Tish Hayton

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Tish Hayton - Professional Portfolio

-- Anonymous, April 28, 2001


Dear Gill This is a note to make contact. I'm not sure how to do this, so I'll just tell you a bit about myself, and maybe you can tell me if I am doing this right. I'm a normal 45 year old mother of three, but I'm really depressed at the moment. There's just too much going on and I cant cope. I really do need someone to help me through this time. My husband is hardly ever home, my eldest son wants to marry a japanese girl and live in the Phillpiines, of all places, my youngest son drinks far too much, my daughter doesnt speak to me and has her A levels this year. I have got hot flushes and have put on so much weight none of my clothes fit any more. My mother is driving me demented with her fussing about her bad leg, as if a leg ulcer was the end of the world! I lie awake at night with it all going round and round in my head. I just cant cope with all this. It makes me cry just to write it down. I'm glad to have someone to tell. I feel very lonely. Please write soon. Eleanor.

-- Anonymous, May 07, 2001

PLease disregard this last it should be on Gills portfolio!

Here follows the exchanges with gemma:

4.5.01 subject: contact message

Dear Gemma Just to check in with you that I am ready to counsel you online just as soon as you are ready to start. I answer emails on Fridays before 10pm. If you want to go forward with this you may send me as many emails as you like I will reply just once each week. Once I have heard from you, we will set up a contract so we both know where we are. I look forward to hearing from you. From Tish Hayton Your Skyways counsellor

May 8th 2001 client contact 1 Dear Tish Thank you for your e-mail and I have a real life issue I would like to discuss with you. I am having some persnal therapy at the moment, so I have some external support if I need it. Over the years I have worked hard at being able to express anger in an assertive way and am now able to do this in work situation and with close friends. However I find it very difficult to do this with my family. I am the youngest of three girls and always felt unheard, feeling I had to shout in order to be acknowledged. My father was emotionally distant but also became angry at times, never physically. However at these times he would never tell me if I had done something wrong, what had upset him or if I could do anything to make the situation better. I just remember his eyes looking at me. During a recent conversation with my sister I became very annoyed with her but felt I had to swallow rather than state how I was feeling. This annoys me. Up untill recently she was always able to 'light my fuse' and I usually 'bit the bullet' What I can't understand is why it is so hard to be the person I am elsewhere within my family. Regards Gemma

subject: counsellor replies 11/5/01

Dear Gemma

Here is my reply to your email sent this week on Tuesday. First of all, I acknowledge your courage in putting a real life issue here, because both this and my reply will end up on the OLT noticeboard!

I was struck by the phrase "I worked hard" when you described your expression of anger in "an assertive way". That sounds heavy and difficult, as if you are pushing against a block.

Then later you said that you "became annoyed" with your sister and used the words "light my fuse" meaning I suppose that you would like to explode, but didnt: you "bit the bullet".

It sounds like you are angry with yourself for not getting angry.

It sounds like the only emotion your father allowed himself to express openly was his anger. However it seems as if he never directed your anger at you, for you say he just looked at you.

I know you have suffered with epilepsy, and I know very little about this condition, but I do know it is exacerbated by strong emotions such as anger: is there some connection with your father's behaviour here I wonder?

Finally, as I read your letter again and again I get a strong feeling of isolation and a kind of bewilderment, as if there is a lot you don't understand about yourself in relation to your family.

I am trying to "hear" what lies beneath your words, and I do hope that in the next few weeks we will be able to clarify some of these issues a little more. I look forward to your next email.


PS: Please find attached the counselling contract for this series of email transactions. Please print it out for reference.

17th May 01 subject: client contact 2 Dear Tish Since recieving your reply I have been thinking about the relationship I have with my family. It feels as if they still relate to me as a child rather than an adult. But what frustrates me is my inability to address this. My sister knew in the past how to annoy me but now I don't respond. However, I am realisng that not to respond and verbalise whatever I am feeling is just as uncomfortably. Although my father did get angry it is his silence which I found most uncomfortable because I didn't know if I was in the right or in the wrong. I don't think my epilepsy was affected by this and I have explored in past therapy what bearing this had on family relationships. I think this is to do more with remaining as the child 'gemma' within my present family relationships rather than the Gemma I am in other daily roles. It does feel isolating but I am also frustrated that I can be such a differnet person in these two areas of my life. Looking forward to your reply


17th May 2001 subject: reflection on your reply Dear Tish I found myself feeling quite annoyed by one element of your response and feel I must share this with you. You made an assumption about my epilepsy and although done in a very gentle way it did annoy me. I want to talk about the relationship I have with my family. (I have found it really hard to say this but I have). You were very asute with picking up my sense of isolation, I wasn't aware of it at the time and it was encouraging to here about your desire to offer clarity to this matter. I am fascinated at how it feels to be an on-line client, it seems as if you know parts of me already and you have a real clartiy in saying what you are 'observing' Gemma May 18th 2001

Counsellor replies Dear Gemma

I received your email on Thursday 17th May and have been thinking about it today.

