ABC Coaching & Counselling Services, Hebden Bridge, West Yorkshire; and worldwide

This site  The Web 

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.



Hello, and welcome to

ABC Coaching and Counselling Services

 Established 1998

Helping individuals to grow and thrive


Counselling and Coaching for you: Trust us to solve your problems!

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, 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!



 Coaching and Counselling Quote No.1: Philosophy of counselling:

Human beings are social by nature, and need to be in supportive relationships for the sake of their happiness and sense of contentment: “Just as the conditions of our lives are determined in the first place by the facts of the universe, further conditions arise through the social and communal life of human beings and the laws and regulations springing from it.  The needs of the community govern all human relationships.  Communal life predates the individual life of humanity.  In the history of human civilization no way of life has emerged of which the foundations were not laid communally; human beings developed not singly but in communities”.  Because we cannot survive and thrive alone, we are strengthened by our need for community.

Alfred Adler (1927/1992) Understanding Human Nature.  Page 35. (11b)



Counselling and coaching work:

The solution to your problem is here! 


Our services are organized into three divisions:

Counselling in Hebden Bridge; (and by telephone and email);

Coaching in Hebden Bridge; and

Informational/Learning resources and CPD counselling courses (available all over the world).

 Counselling Services

 Coaching Services

Provided by Dr Jim Byrne, Doctor of Counselling


I can help you with your emotional, behavioural and relationship problems and difficulties; including: anger, anxiety, depression, stress, self confidence and self esteem; relationship problems, including communication and attachment difficulties.

Go to Jim's page...

 Provided by Renata Taylor-Byrne, professional educator and performance coach


I can help you to manage your personal and public performance challenges; including: building self confidence, assertive communication skills, making presentations, negotiation skills and stress management.

Go to Renata's page...


 Learning services and CPD learning resources for counsellors, coaches, psychotherapists, social workers, self-help enthusiasts and interested others...


We offer a range of informational modules and distance-learning resource pages for: counselling students and interested others; postgraduate counselling students; counsellors, psychotherapists and others; self-help enthusiasts and other caring professionals. These resources explore various systems of counselling and therapy (including CBT/REBT, Transactional Analysis (TA), and psychodynamic and client-centred approaches); various theories and philosophies; as well as various emotional, behavioural and relationship problems. These learning resources are a great aid to the study of important aspects of the profession of counselling and psychotherapy; for students and for continuing professional development (CPD); as well as for self-help enthusiasts.  Now you can earn a CPD certificate for 30 hours of study of a counselling-related subject. 


Go to the Informational services page...

Our services are based upon the theory and practice of Cognitive Emotive Narrative Therapy (CENT) - which incorporates CBT counseling, depth psychology and humanistic (client centred) approaches to counselling, coaching and therapy.


Counselling and Coaching Quotation No.2: Philosophy of counselling:

Narrative counsellors see their clients as living within stories; or swimming in a sea of stories: “From a social constructionist perspective, narrative (counselling) represents an essential bridge between individual experience and the cultural system.  We are born into a world of stories that have existed since long before we are born, and will continue long after we die.  We construct a personal identity by aligning ourselves with some of those stories, by ‘dwelling within’ them”. 

John McLeod, An Introduction to Counselling.  2003.  Page 234. (14)




For counselling and coaching help, or for further information, please contact us today,

on 01422 843 629 (from inside the UK); or:

44 1422 843 629 (outside the UK)


Or email; or


If you are looking for the extensive audio-visual resource that used to be on the bottom of this homepage, then please go to: Sixteen videos on counselling and psychotheapy***


If you like the content of this site, please share it with your social networking friends (e.g. at Facebook, Bebo, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, etc).

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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.


Coaching and counselling quote No.3: Philosophy of counselling: 

Mindfulness training for counsellors, like meditation or present-time awareness, improves the ability of the counsellor to be fully present with the client, and to engage in deep listening: “Thomas Bien (2006, p.217), in his book Mindful Therapy, observes that to him ‘mindful therapy is therapy in which the therapist produces true presence and deep listening.  It is not technique driven’.  This insight reflects the importance Bien attaches to the role of mindfulness in cultivating presence and listening within the client-therapist relationship’.”

Steven Hick and Thomas Bien, Mindfulness and the Therapeutic Relationship.  2010, page 15.  (4)



More on Philosophy of Counselling and Psychotherapy

Video Log No.5 – Philosophy of Counselling: Thought, feelings and narratives in counselling, psychotherapy and self-help: 

To view the latest video log by Jim Byrne, please click the screen image that follows:


Or click the following link: Vlog No.5: Philosophy of counselling***

In this video clip, Dr Jim Byrne talks about how his doctorate in counselling was influenced by the work of Malcolm Gladwell's book, 'Blink - The power of thinking without thinking'; and that of John Gray (‘Straw Dogs - Thoughts on humans and other animals’); plus the psychological research of Maier (1941); and how his (Jim's) post-doctoral research has moved into the development of Cognitive Emotive Narrative Therapy (CENT).  His recent reading has included Daniel Kahneman's book, 'Thinking Fast and Slow'; and now some new ideas from an old book - Joseph LeDoux's 'The Emotional Brain - The mysterious underpinnings of emotional life'.  The relative strengths of thoughts and emotions are also discussed…


Featured video No.1: On counselling and psychotherapy, and related subjects:

Humans are creatures of habit.  Once we develop a set of beliefs, we tend to gather towards us evidence that supports those beliefs, and to push away evidence that undermines those beliefs.  (This is 'the confirmatory bias', in the words of Dr Daniel Kahneman, in his impressive work, 'Thinking Fast and Slow'.)  In this way we become deluded and prejudiced, and biased towards a particular set of beliefs – a particular story or narrative.

In this series of 'featured videos', I want to explore some issues that are relevant to counsellors and counselling clients, including the nature of wisdom, how to become wiser, how to think better, emotional intelligence, and similar subjects.

Here is a quote that helps to indicate the value of continuing to seek wisdom, and to continue to seek an understanding of what wisdom is:

“Wisdom means keeping a sense of the fallibility of all our views and opinions, and of the uncertainty and instability of the things we most count on”.  Gerald Brennan.

Today, I will continue this series of videos by offering you one of my own video-logs:

Video-Log-3: Wisdom in counselling and psychotherapy, by Dr Jim Byrne

It seems to me that counsellors should be wise guides, which is different from simply being knowledgeable. 

In this video clip, I talk about how I have changed since I posted my first three videos in 2008-2009.  Believe it or not, I actually sing some fragments of rational humorous songs, including one which shows how dysfunctional was the relationship approach of Dr Albert Ellis, the creator of Rational Emotive Behaviour Therapy (REBT).  I also talk about how the Common Factors approach to counselling and therapy is wrong to think that clients can inform therapists about what it is that the therapist is doing to help.  The client, like the therapist, has no real insight into this mysterious process...  For more on this, please see my blog page at


Click the screen image above, or click this link:

PS: There is a reference to "Dr Doolan" and his wife, in this video; but this is a disguised identity, to protect the confidentiality of a particular client couple.



A new book on 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 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.***

Q&A Mini-paper No.C101

An Introduction to Counselling

by Jim Byrne, Doctor of Counselling, University of Manchester

8th October 2013      


This mini-paper includes a reflective review of Chapter 1 of a specific book on counselling, which is commonly used in counsellor training.  Here are the book's details:

McLeod, John (2003) An Introduction to Counselling.  Third Edition.  Buckingham: Open University Press. Pages 1-19.


Dr McLeod's seventeen page introduction is, in my opinion, slightly too long and detailed to be optimally useful for getting a quick overview of the answer to the question: What is counselling?

I have therefore boiled it down to four pagesin an effort to distil the essence of Dr McLeod's message.  I began by taking notes and then thinking through the various elements of his presentation, to arrive at an optimal structure for my presentation of his insights and conclusions. 

Next, I wrote a four page summary of his chapter; and then boiled that summary down to the following one-paragraph summary.

(I also answered some of the post text questions and sub-questions, and I have appended them at the end of this mini-paper).


Click the link above, or the screen below, to view this video clip


Brief summary

Counselling is a process which begins when a person (the client) approaches a professionally trained person (the counsellor) for help with a problem of everyday living.  The counsellor actively listens and works collaboratively with the client to help the client to arrive at a satisfactory resolution of their problem.  That covers the person centred approach.  To adequately cover the two other major schools of thought in counselling, we must also add: A psychodynamic counsellor will look for the roots of the client's problems in their early childhood experiences (as well as how the handle their current thinking, feeling and behaviour) - and help them to digest previously undigested experiences.  On the other hand, a cognitive-behavioural counsellor will look for the roots of the client's problem in their current approach to thinking and behaving in response to their environment - and encourage them to change their system of beliefs about troublesome aspects of their environment.

