Counsellor registered with the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy. (BACP)
Certified Mental Health First Aider with MHFA England
Peter is a Counsellor registered with the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy. (BACP)
Covid-19 Psychological First Aider (PFA) – Public Health England
Wirral born and bred, much of Pete’s career has been spent in the voluntary/charitable sector. He has held substantial management posts in the fields of homelessness, serious offending, corporate management and mental health, and holds a university level qualification in managing not for profit organisations.
Additionally, Pete is a qualified counsellor, using both person centred and psychodynamic strategies and interventions, and has worked with many diverse and complex individuals from street homeless individuals, perpetrators and victims of crime, to professional people in both the public and private sectors. Pete is an active and practicing member of the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy. (BACP), and adheres to their Ethical Framework
His philosophy is that everyone encounters up’s and down’s in life; all of us experience trauma or vicarious trauma, and that all of us have a right to be treated with dignity and respect whatever our circumstances. He recognises that every counselling client is on their own journey as they navigate their way throughout life, and that our physical and mental health is inextricably linked.
Any of us can suffer some form of mental health deterioration at any time, whether triggered by current circumstances, or historic and painful events re-surfacing, that can threaten our very existence, and perhaps impact on others around us. He also recognises that mental health issues are a significant issue within the criminal justice system. His working experiences have also included working with sectioning’s, suicide ideation, self harm and addictions.
He says “I strive for innovative practice, and believe that giving someone time to talk, and make sense of their life in a calm and welcoming environment, can assist them to see themselves, their life, and their future does have meaning, and validation. Being a man is more than simply about being “macho “ ; men often bottle things up, choosing to internalise their individual demons, without realising help, and support is available for them; this is where Journeymen have a significant and unique role to play in Wirral society.”
Additionally, Pete is well travelled, and understands the value of cultural diversity within society; he has twice spent time living with a local family in Nairobi, Kenya.
Here at JourneyMEN we are very proud of our private counselling room that is fully booked Monday to Friday.
This is a private and safe environment for our men and their families.
Watch this space for upcoming blogs from Peter
Counselling Corner Blog – 10.10.2021
Counselling Corner BlogPeter Davies – Qualified CounsellorAPT Accredited – Complex Trauma/PTSD firstname.lastname@example.org
There is an odd, albeit one off juxtaposition this week, with the annual date of “World Suicide Prevention Day” on September 10th, followed the following day by the 20th anniversary of the events of “9/11” over in the U.S.A. in particular the bringing down of the two World Trade Centre towers in New York, with major loss of life, and a deep psychological scar that remains across America and beyond.
Many of us, (myself included), can remember where we were that day as we watched the tragedy quite literally play out live in front of us on our tv screens.
There is still debate over whether those workers trapped in the twin towers should simply be considered “jumpers” (not a very dignified term) or whether they were in fact people
As you might imagine, rates of PTSD rose dramatically in the months post 9/11 within New York City (as did physical conditions such as breathing difficulties etc) but the suicide rate within the city did not rise, in fact, instead, in the 4 years after the terrorist atrocities. PTSD symptoms and psychological conditions remained high 5/6 years post 9/11.
If you look at major, mass event tragedies through the years human resilience carries through and intensifies in the wake of those events:
Aberfan disaster (1966) Whilst the death toll of the Aberfan disaster killed 144 people (116 of them children), there is no evidence that suicide rates in the area increased in the area. Children returned to school two weeks later and a later study showed those children who survived remained well adjusted. Much of that had to do with how the town pulled together in the aftermath, although PTSD did occur, individually and collectively. The quiet
dignity of the area ensured they remained strong, silent, and robust.
Hillsborough (1989) 97 people died as a direct result of this and in the years that followed there is at least one suicide attributed to the event; whilst the families themselves have endured physical and cognitive consequences. But again, the resilience of those affected and the emotional scar all of Merseyside still feels as a consequence of that event remains
staunchly in place. This is despite the many twists and turns since, whilst “closure” in any sense has been hard to manifest itself, not least because of the understandable lack of accountability from anyone for it.
Bataclan (2015), France. One man is known to committed suicide as a direct result of those events; he was a survivor of it and his death coincided with the 2nd anniversary
He was being monitored by a psychiatrist and psychologist because of his mental health,
and a local Paris charity notes that “the psychological trauma is profound and long lasting...”
