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9th December 2021 

ONLINE THERAPY FOR ATTACHMENT ISSUES

Hello and welcome to my website. My name is Charley Shults and I provide:
Addiction Counselling Manchester
Relationship Counselling Manchester
Family Therapy Manchester
Attachment Centred Therapy Manchester


Attachment is the most important issue that you will ever deal with in your life. It is, literally, a matter of life or death.

Our original attachment is to our caregivers. This experience, which comes in the first few years of life and which we can’t remember, then forms the foundation for the rest of our lives.

If things aren’t going the way you want them to in your life, particularly in your close personal relationships, then maybe the problems stem from a disrupted attachment relationship in early life.

The methods that I use allow us to discern what the problems and challenges are and to take corrective action. Read on to learn more.


Many people who have attachment issues will insist, initially, that their childhood was 'alright', 'normal', even 'happy.' What they don't realize is that they are making that judgement with the very attachment filter that is also causing them problems in their lives today. If you are having trouble with your attachment relationships, whether with your partner, parents, or children, it could be because of attachment issues that stem from those early childhood experiences that you probably don't remember.

Fortunately, we have a method that allows us to 'see' into the unconscious mind in order to have a very good idea of what went on in childhood. More important, we then have methods for correcting it. If you want a free consultation, just give me a call at 07507562864, or email me at [email protected], or just click on the link at the top of this page.

I will meet with you remotely, via electronic means. Electronic means for therapy, or E-therapy, is preferable to meeting in person. I have been doing E-therapy for almost 3 decades. While previously e-therapy was merely an option, during the pandemic it has become a necessity. Fortunately, most if not all of my clients who have tried both prefer e-therapy because it is so much more convenient than haveing to meet in person. Please see the section below for a discussion of the many advantages of E-therapy.



Home. ACTgraphic

Attachment Centered Therapy in Manchester or Anywhere via Electronic Media



I provide these anywhere via Zoom, FaceTime, Skype, telephone, or whatever other electronic means may come along that you prefer.

If you want to know how I use this method with addictive disorders, then please visit my other website, just click here to visit Charley Shults Counselling & Psychotherapy.

Since you have found this website, you are perhaps interested in knowing more about attachment and how it affects us in our lives. The basic proposition is this:

We need to feel safe with the people we need to feel safe


When we don’t feel safe with our caregivers - the people that we need in order to feel safe - then we are left with difficulties in knowing how to deal with others. There are 3 basic strategies, A, B, and C, that, in broad terms, determine how you relate to those closest to you.*
Attachment difficulties in families often lead to other common problems, such as:

  • Trauma
  • Sexual Abuse
  • Stress
  • Relationship Difficulties
  • Panic Attacks
  • Anxiety
  • Bereavement unresolved
  • Employment problems
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Addictions
  • Co-dependency
  • Eating Disorders
  • Hypoactive and hyperactive sexual desire disorder
  • and many other difficulties.

    B3 or not B3, that is the question.
    If you were lucky enough to have caregivers, usually parents, who helped you to feel safe, who helped you to understand your feelings and how to deal with them effectively, and how to get your needs met by interacting with others, then you are likely to be a B3. That is as good as it gets in attachment terms. Those are the folks who grow up, get married, and live happily ever after. B’s use a balance of both facts and feelings in processing information about relationships. And, they are not likely to be reading this now, because B’s are not generally going to be seeking therapy for themselves, and are much less likely to seek therapy for those close to them.

    A’s on the other hand, tend to deny their own needs and feelings and are pre-occupied with meeting the needs of others. They rely primarily on facts in processing information, to the exclusion of emotional information, particularly negative emotions. If something goes wrong in relationships, they tend to blame themselves and exonerate others. In fact, some A’s will insist that they had a perfectly normal childhood, and it is only because of their own personal inadequacies that they are seeking help.

    C’s tend to dismiss the needs and feelings of others and are pre-occupied with their own. They rely primarily on their own emotional state in processing information. If something goes wrong in relationships, they tend to blame the other and exonerate themselves. This keeps them stuck in a cycle of insecurity, because they fail to learn from experience, lacking the cause and effect connections that help them to understand how their behaviour is contributing to the problems they experience.

    I have created 3 sayings, one for each category, that are designed to help them to reprogram, except for the B’s who don’t really need much help and rarely show up in a therapy office.

    For A’s: Logically, it makes sense to be more emotional.

    For C’s: Emotionally, it feels good to be more logical.

    For B’s: I am comfortable using both facts and feelings in making choices in relationships.