...End of extract.


For more, go here: What is counselling, and how is it done?***


Counselling and coaching quotation No.4: Strike while the iron is hot!

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.  (7)



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 Creating Joy: How to be much happier, right now!  by Dr Jim Byrne

GreatingJoy3.jpgThe main aim of this book is to spread happiness.  Not just any old hedonistic happiness, excitement, or thrill seeking; but rather pro-social, moral, sustainable happiness, in line with the wisdom of the ages; including the insights of Positive psychology, Buddhist psychology, Stoic philosophy and various forms of Rational and Narrative therapy.

In this book you will find a range of simple exercises for you to do, to begin at once to feel better and to be happier.  This twelve week program (of 30 to 60 minutes per day) is designed to help you to manage your life in such a way that you can reduce your unhappiness and increase your fun and joy.  (Isn't it worth an investment of 30 minutes per day to transform your life and make it much happier?) You will learn simple techniques that can produce almost immediate improvements that will delight you.

Available here: Creating Joy: How to be much happier, right now! 

Top four counselling-related videos by Jim Byrne, at YouTube:

The following videos, by Dr Jim Byrne, have been visited by between 6,000 and 15,000 viewers, suggesting they must have some kind of appeal beyond the normal range:

 Title: Three Rational Humorous Songs 


 Title: How to control your anger, by Dr Jim Byrne 



 Title: Part 1 of the ABCs of REBT 



 Title: REBT Theory: Three Brief Lectures 



The ABC Coaching Division 

My name is Renata Taylor-Byrne, and I offer personal performance coaching to individuals who are looking for effective support in achieving their goals - whether at work or at home. 

To begin with, I want to present a two-minute video clip which helps to clarify the answer to the question: 'What is Coaching?'  I will then move on to describe the kinds of help that I offer.


What is Coaching? A video clip by Renata Taylor-Byrne:



Click the image above, or click the following link to see this video clip at YouTube: What is Coaching.***


For more information on the ABC Coaching Division, please go here: The ABC Coaching Division***


Coaching and counselling quotation No.5: Self care and self coaching:  

Counselling is essentially about talking through your problems; exploring the practicalities, the possibilities, the interpretations and the scope for change: “At the heart of any form of counselling is making a space to talk it through.  This phrase is offered as a kind of touchstone … and operates as a reminder of what the role of counselling actually is in relation to the troubles that people experience…”

Quotation from: John McLeod, 2007, Counselling Skill, page 3. (74).


Featured video No.2: Expanding your mind in the area of counselling and psychotherapy, and related subjects:

We are creatures of habit.  Whether we are counsellors or clients of counselling, we get locked into habitual ways of seeing the world.  We easily engage in what Dr Edward De Bono calls ‘Black Hat thinking’, which is all about judgement, fault-finding and focusing on reasons to reject or denounce an idea or a person.  Black Hat thinking has its uses, normally near the end of a process of thinking through an issue or problem, but not right at the beginning.  When Black Hat thinking dominates the early stages of thinking, we display what I call ‘frozen schemas’ – the inability to assimilate new information to our existing patterns of thought and feeling.

‘White Hat thinking’, on the other hand, is all about collecting new information.  And this series of featured videos is all about encouraging the readers of this web page to collect and consider new information, and asking them to give some new ideas a fighting chance to flourish, before they pull on their Black Hats and reject or denounce these ideas.

Here, then, is my second featured video slot, which I am updating today with my second Video-log:

Vlog 4: Philosophy and Counselling: Problems with thoughts and thinking...

As at 5th March, this is the latest in a series of video-logs that I have produced, as talks on the subject of counselling philosophy, including the topic of wisdom.


Click the screen above, or click this link:

The blurb at Youtube says, about this video:

In this, his fourth video-log, Dr Jim Byrne talks about philosophy and thinking, with reference to the ideas of Werner Erhard, Martin Heidegger, Daniel Kahneman,  Edward de Bono, Bowell and Kemp, and others.  In the process, he presents a definition of thinking, as distinct from mere thoughts, outlines some problems with the stories that clients tell in counselling and therapy, especially in relation to the idea that clients stories of their experiences suffer from deletions, distortions and generalizations, as argued by Bandler and Grinder, the creators of Neuro-Linguistic Programming...



 Chill Out: How to Control Your Stress Level, and to Have a Happier Life

Chill_Out_cover_1.jpgThird revised and expanded edition: 2012.  The purpose of this book is to teach the reader what stress is, and how to combat it. It contains eighteen techniques for reducing physical and mental strain, and to enhance environmental control.  It is written in the form of a self-help manual, with spaces for self-reflection exercises. However, it could also be used by counsellors, counselling students, and interested others, as a means to learn, understand and present the CENT approach to Stress Management in counselling, coaching and therapy contexts.  If you need to control your stress, or you want to help others to do so, then this book is exactly what you need to read.

For further information on this book, go to Chill Out: How to Control Your Stress Level...


Reflective Mini-paper C201

Understanding and improving empathy in counselling and psychotherapy training and learning

by Dr Jim Byrne

14th October 2013

1. Introduction

In this eleven-page paper I examine some definitions of empathy, and relate them to the concepts of: Good and bad; Selfishness and pro-social tendencies; Emotional intelligence (including an emotional intelligence test); Counsellor training, self therapy and personal development; Interpersonal communication and reading body language; Sympathy, empathy and compassion (including an empathy quotient test); and finally: How to become more empathic.

2. What is empathy?

Empathy is one of the three core conditions which were promoted in the world of counselling by Dr Carl Rogers, the creator of person-centred counselling.  The other two were genuineness and non-possessive caring (or what he called Unconditional Positive Regard [UPR]).  (See Chapter 15 of Robert Bolton's (1979) book: People Skills)[i].

Bolton (1979) gives a graphic example of empathy:

"Two centuries ago, John Woolman walked barefoot from Baltimore to Philadelphia.  He did it to receive in his own body, some measure of the pain that black slaves suffered when they were forced to walk barefoot over long distances.  By putting himself in the slave's place, he better understood what slavery meant to the slave.  He had empathy". (Page 269).


If you want an illustration of a psychotherapist who shows high levels of empathy for his clients, take a look at the following video clip by Dr Terry Lynch:

Dr Terry Lynch's talk, in Athlone, about the need to get beyond the medical model of understanding mental health issues.

A conversation with Dr Terry Lynch, in which he clearly challenges the idea of 'mental illness' and clarifies that we are all sensitive beings who can be more easily hurt that is normally realized, and that that hurt is a form of trauma. Processing our experienes of trauma is the road to cure.

To watch this video, please click THIS LINK, or click on the screen that follows:



According to my dictionary of psychology[ii], empathy means: "The capacity to understand and enter into another person's feelings and emotions or to experience something from the other person's point of view...".

I was particularly intrigued by Professor Simon Baron-Cohen's definition (which follows):


End of extract.

For more, go to Counselling Resources and Informational Pages.***



[i] Bolton, R. (1979) People Skills: How to assert yourself, listen to others and resolve conflicts.  Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall, Inc.