If you look at war/war like situations, more people died from suicide/mental health issues in the years after the Good Friday Agreement was signed in Northern Ireland, than during the years of the Troubles that led to it.
Emile Durkheimian (1960) suggested that from his research suicide decreased as a direct result of war, but that war “stimulates partisan and patriotism” and yet results in “stronger integration of society”
The patterns that largely emerge from mass tragedies is that whilst psychological and mental trauma and issues continues quietly, privately and individually, yet communities
re-build, strengthen and thrive…. yet never forget, and mostly without a sudden rise in people feeling a need to take their own lives yet suffer (often) in silence.
This perhaps says much about the endurance of the human spirit, regardless of what we may face and endure.
JourneyMEN are recognising World Suicide Prevention Day on September 10th by holding a quiet, and reflective event in Hamilton Square Gardens from 1300-1330 hours. This will include a minute’s silence. All are welcome, as you perhaps remember those you have loved and lost, regardless of circumstances
Where Hillsborough is concerned, I would personally recommend Phil Scraton’s book “The Truth” for further reading.
JourneyMEN - Working Together For Our Men
Counselling Corner Blog – 03.08.2021
Counselling Corner Blog
Peter Davies – Qualified Counsellor
APT Accredited – Complex Trauma/PTSD
All of us here at JourneyMEN recognise how mental health issues have no societal or family structure boundaries, and that more often than not, someone’s mental issue, is not an isolated part of an individual’s life ; other factors and circumstances arise that are part of a wider picture – for example – a relationship breakdown ; insecure or none existent employment ; past trauma ; military service or other causes of PTSD; a past or present criminal conviction, or current involvement within the CJS (Criminal Justice System)
The links between male mental health, crime, and imprisonment are well known. A recent report by the IOPC* covering the period 2020/21 showed that 19 people (17 men, 2 women) died in police custody. 17 of those were white, 2 were other ethnicities. But of those 19 people, 12 were identified as having mental health concerns, including depression, schizophrenia, anxiety, psychosis and self-harm or suicidal tendencies. A further 2 people had been detained under the mental health act.
The same report notes that of 54 apparent suicides following police custody (49 men, 5 women) 38 of those people had known mental health concerns including emotional personality disorders ; bipolar, depression and previous thoughts of suicide ideation or self-harm
We must remember the 73 people above, will have had families, friends etc who will have been affected by their deaths, with a potential for life affecting trauma, and further mental health problems.
JourneyMEN are acutely aware of these issues, and the ramifications they create, and myself and my colleagues actively work, and are seeking further initiatives in these joint areas of offending/reducing recidivism with appropriate partner agencies and improving individual mental health quality of life and support, one to one support whether via counselling or outdoor activities.
The recent easing of lockdown restrictions and the summer weather are also serving are also assisting our work, and we are running several boat trips in the coming weeks for our service users and some family members. These are much anticipated and are a mixture of fun, escapism and the shared experience of mental health, and often an increase of hope for the future, and improved self-esteem. Covid anxieties are still a fact of life for many people, including some of our service users, and of our endeavours here helps to lessen that.
Reference : IOPC*/OPCC – Independent Office for Police Conduct / Office of the Police & Crime Commissioner for Merseyside
JourneyMEN – Working Together For Our Men
Counselling Corner Blog – 14.06.2021
This week is designated as being “Men’s Health Week” (14-20 June) and it seems an opportune time to consider the links between Men’s physical health and mental health.
The two things can be completely separate (for anyone, regardless of gender or self-identification) – but they can also be inter-linked, or impact on one another, and in either direction.
As a counsellor, I often see this, and it is true of some JourneyMEN service users. How does this work in practice ?
One example may be a man who lives with constant and chronic pain (from arthritis for example or any other condition). If you are living under those circumstances it can impact on your life in all sorts of way that you might not automatically imagine – if for example it affects your diet ; your sleep pattern ; your ability to work or function on any sort of daily basis ; your ability to walk etc. Almost imperceptibly, over time those things can lead to depression, self-doubt, isolation...and suddenly before you know it you start limiting your life, avoiding others because of the amount of pain you’re in. or because your mobility has lessened...and you’re mental health has deteriorated – even if you don’t want to admit it to yourself as your world suddenly looks smaller.