    Addiction Counselling Manchester, Relationship Counselling Manchester,
    Family Therapy Manchester, Attachment Centred Therapy Manchester


    Attachment Centered Therapy Manchester:

    I have developed a model of therapy that I call Attachment Centred Therapy. What this means is that the services that I provide, while varied, are all centred around attachment relationships.

    As a part of my work with individuals, couples and families I provide
    Relationship Counselling Manchester
    Addiction Counselling Manchester
    Family Therapy Manchester

    These are offered either separately or as an integral part of Attachment Centred Therapy, since I find that difficulties in these areas almost always spring from attachment difficulties. I also find that this work has a global effect, so that those clients who do this work experience changes in all areas of their life's functioning.

    Relationship Counselling Manchester: Over decades of working with clients, and training in many areas of specialisation, I am convinced that the problems that most people present in therapy settings grow out of difficulties in their attachment relationships. These attachment experiences determine how we relate to other people in our lives, particularly those most close to us, and also how we deal with the difficulties that life presents us. I believe that by correcting these difficulties with attachment people are enabled to make the changes that they want to make and do the things that they know they need to do. My experience tells me that this is so.

    Family Therapy Manchester: I also use an attachment based approach for working with families. Family work can be done with an entire family, or with different configurations of people from the family.

    Addiction Counselling Manchester: I believe that most addictive disorders are due to attachment difficulties that result in unmet needs and feelings not being dealt with in an effective manner. The addictive disordered behavior develops because it is a vain attempt to meet unmet needs. While the addictive behavior provides the illusion of making things better by making the negative feelings that come from unmet needs go away, this is only temporary and so those unmet needs come back stronger than before, often leading to an escalation of the addictive behavior.



  • ADVANTAGES OF E-THERAPY

    The first advantage of E-therapy is that you can do it from anywhere, and I have done E-therapy with clients from many parts of the world. That means you can find the right therapist for you and it doesn’t matter where you are located. It also means that, when you travel, for business, pleasure, or move for a new job, or for whatever reason, E-therapy can continue uninterruptedly.

    The second advantage is convenience. Because neither of us has to travel to a different location, any time of the day or evening when our schedules can mesh, we can meet. So, the time and money spent in travel, not to mention the mental and emotional hassle of trying to get somewhere on time, is eliminated. We can both be more flexible in our scheduling.

    A third advantage is that I get to see you in your surroundings, instead of you being forced to meet in my surroundings. When I first began doing counselling and psychotherapy, in 1993, I intentionally decorated my office much as I would my living room – or sitting room – in my home. The reason was that I wanted to have an atmosphere where my clients could feel relaxed and comfortable, and more like a guest in my home than a ‘patient’ in a ‘doctor’s office.’ I thought that this would enable them to be more themselves, and not adopt an unnatural attitude toward our interaction.

    Now, with E-therapy, I can actually meet with clients in their homes. Sometimes it might be from their office, or their automobile, or even from the park, if that is where they would like to be. In short, it is a way for me to visit with you in your environment, not the other way around.

    This latter feature brings us to the fourth advantage. E-therapy can actually increase the feeling of intimacy because I can see you in your surroundings, in you preferred state of dress for our meeting, which can be something totally casual, or your business suit, as you prefer. I find that via E-therapy, given the surroundings, the freedom to move about in your home or wherever you may be, the freedom to be the way you want to be and do what you need to do, it allows me to see more truly who you are. As some wag put it, intimacy can be understood as ‘into me see.’ In other words, the more I can ‘see’ inside, the more intimate we become, and the more powerful is the healing effect of therapy.

    Finally, last but not least, for those who desire and need to negotiate on the fee – and I am always willing to negotiate – doing E-therapy allows me more freedom to negotiate and still make a living income. The first saving is on office rental and any other office maintenance costs. Next is on the travel time and cost. Because I am not having to travel anywhere, there is no additional cost to me for adding in another client during my day, if I have the space available.

    For all of these reasons, E-therapy is not only a viable option, it is actually preferable to many people. A couple of stories illustrate the point. I will start with a client that I saw in person for quite some time. He is retired now, though he was working when we started. When I moved to Manchester we had to go to E-therapy, choosing Skype as our medium. He was reluctant to make the change but agreed. We have since continued to work together for several years now via Skype. Recently I asked him, since I was going to make the change to only E-therapy, how he had found it. He laughed and said that he actually has found that he prefers it to meeting in person. He is a convert, he told me.

    Another client started out meeting with me in person here in Manchester, but very soon, whether at his suggestion or mine I don’t remember, we began meeting via Skype. He immediately preferred E-therapy to in-person meetings, even though we were both in Manchester at the time. We have met in person once or twice since – once when I visited London where he is now located.
    E-therapy media include Skype, Facetime, What’s App, or any others with video – I am quite willing to try your medium of choice. And then there is always the old-fashioned way: telephone.

