Welcome to my blog


A little bit of me, shared with you.


By dianharvey, Aug 1 2015 10:35AM

I have been asked why I wish to share such personal reflections in a blog on my professional site. “Won’t people be frightened off or see you as incapable of helping them?” “Should you not be portraying a professional image, communicating a message that you are ‘sorted’?”

“Only the wounded healer can truly heal (Yalom, 1997)” springs to mind as I question my own intentions on why I want to share a little of myself here.

I hear how isolated and alone people feel as they struggle with their experience. Alienated in a world that seems to continue without understanding, or maybe even noticing. My small voice says, “I notice and you are not alone.”

I wear masks to fit in, the masks of another more acceptable self. The difficulty with that, in my experience, is that by second-guessing what I think is expected of me, I find myself feeling even more unsure of what mask to wear! By portraying an image I hope endears me to the world, I forget who I am and loose who I was meant to be.

I have spoken of the echoes of my past experiences jumping into my present, clouding my perception and judgement. We all have them. Self-reflection helps me reconnect and ground myself in a less distorted reality. The psychological tension I feel manifesting in a myriad of ways - anxiety, self-doubt, recrimination, condemnation and defensiveness to name but a few - can ease.

Are the echoes of my past influencing my here and now experience? Is that ok with me? As I explore, I bring into my consciousness thoughts, values and beliefs that I can hold up and examine. I can question their validity. Do they fit with me now? I give myself a fighting chance to be able to choose what thoughts and feelings belong to my experience in that moment, a fighting chance to think, feel and behave differently, if I wish to.

You might find that by asking yourself these same questions - allowing your self the time to notice and process, in the moment - to be beneficial and empowering in your continuum of life. This is the essence of the process that unfolds within the therapeutic relationships I have the honour of being part of.

We are intricate, complex Beings with a strength and resilience often going unnoticed. Each of us is unique and yet we are similar, paradox abounds. Life flows and is ever changing. I find it helpful to remind myself of that often.

My attempt at blogging is a sharing of my own explorations into the search for my genuine self, my truth in this moment. It is an attempt to connect - as a genuine, fallible human being - to you dear reader.

My hope is that this will be helpful to some.


Yalom, I (1997) Lying on the Couch: A Novel. New York: HarperPerennial

#counselling #blog #self-reflection #psychotherapy

By dianharvey, Jun 12 2015 04:50PM

Abuse - Such a small word that we use to encompass such a vast spectrum of behaviour. I have found myself drowning in the expanse of this subject during my studies, gasping for breath as I try and find an edge to cling onto that is not there.

It is not always easy to recognise abusive behaviour occurring within the dynamics of interpersonal relationships, within the micro culture of the family, or indeed within the attitudes of wider society. Power and control are the elements that drive abusive behaviour, sometimes with intent and at other times subliminally. It may be even harder to recognise how the effects of abuse are internalised into the structure of our self, affecting our way of being long after the abuse has past .

As I have looked at this this topic I have been led to reflect on my life and how I have processed my own experiences to develop my way of being. I have reflected on how I perceive myself as an individual and how that unfolds in my counselling practice. I have re-examined my own values and beliefs, looking at my attitudes, highlighting cultural conditioning that may be having a subliminal effect on my acceptance and empathy of others .

Jeremy Holmes (1999) theorises that recognising ghosts of our past enables a life more fully in the present. This correlates with Roger’s (1951) theory in which accurate symbolisation of experience leads to psychological adjustment.

Recognising my ghosts of the past by looking at my trauma then, and my way of being now, has been a process of daring to tell my story to myself and to a few who have gained my trust along the way. McLeod (1997) explains, “Stories have an active role in constructing the person’s world in the here-and-now and in the future.” I have found this to be true and I also recognise that there is more to my story that calls from within me to be told .

“A person’s experience cannot be figured out by others, or even by the person experiencing it. It cannot be expressed in common labels. It has to be met, found, felt, attended to, and allowed to show itself”(Gendlin, E, 2003 p156 ).

I have seen in my own practice how difficult it is for clients to talk about their experiences, as their emotions feel overwhelming. Will I be strong enough to hold them in their distress? Many times I have been able to provide the sense of safety that has been needed, and there have been times when clients have not sensed that safety enough to be able to trust me with their story. I continue to strive to provide a safe enough space in which client’s feel able to tell their stories. Not just to be listened to, but to feel truly heard, as they weave in and out in the depth of their experience.

“If we feel confident and willing to face the pain and suffering, then we can help.”

Etherington, K, (2000, p20)


Etherington, K (2000). Narrative Approaches to Working with Adult Male Survivors of Child Sexual Abuse. London: Jessica Kingsley.

Gendlin, E. T (2003) Focusing: How to gain direct access to your body’s knowledge. London: Rider.

Holmes, J (1999) Ghosts in the consulting room. Attachment & Human Development, 1 (1) pp115-131.

McLeod, J (1997) Narrative and Psychotherapy. London: Sage.

Rogers, C. R (1951) Client-Centered Therapy: Its current practice, implications and theory. Boston: Houghton Mifflin.

By dianharvey, Jun 9 2015 04:00PM

I weep

Below my surface, within the depth of my being

I weep

I weep for the girl I was, for the woman I became

I weep

As I connect with all of me

I weep.

I quell the tears as I close the lid, sealing the cracks

Below my surface, to the depth of my being, my pain returns

Now distant echoes whispering, whispering waiting to BOOM

I hold onto these echoes of mine. They belong to me

Without them I loose me.

As my echoes whisper, in this moment I hear what they say

My weakness is my strength

My despair is my wisdom

My echoes are my empathy

I weep.


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Oxford Personal Therapy

Counselling and Psychotherapy