A different example could be of a man who is suddenly diagnosed with diabetes...or a serious heart condition….or cancer….or….?....any of these cause you to take a different picture of yourself ; can lead to fears ; impact upon things in life you used to take for granted and suddenly can’t….and you start thinking about things...you’re future perhaps ; how you’re changed circumstances may affect your closest relationships and suddenly you realise it might help to talk to someone – outside of your life – that may understand the way you feel ; may be able to help you adapt to new circumstances….that may renew your hope in yourself, and enable you to realise you are not as alone as you perhaps thought, or indeed that things don’t look so bleak after all.
For older people too, as their health – physical or mental – becomes frailer or something happens that re-defines your life happens – a fall; a downsizing from a much loved home….old friends dying, mental health can deteriorate. Many of us will endure a cataclysmic event in older life that changes the shape of our lives forever that has the potential to become life shortening where talking can help us re-adjust to a forced way of life.
Which is where – in any of the above situations, or countless other’s JourneyMEN can help by helping men to realise they are not alone, and there are a variety of ways we can help.
Less so than women, men don’t like to give a voice to their problems, or indeed even acknowledge a problem exists. Have a look around you ; is there anyone in your life -neighbour ; friend, colleague ; acquaintance who perhaps fits in to changed circumstances, mentally, cognitively or physically, and who needs encouragement to seek support, however difficult or awkward taking that first step to seek help can be.
Last week was “Carers Week” – and let’s not forget too the many carers of both genders and all ages, who care for someone 24/7, at the expense of sacrifices in their own lives – including a detrimental change in their own health – physical or mental.
MENTAL HEALTH AWARENESS WEEK
For all of us here at JourneyMEN Mental Health Awareness week, personifies all of the work that we do, whether fishing, daily case work, our weekly walk and talks (now so popular we run two of them) and our counselling service. We see a diverse range of men, young, and not so young, some with complex issues and life histories.
In the wider sense where mental health awareness week is concerned, have a look around you amongst family, friends, acquaintances colleagues etc, and think about whether their mental health and wellbeing is in good shape or not? We tend to forget, that whether you are an extrovert or introvert personality type, any of us can hide any sense of distress, anxiety, low mood etc from those around us and often suffer in silence, and perhaps loneliness.
Ask yourself too, if someone within your life, appears to be not quite themselves, what the underlying reasons may be to - a family worry or issue ; a change in work practices, culture or management changes that prove un-settling etc an un-healthy balance of our work/life structure...these are all familiar issues many of us go through at some point, that can trigger or impact our mental health.
Sometimes a friendly or re-assuring word, perhaps over a cuppa can assist in encouraging someone to simply "open up" and let someone in on their angst.
Men in particular don't always find it easy or straight forward to articulate that there is something amiss, and this can lead to friction, tension and dis-harmony within important relationships.
So our message for Mental Health Awareness Week is simply to TALK (or communicate in other ways) to find mental health solutions ; it can take courage, but I would suggest it's worthwhile in the end.
YOU'LL NEVER WALK ALONE
Here at JourneyMEN, we are mindful the combined events of HRH The Duke of Edinburgh's death, together with the 32nd anniversary of the Hillsborough tragedy, may, each, or together may result in people reflecting upon the losses of loved ones in our own lives, whether recent, or in the past. We are also conscious of the impact the COVID pandemic has wrecked on so many local families this past year, too.
Grief is a very personal issue ; there are no rights or wrongs with it ; nor does it have any time limit, and a wistfulness can remain, or resurrect for any of us, when we remember those we have lost regardless of triggers, such as the current media focus on death and grief.
Men in general often can have a misguided "macho" response to grief, often bottling our feelings up, without an outlet, particularly, if we feel we need to be "there" and strong for other family members
As a staff team, we recognise that dormant or un-resolved grief can come back and visit any of us, at any time. We hope whether through support or our counselling service, the men of the Wirral know they need not feel alone with any grief issues that may be causing them distress, anguish or trauma at this time, and are always hear to provide a listening ear if a painful response to individual or collective grief is currently resurfacing.
YOU'LL NEVER WALK ALONE
Peter's counselling service is by appointment only but he can be contacted via the below email.
Email - Peter@journeymencic.com