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Before the lockdown, I thought that online therapy would lose too much of the personal interaction, would be too clumsy for the sensitivity needed for trauma therapy. Since lockdown I have found that there are many things in its favour. It is convenient. It can take place anywhere. It is well suited for structured therapy like EMDR. It can be just as intimate as face to face work, sometimes more so.

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Most of the people I see are in pain or distress. They have feelings or thoughts or behaviours that are upsetting and unwanted.

They have probably told themselves to 'snap out of it' or given themselves a good talking to. They have called themselves weak, pathetic, lazy. They have set deadlines, promised themselves rewards. But the feelings still don't go away.

They probably can't explain the feelings they have. They fear things that they know aren't dangerous, like mice, or going into town or to busy public places, or needles, or germs.

Their lives may fill with things they avoid, going by bus, answering the door, being responsible for anything at all. They once took these things for granted. Now they worry even as they tell themselves there is nothing to worry about.

They may have a sense of despair and maybe injustice long after they expect to get over a loss, disappointment or rebuff. They tell themselves that other people have much greater troubles. But that doesn't help at all.

They may get flashbacks to painful events, as if they were back there again. Or have nightmares that make them wake in fear.

They may get angry at the smallest things, just waiting for a reason to explode.

Judgemental thoughts may leave them low, or hopeless, or guilty or worthless or a mixture of all of them. Negative voices in their heads can criticise and undermine.

Almost all of them will have wondered if they are going mad.

They feel like the only one who thinks or feels like this.

Some people I see just want to feel more confident.Self consciousness gets in the way of doing things well, whether that's sport, or speaking, or socialising.

Most people want to feel more comfortable in their own skin, at ease with themselves, feel 'yes, I'm OK just as I am'. It's a hard quality to define but unmistakable when it's there.

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Ducks Over the Lake


About one person in six has a problem with anxiety and/or depression at any given time.

You worry excessively, overthink, you have a sense of nameless dread.

You want to avoid things that just feel unsafe, like motorways, or busy shops, being out alone. Your world shrinks ever smaller.

The physical symptoms of anxiety can be frightening in themselves. Rapid heartbeat, palpitations, breathlessness, feeling hot or clammy. Light-headedness, blurring of vision or pins and needles. A sense of unreality, not being your proper self.

Unresolved trauma from the past can flood old pain or shame into the present. Not only big trauma, life and death stuff, but other seemingly insignificant events from the past, often from childhood, often humiliating.

Our minds and bodies evolved to save us from physical danger. They do this superbly, instinctively making you freeze, or run or fight faster than you can think what best to do.

But nearly all the threats we face are social - being rejected, judged, criticised, failing. And then to freeze or run or fight is never the answer. Our instincts make things worse not better.

When our fight or flight response is activated, the problem solving aspects of our brains are placed offline. You literally can't think what to do. It's impossible to feel panicked and think clearly.

You can't argue yourself out of anxiety or depression. Reassurance doesn't help, though you probably keep asking for it. Your fight or flight system speaks the language of image, emotion and sensation. It isn't affected by words. It needs to be shown how to react differently.

I can help you work with your body and mind to put you back in control of your feelings, thoughts and actions. If you don't want your life to be limited by anxiety or low mood any longer.......

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Two Dried Leaves

Why do some memories disturb us so much while others fade?

It's the way your brain stores memories that gives them the power to upset you. Whenever the memories are triggered, you re-experience the feelings and sensations that happened in the past. The memories aren't dated and put into context the way normal memories are.

You're certain to be very judgemental towards yourself. "I'm to blame.", "I'm a coward", "I should have done something". Traumatised people have very harsh thoughts towards themselves, quite unlike the way they would think about a loved one in the same situation.

What kinds of trauma cause this?

Any strongly negative event can be traumatic. Being involved in or witnessing violence or serious harm or death are obvious traumas. Near misses and hearing about these kinds of event can be traumatic too.

But less dramatic events can leave you traumatised too. Especially when they involve shame or humiliation. Bullying, teasing, verbal abuse can all take their toll in adult life or childhood.

What's different about traumatic memories?

Memories that are laid down when the brain is highly stressed are stored with the events, feelings, sensations and images all mixed together.

When something triggers the memory, the squeal of brakes, that expression on your father's face, a teacher's name, the smell of smoke, you get the whole package, feelings and all. These memories don't always fade into the story of our lives the way most memories do.

