Irene MacDonald MSc
BACP Accred Counsellor and Psychotherapist

Testimonials #01


These comments are from past or current clients who have been attending counselling or psychotherapy, and are quoted word for word:

A lady from Lanarkshire with anxiety, 9 sessions, using breathing techniques and Brainspotting:
"I am a mature female who became overwhelmed with anxiety several months ago and couldn't see a way out or that I would ever get well again. I'm so glad that I contacted Irene as she made me feel comfortable and relaxed from my first session and I felt she was someone I could trust. As we continued our weekly sessions and using the breathing techniques I had been shown regularly at home, my general wellbeing started to return and I was beginning to feel more relaxed and in control again. Family and friends were acknowledging that I was getting back to my 'old self' and I was also aware that the anxiety, which was like a big black cloud hanging over me was lifting.

Irene with her experience and approach gave me the confidence and belief that I would get better and I'm so grateful I contacted her."


A lady from Lanarkshire with depression and bereavement issues:
"I was at a very difficult and scary place as a result of multiple bereavments, personal attack and various personal experiences in life which had a domino effect and plunged me into depression and anxiety . I felt as if I were in a dark tunnel on a slippery slope to nowhere. Antidepressants were prescribed and increased which made me feel worse and increased the negativity greatly.
I tried numerous therapies and then came across EMDR and Brainspotting therapy and was fascinated by what I read - but had my doubts if this would work for me as I was in my view such a failure. I decided to seek private counselling and came across Irene's website and was drawn to Irene's voice which helped me make that vital call which for me then was a mammoth thing to do.
I was accomodated with an appointment within a couple of days which was a godsend as I would have changed my mind and cancelled as I was frightened of the unknown. I had several sessions with Irene and felt relieved that I had found a place of sanctuary to get help and I was no longer on my own. It was a big step to pursue counselling as I thought my problems and experiences were too great and complex to divulge. After several sessions I will admit I was not fully buying into the therapy, I was going through the motions and just the fact that I had Irene to talk to was enough although I wal always pretending to be "fine". Arriving for yet another session I thought why pretend anymore when I am clearly not fine I have to be honest. With Irene's professionalism she asked just the right questions for that mammoth cloud to finally burst. This was a major turning point and a session which I will never forget. I finally beleived that I could get better and there was hope. I was not the failure that I thought I was.............there are no words that could describe this feeling. As a result of the therapies I have learned so much about me. I have processed issues of grief, worry and childhood trauma that I didnt even realise were there. I am fascinated by the therapies and how the brain works and how you can process information when you have the right counsellor. I had tried everything and I am eternally grateful to Irene for where I am today. Blue skies on the horizon, focused on self care and I am not a spectator in my life anymore. Life is better than its ever been for not only me but also my family who were passengers on my journey. Irene's skills have provided me with the powerful and healing mental tools which enabled me to become a much stronger person focusing on getting the balances right to break out of the negative thought process that had been ruining my life. It took and still does take time and effort to continue healing process but it is an automatic process that its done before you realise. Information, leaflets regarding health have been a tremendous help to me. There are not enough words that could ever express sincere thanks and gratitude for saving my future and that of my family. Irene is an exceptional counsellor with true warmth and friendliness and a real asset to the community, to anyone who is needing help I would wholeheartedly highly recommend."


A lady from central Scotland with complex childhood PTSD, using Comprehensive Resource Model (CRM)
"CRM has been one of the most important experiences in my life. During the therapy, I was aware of layers of unhelpful programming falling away. Immediately after sessions, I can see my behaviour change and without the usual insecurity and anxiety about that behaviour. It has given me a new insight to myself and my childhood and a greater understanding of and empathy with those around me. I also feel that my creativity has improved. While I have had talking based therapy before, Brainspotting has really got to the root of my problems so I feel like my outlook on life has changed significantly. I feel like I have made huge strides in terms of personal development and am more mature and honest with myself. It has also armed me with the tools and confidence to deal with and adapt to my future experiences. I have gone from being anxious, fearful and depressed to calm, happy and confident. I feel so lucky to have stumbled across this amazing therapy"


A from Glasgow area, complex childood PTSD, using CRM for complex PTSD
"I had problems with anxiety and depression and had come to see these as a core part of myself. As a result of seeing Irene, my life has improved more than I could have hoped. The peaks and troughs in my moods are gone and I feel stable now. I am able to do things that I always wanted to but was stopped by feelings of anxiety. My irrational fears are gone. With very little effort on my part, the things that stopped me from having a fulfilling life are in the past. I always leave the sessions on a high, feeling that I can do anything. Previous therapies helped but I’ve been overwhelmed by the effectiveness, ease and speed with which Irene’s support is improving my life."