[ii] Colman, A.M. (2002) A Dictionary of Psychology. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

~~~ Edit Text


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Counselling and coaching quotation No.6: Mutual tolerance is the greatest human need:

"Toleration is a necessary consequence of our being human.  We are all products of frailty - fallible and prone to error - so let us mutually pardon each other's follies.  This is the first principle of all human rights".



What is Cognitive Emotive Narrative Therapy (CENT)?

By Dr Jim Byrne - Copyright (c) 2009-2013, Jim Byrne

1. Introduction

"CENT sees humans as essentially story tellers, to ourselves and others, and storytellers who live in a world of narratives and scripts, which include reasonable and unreasonable elements, logical and illogical elements, and defensible and indefensible elements.  Humans often tend to push away (or repress) unpleasant experiences, to fail to process them, and to then become the (unconscious) victims of those repressed, undigested experiences.  CENT also sees adult relationships as being the acting out of childhood experiences with parents and siblings, because some part of those earlier relationships have not been properly digested and completed".  Extract from CENT Counselling: How to apply Cognitive Emotive Narrative Therapy in counselling and self-help, By Dr Jim Byrne.***

Cognitive Emotive Narrative Therapy (CENT) is a system of counselling and psychotherapy which helps clients to work on their brain-mind-body-and-relationships in order to reduce and control negative or painful emotions and behaviours, like anger, anxiety, depression, stress, self confidence and couple conflict.

DrJim_in-Scarboro_2010c.jpgCENT integrates Rational Emotive Behaviour Therapy (REBT), Transactional Analysis (TA), Attachment theory, Zen Buddhist philosophy, moral philosophy, and some other cognitive, narrative and dynamic therapies. And CENT goes beyond those systems, to create some original cognitive-emotive techniques, models and perspectives.

CENT is not an eclectic system which has merely bolted elements of different counselling systems together.  It is a truly integrative system which began by revisiting the basic model of the human personality developed by Sigmund Freud and asking: How does this model link up with the ABC model?  What are the necessary implications of assuming that there is substantial truth in both models?  The same process was conducted with Transactional Analysis and cognitive science.  The resulting model was then compared with the implications of the Object Relations School.  Moral philosophy and Zen Buddhism were also interrogated in this process of model building.  That work of model building is described in Papers No.1(a)[1] and No.9[2].

Before that system of integration of models was begun, I had studied thirteen different systems of counselling and therapy, including: Freud and Jung, Rogers and Perles, Behaviour Therapy theory and practice, Cognitive Therapy and Rational Emotive Behaviour Therapy, Reality Therapy and Transactional Analysis, Existential Therapy and Logotherapy, Multimodal Therapy and Cognitive-Humanistic Therapy; and also committed myself to the proposition that all systems of counselling and therapy that are designed to be therapeutic are broadly equivalent in terms of the outcomes achieved for the client, as argued by Wampold (2001)[3], and Messer and Wampold (2000)[4].

CENT evolved in phases.  1968 to 1980 was a kind of incubation of some core ideas, triggered by a partial Freudian analysis, combined with art therapy, music therapy, relaxation therapy, group therapy, and some others.  And 1980 to 1998 involved active exploration of various systems of therapy and self development (including Gestalt and Psychosynthesis, and autogenic training).  Then, 1999 to 2007 saw an intensification of thinking and learning about the core elements of the thirteen systems mentioned above.  And finally, over the past six year period - of developing and applying the emerging CENT model - a basic theory of human personality and psychological disturbance emerged.

Viewer Comments:

1. "This is absolutely excellent!!! I would like to learn (this system) or read a book about this model". - Taski, via YouTube. 28th December 2011

2. "This dude's amazing (and I) totally love his work". - PsychologyLover93


...End of extract.  For more, go here: What is CENT counselling?***


How to become an effective Rational/Cognitive counsellor/therapist (CBT and Reformed-RET for a post-Ellis world)

Dr Jim Byrne

24th August 2013 (Update 18th September)

Pale-Green-Logo2.gifClassical REBT was created by Dr Albert Ellis, beginning in the period 1953-1962, when he wrote a series of papers which were later published as Reason and Emotion in Psychotherapy (1962).  But even after that publication, REBT continued to be revised and refined, as more and more problems, issues, resistances, difficulties, and new ideas were encountered.

In the late 1990s, a new series of videos, the Master Therapist series, began to emerge from the Albert Ellis Institute, in which it was argued that not everybody had to do REBT the way Dr Ellis did; and the most notable feature of that series was Dr Janet Wolfe actually offering TLC (tender loving care) to one of her clients[1].  This was unheard of in Dr Ellis's work, as he tended to be cool and detached (having a pretty extreme avoidant attachment style).

Despite this series of videos declaring, in effect, that ‘a thousand blossoms should be able to bloom', it probably continued to be the case that REBT was dominated by the personality of Dr Albert Ellis, who, in his autobiography, written in 2006-07 and published in 2010, three years after his death, wrote that, in a certain sense, he was REBT, and REBT was him.

A_Wounded_Psychother_Cover_for_Kindle.jpgThis is one of the central problems of REBT, because Dr Albert Ellis was a ‘wounded psychotherapist' - See my book, A Wounded Psychotherapist: Albert Ellis's childhood, and the strengths and limitations of REBT.***

Because of his psychological wounds, arising out of his dysfunctional family of origin, Dr Ellis built several serious flaws into REBT, which have to be removed to make the system both sensible and safe for clients and the wider world.  Thus we arrive at a period in history where we present two forms of REBT:

1. Classical REBT, as largely formulated and shaped by Dr Albert Ellis;


2. Reformed REBT, as largely formulated and shaped by Dr Jim Byrne.

The useful and accurate elements of Classical REBT should still be studied, but students and practitioners should also take into account the CENT critique of Classical REBT.  That combination is what is offered on this new page:

Classical REBT with some Reformed Elements

If you want to study this combination, then you have come to the right page.

DrJim_in-Scarboro_2010c.jpgI have been compiling and updating this extensive resource on REBT since 1999, and it contains most of the main features of classical REBT; from the ABC model, through the four forms of irrational beliefs, to the process of disputation, to the resultant effective new philosophy. 

I also add links to a number of videos which illustrate various aspects of the theory and practice of Classical REBT; plus some links to books; and some links to CENT papers which critique some aspects of Classical REBT.


This very popular and highly valued learning resource actually consists of a 13,000-word description of the essence of classical REBT theory and practice; supported by 17 video clips.  There is also a comprehensive REBT Workbook, linked to two videos and two PowerPoint presentations.  And there are also links to recommended books and papers/articles, and academic assignments, on counselling and therapy.


[1] Wolfe, J. (1997) Woman coping with depression and anger over teenagers' behaviour.  A video recording: Master Therapists: Live Rational Emotive Behaviour Therapy Sessions.  New York: Albert Ellis Institute. 


Introductory video clip about this page on REBT.  This video clip was recorded back in July 2009, but still gives an accurate indication of the content of this page:


Click the screen above, or click on the following link: Brief introduction to REBT page.***


...End of extract.  To continue reading this page, please go to How to become an effective rational/cognitive therapist.***


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How to understand and apply Transactional Analysis (TA) in everyday situations.

by Dr Jim Byrne

24th August 2013

Copyright (c) Jim Byrne, 2009-2013


Pale-Green-Logo2.gifSigmund Freud created the insight that the human individual has three main components to their personality or being.  These are: (1) the part that was born (the body-mind, or the ‘it'); (2) The internalized others (mainly mother and father, etc; which he called the over-I); and (3) The socialized personality (which he called the I: which Anglicized psychoanalysis called ‘the ego').

Freud's system of psychoanalysis was slow and difficult, and involved trying to externalize the contents of the non-conscious part of the mind of the patient/client.

Eric Berne was an American medical doctor and trained psychiatrist, who, at the end of the Second World War, was interested in finding ways of making psychoanalysis more accessible to ordinary people, in a way that was quicker and more efficient than Freud's approach.


Games_People_Play.jpgDr Eric Berne began to develop his popularized approach to psychotherapy somewhere in the 1940s when he was a US Army medical officer; but his first paper on Transactional Analysis (TA) proper did not appear until 1957 (according to Stewart, 1989)[1].  Much work was done in the 1950s and ‘60s, with Games People Play appearing in 1964; and What Do You Say After You Say Hello? appearing in 1972 (after Berne's early death in 1970).

Transactional Analysis really began when Dr Berne was working with a successful lawyer as a therapy client.  This lawyer felt very much an adult in his work, but he had an occasional tendency to say; "I'm not really a lawyer.  I'm just a little boy!"[2]  Eventually Berne realized that the lawyer operated from ‘different places', or ‘different states of the ego' - different parts of his personality.  Berne and a group of collaborators began to investigate those ‘ego states', listening to audio recordings of psychotherapy sessions, and identifying the ‘places' that the patient and the therapist were ‘transacting' from.  Out of this research/practice process came the insight that we humans operate from different ego states, depending on the external circumstances of our social encounters, and our personal life histories.

[1] Stewart, I. (1989) Transactional Analysis Counselling in Action.  London: Sage.

[2] Berne, E. (1947/1986) A Layman's Guide to Psychiatry and Psychoanalysis.  Harmondsworth: Penguin Books.  Page 328 (Chapter Nine, Transactional Analysis, by John M. Dusay, MD).


Here is a link to a ten minute vido introduction to TA, by Rory Lees-Oakes, outlining in particular the ego states.  It provides a good overview of the system. Please click the image that follows:



Berne focused his system mainly on the ‘I', or ‘ego', and came up with the inspired insight that each individual begins life as a child, grows and develops (through a Little Professor stage, and then a more Adult stage), and they internalize experiences of their actual parents relating to them.  In the process, all of those stages of development, and experiences, are stored in the individual's memory banks, so that we each have a Child part to our ego (or childlike-I); an Adult part to our ego (or adult-like-I); and a Parent part to our ego (or parent-like-I).

...End of extract.  To read more, please go to 'How to understand and apply TA'.***

~~~ Edit Text


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Featured web pages – 1:

Because this web site has more than 300 pages on counselling and coaching related topics, we have decided to display two blocks of six featured web pages at any given time: this one, and another at the foot of this page. 

