Daniel Hand is a Psychodynamic and Person-Centred counsellor who likes to take a gentle approach with his clients, helping them to feel safe and making sure they don't become overwhelmed by their emotions. He has worked extensively with people who have experienced intense trauma such as rape or domestic abuse; individuals who have endured substance addiction; and those who suffer from various life-affecting health conditions (for example, epilepsy and chronic pain). He also has experience working with children and young adults, as well as those older clients who remain haunted by childhood experiences (such as bereavement, abuse or a breakdown in their parents' relationship). Whatever their circumstances or background, Daniel provides a warm, caring environment where clients can truly be themselves and discover who they want to be in their own lives.
I am a qualified CYP (Children & Young People) counsellor, and have worked both with- and in schools in some capacity or another for most of my life.
Younger clients can often find it more difficult than adults to talk about their feelings, largely because they're still learning what 'feeling' actually means. Plus, it's always weird, trying to talk to some strange bloke they only see once a week. It's frequently easier to look at these feelings from a safe distance, with something to play with to stay grounded in the room, or vicariously through some form of storytelling. I particularly favour this latter approach, and make use of a number of creative skills in the counselling room. (See RPG Therapy, above, for more information.)
I have a great deal of experience working with people who have suffered some form of trauma in their pasts--particularly in terms of child- and domestic abuse, sexual assault, and rape. These are truly horrible acts that can hang over a 'victim' (though I don't like that word) for years, haunting their thoughts and feelings and relationships. When a client brings these issues to a session, more than ever I see my job as one of companion rather than guide. I would never presume to know what you have been through, and I cannot begin to express how humbled I feel whenever another human being trusts me with such experiences.
It can be incredibly difficult, opening up about such events--particularly to a man. That's why we will take so much care in early sessions to ensure you feel safe and respected, before we go anywhere near those memories. We will move at your pace, and you won't be pressed to discuss something until you're ready to discuss it.
I have also worked extensively with people who experience alcoholism and drug addictions. These affect huge numbers of people, and yet addicts/alcoholics are often viewed (and view themselves) as the problem, rather than as sufferers of an illness. This is grossly unfair, and often leads to people feeling unable to look for help.
Whenever I work with a client who presents with addictive issues, I start out by asking two questions: 1) What is the addicition protecting you from? And, 2) What would happen if the addiction were taken away? It can be very easy to forget that addictions don't just 'happen': they develop for very specific reasons, usually to keep us safe from unwanted thoughts/feelings. Those underlying issues need to be addressed before it is safe to think about moving away from the addiction itself. Again, this is not to be rushed: but believe me when I say, I will never see you as the bad guy in the relationship with your addiction.
Emotional Freedom Technicque, or EFT, is an unusual 'intervention' that involves tapping certain parts of our own bodies (at no point will you need your therapist to touch you) to reduce the sometimes frightening sensations associated with certain experiences/stimulants. It has been described as "acupuncture without the needles", and, once learned, can be used whenever you feel you need it.
I love EFT, and have often used it to help clients feel safe and grounded when we are about to touch on a particularly difficult subject. It's quick, it's easy, and it can make all the difference when it comes to our most overwhelming thoughts and emotions.