ABC Coaching & Counselling Services, Hebden Bridge, West Yorkshire; and by telephone, email & Skype

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ABC Coaching and Counselling Services offers professional counselling, psychotherapy and coaching services, in Hebden Bridge, West Yorkshire; and by telephone, email and Skype/webcam all over the world.

Plus some CPD courses and learning resources for counselling students; postgraduate students; qualified counsellors; and self-help enthusiasts.

The ABC services are based upon the theory and practice of Cognitive Emotive Narrative Therapy (CENT) - which incorporates CBT/REBT, depth psychology and humanistic (client centred) approaches.  More specifically, we integrate REBT/CBT, Transactional Analysis (TA), Narrative Therapy, Attachment Theory, Object Relations, Zen Buddhism and Moral Philosophy.


Coaching, counselling and psychotherapy in Hebden Bridge, West Yorkshire, HX7 8HJ, UK

Telephone counselling and Skypewebcam counselling all over the English speaking world.

Email counselling for individuals with good English writing skills, who are not seriously emotionally disturbed.

Academic coaching for counselling and psychotherapy students.


Overview of site content: Counselling and coaching services; and counselling and coaching training courses and informational resources; including video format. Face to face coaching and counselling services; telephone counselling; email counselling; skype counselling; performance coaching; psychotherapy; couples therapy; books on counselling, and on anxiety, anger management, stress management, and happiness. Confidence counselling and coaching: Assertiveness; self confidence; self acceptance. Happiness coaching and positive psychology. Counselling research; and counselling supervision. Cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT); Rational emotive behaviour therapy (REBT); Cognitive emotive narrative therapy (CENT); Transactional analysis (TA); Object relations and attachment theory; Zen Buddhism and moral philosophy.  Training for counsellors; Articles and papers on CENT counselling.  Counselling diploma assignments.  Copy of counsellor's doctoral thesis.  The institute for CENT (cognitive emotive narrative therapy). Pages on attachment theory, meditation, narrative therapy, writing therapy, anger, anxiety, depression, stress, stoic philosophy for counsellors, and much more besides.


Counselling, Coaching and Psychotherapy in Hebden Bridge, HX7, near Halifax, West Yorkshire,

and via telephone, email and Skype... 

Are you looking for counselling, coaching or psychotherapy help with difficult problems, at home or at work?  If so, we can help!  


We provide high quality help in the form of face-to-face counselling, psychotherapy and coaching - in Hebden Bridge, near Halifax, West Yorkshire - and by telephone or email counselling all over the world.


We can help you to solve your problems and improve the quality of your life!


In addition to professional counselling and coaching services, we also offer some books, information packs and training courses in counselling and related subjects...

"A single conversation across the table with a wise person is worth a month's study of books".   

Chinese Proverb


 Together we can rewrite the story you're living! 



The home of Cognitive Emotive Narrative Therapy (CENT)

Integrating Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT/REBT) with Transactional Analysis (TA), Psychoanalysis, Attachment theory, Narrative therapy, Buddhist, Stoic and Moral philosophies, and Critical thinking skills… 


Dr Jim Byrne provides counselling, psychotherapy and coaching services in Hebden Bridge, near Halifax, HX7, West Yorkshire.  He helps individuals and couples with problems of couple relationships, anger management, stress management, anxiety and panic, depression and despondency, and with insecure attachment problems. 

Client testimonial: 

♣ “Dear Jim, I feel very much better than I did a year ago, and that is mostly down to coming here, to talk to you.  And since we did the work on releasing from my dad, the quality of my relationships with men has improved dramatically”.
P.A.J., Greater Manchester, (39 sessions of face to face counselling for a range of emotional problems).

Brief video introduction to Jim's approach to counselling:

Click the screen or click this link: Introduction to counselling*** 
To consult Jim in Hebden Bridge, please go to the Counselling in Hebden Bridge page.***
And here's another little video clip on counselling.  Introduction to counselling - Part 1, by Dr Jim Byrne


Renata Taylor-Byrne provides coaching and counselling services to individuals who want to develop their assertiveness skills; improved communication; stress management skills; self-awareness; self-presentation in public performances; self-discipline, including in the areas of physical exercise, diet and mind control; and many other areas. 