    If you want to discuss this possibility further, please do give me a call.



    What are Attachment Relationships



    What are attachment relationships? Essentially, they are people with whom we have a close personal relationship of a familial nature. This includes parent & child and spousal (domestic partnership) relationships. So, when you grow up with your parents, then choose a life partner, then have children yourself, these are all attachment relationships. In addition, there can be other, alternative attachment figures, such as grandparents, aunts or uncles, occasionally siblings, and sometimes people who have no familial relationship, but stand in as substitute attachment figures.

    When they go well, we are happy. When they don’t go well, then it leads to unhappiness in one way or another.



    A Packet of Peas

    My Packet of Peas I came up with for my clients who are having partnership difficulties to help them bring about change. The Packet of Peas are these: Preparation, Patience, Persistence, Politeness, Practice and Playfulness. Let’s look at these one at a time.

    Preparation


    We start with preparation. We had a saying in the army: prior preparation prevents piss poor performance.

    Once the top is blown there is no holding back and holding back only intensifies the pressure when the blow-up does come. As the roof repair analogy illustrates, you need to be prepared to state your thoughts and feelings to your partner when the sun is shining, the water calm, and you can both remain in social engagement in your vagal settings.

    In order for you to maintain your calm while discussing emotions, this means that you do your own work first, but also, if you are going to apply these principles, or techniques, then do your best to become a skilled technician. For A’s, for example, this means using the ‘I feel … when … because …’ model for expressing feelings. We are about to look at that in detail. It also means being prepared to listen and take on board what your attachment members are communicating, not necessarily verbally. For the C’s, it means using the REBT process to determine if what you are telling yourself is rational or irrational. If irrational, use the REBT process to give yourself a new, rational belief.

    If you were in the scouts, then you know the motto: Be prepared. Preparation means studying the material, doing your best to master it, and rehearsing it as best you can. That way, when the opportunity is present, you can pursue your purpose because you’ve prepared in advance. We will discuss what form those preparations take in the next chapter when we consider each technique in enough detail to get you started using it.

    Once you have prepared yourself, then prepare further by practicing on someone. Make sure that you are getting some kind of objective feedback on the position you have taken. And of course, be prepared to be wrong. The thing about having a relationship is that it is something that two people create together, whether those people are parent and child or adults forming a partnership. For that to take place, there has to be give and take, and both parties need to be willing to change and make concessions.

    A part of the purpose of this intentional dialoguing is to invite feedback that corrects irrational beliefs. So don’t be resistant to change. It may be that you confront your partner with a situation that you don’t like that the two of you need to work out, and it may be that your partner’s response leads to a realization that you have got it wrong and need to make the change in yourself and your own behaviour.

    But usually, as the song says, ‘there ain’t no good guys, there ain’t no bad guys, there’s only you and me and we just disagree.’ In these cases it is a matter of working out the disagreement between you. There are various approaches to how to do this, and this is where a good facilitator can help you, using the approaches and techniques in this book. If you’ve tried to do it on your own and can’t seem to get there, then please, get professional help.



    Patience


    Patience is next. Patience is required anytime we want to change a system, and especially systems that have been in place for decades and are deeply imbedded in the mind. How much patience? Infinite patience. It requires accepting that you and the others close to you are doing the best they can. I know, you can see how they can do better. They of course can see how you can do better as well.

    The therapist may encounter conflicting motivations when working with families and couples, because one or all may have hidden agendas, or even spoken agendas, about getting someone else to change or proving someone else wrong or exacting revenge or some other ignoble motivation.

    But presuming good faith, we need to be patient with whomever we deal and in whatever capacity. I believe there can be motivational value in strategically becoming angry so as to put energy in the system directed toward change. But for the most part, we need to be patient, even when we are angry.

    I am, of course, reminded of the humorous prayer for patience, ‘God, please grant me patience – AND I WANT IT RIGHT NOW!’ We can become impatient with ourselves for not being more patient! But, be patient with your impatient self, too.



    Persistence


    Persistence means keeping at it. Change comes hard, and you can’t change anyone but yourself. The changes that you make in yourself may inspire others to change as well, and so if you are all growing toward B3, then that will be very good. But it is hard to break out of the ‘samskaras’: the yogis’ term for ‘grooves in the mind.’ I use the analogy of pathways through the forest. The longer you have been using them, and the more frequently, then the deeper and more definite they have become. It’s like being caught in a rut: it’s really hard to get out and stay out. And plus, even if you can get out, you still don’t know which new way to go!

