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Welcome to
Longford Garden Counselling

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I am now also offering
clinical supervision

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Depression

Together, we will safely explore your depression with you, where we will discover insights from what comes to the surface from your unconscious. These insights will help your therapeutic process, allowing you to gradually come out of and then manage your depression in the future.

I will never ask you to explore more deeply than you are comfortable, however I will challenge you constructively if it is in your best interest to get the most out of your counselling. I deeply understand what it is like to be ‘on the edge’ with depression. I remember the feeling of hopelessness and barely being able to get out of bed, which took all my energy. I hope this will provide some comfort and help you feel safe, held and understood in your counselling with me.

Although they are not the same and can present independently, anxiety and depression often trigger each other such that it can be hard to tell if you're anxious, depressed or both - something I have personal experience with. If you too are experiencing both, I will work with you to identify which is the root of your concern.

Anxiety

I have extensive experience of working with anxiety - both with clients and in my own life. I can help you to manage your anxiety through the use of a variety of psychotherapeutic tools if appropriate, while providing a safe and grounded counselling space to unpack and explore your anxiety presentation.

You can rest assured you will be with someone who really knows and understands the experience of living with anxiety, having gone through my own counselling process successfully many years ago for Generalized Anxiety Disorder. I was able to change my life and grow as a person by working on myself with the aid of a professional counsellor.

Learning to manage anxiety can be life changing. I aim to help you reach the freedom to live your life fully, without constraint, as I was able to.

Psychology Session

Sexuality and gender identity

Sadly mental health issues are particularly common in our LGBTQ+ community, due in part to the fallout of societies’ past and present attitudes to sexuality and gender diversity. It’s unfair that we face these barriers to living our lives as our full, wonderful selves.

As your counsellor and an out and proud gay man I will work with you to achieve your therapeutic goals, whatever they may be - for instance self-acceptance, self-discovery, or emotional issues surrounding sex. In particular I have lots of experience providing counselling to clients with issues related to gender identity.

Please note that one cannot change their sexuality or gender identity. Conversion therapy is as dangerous as it is unethical and immoral. I do not provide counselling where the goal perpetuates a person forcing themselves to be a person they are not. I will only work with LGBTQ+ clients in an inclusive, wholesome way to help promote natural psychological development.

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Personal growth

Counselling is always beneficial and brings therapeutic change if you have the desire and drive - it does not always have to be for specific mental health problems. It may be that you are just curious about yourself, your own psychology and what motivates you or demotivates you in life, to improve your wellbeing and maintain good mental health. We can work on this together to bring further benefits to your everyday life.

One particular type of client who might fit this description is the trainee counsellor. I know how expensive and psychologically gruelling it can be to train to become a qualified therapist, so I offer a limited number of discounted off-peak slots to students.

Hello

My name is Michael Blakeborough

I launched Longford Garden Counselling in January 2022 with the aim of providing a warm, comfortable, safe and confidential space to facilitate therapeutic change for adults (18+). I specialise in depression, anxiety and mental health issues linked to sexuality and gender identity, but the practice is open to all, including anyone who would simply like to learn about themselves to gain insight into who they are as a person. What’s important is a desire to grow and flourish in your life with a deeper understanding of self. As well as face-to-face counselling, I am fully certified with ACTO to provide online and telephone counselling and supervision safely and ethically.

I grew up in Melksham, where I currently live with my Civil Partner Donald Robson. We have created LGC together as a team, with me as the qualified counsellor and he as the administrator. We are both very passionate about mental health because we sadly know all too well the toll being “different" takes on your mental health, having gone through school in the nineties under Section 28, in the wake of the AIDS epidemic.

Unfortunately I am currently unable to offer therapeutic services for couples, under-eighteens, addiction, eating disorders or complex trauma (such as complex presentations of PTSD).

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