The following testimonials have been so kindly given to us by our past clients. I want to take this opportunity to Thank each and every person who submitted these pieces. Thank You so much, Gem.
The Phoenix Centre is symbolised by a butterfly. If you have lost your way in life for any reason or are confused you should go to this wonderful place. Open your heart and your mind and you will find your way. Some people have been on the right track and just need a little help. For me I had went off the path of life as a child. Not having found the tools of life where most children find them. I had resigned myself to living my life on the wrong path. But I wanted to change because it kept hurting and making new pain.
The Phoenix Centre and the butterfly done this for me. They gave me my life back and the tools to continue tp stay on the right path. To be true to myself and the people around me. It's amazing I love myself so much now in a good way. And I radiate this to other people. I am not afraid to take praise to criticism and I know how to handle them differently and deal with them appropriately.
It took very knowledgable hands to untie the knots in the different strands of my life. Sometimes it hurt a lot at the time. However, now I know it was worth it.
The bad pain is gone and the good pain I can handle.
The happiness is amazing. The strength you get from it goes right down to the deepest part of your heart and gives you strength you never knew was possible.
And from the deepest powerful part of my heart I say to The Phoenix Centre thank you so much,
not never but forever.
Now like a Phoenix I will rise from my old ashes with my new strength and knowledge and go to live my new life strong enough to do it on my own. In the knowledge that
the Phoenix Centre will always be there for me.
This testimonial had been a long time coming because its been too hard to find the words that can truly describe the service and professional bond I received from Gemma is impossible. I went to Gemma a teenager full of despair, hurt, heartache and to be honest struggling with the will to live. Gemma listened to it all without judgement and offered nothing but a caring helping hand. The special bond of love and respect I developed for her will last with me for life because without her I don't really know what would have happened to me. I tried other services the same as Gemma's but none of them can compare to hers and I truly mean that and without a doubt I would go back to her again and again if I ever need to. Gemma helped me view the world as a happy place again. She saved my life and for that I will be forever grateful. Thank you Gemma for just being there when I need someone and for someone I could always count on.Aaron, 25.
The reason I first went to Counselling was to save my marriage. I was so skeptical at first. The previous week, my G.P and Psychiatrist had decided I was Bi-polar. I was a mess. I was so scared. I had low self-esteem, no confidence and my life and marriage was on the brink. I felt hopeless. But with time and patience Gemma gave me the skills and confidence to deal with my problems. It helped me to be kinder to myself. My marriage and family life became alot easier and happier.Gemma taught me that I was not a label to be analysed and judged. Counselling saved my life, it allowed me to see me for who I am and allowed me space to make mistakes. It taught me that life can be hard, but not made harder by my own thoughts. I found out how to recognise my feelins, to stay with them, own them and not run from them anymore. Gemma gave me the confidence to find my own path in life. She me a reason to live again.I have found myself, but I still have a long way to go. But now I can see a light. Before I had nowhere to reach. I was in the dark. My life is good now. I have started a degree course in Counselling & Psychotherapy. I am thoroughly enjoying this new chapter in my life. I wanted to change my life and now I have the confidence to do it.John, 33
I am now 49, and since my teens I have suffered with depression and attacks of anxiety. I had tried counselling before but I didn't really 'click' with the Counsellor. It was not until my doctor referred me to Gemma that I started to make progress. I have gained strength and self- knowledge to the extent that I am feeling far more confident of being able to cope with various life issues and understand more and more how I ‘tick’. She is a really special and valuable counsellor.
I didn't see how going to Counselling could help me. I was feeling really deprssed about being single with no hope of meeting anyone. Everywhere I looked people were having babies and getting engaged. Everyone told me I was young and to not be so silly. But I was seriously sad about it. When I went to Gemma, I was able to turn the focus back onto myself. Through counselling I eventually stopped worrying, and learned to focus on myself and my own goals. It is hard to explain, but I learned to let go of the past, and just plan and enjoy being single and young.