Couples Therapy and Marriage GuidanceCounselling and Therapy in Hebden Bridge HX7 8HJ, West YorkshireHow Can Counselling Help?
The coaching services offered by Renata Taylor-Byrne   What is Cognitive Emotive Narrative Therapy (CENT)? The Institute for CENT counselling and therapy  


This will hopefully help visitors to find previously concealed material


Counselling Research Skills for Postgraduate Counselling Students: 

Some reflections on the field of counselling research

Copyright © Dr Jim Byrne, Doctor of Counselling

March 2012 (Updated, April and May 2012; and 16th September 2013)


"Research on the (counselling) therapeutic relationship"

"A key research finding in the past 20 years is that different (counselling) therapies produce similar positive therapeutic outcomes (Luborsky, Singer and Luborsky, 1975; Smith and Glass, 1977; Stiles, Shapiro and Elliott, 1986).  As Lambert and Simon indicate... another key finding is that very little of the variance in (counselling) therapeutic outcomes is due to the treatment model that is used (Lambert, 1992; Lambert and Barley, 2001).  This has led (counselling and therapy) researchers to look for elements common to different therapeutic approaches and an analysis of the relationship that forms between therapist and client.  Bohart, Elliott, Greenberg, and Watson (2002, p.96) found that overall, empathy accounts for as much and probably more outcome variance than do specific interventions.  Fulton (2005, p.57) reports that on average 30% of treatment outcome may be attributable to 'common factors' that are present in most successful treatment relationships".

Stephen F. Hick, in Steven Hick and Thomas Bien, Mindfulness and the Therapeutic Relationship.  2010, page 11.



This page was conceived in May 2009, when I drafted the statement shown on the 'What is Research?' page***.  However, it has taken three years to find the time and energy to create and/or collate the material that follows:


On this page I hope to present some ideas which will make stimulating reading and viewing for counselling students at masters and doctoral level; and also for practicing counsellors who are inspired to try to do some research on their own counselling practice.

I have looked at some of the key stages and key skills of postgraduate research in counselling.  And, I have presented material from my own forays in counselling research: a PhD proposal to the University of Leeds which (despite never being implemented) has some interesting features; and my doctoral research papers, and my doctoral thesis, from my professional doctorate in counselling at the University of Manchester.  Furthermore, I have included a range of video clips which contain some interesting information on the subject of counseling research.

Key words: research, researchers, researching counselling, researching psychotherapy, counselling, counseling, counselling research, masters level, doctoral level, psychotherapy, therapy, research, counseling psychology, counselling philosophy, literature review, methodology, methods, data collection, qualitative, quantitative, thesis writing, philosophy of science, human science, videos on counselling research, books on counselling research, thinking skills, practitioner research networks, ...


In the video clip that follows, Professor Mick Cooper is interviewed by Peter Sanders about some issues in counselling research.  (Click the image to see the video).



"Over the past 30 years, research has been instrumental in clarifying the main elements of the helpful (aspects of the) counselling relationship, and in establishing counselling as a profession".  John McLeod, Quote 1, from Introduction to Counselling, page 475. 


...End of extract.  To continue reading this page, please go to Counselling Research.***


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Resource 7: How to think like a Stoic philosopher:

Stoic Philosophy is a useful adjunct to counselling practice, and can also be used for self-help purposes

Copyright © Jim Byrne, 2011-2013

Updated September 2013


Stoic philosophy originated in ancient Greece, and was later developed further in Rome. It is a philosophy of resilience and perseverence in the face of great difficulty, and it helped many generations of Europeans to cope with life in difficult political times.  For this reason, it has been adapted by some systems of counselling to help clients who are struggling with intractable problems.

Zeno-of-Citium.jpgSome systems of counselling and psychotherapy are more philosophical than others.  For example, Rational Emotive Behaviour Therapy (REBT) was created to a substantial degree from Dr Albert Ellis's hobby of studying philosophy as a teenager.  Unfortunatley, however, Dr Ellis was seriously damaged by his extreme childhood neglect by both of his parents, and because of his extreme avoidant attachment style, and his denial of personal suffering, he opted to adopt the Stoic perspective that people are not affected by their actual experiences, but rather merely by their interpretations of those experiences.  This view is false, as shown in my book A Wounded Psychotherapist: Albert Ellis's childhood, and the strengths and limitations of REBT/CBT.***

Cognitive Emotive Narrative Therapy (CENT) came out of REBT, by integration with various other systems of counselling and therapy; but also with contributions from Buddhist and Stoic philosophy.

What follows is Part 1 of a three-part video series on the use of Stoicism in CENT counselling practice:



Part 1 of Using Stoic philosophy in counselling: Hedonic Adaptation and Negative Visualization

A video clip

Many counsellors may be curious about how to incorporate elements of philosophy into their counselling practice, and this page has been created to provide some ideas for counsellors with that kind of goal in mind.

...End of extract.  To read some more, please go to Stoic Philosophy for Counsellors.***


The psychology and philosophy of happiness - Self-therapy for the unhappy well!

By Dr Jim Byrne

Copyright (c) Jim Byrne, September 2011

The Stoic philosophers of ancient Greece and Rome, and the Buddhist philosophers of the Orient, are among the best coaches and counsellors you can consult if you want to be happier.  Positive Psychology has adopted many of the insights of those philosophers, and now counsels individuals to focus upon their strengths rather than wallowing in their weaknesses and the deficits of their social environment. 


martin_seligman.1.jpgIn this resource pack, we will explore those aspects of Positive Psychology, Buddhism and Stoicism which can teach us important lessons regarding how to be happy in an imperfect world.  You might be interested in learning these insights as a form of self-therapy; or in order to counsel others.

There are some similarities between all three of these disciplines, in terms of the kinds of values that contribute to happiness; the kinds of character traits that we need to develop if we wish to be happy; and the kinds of techniques that we can learn which will promote joy, serenity and tranquility.


Here's a little video clip on laughter and happiness coaching that demonstrates the possibilities of personal transformation through laughter and self-chosen happiness:

Click this link, or click the image that follows:



In order to develop this 7,400 word resource, I began by studying the writings of Dr Martin Seligman and Dr Tal Ben-Shahar on the psychology of happiness; plus a range of books on the philosophy of happiness, from Buddhism to Stoicism, and along the way, several titles on self-help approaches - including Paul Martin, Nick Baylis and David Niven.  I have spent perhaps 200 hours of reading and 200 hours of writing on this project, over a two year period.

In addition, I have taught these principles of happiness coaching to my counselling clients over the years.

And in this resource, I have only included those aspects that seemed to me to be most helpful in supporting you in learning "How To" be happy, rather than simply knowing the theory.  Now you can become your own happiness counsellor!

For more information click the link that follows: How to be happy, using philosophy and psychology.***


Pale-Green-Logo2.gifResource 4 - Sixteen videos on counselling and therapy: Further exploration of the field.  A resource for counselling students

Defining, describing and illustrating counselling systems

by Jim Byrne and Renata Taylor-Byrne

27th August 2013


In this resource we include at least sixteen videos on counselling and therapy, of which eight illustrate counselling and therapy encounters between a practitioner and a client (mainly role played).  Eight are by Dr Jim Byrne.

There are also five recommended books, with reviews.

Our overall aim is to explore a number of ideas about counselling and psychotherapy, using video clips.  Our intention is to give you a rough idea of what it is like to be counselled by counsellors from several different disciplines, including the cognitive behavioural, the psychodynamic (or emotive) approach, the narrative approach, Gestalt and TA, and so on.  You will get a sense of some of the differences of emphasis and the areas of overlap in these various schools of counselling.  And you will be encouraged to reflect critically upon the performance of the videoed counsellors, so you can enhance your own knowledge and skill.

We have also included five completed academic assignments (at Diploma level) which were written by Jim Byrne several years back.