Client Testimonial: 

“Thank you, Renata, for all the help you have given me in learning to think and feel in ways that were alien to me before I consulted you.  I have been on a long journey from suffering to joy!”

P.J.M., Sheffield, UK (Several consultations for a range of stuck issues, over a period of years).


Brief video introduction to Renata's coaching style:


Counselling Psychology and Psychotherapy Quotation No.1:

In CENT counselling, we teach our therapy clients the importance of story and narrative – of reading and writing as aids to thinking and feeling: We do this because “A child not only co-constructs the narrative (or story) of his or her life with his or her caregiver, but ideally listens to many others stories as well. We may think this is mainly just for entertainment and bonding, but the repeated telling of stories also helps to form structures in the child’s mind: that enable problem solving, meaning making, optimism and self-soothing.  Wicked-witches get their comeuppance, conflicts are resolved and we learn the concept of ‘happily ever after’.”

Philippa Perry, How to Stay Sane (2012). Page 72. (7b)

It follows from the above that, to grow the adult part of your mind, you need to read empowering novels and short stories.  Then, to process traumas and unfinished business from the past, write about them, at one remove, (e.g. by slightly fictionalizing them) and rethink and revise them!

Dr Jim Byrne, July 2015 (7c)


♣ Couples therapy*** with Dr Jim Byrne.

About my Couples therapy service: I have studied, and now teach, some of the most potent approaches to developing effective human relationships, including couple relationships and marriages.  I have helped many couples to save their relationships from disaster.

If you want to be happy in a secure, affectionate, adult love relationship, then I can help you to learn. Go to Couples Therapy page.***


18 Principles of Couples Therapy 

The CENT counselling approach to Couples Therapy involves a combination of models, theories and techniques which come from some of the best approaces to helping couples to develop happy relationships that we have been able to identify over a fifteen year period.  

Here is an example of one of the couple relationship principles that we teach our counselling clients: 

Principle 5. It is important to distinguish between your partner on the one hand and their behaviour on the other!  Then you can more easily accept your partner unconditionally (or, rather, one-conditionally)[1], while wishing, desiring and even requesting that they please change the specific behaviour that causes you a problem.  (You do not have an absolute right to demand[2] that your partner change any of their behaviours, and if you proceed on the assumption that you have such a right, you will have a great deal of misery in your marital relationship).  Can you think of an incident recently where you condemned your partner for engaging in behaviour(s) that you did not like, instead of merely objecting to their behaviour?  Do you know what you could have done which would have been more effective?  (If you answer 'No' to this question, then you could benefit from discussing One-conditional Self- and Other-Acceptance with Jim! And also self assertion techniques).

[1] The one condition that you should apply to your partner’s behaviour, and your own, is that it should be moral (and legal).  Apart from that one condition, you should otherwise accept them and yourself unconditionally.  I  call this approach ‘one-conditional acceptance’.

[2] For an understanding as to why it is not-okay to ‘demand’ anything of your partner, please see my page on REBT theory:

Copyright (c), Dr Jim Byrne, Doctor of Counselling, 2015


Two options: 

(1) Couples therapy with a counsellor - (2) Relationship course for couples 

Plus: Here's a brief video clip introduction to Dr Jim Byrne's approach to couples therapy and marriage counselling: 


 About my Anger Management Counseling service: Many people come to see me with problems of anger, at home and/or at work.  They find that they have a short fuse when they are frustrated by others; or when others cause them to look foolish; or when people behave badly when they should know better. 

I have helped many people to reduce their angry responses to a more reasonable level, by working with them on how to think and feel cooler and calmer when facing difficulties, like insults, threats, or frustrations.
Others come from families in which anger was modelled for them as a legitimate way to solve conflicts of opinion.  However, they later find that enflaming their feelings of anger - and acting on those feelings of anger - does not work in the wider world. 

10 Principles of Anger Management 

Dr Jim Byrne has created a range of approaches to anger management.  You can learn those principles by consulting him for anger management counselling and therapy, in Hebden Bridge, or by long-distance communication (telephone or Skype) from any part of the world; or by using his anger-management self-help resource pack.  Here is one of the core principles that Dr Byrne teaches in his anger management practice:

Principle 4: Anger is most often a ‘false friend’. 

