seems very little chance for our relationship.
Through the work Philip introduced to us we were able to see some of the reasons we had lost our way.
Some of the concepts we were introduced to, especially the Differentiation of Self, made all the difference.
It was a difficult path but we are now two very happy people. With a lovely baby boy having experienced an engagement and wedding that for all it's trauma that last 18 months was undeniably satisfying.
Jacintha and Arnold April 28, 2015
Counselling with Phil was the best thing I've done for myself in a long time.
I'm glad that I finally made the decision to do something about how I was feeling instead of just hoping the day would come when all my problems would just go away by themselves.
My counselling sessions were often challenging for me, but I found Phil easy to talk to, insightful and objective. He seemed to be able to judge my emotional and mental state and adjust his approach to suit me on that day.
As a result of my counselling with Phil, I've learned to look at my problems more constructively and identify what role I can play in solving rather than exacerbating them.
Looking back on the experience now, the process of changing some of my harmful thought patterns was easier than I originally thought it would be.
Now, I feel more satisfied with myself and have more realistic expectations of myself and others. And, it's great to know that when I need some support in the future there is someone there to talk to.
Jonathan, 29 April 28, 2015
I have always been a very strong person but a crisis in my life that I did not know how to manage made me seek help for resolution. I had never been in the position I was in and did not know what to do to cope.
It was stressing for my loved ones, as well as myself and my family persuaded me to seek counselling.
Not only did Phil help me get back on my life path from which I had fallen off but he helped me to obtain this gift of knowledge I now have, and opened me to the human mind in ways I had never explored before.
My own naivety assisted in my crisis but I believe strongly that thanks to Phil's intervention and education, I now have the skills to recognise the signs and avert potential crisis through managing my own anxieties and emotions and better judgment of others.
I would not hesitate to call on his services again in the future as some things can not be learned on your own. Life is challenging but I can make it a positive and rewarding challenge with help from the right people!
Andrea, 29 April 28, 2015
I didn't seek counselling until I felt in complete crisis.
I wish I had done it years a go — but, as it turns out, it's never too late. I was ashamed of what I had to tell Phil, but I'm glad I had the courage to do so.
I was able to work through my problems, rationally discuss the things I had done, and find hope for the future.
I would thoroughly recommend counselling for anyone, especially for those who feel lost.
You may think there is no answer to your problems, but there is no doubt talking to a counsellor will help. I now have a much healthier attitude to life.
Male, 37 April 28, 2015
I have become more confident and assertive
Once again I wanted to thank you for helping me to turn my life around. Your sessions have helped me to communicate better with my husband, friends, family and the general public.
As a result of this I have become more confident and assertive as a person
and the difference continues to amaze me. I am determined to keep up the good work and further develop myself to my full potential.
There may be a few hiccups along the way, but I feel secure in the fact the tools you have given me will contribute to my success. I also know you are only a phone call or a session away. I will never forget you!
Female 22 April 28, 2015
A man's pride often hinders him from asking, seeking or obtaining help in difficult and sometimes impossible situation's. Confidence and a sense of self can be eroded slowly and painfully without recognition until a physical reaction causes concern. This can have a incredibly negative effect on all facet's of life both professional and personal.
I urge anyone to obtain a unbiased professional opinion to put things into perspective and find the tools to get back on top. I cannot recommend Choosing Change highly enough, do the smart thing and be honest and open about yourself and I am sure it will help you as much as it helped me. Move Forward.
Male 25 April 28, 2015