In the modern world, individuals and couples experience emotional, behavioural and relationship problems, and often cannot turn to a member of an extended family for support; nor to their priest or village head, as in past generations.  They can turn to a medical doctor, but often that is either expensive (in the US, for example), or not available (in some parts of the developing world), or scarce and tightly rationed (as in the UK).  It may also often be that their doctor prefers to administer medication rather than exploring the individual's problem, or their thinking about their problem.  Therefore, too often, the distressed individual has to figure out how to solve their problems alone.  This is where the modern inventions of counselling, therapy and coaching can be very helpful.


Let us begin by taking a look at Dr Jim Byrne's approach to counselling and therapy.  Here's a little video introduction to the kinds of things anybody could gain from consulting him for counselling and therapy:


Click on the image above, or click this link to see this video at


Simple or basic systems of counselling and therapy involve a counsellor listening to a client, and encouraging them to explore their own thoughts and feelings to see if they can resolve their emotional, behavioural and/or relationship problems.  On the other hand, in all three of the major schools of thought - the psychodynamic, the cognitive-behavioural and the humanistic -there has grown up a narrative tradition, of exploring the clients' stories:

...End of extract.  To continue reading this page, please click the following link: 16 Videos on Counselling.***


Counselling and therapy in Hebden Bridge, with Dr Jim Byrne

Jim-hols-10002.jpgHello and welcome to my Face-to-face counselling page for Hebden Bridge.

Do you feel unhappy with any aspect of your life?  Are you feeling emotionally miserable, or acting in ways that damage your own interests?  Do you feel an urgent and desperate need for help with your problems?

♣  Are you looking for help with emotional, behavioural or relationship problems?

♣  Do you feel angry, anxious or depressed?

♣  Are you feeling miserable about the problems in your life?

If so, then I can help you.

I mainly see face to face clients in Hebden Bridge on Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays; though other possibilities may emerge from time to time.  For fees and insights into the type of therapy I use, please consult the information pack:

 If you want to collect an information pack and read it later, then please go here...


Here's a very brief animated video clip that shows a CENT counsellor helping a client with problems of anxiety.  To view the clip, please click on the yellow-highlighted link, or on the screen that follows:

Using CENT Counselling to deal with anxiety...



Who am I, and what do I offer?

My name is Dr Jim Byrne.  I am a Doctor of Counselling. Over the past fourteen years and more, I have helped more than 720 people to get over their problems of anger, anxiety, rage, depression, stress, low self-esteem, and/or relationship problems including couple conflict. My clients find that they can get over their urgent and immediate problems in just three or four sessions with me (although more complicated cases may take significantly longer). (See the 'Unsolicited Client Testimonials' page***).

I offer face-to-face counselling, coaching and therapy services in Hebden Bridge, and telephone counselling and email counselling all over the world.

...End of extract.  To read more, please click on this link for Counselling in Hebden Bridge.***


Thinking Skills for Postgraduate counselling and psychology students

by Dr Jim Byrne, Doctor of Counselling 

Counsellors must know how to think critically as well as creatively and philosophically... 

Critical thinking skills and the weak arguments of Professor Richard Wiseman

richard.wiseman.jpegIt seems to me to be highly desirable that we all should learn how to engage in what is called ‘critical thinking' - the ability to analyze an argument into its premises and conclusion, and to test the logical connection between the two.  (Bowell and Kemp, 2005).  This is particularly the case if you are currently undergoing postgraduate counselling research training.

Why do I say this?  Well, in ‘The New Review', a supplement of The Observer newspaper (UK), pages 18 and 19, Sunday 1stJuly 2012, there is a section entitled Discover Psychology.  In that section there is a major article by Professor Richard Wiseman, entitled: ‘Want to be happier?  You could start by smiling'.

The basic argument seems to be that if you want to change how you feel, you should change your behaviour, not your thoughts.  


Here's a little video introduction to the skills of critical thinking:

To view this video clip, click THIS LINK*** or the screen below:


Overgeneralizations about the self-help industry

This article is highly critical of ‘the self-help industry'.  The caption under the title of this article says: "The self-help industry is mired in ideas about positive thinking that are at best ineffective and at worst destructive.  If you want to be more confident or successful, says Richard Wiseman, the best thing to do is to act the part'.

That is a pretty strong overgeneralization.  Firstly, it implies that there is something called a homogeneous self-help industry, which there is not.  (Some parts of the self-help industry is about helping you to become your own counsellor, or coach, while other parts want you to become a millionnaire, or to succeed in business).  There are many strands to this industry, from the behavioural and cognitive-behaviour, through the spiritual and the trans-personal, to the neuro-linguistic programming, the neoFreudian, the Jungian, the rational-emotive, and on and on.  Those schools of thought have many and varied ways of understanding the psychology of personal success and personal effectiveness; as well as the relationships between thinking, feeling and behaviour.

If you are a counsellor who uses self-help materials with your clients, then you need to know how to answer these fatuous arguments by Professor Richard Wiseman...

...End of extract.  To read some more, please click this link for How to think critically.***


Becoming your own counsellor, and solving your own problems with depression

Eliminate Depression Now: A One Page Counselling Solution for Eliminating Depression, by Dr Jim Byrne

"Grief in appropriate depression about a significant loss or failure; while depression is inappropriate grief about some loss or failure.  And the inappropriate quality comes out of our unrealistic demands and our tendency to catastrophize".  Dr Jim Byrne

I assume you are feeling depressed, and that is why you have come to this one page solution.  Therefore, I want you to know that I feel for you; I am sorry that you are feeling so miserable. My job here is to present you with a brief, effective solution.  That solution is presented in the page that follows, plus the appended 7 minute video clip on Eliminating Depression.

depression-scale.jpgThe first thing we need to do is to check how depressed you are at the moment, so you can monitor your progress as you learn how to eliminate your negative feelings.  On a scale from 1 to 10, where 1 is happy and ten is as depressed as you could be, just how depressed do you feel at the moment?  Please write that down for later reference.

Firstly, you need to know that depression is often caused by experiences of loss and failure; real or symbolic.  But everybody who loses something (like a job) or fails (as in failing in love) does not become depressed.

What is the difference between those who become depressed and those who only become reasonably sad and/or disappointed?


Here's a little video clip on depression, to set the scene:

To view this clip, please click THIS LINK***, or the screen below:



The main difference is that those who become depressed when they lose or fail (actually or symbolically) tend to share a set of unrealistic beliefs, including:

1(a). They tend to tell themselves that "it's awful (or totally bad) that I have failed in this way (or lost this significant thing)".  Therefore it feels like the end of the world to them (even though it definitely is not!)

2(a). They tend to believe that they should not have failed (or lost this thing), as opposed to merely preferring not to fail or lose in life.

...End of extract: To continue reading this page, please click the following link: Overcome depression.***


Get highly valued counselling help - from Dr Jim Byrne - from any part of the world - via the telephone system...

For the duration of the current recession, I am offering a "two sessions for the price of one" concession, to help clients cope with their finanical difficulties. (See the Fees Schedule page).


Creative thinking, in a cooperative relationship, is the core of counselling and therapy: "Psychotherapy (and counselling) is a process of problem-solving within, and by means of, a relationship between persons.  A central action is creative imaginative thinking".  This can be achieved in face to face meetings, or by telephone.

Robert F. Hobson, Forms of Feeling: The heart of psychotherapy, Page 95. (13)


Details of Telephone Counselling Service


If you are struggling with mild to moderate problems of anger, anxiety and/or depression; or couple or marriage conflict; or communication problems in relationships; then I can help you. 

I can also help with seven areas of counselling specialism

No matter where you are in the world, I can help you. 


Here's a little video clip that outlines the effectiveness of telephone counselling (or phone therapy) relative to face to face counselling:

To view this clip, please click THIS LINK***, or click the screen that follows:



Over more than ten years of offering Telephone Counselling, I have found that this system is very effective, despite the lack of body language and face reading.  It is surprising how nuanced our voices can be in communicating subtelties that normally rely upon body language.

...End of extract.  To continue reading this page, please go to the Telephone Counselling page.***


Resource 11 - How to control your anger...

Becoming your own anger management counsellor...

A holistic approach

Copyright (c) Jim Byrne at ABC Coaching Publications, 2009-2013. All rights reserved.


Some people are not ready to attend counselling or coaching sessions to work on their anger management problems.  And for such individuals, we offer self-help resources which allow you to become your own counsellor; your own guide in learning how to calm down and to become much better at communicating with significant others in stressful situations.


Most people do not seem to be interested in lengthy texts, and elaborated explanations. We are all in such a rush these days that we want a quick guide to what to do which will make a quick difference.

Later on, we tell ourselves, we will return to this and do some more. So here is my attempt to help you to get some quick relief from the symptoms of intense anger and rage. Those emotions are a curse and can ruin our daily lives, at home and at work.

