Thyme To Be Counselling, Psychotherapy and Imago Relationship Therapy
in East Manchester and Online

Blog. lemon

When life gives you lemons - what do you do?

When life gives you lemons, what happens for you?

Do you have an emotional 'go to', or familiar reaction?

In Transactional Analysis, we might call familiar or predictable reactions to painful events, a racket - if you think of the mafia and protection rackets, emotional rackets function in a similar way: protection at a cost.

As children, we learn the forms of emotional expression that are acceptable in our families. These familiar expressions may not be genuine for us, but we don't sense their limitations on our emotional lives, as we gain some comfort from their predictability.

For instance, a child may have been criticized for overt expressions of happiness i.e laughter or play, whilst receiving praise for hard work. Despite the effort required, the child knew how to gain praise, and may have found themselves in adulthood, still trying (out of awareness) to earn praise through over-work, and possibly at a cost to their health.

Alternatively, a child may have received more attention when they were anxious, whilst anger was definitely frowned upon. Such a child might have grown up feeling and expressing anxiety, when what they might have experienced if they were aware, is anger, and their personal narrative could easily be that they never experience the forbidden emotion.

How about you, what was your experience?

If you think that you may have lost touch with your true self, and would like to swap the 'protection' of rackets for emotional freedom, don't hesitate to get in touch.

Blog. waiting

Life - d.i.y. - Design It Yourself!!!

As adults we, mainly, see ourselves as being in control of our lives and our destinies right? But have you ever found yourself - sounding, behaving or thinking just like your mother or some other person from your past? Could it be that we are not entirely as 'free' as we think? For some people, these similarities are helpful, but for others it can be a source of difficulties both internally with 'self talk' and in relationships with others.

I am interested in the transmission of messages and ways of being across families, and Transactional Analysis enables us to explore these in therapy. Children are believed to form an unconscious life planor 'script' based on their experiences. When it is formed, the plan has a protective function. Later it may not be so useful, and an individual can feel trapped in unproductive patterns of thinking, feeling or behaving. For instance, a child's nightly rituals might have kept the monsters at bay, however, as an adult, those same rituals might feel like compulsions, more limiting than protective.

After a recent therapy marathon - yes, a whole day of therapy, I felt energized and ready to break away from unhelpful aspects of my script. Ready to become an increasingly autonomous woman, individual and yet a part of the whole that is family, society, life.

How about you? Are there aspects of your script that are holding you back? Perhaps the limitations are leading you to feel depressed or maybe excessively anxious? Whatever it is, if you feel ready to live mindfully and on purpose, the life that you design for yourself, and you need a hand, do get in touch.

Blog. basic

Psychological Hungers

Have you ever had a snack because you felt bored or depressed, but not particularly hungry? I can relate. However, in Transactional Analysis, we also acknowledge psychological hungers, so take heart, your hunger was real it perhaps didn't need a yummy snack to hit the spot! The aspects of Psychological Hungers are:

Contact - The need for physical and social contact with others.

Recognition - Being acknowledged by others and feeling that we matter in the world.

Incident - The feeling that life still holds the possibility of pleasant surprises without which, we may feel hopeless and depressed.

Structure - Over the course of a day, a year or a lifetime, we need our time to have
structure and direction.

Stimulus - Not only do we need new things to happen (incidents), we also need them to be interesting and stimulating to our senses.

Sexual - We need to experience passion in our lives! Specifically this can be met through sex, but more generally the source of passion could be anything from art to Zumba...

In other words, as social beings, we need varying levels of intimacy with others. We also need a variety of positive, stimulating things to happen in our lives but with a healthy dose of predictability too. Psychological hunger pangs can also be felt, however, their nature and origins may not always be obvious and we may attempt to satisfy ourselves with 'junk food', i.e shopping, or binge tv.

How about you? Are you sensing an imbalance in your life?

If you feel that a therapeutic relationship could help you to work things out, feel free to get in touch.

Blog. HEART2

What is Imago Therapy?

Imago Relationship Therapy is a form of couples counselling and is sometimes called marriage guidance.

The aim of the Imago Therapist is to help you and your partner to be the safest version of yourselves with each other, in the sessions and outside, in order that you will be able to reconnect; developing intimacy and love, whilst addressing difficult issues.

We build safety by committing to the development of a ZERO NEGATIVE environment. This does not mean that you agree to being silenced, the process requires honesty, it does mean, that you agree not to blame, shame or criticize each other, and that neither of you uses material from the sessions against each other.

The main vehicle of Imago relationship Therapy, is the Dialogue Process. Dialoguing can feel difficult at first. Often listening can mean waiting for a pause to give our response, but dialoguing mean listening in order to show your partner that you have really heard what they said. When you speak during dialoguing, you share what is important to you in a way that your partner can hear; safely, in brief sentences.

Often couples arrive, ready to tell me their point of view, which fits the traditional model of relationship therapy. However, Imago Relationship Therapy is all about you and your partner understanding each other's perspective, and I will get you dialoguing from day one.

If your marriage needs some help, there is hope, get in touch.

Blog. EXIT2


In Imago Relationship Therapy, exits are ways in which we avoid closeness with our partner; affairs are one of many activities that can be described as an exit.

When communication feels difficult or impossible, we may act out our dissatisfactions within our relationships, through exits, instead of discussing them. Whilst an affair or divorce are obvious exits, there are many less obvious ones such as:

Binging on TV

Working long hours - by choice

Non-negotiable trips to the gym



On the surface, these activities seems harmless; we all need to unwind, and necessary; we all need an income, and children need their parents. Imago Therapy helps you to identify your intentions. When engaging in activities that seem to take you away from your relationship, what is really happening? Are you trying to find the pleasure that is missing from your marriage? Could the activity be a welcome distraction from difficulties at home?

Ultimately, exits undermine our relationships by eroding the intimacy between ourselves and our partner. Part of the work of the Imago therapist, is to help you to identify and close your exits and re-commit to building a safe, intimate connection.

Perhaps the ways in which you and your partner have avoided closeness, have left you feeling wounded, or guilty - there is hope.

If you are ready to rebuild your love relationship, and you want some help, get in touch.

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