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25th November 2020 

CORONA VIRUS CRISIS UPDATE

Due to the Corona Virus crisis, I am no longer meeting with clients in person. We don’t know how long it will last, so this policy will continue indefinitely, until the crisis is passed.

Electronic means for therapy, or E-therapy, is actually quite a nice way to do it. I have been doing E-therapy for almost 3 decades. It has many advantages. 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

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


I provide these in Manchester in person, or Anywhere via Skype, telephone, or other electronic media as 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.



    Maslow’s Modified Hierarchy

    In determining whether we are happy or unhappy, that is going to depend on whether or not our needs are being met. To look at the issue of needs, I use Maslow's Modified Hierarchy. Abraham Maslow is widely recognized as being one of the early pioneers in the Affective school of psychotherapy. This was proposed as a third force in psychology, the two previous being psychoanalytic and behavioural.

    The psychodynamic (psychoanalytic) school of Freud and others postulated a ‘drive’ theory of motivation to explain why people behave the way they do. They also postulated that the early dynamics of the relationships in the family influenced our psyche by frustrating these drives and that led to neuroses. Psychoanalysis helped people to understand (according to their theory) why the patient got to be the way they were, but no instructions were included as to how to make it better. Freud said toward the end of his life that his goal had become to help his patients become well-adjusted to their neuroses. The key to understanding was found in the unconscious mind through techniques such as free association and dream analysis. Freud contributed defence mechanisms and many other useful concepts to psychotherapy.

    Behavioural therapy postulated that we are the result of learning and conditioning. Behavioural therapy had no interest in how things got the way they are in a patient’s life. The goal was to change things in the here and now through conditioning. Probably the best known behaviourist was B.F. Skinner. He maintained that if you gave him a child at an early age then he could produce any kind of person you wanted through behavioural conditioning. There is a very interesting movie about this, Raising Cain, written and directed by Brian De Palma and starring John Lithgow. Although the movie is a funny/macabre show, as one might guess from the Lithgow/De Palma pairing, the behaviourist tradition has given us a number of very useful therapies, the one that I use being the original, and still the best in my opinion, cognitive-behavioural therapy: Rational Emotive Behaviour Therapy formulated by Albert Ellis.

    Maslow focused not on what made people mentally and emotionally ill, but how can people grow to become the best that they can be. His approach was a needs based approach: needs give rise to emotions, and those emotions are what motivate us to behave the way we do: in order to meet our needs.



    Home. Maslow's Modified Hierarchy


    In Attachment Centred Therapy, I have modified Maslow’s Hierarchy, and call it Maslow’s Modified Hierarchy. I think Maslow would agree with these modifications based on my reading of his works. Here is Maslow’s Modified Hierarchy:

    Maslow’s Hierarchy can be considered psychophysiological in that our feelings grow out of our physiology. Let’s go through each level of need:

    Physical Needs: These are needs that we die without. The most basic is air – oxygen. Without it, we die pretty quick. If you have ever been deprived of oxygen for any length of time, you will have observed that the feeling it gives rise to rather quickly is panic. Next is water, thirst being the felt need; then food, hunger being the feeling that motivates us to eat, and so on.

    Nurtural Needs: These are needs the absence of which doesn’t cause death directly, but can and often do indirectly. We know this from the inadvertent experiments done during the last century, notably the astoundingly high rate of deaths of institutionalized children even though all their physical needs are met and medical care is available. I think these children die of grief from the lack of an attachment figure. We also learn of it from spurned lovers who kill themselves or their attachment figure rather than suffer the loss of this nurtural need.

    Safety and Security: We need to feel safe with the people we need to feel safe. After the nurtural need results in children, their safety and security becomes paramount. It does no good provide physical and nurturing needs and then have the child lost to predators, environmental dangers, or the predations of enemies. So, children rely on their caregivers to give them that sense of safety and security. The parents must also teach the child how to be safe in a dangerous world. At this level, the family unit is supported in their need for safety and security by providing alliances with other families and other larger groups, such as tribes and communities, in order to protect themselves. These alliances have grown as our culture has grown more complex so that now we have not only nations but international alliances designed to promote safety.

    Love and Belonging: The need to belong is very strong. Humankind is slowly learning that it is better to cooperate with other people who have what we want rather than trying to kill or subjugate them. These same nations and multinational organizations can promote trade and cooperation, or they can promote rapacious taking from others in conflict. In conflict, both sides lose. In cooperation at the level of love and belonging, we can enjoy a win-win relationship. Love and belonging is also important in an emotional sense of helping others through altruism. And, we use love and belonging to promote our beliefs. When we share those beliefs, it establishes connections of belonging. Love, in this context, is best defined by Scott Peck in his book, The Road Less Travelled, as: being willing to extend yourself [or take a risk] for the spiritual growth of yourself or someone else. When we feel love for ourselves, then we are able to feel love for others, and we project it outwards to them. When we feel anger or hatred for ourselves, then that is what we project that outwards. Either way, the reflection back to us from our environment further reinforces what we were already feeling.

    Esteem of Self and Others: We like to feel good about ourselves, and it works best when we extend those good feelings toward others. What we think of others reflects what we think of ourselves. I am not meaning our evaluations of other’s behaviour, about which we may feel negative feelings. I mean the regard we have toward others, and the extent to which we are able to treat all beings with respect. If we don’t respect ourselves, then we can’t truly respect others. We may esteem ourselves and others for what we accomplish in a variety of realms. Many people rely on their occupation for their esteem. Others rely on some significant other to determine how to feel about themselves. Some on their possessions, others their looks, their status in their communities, friendships, service to others, and so on. Doing well at the activities that we value gives us a good feeling about our efficacy. This builds our esteem. Likewise, assisting others in achieving their own contributions, and appreciating and respecting their efforts builds their esteem.

    Self-Actualization: At this level we are operating at our optimum ability. This is the level of ‘being all you can be.’ It is pursuing your highest and best purpose in serving others. This is where we are able to achieve our goals and actualize our values. This is not some magical, pre-ordained set point of achievement. Rather, it is utilizing your maximum potential in serving others.

    Self-Transcendence: At self-transcendence we are able to move outside of ourselves. It is the peak of spiritual experience, understanding that the spiritual is the part that resides in each of us and animates us. It is the essence of our own individual life, and self-transcendence is that state in which we can put our own individual interests, including one’s life, to a greater good, because we perceive ourselves as being part of a greater purpose, however one chooses to understand that purpose.



    My practice for Attachment Centered Therapy, Addiction Counselling, and Relationship Counselling is in Manchester. My Manchester practice is within easy reach of Cheshire. I provide Relationship Counselling Manchester and Addiction Counselling Manchester.

    Thank you for the work you are doing for me and for Isabella. To my surprise she has told me about her "compulsive self reliance" and even read to me some data from the website you have kindly advised to look at.... I see this... as a big step forward in her life for which I am grateful to you. We are so lucky to have a professional person like you!
    Natasha
    Sent from my iPad
    (Names changed to protect identity)


    Charley Shults

    I provide: Addiction Counselling Manchester, Psychotherapy in Manchester, counsellor Manchester, as well as Relationship Counselling Manchester and Addiction Counselling Manchester.