ASCBT was set up in November 2012 with the aim to offer a professional easily accessible counselling service utilising CBT skills for the Belfast - Bangor and County Down area. ASCBT stands for Alistair Shaw Cognitive Behavioural Therapy - unoriginal but I am passionate about the benefits CBT techniques can bring people and believe in my ability to effectively deliver this knowledge and influence change. Over time and with experience I have furthered my vision for what I want ASCBT to be.
My vision for ASCBT now moving forward is three-fold:
Educate on Mental Health - Too may people suffer frightening symptoms of anxiety or the daily battle with low mood, totally unaware that they may be suffering from a mental illness. People who do not understand OCD may think their thoughts make them evil while those suffering PTSD may believe they will never be free from nightmares. It is important that people are made aware of mental illness and are not ignorant to it so that they can act sooner and seek help if they feel they are suffering. Mental health isn't something that should only be mentioned or thought about or cared for when there is something not quite right. Just as people might care for their physical health by exercising, eating well or getting enough sleep, people can maintain good mental health and be aware that constant maintanence is needed. We need to learn to be aware of our stressors, be aware of the impact diet and exercise can have on mental health and be mindful of the importance of good self-care.
Defeat Stigma - While education involves producing quality informative content, defeating stigma involves sharing this content and getting it out onto social media to not only help sufferers understand but to help those fortunate enough not to be suffering anxiety or low mood to be more aware. There is a lot of ignorance surrounding mental health issues and
Motivate and Facilitate Change - Working with clients, weekly or fortnightly, I want to share my insights and knowledge and teach CBT skills. I want to work collaboratively with clients to learn about their lives up until the point they have sought therapy and then with this understanding help plan changes that will benefit their future. I want to explain clinical disorders and symptoms in easy to understand ways and then equally explain what we need to try and achieve for change. I want to foster positivity and give clients ownership for their own journey of self-improvement. I offer sessions available at short notice from a safe confidential office in the centre of Bangor, County Down. I offer therapy sessions in person or through Skype.
I am Alistair Shaw, a 32 year old, qualified Cognitive Behavioural Psychotherapist with over 1000 hours experience working 1 to 1 with clients facing various issues and problems.
I graduated from the Belfast Cognitive Therapy Centre (BCTC) Post Graduate Diploma course in 2012. I am a registered member working towards full accreditation with the BACP (British Association for Cognitive Psychotherapies).
I've developed myself working in GP Practices and continue to do so. I work in the Public Sector for the NHS on a 1 to 1 basis with clients working towards improved quality of life in conjunction with input from other health professionals. My private work with ASCBT allows me to work with fewer restrictions, being able to offer sessions at short notice and carry on therapy beyond the session limitations found in the Public Sector.
I also have experience working for a number of Mental Health Charities and previously volunteered with Holywood Family Trust in Holywood.
I have worked with the Samaritans in the past and then with the Tasha foundation offering online instant messaging counselling. Both of these organisations are brilliant and can offer instant support during times of acute need.
I am working hard to build up ASCBT.