With most memories you can remember that the event made you feel good or bad, but you no longer have those good or bad feelings when you remember it. The memory has gone into the past.

Traumatic memories stay stuck in the present. You still experience the badness.

What can you do about traumatic memories?

You can't just forget something happened. But all of us have the capacity to recover from trauma. After all, we all experience death, loss, fear and pain.

And mostly we pick up our lives again without being eternally lost in grief, sadness and regret. We recover hope for the future.

When this normal process gets stuck, therapy can release the emotions that are bound to the memory. It can change the images that are in your head. It can enable you the be realistic and compassionate in your expectations of yourself.

And it can do this decades after the event. It is never too late.

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EMDR is a therapy based on identifying moments when very threatening events happen as we experience intense emotions. These can be events involving life and death, such as happen in war. But they can also be that moment when a child who has wet himself in school feels utter shame.

Events such as these can be a one-off thing, or can be repeated over long periods. The mind learns an intense and simple lesson that can be hard to change. You go on feeling in danger, or that you will be rejected, or that you can't trust yourself, long after the event is over. Each time you even start to remember the event/s you have the same feelings again, feelings such as shame or fear. The event does not go into the past like other memories. It keeps influencing the present.

EMDR is a highly effective way to encourage these memories to go into the past. When this happens, present anxieties can just disappear. There is no longer anything in the mind activating them.

EMDR has a strong base in research evidence and is recommended for the treatment of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. These days it is also widely used with phobias, obsessive compulsive disorder, anxiety and low mood.

EMDR techniques can also be used to enhance performance and develop confidence.

In my experience, out of all therapies, EMDR can produce the most complete and sometimes dramatic changes. It seems to work emotionally with sensations and feelings rather than with argument and words.

Please give me a call on 01452 381954 or email me at to discuss whether EMDR could help you.

Dramatic Dew Drops


CBT is a therapy based on understanding how things such as anxiety, low mood or phobia happen in the present. It is less interested in why things have happened.

The Royal College of Psychiatrists says that 'CBT is one of the most effective treatments for conditions where anxiety of depression is the main problem.'

Each of us has our own internal map of how the outside world is, and what we can expect from that world in terms of how safe, accepted and loved we will be.

Like any map, it is not the thing it represents. It may have outright mistakes in it, too. We make our maps as children, with a child's way of thinking and understanding, and a child's level of information about the world. We often don't update these maps, but go on using them.

What you feel and how you behave are shaped by your map.

CBT aims to help you change the way you think - the cognitive part - and how you act - the behavioural part. When these change, the way you feel changes too.

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Hypnotherapy enables people to enter a trance state. In this state the creative and imaginative parts of the mind become more active, the analytical and critical parts less active.

A trance state is a normal occurrence in everyday life. When driving a familiar route, many people experience arriving at their destination with no memory of how they got there. The self aware part of their mind had been active with its own thoughts and dreams, whilst other parts of the brain drove safely there. This is a trance.

Clinical hypnotherapy uses deep relaxation to establish this trance state. People have access to different memories and thought processes.

The mind becomes more accepting of what it is told, more suggestible.

This makes hypnotherapy an excellent approach for habit based problems such as smoking. 

Hypnotherapy can only work with the wishes of the person. It cannot make people do things they don't want to, no matter what seems to happen on TV!

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Lynne said 'I am still amazed at the changes that have happened in my life thanks to EMDR and Roger's therapy.

In my mid 20s I suffered a whole host of awful experiences in a short period. These included a close family bereavement and a physically and mentally abusive relationship, with a few other horrors thrown in.

For the next 20 years I was in and out of psychiatric care, suffering from severe depression, OCD and panic disorder. 10 years ago, although still on antidepressants and sleeping tablets, I quit counselling and any kind of therapy, as it just seemed to make things worse.

One of my phobias is a fear of flying and I had not been able to go on a family holiday in 2015. I felt really bad letting my husband down, who had to go alone, and knew in 2016 I really had to do something about it. I sought help from Roger for my "aerophobia" and I'm so glad I did. It was the start of a six month period that has totally changed my life.

My feelings of bereavement still seemed really raw some 30 years later, and had got "stuck" in the present. I kept reliving the worst moments and everything was so vivid, just like PTSD.