L from Lanarkshire, Depression for 9 years
"I have recently finished my treatment with Irene after seeing her for quite some time due to Depression. I have been through lots of different therapies over the years and when I started seeing Irene I was in a very bad place. All I wanted was for the suffering to stop. Irene is a lovely lady - she makes you feel welcome in her home. I always felt that I was going into a friend's home rather than a counsellor and sometimes you need to feel that when you are suffering and struggling with your illness. I had talking therapy to begin with; I found this was a great help telling a stranger things you can't talk to someone close to you about and making sense of it for me was a great help. You realise that you're not this bad person you had built yourself up to be. I progressed on to brain spotting which I believe was the key to my recovery. This brought up things that I didn't even know were there and, turns out, the key to my illness after years of blaming myself and having lots of guilt about my son. After a session I would come away each time feeling much better about my life and life in general with the result I no longer need to see Irene. I remember thinking way at the beginning of my treatment that this was not going to help me as I had been through so many different therapies,and why would this be any different? How wrong I was! I wished I had seen Irene years ago and saved myself years of torment. I cannot praise Irene highly enough and thank her for being involved in helping save my life. If you are reading this and thinking about seeing Irene but are having doubts I would say take a chance, you won't regret it."


M from Glasgow area,stress
"I contacted Irene this time last year to arrange some counselling sessions because I was suffering from stress and feared that I may be about to sink into another bout of depression, which I wanted to avoid. From the first session, she made me feel comfortable and at ease. She introduced me to the practice of Mindfulness as a means of calming my overactive mind and taking control of my thoughts. As the sessions progressed over a few months, we explored a number of areas ranging from childhood experiences to more immediate situations which had affected me, and with her guidance, I was able to understand why I had developed a tendency to worry and to struggle when faced with some difficult situations. During the talking sessions, we uncovered some traumatic experiences which I had not dealt with, and we used Brainspotting techniques as a way of resolving those issues. I had my last session about three months ago and I'm amazed with the progress I have made. The backdrop of anxiety which I had been living with for as long as I could remember has been replaced with a general feeling of calm, and a wealth of resources to help me deal with any difficulties as they arise. Irene, I can't thank you enough."


P from Glasgow area, bereavements
"I attended counselling with Irene last October following the death of my mother. I was sad, highly emotional and quite honestly pretty lost, confused and lonely in the myriad of emotions I was experiencing. On first meeting Irene I was anxious, not knowing what to expect or how I would feel. Within a very short space of time Irene made me feel comfortable and safe, her kind, empathetic, highly professional manner made me feel safe, listened to and ultimately at home with myself.
During my sessions Irene guided me through the processes of EMDR and Brain Spotting. Prior to commencing each of these sessions Irene spent time explaining them to me and provided an abundance of literature that I could read at my leisure. As preparatory work I developed skills in relaxation, mindfulness and focusing. During the interventions themselves I felt comfortable and in control as I journeyed back to review times of stress and trauma under Irene’s skilled and quietly watchful gaze. As a result of EMDR and Brain spotting I feel I have learned an enormous amount about myself, I have processed a number of issues and am better equipped for life ahead. Quite honestly I found the whole process fascinating, and felt that not only was I experiencing something that was healing but I was developing skills for life. In simple terms I feel as though Irene has brought light flooding into my life, and with that light a new realisation of self , hope and a new vigour for all that surrounds me."


C From Falkirk area, complex childhood PTSD

"I had 4 sessions of EMDR for one of my childhood traumas from around age 5. I can now be in the street where it happened without feeling upset, and the treatment has freed me of the fear of getting lost. I feel I can now travel without being held back by this terrible fear. I am planning to travel to Motherwell on my own, which means I have to go on trains and buses. Before having my EMDR Sessions i would never have contemplated trying to do this by myself. I would have made any excuse to get out of having to do it as the fear of getting lost would have just been to much for me to deal with"


K from Falkirk area, March 2010, 8 sessions, Post Natal Depression
"Irene thank you so much for your support over the last few months since I had my baby. I didn't know why I felt so low and anxious and I wasn't confident that my mood would ever lift but I am now out and about and back to being me again.
Your approach to my situation made me feel relaxed and each week I got
another peice of insight. You gave me the tools I needed to change how I
felt. Thank you"


Helen from Cumbernauld, October 2010, 12 sessions, stress at work
"I wanted to say a huge thank you for helping me through, what has been an extremely emotional and demanding time.
Each session gave me the opportunity to really dig deep into my past in order to realise what was causing me to feel and to behave the way I did in times of stress. That helped me to take a completely different view, of both myself as a person and my behaviour.
My realisation was indeed that the only person that could help me, was in fact me! Each session gave me the confidence to be able to face into doing that.
My confidence and self esteem have returned - at long last I am both happy and proud to be me!
I can't thank you enough and will always be appreciative of your help and support."

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