(In a life threatening situation, act first and think later – but most of the situations in which we become angry are far from life threatening!) 

Anger whispers in your ear that you are right and the other person is wrong; that you are being taken advantage of or abused; and the other person must be punished for this transgression.  Very often, this is not the only way to look at the situation.  But this is often a false statement!

The other person may be unaware of the fact that they are causing you a problem.  And/or: The problem they are causing you may be of a kind that you also, in your turn, unavoidably cause to other people – and you would not want them to get angry with for this act.

So don’t automatically trust the voice of anger-inducement in your ear.  Challenge it.  Ask yourself: Is this true?  Is there a better way of looking at the situation?  Will getting angry really help me in any significant way? Or will it actually make matters worse? 


Copyright (c) Dr Jim Byrne, 2015


Two options: 

(1) Anger management counselling - (2) Anger management self-help course  


Plus: Anger Management Video: Dr Jim Byrne presents a video introduction to the theory and practice of anger management:


 Stress can manifest as a constant feeling of inability to cope with the pressures of life, at home or at work.  In fact, a good definition of stress is this:

Stress = Pressure/Coping ability; or stress equals pressure divided by your coping ability.

The higher your level of coping ability, the more pressure you can handle before your stress level begins to feel like distress.


Counselling Psychology and Psychotherapy Quotation No.2: 

The quality of the relationship between the counsellor and the client is the single most important predictor of positive outcomes in counselling practice: “Among the most consistent findings of psychotherapy outcome research is that the therapeutic relationship is vital in contributing to client progress.  Even recent technological developments in neuroscience support the importance of developing and maintaining a therapeutic relationship through activation of areas of the brain related to the attachment system…”

Lambert and Simon, in Steven Hick and Thomas Bien, Mindfulness and the Therapeutic Relationship.  2010, page 19.  (40)



Depression is a painful, discouraging and draining condition.  Life looks bleak and dull, and bad feelings seem to fill our bodies as well as our minds.  Sometimes individuals become depressed because they get stuck in the grieving process.  That is to say, they lose something or someone significant to them, and thus they need to engage in appropriate sadness.  But they push the sadness away, and get stuck with long term depression instead of short term sadness.  The trick with grief is to feel the sense of loss keenly, and thus to complete it.


♣ Counselling and therapy for anxiety.*** 

This is what I teach my counselling clients about anxiety: When individuals are confronted with an apparent threat or danger, just up ahead, they have an automatic, instinctive tendency to respond with "fight" or "flight".  If you have a problem with social anxiety, then you are attempting to flee from the threat of being judged, or appearing in a bad light, in a public place.  If you are suffering from performance anxiety, in public roles, or in interviews or academic exams, then you are most likely telling yourself two things:

I must not fail because significant other people will not like me, or accept me so much, and that would be unbearable; and/or:

I must not make any mistakes in public, because I will not accept anything less than perfection from myself.

I can teach you a more empowering way of managing your life which you can then apply in those situations in which you feel anxious.

Go to: Counselling and therapy for anxiety.*** 


And here's a little introductory video clip on anxiety:

Anxiety & Panic Counselling, Social Anxiety & Phobia Treatment, Generalised Anxiety Disorder Help

Our presentation discusses how panic attacks and anxiety are very common mental health issues that can affect anyone. The methods we use to manage our anxiety affect our emotions, our body and mind and our overall health as well as our quality of life:



♣ Confidence counselling.***

Counselling and coaching for self-confidence issues should include these insights: The beginning of our loss of self-confidence is the beginning of the recognition that we are limited in our abilities and skills, and sometimes other people perform better than we do in certain tasks. 

We may also compare our physical appearance, strength, voice, income level, and so on unfavourably with another person, and put ourselves down (inappropriately) for our "poor showing". 

In general, the destruction of our self-confidence begins when we decide "I am an X and I should be a Y", where X and Y can be any juxtaposed qualities, traits or personality features, or identification with particular behaviours. For example, "I am short, and I should be tall!"; "I am fat, and I should be thin!"