EMDR allows you to re-process your traumatic memories and feelings and put them in a safe place, so they no longer have negative effect on your everyday life. Roger guided me through the sessions quietly and gently, helping me build confidence in my own abilities.

Now I'm a different person. No longer living with the screw of anxiety and in a heightened state of fear and panic. My OCD has resolved itself to the extent I forget to check! My night terrors have ceased and I'm able to do normal everyday things without wanting to hide in my bed!

I can't thank Roger enough for the help he has given me, it has been a totally life changing experience and for the first time ever I'm looking forward to my summer holiday!"

Annie came seeking help with a stressful situation at work. She had traumatic memories from her early teens and twenties. After therapy she wrote:

This is just to thank you so much for the EMDR therapy you gave me. I am back to work and feel so much better. I have gained an inner strength and confidence that I have never felt before. I am seeing things so much more clearly now and not catastrophising everything. I have taken charge and not felt any undue stress. I do feel so much stronger now, so many people have remarked on the difference in me."

18 months later Annie wrote:

"EMDR certainly worked for me, as I have gone from strength to strength. My last appraisal was absolutely glowing. I have so much more confidence in myself now. The therapy has also enabled me to improve my relationships with staff at work, and has given me insight into their problems. I have recommended the therapy to others.

I cannot thank you enough for changing my life. I seemed to have dealt with all the baggage that was dragging me down, of which I was completely unaware, prior to the therapy.

During the EMDR sessions I had with you, I wasn't sure how they were helping me, but you said give it time. Somehow it has given me a whole different mindset in how to deal with problems and issues that arise in my life. I am much better at dealing with the relationships with my parents and sister, I am not so driven by guilt."

Karen sought help for a wasp phobia. We combined EMDR with some exposure to wasps. She came for five sessions. A year later Karen wrote:

‘I just wanted to drop you a quick line as I came to you last year for help with my wasp phobia. As our sessions ended up running into the end of the summer, it was very difficult for us to judge exactly how much or if the sessions had been successful.

As an example of this summer, I was sat in my mum's garden when suddenly there was a swarm of wasps. I didn't even move but sat completely calmly brushing them away from other people who were panicking.

My whole family who have seen me for many years panicking at the mere sight of a wasp 50 yards away were totally stunned into silence. I didn't even realise I wasn't panicking until I saw their faces, I just didn't even think about it.

I just wanted to say thank you. I was hoping that the sessions would make my phobia bearable, I didn't expect such a huge difference, I enjoyed the summer this year for the first time ever.’

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Before becoming a therapist in private practice in 2008, Roger worked in the NHS as a nurse and then a senior manager. He became fascinated by what helps people to change.

"I worked with lots of people who wanted to make big changes in their lives", he says "but often they couldn't make the changes they wanted to."

"Sometimes the help people got seemed to make things worse. I've always known that if you want to help people to change, you've got to respect and believe in them."

Roger  is an EMDR practitioner accredited by EMDR UK and Ireland.

He has completed the joint Oxford `centre for Cognitive Therapy/Gloucestershire Primary Mental Health Service Foundation Skills course in Cognitive Behaviour Herapy.

He undertook hypnotherapy training, and is trained in Affect Centred Therapy and Solutions Focused Brief Therapy. 

Roger's experience is extensive. He worked as a mental health nurse in GP surgeries across Devon and Gloucestershire for over 20 years, where became known for his approachability and his respect for patients.

For several years Roger was the mental health lead for the West Gloucestershire Primary Care Trust. 

Until 2006, Roger was the chair of SHARE, Young People's Counselling service.

He has a Masters Degree in Evidence Based Healthcare from the University of Oxford.

This wide background in different therapies, as well as the 20 years of  practise as a mental health nurse, means he is able to adapt his approach to different people and problems. There is no 'one size fits all' in the psychology of human beings.

Roger holds clinics in Gloucester and Bishops Cleeve.

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Initial session

40-50 minutes to discuss the changes you want to happen        Free

Treatment appointment

60 minutes                                                                              £70

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Client 1

Information gathered during therapy is confidential and is not shared with anyone without consent. However, UK law provides that where there is a risk of serious harm or distress, or a threat to life, this may override the duty of confidentiality.

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No information is collected or stored by Roger Haynes Therapies for any purpose other than maintaining individual client records and contacting individual clients. 
You are welcome to see any records of your therapy on request.
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