Since working with Gemma, I have gone from feeling panicked about my finances to feeling at peace, even in today’s environment. And, amazingly, I am no longer phobic about understanding my finances. She has helped me overcome my resistance and has educated me to the point where I am quite knowledgeable and conversant about investing—and the process has been a pleasure. Because she is a psychotherapist, our time together is based on what I need, whether it is knowledge, insight, reassurance, encouragement, etc.Marc, 59
I went for counselling out of pure desperation. I HATED the idea of going to talk to someone about the state my life was in, but it was that or I was in serious danger of either hurting myself or someone else. I never opened up. I mean Never. I genuinely didn't know how to talk about myself. The first couple of sessions Gemma really helped me out with this. I was afraid I would be sitting in front
a stony faced counsellor, with nothing to say! But I slowly got into the 'talking' and ended up really opening up after a while. For the first time ever.By the time I had started Counselling, my life was in a mess. I definitely needed to stop drinking for a while because everytime I drank, I went too far with it. Ended up in fights. I had also managed to destroy my relationship with my girlfriend. I was in melt down. And I hadn't a clue why.Over the weeks I began to see how different events in my life had built up on me. Loosing my dad at a young age, and other events really impacted me. I just never acknowledged them. I finally had the space and time to think about my life and to re-evaluate me and it.From there my life began to change. I began to feel a lot better. I didn't feel depressed or out of control anymore. I still use the skills and tips I learned with Gemma to this day!Eugene, 35
I first went to see Gemma for post-natal depression. I had been prescribed medication by my G.P, and she recommended I see Gemma also. For the first time in my life I had a space where I could break down and let myself go. I cried and cried during each session. I was terrified she or others would think I was a bad mother or that I was crazy. But I was able to say whatever I felt, and knew I wouldn't be judged. Just talking it all out, gave me incredible freedom. I learned so much about myself, and I learned valuable coping skills for my high anxiety, and negative thinking. I am a changed woman now. Much more confident in myself and enjoying motherhood!Louise, 28
I went to Gemma because I had massive self esteem issues that were affecting all my relationships. I pushed everyone away because of how low and angry I was with myself. I was constantly unhappy but didn't know why. I have a great family and felt even more annoyed with myself for feeling so depressed and angry. Gemma helped me to figure out why my self esteem was so low and then began to give me skills to elevate my self worth. I am now in a healthy and happy relationship and my life is unrecognizable from when I first came to see Gemma.Simon, 29
I actually was very skeptical about counselling. I was the kind of man who never opened up. I honestly had spent my whole life shutting down feeings. It was only when I lost my girlfriend because of my temper, did I even consider coming to Gemma. I saw her card in a local shop and something about it made me call. It was so hard to even call. I felt stupid and embarrassed. I thought what am I going to talk to her about, and I didn't even feel I had a right to be so depressed. I couldn't help myself, and my life was a complete mess. I had zero self-esteem. Over the weeks, I began to open up and actually feel all the stuff I had kept locked away. I can't tell you ow scary it was, but Gemma helped me out! Counselling gave me space and skills. I no longer hate myself. My life is functioning. I have hope...Manus, 33
Coming out for me was extremely hard. I knew I was different from a very young age, and hated that. I grew up hearing the word 'gay' being used to hurt. When I knew I was gay, I wanted it to be gone, I wanted to be 'normal'. I learned with Gemma about my own internal Homohobia, and how my own judgments of what it meant to be 'gay' made me hate myself. When I analysed all the stuff in my head, I saw it so clear! The self-hatred and massive confusion melted. I moved into working on myself, my whole self. I stoppped defining myself in terms of my sexuality! I got to know the kind of man I am, and worked on self-love! I never in a million years thought I would come out, and love who I am. Gemma helped me sort through all of my feelings and fears. I am Proud of who I am now!Finbarr, 22
I had spent my whole 20's drinking and smoking. I woke up, smoked, went to work, came home and smoked. At the weekend's I drank each night and I drank all night! I worked. I smoked. I drank. That was it. I felt out of control of myself. I was actually asking for more hours at work so that I was busy. I hated being alone. I didn't want to be smoking so much. It was doing my head in. I definitely was unable to stop even though I never would have admitted it. I was permanently stoned..and to be honest I had no problem with it. I guess what made me go to Counselling was that I had no relationship in my life. I was actually really lonely. I would have loved a girlfriend and some kids one day. I was also getting messy at the weekends. Getting emotional with my mates. Falling apart. I went to my GP, I felt so crap and wanted her to fix it. She suggested counselling. No way! I was afraid the counsellor would give out and judge me for smoking and drinking so much. I wasn't going to pay to be lectured! And wasn't ready to give it all up.But I kind of exploded at Christmas, and made a right mess of things with my family. So I went in to see Gemma. Gemma didn't judge me. She didn't sit there coldly and stare at me. We actually had a bit of a laugh. There was no pressure from her. No pushing me to stop smoking. So I stayed! I actually liked going to see her! We talked, we laughed and I eventually sorted out my life. I never would have thought counselling would have helped me!Paul 30
I am 20, and I have been cutting since I was 12. I have been to a few counsellors, and I hated it. Going to a counsellor at school make me feel even more crap about myself. I didn't want to cut, but I couldn't stop. I would have good spells. And then have really depressed spells. Two of my friends had killed themselves when I was 14 and 15. The pain I went through and the pain all my friends went through was the only thing stoppng me doing the same. I was a ball of agony. I hated my life. I felt totally trapped. I went to see Gemma after a really drunk night out, where I had really come close to over-dosing. The next day I was terrified over what I had done. So I rang Gemma and went in. To be honest I felt instantly relieved. Gemma seemed like she really understood me, and even though I was so embarrassed talking to her, I felt I could keep going to see her. I am still seeing Gemma. But my life is different. I haven't self-harmed in over a year! I am making plans for my life. I am gaining confidence and knowledge about myself. I really recommend Gemma as a Therapist.Jenny, 20