Go to: Confidence counselling.*** 


Confidence video: What follows is a little video clip titled, Beyond "Self Esteem" - How to Feel Self Worth: 3-Minute Therapy, with Dr. Christina Hibbert:


Jim Byrne produces an occasional blog on subjects related to: counselling and psychotherapy; wisdom; and personal development; including helpful books, quotes and insights.  The current blog is Post No.124: Dr Jim’s Counselling Blog: A counsellor blogs about CENT and problem solving…*** 


♣ New Writing on Cognitive Emotive Narrative Therapy (CENT).***

For example: Annex D5: Personality adaptations in CENT counselling theory; and the relationship between thinking, feeling and behaviour in REBT and TA…


♣ Hundreds of web pages*** on various aspects of counselling, therapy, coaching, stress, diet, meditation, physical exercise, personal development… Free informational pages.***


♣ Articles and papers*** by the Institute for CENT.


♣ Books*** by the institute for CENT.


♣ Links*** and resources.


We also host the web pages of the Institute for CENT*** counselling. 


19 principles of CENT Counselling Psychology and Psychotherapy

(Being an extract from ‘What is CENT?’)

By Dr Jim Byrne: Copyright (c) Jim Byrne, 2009-2015


In CENT counselling, we teach our clients a range of general principles of life which help them to better understand who they are, how they came to be the way they are, and how to change their lives for the better. In a broad sense, CENT was developed by Dr Jim Byrne over many years of study and application, in private practice with almost 800 counselling and psychotherapy clients. 

Here is just one example of the 19 core principles: 

Principle No.3Third, the first five or six years of life are taken to be determinants of what kind of life the individual will live.  Very largely, the narratives, scripts and frames that the child learns and forms during this period – which manifest in the form of moods and emotional states, expectations, beliefs and habitual patterns of behaviour - will determine its trajectory through life, all other things being equal.  There is, of course, some degree of malleability of the human mind, and so what was once shaped badly (by dysfunctional relationship experiences) can to some extent be reshaped into a better form by subsequent ‘curative experiences’, with a love partner or with a counsellor or psychotherapist.

For more information about these 19 principles of counselling psychology and psychotherapy, please go to ‘What is CENT?’*** 


♣ Book announcement: For counsellors, psychologists, psychotherapists, psychoanalysts, and discerning individual readers who like to read psychological thrillers, analysis of dramatic family history, and moving autobiography, this book is a rare treat:  Obedience and Revolt: Mysterious Roots of Half a Life: by Daniel O’Beeve.***


Distinguishing counselling and therapy from psychiatry

Counselling and psychotherapy help individuals to deal with their problems of daily living.  Counselling and therapy do not concern themselves with ‘the medical model’; we do not consider our client to be ‘sick’, or ‘mad’.  We see people as being stressed, wrestling with difficult problems, recovering from dysfunctional relationships in their family of origin, or in their later life; finding it difficult to manage strong emotions in difficult situations; and so on.


This is a million miles from the ‘medicalized’ madness of psychiatry;

a pseudoscience which is harming the body-minds of all those people who come into contact with it. 

Here’s the evidence:

Psychiatry and the Business of Madness:

An Ethical and Epistemological Accounting

by Bonnie Burstow, PhD

Published April 1, 2015 by Palgrave Macmillan

This latest book by Bonnie Burstow, PhD critiques psychiatry, and effectively annihilates any claims that the profession might have had legitimacy.

If you want to know what is wrong with psychiatry, then this is a great learning resource for you.


See the brief review here:


Psychiatry can damage your health


If you want to read testimony from quite respectable members of the British establishment (for example, the Earl of Sandwich) who have been harmed by British psychiatry, then you could try here:

Lives 'left in ruin’ by rising tide of depression drugs

Or here:

How antidepressants ruined my life

Psychiatry in the UK’s NHS, and in the private sector, very often leads to drug dependency and damage to the central nervous systems of the unfortunate individuals who believe in the mumbo-jumbo of psychiatry.