What are the four steps that you can quickly take to get your anger under control? As explained below, they are: diet; exercise; self-talk (or 'inner dialogue'); and relaxation/meditation.


Here is a little video introduction to the CENT approach to anger management counselling and coaching:



Please click the image above, or click on the link that follows: Video clip: to control your anger, by Dr Jim Byrne***


...End of extract.  To read some more about this quick and simple four-stage process of anger management, please click this link: How to control your anger, information page***


Counseling supervision services, for individuals who operate in a cognitive-emotive modality... 
High quality, low cost supervision service for counsellors, psychotherapists and counselling psychologists in the cognitive, rational and cognitive-emotive traditions. 

Hello: My name is Jim Byrne, I'm a Doctor of Counselling, and I want to welcome you to this little page about my offering of supervision services for counsellors and therapists who are attracted to, or fit closely with, the cognitive-emotive approach described on this website.  (See the 'What is CENT?' page for clarification of my philosophy of counselling).

My approach to supervision, like my approach to counselling and therapy, is integrative, reflecting my broad-based training: (About Dr Jim Byrne, including education and training).***

Perhaps you are an REBT or CBT therapist who wants to add an element of Attachment theory, or Object Relations, to your counselling and therapy work with your clients.


For those who may need it, here's a little video introduction to the nature of counselling supervision:

To watch this video clip, please click THIS LINK, or

click the screen that follows:



Perhaps you come from a psychodynamic background, but you want to add a CBT/REBT element to your work.

Or maybe you just want to improve your performance as an REBT therapist or CENT counsellor/therapist.

...End of extract.  To continue reading this page, please click on: Counselling Supervision.***


Email Counselling is a form of Writing Therapy with Professional Support

Details of Email Exchange Service


This service involves an exchange of emails - one from you to me, describing your problem or concern; and one reply from me, providing analysis, interpretation, commentary and advice, as appropriate.

You can order this service by paying via ClickBank (below). (Click one of the yellow-highlighted links, below).  And also, you need to email me to confirm the arrangement, at

Your email can be up to two pages long (A4 or Letter size pages), in 12 point type, using Verdana typeface, and leaving the margin settings as normal.  This should be attached to a brief covering email. (A4 size is the standard used on most word processors/printers, especially in Europe.  Letter is the American equivalent).


Here's a little video introduction to email counselling:

To watch this clip, please click THIS LINK, or the screen that follows:



I will read your email attachment, and comment at various points, giving my interpretations and comments, and any advice or guidance that seems appropriate. The cost of this service, is $30 USD. (To convert this to any other currency, click here: for One session of Email Counselling.)


As soon as you've booked your email counselling session, via ClickBank, you can write your email and send it to Jim Byrne at ABC Coaching and Counselling Services.

I will normally give my detailed and considered reply to your email within two or three working days.


"Writing therapy is highly effective, compared with drug treatments, but the mechanism by which writing therapy works is still unclear.  It may just be that the opportunity to express a problem that has been bottled up is curative in itself; or that it is the thinking through of a problem that has not previously been thoroughly digested that produces the effect.  Effective writing therapy seems to involve processing previously unprocessed negative emotions, in a self-reflective way, and identifying causal links between elements of the story.  It also normally involves using more positive than negative words, and ending with a coping self-statement".  Dr Jim Byrne, from the first e-book on CENT counselling.


Email counselling can involve one or two sessions to sort out a practical problem; or a more extensive series of sessions, to resolve deeper, more traumatic emotional experiences.  To see an example of the latter, please see my recent paper on The anatomy of a failed marriage: How to complete an undigested adult relationship failure, using writing therapy.***

Or take a look at a subsequent paper, on shame about cowardice, and developing courage: CENT Paper No.21: Healing the so-called ‘father wound’ – using supported writing therapy***


...End of extract.  To read some more, please go to the Email Counselling page.***


Books on CENT counselling and therapy, and related subjects...

The Institute for CENT is committed to producing a range of books on Cognitive Emotive Narrative Therapy.  So far - as at 5th November 2013 - six books have been written, and one adopted, as shown below.

Here is a list of titles, followed below by a set of brief descriptions.  To view any book description, please click the title.

1. A new book on the childhood of Albert Ellis and the impact of his suffering on the shape of Rational Emotive Behaviour Therapy (REBT)


2.  Creating Joy: How to be much happier, right now!


3. CENT e-book No.5: How to Control Your Anxiety: A rational approach using REBT/CBT


Here's a brief video introduction by Dr Jim Byrne to his first book on Cognitive Emotive Narrative Therapy (CENT):

To view this video, please click THIS LINK, or the screen that follows:



4. Chill Out: How to Control Your Stress Level, and to Have a Happier Life


5. Kulchie Kid: Growing up in a Crazy Culture! by Daniel O'Beeve


6. CENT Counselling: How to apply Cognitive Emotive Narrative Therapy in Counselling and Self-help


7. Therapy After Ellis, Berne, Freud and the Buddha: The birth of CENT 


...End of extract.  To continue reading, please go to The CENT Books page.***


Learning resources and distance learning opportunities for counsellors, psychologists, counselling students, social workers, and other professionals who use counselling skills

Continuing Professional Development (CPD) courses in counselling related subjects:

The ICENT Certificate in Continuing Professional Development (30 hours)


The ICENT Certificate in Personal Development (30 hours)

in a range of subjects related to counselling and therapy

High quality, low cost, distance learning opportunities...

Hello and welcome to this exciting new resource for individuals who use, or want to use, counselling skills in their working lives. 

Now you can get a high quality training/learning experience at very low cost.  These ICENT certificates can be used to strengthen your CV or your personnel file; as well as expanding your sense of professional competence.


A good counsellor is a lifelong learner: "Studying theories of counselling and therapy is both an intellectual undertaking and a personal journey.  All people develop a set of ideas, albeit not fully articulated, about how people become the way they are, how they stay the way they are - often at a great personal cost - and how they can change.  As a counselling and therapy student you are challenged to develop a more thorough and accurate theory of human behaviour so that you can help clients more.  However, when reviewing these theoretical approaches you will find yourself applying the concepts to yourself and testing whether they have validity for helping you to become happier and more fulfilled.  Thus, the fruits of your studying counselling and therapy approaches will become manifest in how you influence both clients' biographies and your own autobiography". 

Richard Nelson-Jones, Theory and Practice of Counselling and Therapy, 2001. (2)



On this page, we present a range of learning resources, or study pages, which allow you three options:

1. To study a subject for your own reasons, in your own way.

2. To study a subject in order to gain a Certificate in Continuing Professional Development (of 30 hours duration).  Or: 

3. To study a subject in order to gain a Certificate in Personal Development (representing 30 hours of study).


Here's an example of the kinds of video resources you will find in these CPD courses.  This one is a brief introduction to the basic theory of Rational Emotive Behaviour Therapy (REBT):

To watch this video, please click THIS LINK, or click the screen that follows:



The following study options currently exist:

...End of extract.  To continue reading this page, please go to the Counselling Resources and Learning Modules page.***


How to reframe clients' problems in counselling and therapy: 


Copyright © Dr Jim Byrne, 2009 (Updated 14th October 2010)

1. Introduction

We do not see with our eyes so much as with our brains.  Eyes are part of the machinery of perception, but the decisions about ‘what it is' that we see are not made by our eyes.  Those decisions are made by our ‘stored experiences' driving our ‘judgements'.  We do not see ‘external events' so much with our eyes then as we see them through ‘frames of reference and interpretation' which were created in the past, and which we now implement as habit-based stimulus-response pairings.  Or we could call these responses ‘pattern matching' processes.  "I've seen this stimulus (or ‘external event') before.  This (particular interpretation) is the sense I made of it last time.  So that is how I will relate to it this time".

The Windows Model is the core model of Cognitive Emotive Narrative Therapy (CENT).  It is predicated on ‘frame theory', which suggests that all of our perceptions are interpretative, and that our interpretations are driven by habit-based ‘framings' of incoming stimuli, through our senses.  The ‘frames' that we use to interpret incoming stimuli are nested sets of inferences, which are derived from past experience.  Depending upon the negativity or positivity of the frame through which you are perceiving an incoming stimulus, you will produce a correspondingly negative or positive emotional/behavioural response. Here is a brief introduction to this concept in the form of an animated video clip:



This video clip can be viewed at YouTube using the following link:

Introduction to the Six Windows Model of CENT Counselling


The role of storytelling in narrative counselling, by Hilde Augusteijn

Here's a little video clip on the role of storytelling in the construction of personality, as understood in narrative counselling, therapy and psychology:


Click the screen image above, or click the following link:


These insights underpin the EFR model of CENT, as follows:

E = Event or Experience.