    It means keeping a steady invitation for change. It means keeping your goal in mind, your desired outcome (this doesn’t mean a conditional or controlling outcome: the outcome can be that you engage in a process). This outcome, or goal, will have a tendency to actualize.

    The goals that I have achieved in my lifetime have been the result of patient persistence. Persistence doesn’t mean unrelenting. I use persistent in the sense of ‘continuing to exist or occur over a prolonged period.’ It is a constancy that is waiting in the wings to come onstage when time and opportunity allow. It means being consistent in the direction that you want to go, and the message that you want to deliver.

    It doesn’t mean ‘picky’ or ‘prickly’ or ‘pesky.’ How to distinguish those p’s from the other Peas? The p’s you want to avoid all have a ‘k’ in them, and it’s not going to be a piece of cake. You’re going to have to be patient first and persistent second.



    Politeness


    I know that being polite is hard to do when you perceive the other as being attacking, or arrogant, or rude, or whatever. It doesn’t mean having to agree or be obsequious. You can be politely mad as hell, that’s okay. Politeness means that when you say what you mean, you aren’t being mean. I use polite in the sense of ‘having or showing behaviour that is respectful and considerate of other people.’
    I will use General Eisenhower’s admonition to General Montgomery as they discussed Operation Market Garden as an example. Montgomery was pushing Eisenhower, hard, to take a particular action with which Eisenhower disagreed. When Montgomery’s entreaties exceeded Eisenhower’s tolerance, he said, ‘Steady Monty. You can’t talk to me like that. I’m your boss.’
    Clearly, Eisenhower was angry with Montgomery, who was probably also angry with Eisenhower. But in the face of this, Eisenhower kept his cool and gave a rational reply reminding Montgomery of their boundaries.

    Politeness is needed when setting boundaries. If you have not set proper boundaries, or if you have been inconsistent in enforcing them, then you cannot expect others to observe them or even to remember that you have set them. It is your responsibility to politely set the boundaries and to persistently and politely enforce them. If you have difficulty doing this, then see a good therapist. If you are a therapist who is having difficulty, discuss this with your supervisor. If you are the supervisor, discuss this with your supervisor!



    Practice


    You can learn to use the techniques on your own. It is tricky to do it on your own, but I encourage you to try. Even with professional help, it is what you do with your time and interests outside of the sessions that are going to count. You can have a great therapy session, but if you don’t then apply this outside the sessions, you haven’t done the job, have you?

    I know when people are contemplating discussing issues with their partner, they often think, ‘Things are going smooth right now, so I don’t want to rock the boat by bringing up issues now.’ I understand the temptation to put it off until ‘tomorrow,’ which never comes. The old, ‘It’s raining, so I can’t mend the roof in the rain, and when it’s not raining, I don’t need to mend the roof because the roof isn’t leaking then.’ I know that might be a non-sensical statement, of course, and that is the point. It doesn’t make any sense to put off discussing something when things are calm, but rather wait till it comes up again during a disagreement. If you wait till then to try to do it, you will be triggered into your triple F and you will not be able to discuss things calmly and rationally while including your emotions in a controlled way.

    If I was teaching you to roll a kayak, I would say, ‘We need to find a time and place where you can learn the techniques and practice the roll in calm flatwater. Then, after you have learned how to hit the roll consistently in flat water, is the time to take it to the river and practice in a rapid. And when you do that, you will experience a whole new part of the learning process, which is where you learn to put it into practice in the rapids, where the boat is bouncing off the rocks and you’re upside down with your head under water feeling like you’re in a giant washing machine, being tossed about like a matchstick, then is when the roll really counts.’ In the same way, you need to ‘practice your roll’ by using the couple’s communication techniques as outlined in the section on We Can Work It Out by having discussions when you can both be calm and considered in your discussions.

    I wouldn’t say, ‘Well, no need to practice now. Let’s wait till you get into a really big rapid and then will be the time to try it when you flip.’ Of course not. How stupid is that? But, unfortunately, that is the typical attitude that I encounter with clients who are having difficulty with an issue between them and their partner, sometimes a parent or child. If you don’t have a way to work out difficulties between you, then how are you going to cope?



    Playfulness


    When possible, be playful. But be careful that your partner doesn’t misinterpret your playfulness as a putdown or as discounting their feelings or concerns.

    I also get in trouble with clients, sometimes, when I make an attempt at humour and it falls flat. Oh dear. Fortunately, that doesn’t happen often. But it is meant strictly in the, ‘Just a spoonful of sugar makes the medicine go down,’ way. Life is hard, sometimes, and so is therapy. But that doesn’t mean we can’t have fun while we are doing it!