Here’s a brief extract from one of the articles listed above:

Lives 'left in ruin’ by rising tide of depression drugs

By Julia Llewellyn Smith – Copyright (c) – The Telegraph online, 2015

“Twenty years ago, Henry was living a fulfilled life. A happily married father from the Home Counties, his sales career was going well, he had a wide social circle and played football and golf regularly. “I was a conservative, head-down, career-minded person who enjoyed my life,” he says.

“But in 1995, a bout of flu left Henry, then 31, exhausted and lethargic. He visited his GP, who told him he was depressed, and prescribed the world’s most popular antidepressant, Prozac. “Everything appeared completely benign — he said depression was a common complaint, the drugs would fix it and then I’d stop taking them.”

“More than a decade later, Henry was far from cured and still taking antidepressants. “None of the drugs I was prescribed made me feel better, and most made me considerably worse. But every time I stopped them, the symptoms of what I thought was depression — but now know were of withdrawal — returned even more strongly, so I went back to the pills.”

“By 2009, he was so unwell that he had to give up work. Finally, suspecting the drugs were the cause of his problems, he quit them, only to enter a new hell.”

… End of extract …

Withdrawal from psychiatric drugs is a nightmare, and it’s the difficulty of going through a tapered withdrawal from these addictive drugs that keeps people on them for years.  Some unfortunate individuals end up taking new drugs for the side effects of the original drugs, and this is a slippery slope to mental and physical ruin, which wrecks families and careers!


Counselling and psychotherapy, in the main, has no truck with psychiatrists, and does not lead people to believe in the fallacious idea that an emotional disturbance caused by stress and strain can be resolved by popping pills!  The ‘talking cure’ may take time, but it is so much better and safer than believing the lies of the drug companies and their GP pushers.  The talking cure asks you to take responsibility for becoming the Hercule Poirot of your own emotional wellbeing.  You need to investigate the sources of stress and strain in your life; in your relationships; in your way of thinking; in your approach to diet, exercise, self-talk, relaxation, meditation, relationships; and your philosophical orientation towards the developmental challenges of life!


The Council for Evidence-Based Psychiatry supports the ideas outlined above.  They are due to have a conference in London on 18th September.  Here are the details:

*** CEP conference on 18 September in London ***

“More Harm than Good: Confronting the Psychiatric Medication Epidemic”

Join global leaders in the critical psychiatry movement for a one-day conference which will address an urgent public health issue: the iatrogenic harm caused by the over-prescription of psychiatric medications. For more information please follow this link.


A detailed forensic analysis of the childhood of Albert Ellis and the impact of his suffering on the shape of Rational Emotive Behaviour Therapy (REBT)

A_Wounded_Psychother_Cover_for_Kindle.jpg‘A Wounded psychotherapist’ is the latest (2013) book by Dr Jim Byrne.  It is an analysis of both the childhood of Dr Albert Ellis (the creator of Rational Emotive Behaviour Therapy [REBT]), and how some of those childhood experiences most likely gave rise to certain features of his later philosophy of psychotherapy.  If you have ever wondered what the roots of REBT might have been, then this is the book for you.  It explores the childhood difficulties of Albert Ellis, and links those difficulties forward to the ways in which REBT was eventually shaped.  It also identified the strengths and weaknesses of REBT, and proposes an agenda for reform of this radical system of psychotherapy.To read more, please go to: A Wounded Psychotherapist: Albert Ellis’s childhood and the strengths and limitations of REBT.***

Information about Counselling

Here are some video clips to help you to get a flavour of the ABC Coaching and Counselling Services approach to counselling and therapy:
1. This first clip is a brief introduction to Dr Jim Byrne, ABC Coaching and Counselling Services, and the counselling services on offer.2. In this second clip, I describe the importance of taking responsibility for your own life, as the essential foundation for any form of successful counselling process.


3. Here is a brief introduction to Cognitive Emotive Narrative Therapy (CENT), which is the form of counselling and therapy created and used by Dr Jim Byrne.  There are at least 16 videos on the 16 Counselling Videos page.4. This is Part 2 of 'What is Counselling?'  It was produced by me to update my statements about the way I think of counselling.  In particular, I mention the importance of Attachment Theory, and the counsellor being emotionally available to the client.