F = Framing (of this event or experience), based on past experience.

R = Response (being emotional and behavioural).

To change undesirable responses (Rs), we need to change the way we frame (F) our experiences (Es).

I developed the Six Windows Model over a period of three or so years, beginning with a Four Windows model, and gradually expanding it to six.  (More recently, while working on a new book on Anger Management, I have expanded the system, so there are now three sets of windows: The Brown Windows, which will be reivewed below; the Blue Windows and the Red Windows, which will be described in my Anger Management book in due course).

...End of extract.  To read some more, please go to Reframing in counselling...***


Becoming your own counsellor, by managing your anxious feelings...

Resource 12 - How to reduce your anxiety

by Dr Jim Byrne, Doctor of Counselling 

1. Introduction

This page is an extract from 'Overcoming Fear and Anxiety', a pamphlet by Dr Jim Byrne.  Copyright (c) Jim Byrne, 2010.

In this manual, I want to do two things:

(1) To present a basic understanding of the Rational-Emotive Behaviour Therapy (REBT) approach to dealing with anxiety; and

(2) To provide a set of exercises for you to do so that you can learn how to analyze your problems with anxiety; identify solutions; and implement those solutions so as to eliminate your anxiety. In that way, you can become your own “counsellor”, in the area of anxiety and fear, because you can learn to fix your own emotional and behavioural problems. 


Here's an interesting video clip on how to turn anxiety into calmness:

To watch this video, please click THIS LINK, or click on the screen that follows:



2. Distinguishing Anxiety and Concern

In Rational-Emotive Behaviour Therapy (REBT), we distinguish between helpful and unhelpful negative emotions, and show our clients how to get rid of their unhelpful negative emotions. We are not aiming to produce “unemotional” individuals, but rational, calm individuals who have a full range of emotions appropriate to the events in their lives, which help them to focus on their objectives and to come to terms with the facts of their lives. So if you are facing a threat or danger, it’s a good idea to be reasonably concerned about it. Concern will help you to deal with the impending problem. But anxiety will disrupt your thinking and behaviour.  (See Footnote at the end of the main text). In this manual I will be contrasting anxiety against concern. Anxiety, as I have just hinted, is an unhelpful negative emotion, while concern is a helpful negative emotion. 

(a) Anxiety: Anxiety comes in two forms: ego anxiety and discomfort anxiety. If a person feels anxious about being shown up, or put down, then that is called “ego anxiety”, because it’s an over-concern about losing face. On the other hand, if a person feels anxious about impending difficulty, pain, injury or some high degree of effort, that’s called “discomfort anxiety”. Being out late at night, in a strange city, or travelling in a lift, can trigger discomfort anxiety for some individuals; while it would take something like speaking in public, or screwing up at work, to trigger ego anxiety. However, these emotional reactions are not directly caused by the dark, the lift or appearing in public, or any other external event, as we shall see later.

...End of extract.  To continue reading this page, please go to the Counselling for Anxiety page.***


Becoming your own counsellor: How to analyze your childhood traumas and difficulties...

The Story of Relationship: Or coming to terms with my mother (and father)

Copyright (c) Dr Jim Byrne, January 2010

"Whoever inquires about our childhood wants to know something about our soul.  If the question is not just a rhetorical one and the questioner has the patience to listen, (s)he will come to realize that we love with horror and hate with an inexplicable love whatever caused us our greatest pain and difficulty".

Erika Burkart, quoted in Miller (1983)[1]

1. Preamble

In an earlier paper, I mentioned that I had a partial Freudian analysis at the age of 22 years.  It was incomplete because I could not act upon my analyst's advice:

‘My analyst (had) announced my challenge at the final session we had together:  "You need to examine your relationship with your mother in particular".  This was where the analysis failed.  Why?  Because I had no ‘schema', or map, definition, or any other ‘handle' on the concept of "relationship".  I had no awareness of having something called "a relationship with my mother".  I had no idea what it could possibly mean to "examine" something called "a relationship".'  (CENT Paper No.4[2])

My mother and I were never close - and the situation with my father was no different.  All of my subsequent relationships with women were affected by this central fact of my early life:  Just as my relationships with men were affected by my poor bond with my father.  In Cognitive Emotive Narrative Therapy (CENT) we maintain, in harmony with Freudian psychoanalysis and the Object Relations School, that the earliest family relationships form the non-conscious, mental templates for all subsequent relationships; and that problems in those earliest family relationships need to be corrected as we proceed through life, if we are to achieve reasonable relationships with others. 


To watch this video clip, please click THIS LINK, or click on the screen that follows:



We also maintain that human beings are essentially emotional beings, and that our reason and thinking skills are overlaid upon a bed of emotional wiring.  Thus our earliest emotional experiences are formative, and set certain limits to what can be done, thought and felt in later life: unless and until we digest those experiences, drain them of their emotive charge, and file them away in inactive stores in background memory.

...End of extract.  To continue reading this paper, please go to Self counselling and analysis of childhood experience...***


Becoming your own counsellor: How to manage your emotions during the stressful Winter Holidays - Thanksgiving, Hanukkah and Christmas/New Year...

Cover002.jpgBeat those Christmas Blues!

Emotional First Aid:

How to think your way through problems this Christmas, Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, or Winter Holiday.


Copyright Dr Jim Byrne, 2013


Published by the Institute for CENT Publications



Because this book is available in PDF ebook format, it can be downloaded to your computer in less than 3 minutes.  If I made it available in paperback format, you would have to order it and wait several days for postal delivery.  But with this PDF ebook format, you can have these words of wisdom before your eyes in a matter of minutes.  And, in a matter of a couple of hours, you can have the solution to your Christmas Blues available to use, which could turn a miserable time into a Happy Holiday!

To buy this 105-page PDF ebook, please click the following link to go to Clickbank.***


Here's a little video clip which contains a few quick tips on how to avoid stress burnout during this Christmas's family get-together:

To watch, click on THIS LINK, or on the screen that follows:



...End of extract.  To read some more, please click the following link to go to Beat those Christmas Blues!***


 Return of the Counselling Blog...

by Dr Jim Byrne, Copyright (c) Jim Byrne, 2013 


I decided to restore this counselling and psychotherapy blog after thinking about the need for a direct line of communication with the readers of this website. 

I had stopped producing my blog because it took up so much of my time every week.

So, in future, it will be briefer, and leaner, and have less emphasis on visual images.

Today I have been thinking about ‘wisdom'.  What is it, and how can be it sought?  Can it be achieved?

It seems to me that we live in times of low or non-existent wisdom, as more and more individuals chase the god of money and material ‘success'.  Alcoholism and drug abuse are at all time highs, as are relationship disintegration and reports of emotional misery.


Here's a little video log that I made this morning, on the philosophy of counselling and psychotherapy.  I think it contains some useful ideas for counsellors, psychologists and psychotherapists everywhere:

To watch this video, please click THIS LINK, or 

click the screen that follows:



The Stoics taught that we should not seek fame or fortune, because those things were beyond our control.  They would argue that we should seek to be good people, good citizens, good neighbours, good family members, and that we might reap some reward from those good efforts.  However, we are transitory beings, in a world of inevitable suffering.  Therefore, we should expect frustration and difficulty.


For more, click this link for Jim's Counselling Blog.***





Copyright (c) Dr Jim Byrne, 2009


In my first paper on CENT, I presented the case for moving beyond Rational Emotive Behaviour Therapy (REBT), and developing Cognitive Emotive Narrative Therapy (CENT).

In my second CENT paper, I presented my own autobiographical ‘Story of My Origins'.  This was intended to illustrate the kinds of autobiographical stories I seek to obtain from my CENT clients, and to model how to go about writing a ‘Story of Your Origins'.

However, in my third CENT paper, I presented a complication.  There is research evidence that autobiographical narratives are not reliable records of what actually happened.  They seem to contain nuggets of truth, but they are not factual statements in the normal sense of that term.  They are, however, taken to be accurate accounts of how the narrator experienced their world, or whatever events or objects they are describing.


 Here's a little video clip of two philosophers talking about 'the examined life':


Click the screen above, or click THIS LINK! 


There is an additional problem here.  According to Bartlett (1932)[1], human memory is not so much about direct recall of memories, but rather of reconstitution of memories.  Recollections are not only imperfect, but they may also be mood dependent.  So depending on how the narrator feels, they may present a particular period of their life differently on different occasions. 

...For more, click here...


Featured web pages – 2:

As explained higher up this web page, we now feature two blocks of six web pages, to help visitors to discover some of the concealed richness of this web site.  Here is the second block of six pages:

CENT Paper No.3: An Introduction to the Six Windows Model of CENT counselling   I-CENT Publications: articles, papers and ebooks on counselling related topics  What is Rational Emotive Behaviour Therapy (REBT)? 
What is Transactional Analysis, and how is it used in CENT counselling?CENT Paper No.10: My Story of Relationship Attachment – or how I came to terms with my motherNarrative Therapy & Writing Therapeutic Narratives

If you still cannot find what you are looking for, please try using the search box for this site, which you can find here.***



Video talks about counselling and psychotherapy theory and practice, by Dr Jim Byrne 

Vlog 4: Philosophy and Counselling: Problems with thoughts and thinking...

As at 5th March, this is the latest in a series of video-logs that I have produced, as talks on the subject of counselling philosophy, including the topic of wisdom.


Click the screen above, or click this link:

The blurb at Youtube says, about this video:

In this, his fourth video-log, Dr Jim Byrne talks about philosophy and thinking, with reference to the ideas of Werner Erhard, Martin Heidegger, Daniel Kahneman,  Edward de Bono, Bowell and Kemp, and others.  In the process, he presents a definition of thinking, as distinct from mere thoughts, outlines some problems with the stories that clients tell in counselling and therapy, especially in relation to the idea that clients stories of their experiences suffer from deletions, distortions and generalizations, as argued by Bandler and Grinder, the creators of Neuro-Linguistic Programming...


The Paradoxes and Mysteries of Counselling and Therapy

Dr Jim Byrne, in reflective mood, talks about the nature of counselling and therapy; what we know about the effectiveness of counselling and therapy; and some recommendations for how we should approach the future of counselling and psychotherapy. For more insights into Jim Byrne's approach to counselling and therapy, please take a look at


Click the screen image above, or click this link:

In this video clip, Dr Byrne challenges the idea that we can ‘cure “mental” health problems’ in the context of a society that does not care; and a society in which some people are neurotically committed to increasing inequality and turning every citizen into a mere ‘consumer’ of unnecessary googaas!

He also posits the revolutionary idea that ‘perhaps the client is the most important element of the counselling and therapy process’.


Part 2 - The Basic Theory of REBT: The Horse and The Rider (or Conscious and Non-conscious thoughts) 

Dr Jim Byrne presents a brief introduction to the 'horse and rider' analogies used by Dr Tom Miller to communicate the difference between the conscious and non-conscious mind; and also to help individuals to strengthen their conscious mind against the bad habits of their non-conscious mind.
This is a very impotant distinction for all counsellors and psychotherapists, because if you do not know how the mind of the cleint works, it may be very difficult for you to be optimaly helpful to them in getting their "Appetitive self" under the control of their "Reasoning" part - as advised by Plato, in the Republic


Click on the screen image above, or click the following link:

This distinction began as Ploto's 'Charioteer (or Reason)' and the two horses (one being Appetite [or desire], and the other being Spirit/will/indigation).

In Tom Miller's distinction, (in his audio program, 'Self Discipline and Emotional Control'), the conscious Rider part of the brain-mind (roughly the neocortex, or frontal lobes) is weaker than the non-conscious Horse part of the brain-mind (which corresponds to the emotional centres [limbic system] of the brain).

The challenge for the disturbed individual - in counselling or a self-help context - is (as in Plato) to get Reason (or the Rider) part of the mind in control of the Horse (or appetites-in-alliance-with-indignation).

I am currently writing a paper on this subject - the subject of the fundamental splits in the human brain-mind - which will be available on the CENT papers page - - in the near future.

Counselling and advice for couples: Part 1 of How to Build a Successful Marriage or Couple Relationship – A video program by Dr Jim Byrne

Only about 2 or 3 percent of couples will go to see a couples counsellor or therapist when their relationship runs into difficulty.  Is it any wonder more than 50% of marriages end in divorce?

If you want to have a happy relationship at the core of your adult life, then you either need to be fortunate enough to be born into a happy family, and you copy them; or else you have to study how to create a happy relationship! Our experience in our family of origin has a strong influence upon our later choice of a life-partner:

In this video clip, Dr Jim Byrne argues that: "We unconsciously seek out and marry somebody just like our parent of the opposite sex, or their opposite.  Most often we seek out somebody like mum or dad, so we can get them to love us, or relate to us in ways we failed to get them to do when we were young children..."

Dr Jim Byrne explores some of the dynamics of human relationships, and defines 'relationship', 'successful relationship', and 'powerful relationship'.  He teaches how our attachment style with mother and father relates to our later relationships with our partners or spouses.


Click the screen image above, or click the following link:

Successful relationships necessarily involve agree upon goals.  How good are you at forming agreements with your partner, negotiating differences of opinion, and finding common ground?



Think for a Change ...: What is Philosophical Counseling?

Thinking Through Life in Transformative Ways at

Cori Wong talks about the value of being able to think (philosophize) about our daily struggles with our ordinary lives.


Click on the screen above, or click the following link: Philosophical counselling.***

This is what her blurb says at YouTube:

"Philosophical counseling utilizes the key aspects of philosophical practice to help us think better, feel better, and live better. Or, to use one of my favorite words to describe it, philosophical counseling is one way to connect philosophy and life in order to practice a philifeosophy". 

I hope you find this little introduction to be helpful.  It puts the concept of "mental health" in a new perspective, which is that people have to grapple with the problems of daily living, and that does not mean they are 'sick' and especially not 'mentally ill'!


Counselling for Success - Defeat Procrastination Part 1 

This is the first in a series of videos in which Dr Jim Byrne sets out to counsel individuals on how to manage their minds for successful goal achievement.

This is how he describes Part 1: Getting things done is the key to success in business, career and life generally.  If you can't stick to your commitments, and actively pursue your goals, then failure is highly probable.  Cognitive Emotive Narrative, like Rational Emotive Behaviour before it, has a powerful take on how to defeat procrastination and to become an effective action oriented goal achiever.


To view this video, please click the screen above, or click THIS LINK.***

Some of the biggest barriers to getting things done are discomfort anxiety, perfectionistic standards, and low frustration toleance.

CENT counselling can help with each of those problems.  Click the folowing link to see the: Counselling for Procrastination page.***


Part 2 of Stoicism in counselling: Duty and morality 

By Dr Jim Byrne

Stoic philosophy provides a fertile field of thinking about 'the good life' which has relevance for counsellors and therapists who are trying to help clients to have a better life.  In this second part of his description of the potential uses of Stoicism in counselling contexts, Dr Jim Byrne explores the role of morality in the pursuit of a fulfilling life.  Morality is in some senses simple, and in others complex.  The simplicity consists of the fact that immorality is about hurting or harming other individuals or groups, or damaging their interests.  In some situations, a CENT counsellor will address the client’s commitment to moral living.


Click the screen image above, or click THIS LINK.***

If you want to pursue an interest in Stoic philosophy for counsellors and psychotherapists, then please take a look at Resource 7 – How to think like a Stoic philosopher.***


Part 3 of Stoic Philosophy for Counselling and Self-help

By Dr Jim Byrne

For several years now, I have been teaching counsellors and counselling clients the core concepts and strategies of Stoic philosophy, as a way to overcome human disturbance.

Stoic philosophy was created in ancient Greece, by a shipwrecked individual called Zeno of Citium.  He lost all his worldly possessions in that shipwreck, and found himself penniless in Athens, where he explored the philosophies of Cynicism and Platonism, to try to help himself to cope with his unfortunate life circumstances.

Out of his studies, Zeno gradually evolved his own philosophy of life, based upon acceptance of things as they are!

For hundred of years, Stoicism helped generations of people in ancient Greece, and across the Roman Empire.

Here’s my third talk on the subject of Stoic philosophy, which control, fatalism and self-denial:


Click the screen image above, or click this link.***

Here’s the blurb as I wrote it a YouTube:

Dr Jim Byrne makes his third presentation on the subject of how to use Stoic philosophy in counselling and self-help.  He talks about how to distinguish and deal with what we can and cannot control; giving up goals about the past; toughening ourselves for future adversities; and overcoming our tendency to become too ungrateful for what we have in our lives.  He ends by talking about examining our conscience and competence at the end of each day.

For more on Stoic Philosophy, please see How to think like a Stoic.***