The feeling I get is like being trapped. It seems as if when your sister used to "wind you up" and you got annoyed it was like she had " won" in some sense, and if you keep silent these days you feel uncomfortable. Truly frustrating, as you said: there doesnt seem to be any way to respond that is positive for you.

Several points struck me as I was reading it. I see that the Gemma of every day gets a capital letter to her name, but the "child" gemma only deserves a small letter. Does that say something about how you feel about that "child" part of you?

The other point is about silence. There seems to be something about silence, (or at least the things that are not being said), that disturbs you today, and always did.

There seem to be two sides of you: I wonder which one feels the most real?

I look foward to hearing from you next time. Tish. PS Please let me know by returning this with a quick response if you received the contract I attached to the last email. I hope that you find all the terms agreeable, and if you dont, we can negotiate to suit your particular needs.

May 17th subject: client email

Dear Tish After writing the reflective e-mail last night, it feels necessary to send you another client e-mail. I think my reaction to you having mentioned my epilepsy has left me feeling unheard, something very familiar to me within my family. I feel quite angry but this feels out of proportion to what has happened. Looking forward to your response Gemma may 18th 2001 Subject: Contract

Dear Tish Just to let you know that I have recieved the contract and it is okay. I hope my second e-mail sent tonight helps to clarify the present situation. Gemma

-- Anonymous, May 21, 2001

24th May

Dear Gemma

I felt quite disturbed by our last few exchanges, as if something has been triggered off. However it does seem that you have felt able to express your anger at me in your email, and that sounds as if things are going in the right kind of direction for you with this kind of counselling. I beleive that it is easier to express strong feelings in an email than to do so directly: what do you think?

I concur with you, in so far as although there are good reasons for you to feel annoyed with me, because I left you "feeling unheard", as you put it, but it does sound like it is out of proportion to what has happened.

I wonder if I put it another way that might help? I'll experiment with saying it this way, and I would be interested to hear your response: it sounds like there is some anger kind of "floating about" without anywhere to "perch" and when you got angry with me some of it came to rest there.

I wonder if that describes your experience, if it often happens to you, and if you have any idea what that may be about?

I'll make this email quite short, because it feels as if we need some short exchanges just now, but I will be thinking of you during the week.

I look forward to hearing from you next time.



counsellors remarks as self

Dear Gemma

With this email it feels as if we are getting into deeper waters. It enters into an arena where I feel useful things can be done: ie, in our relationship in the here and now as it is developing. This is my first real experience of seeing a therapeutic relationship developing through emails.

I hope you are finding the experience as valuable as I am!



May 27th 2001

Dear gemma

My last Friday email response was written and sent earlier in the day than usual because I was not available that evening. I missed the email that was sent that day and it really should have been included in my response. This is a response to that email. Several phrases stood out for me:

Firstly there is your "confusion" at the way you referred to the "two Gemmas" when you are writing to me. This suggests that you have not been aware of this before, and you write about becoming more aware of the relationships in your family, which sounds as if something is opening up.

Secondly, I found really good the simple statement at the start of this email about what you wanted to work on with me. It felt confident and sure.

Thirdly, I found your description of your family gathering rather sad: the idea of a group of people pretending to listen but not hearing. I have felt highly motivated to "hear" you, and have read every email carefully "in between the lines" as it were, for fear of hurting you by a misunderstanding. Now of course all internet counsellors must do this, but with you I have felt it particularly strongly. Does that suggest to you something about how it feels for you not be heard?

I am amused at the way I have created above a numbered list of points for you to consider (something I dont usually do) as if I want to clarify the confusion! If it does feel like "going round in circles" then maybe I have been trying to "straighten things out" a bit.

I look forward to this weeks emails and will send my response at about 10pm next Friday, so please get yours in before say 8pm Friday, and preferably well before that, to give me time to consider it/them carefully.



From your Skyways counsellor

As self: 28th May I am amazed at how deep our work is going and how keen your observations are. I had no idea of the G or g with respect to myself and also that these feelings are just floating with no where to go. I am surprised at how our relationship is similar to a f2f one. I am relieved that you were able to accept my anger. With thanks Gemma

As client: 28th May

Dear Tish I have been having some problems sending and recieving e-mails and therefore was not able to right to you before your response on Friday. I will be sending you two e-mails this week this one to your most recent respnse and a one e-mail of observations on both. My anger towards you was out of proportion and I think it was directed at my father for not hearing me when I was younger. I feel calmer now but still very confused about where all of this is going. It was a relief to know that you can accept my anger because when I sent the e-mail I really feared that you would say we could no longer work together. There is definately anger floating around and I feel it at times when I am with or talking on the phone to family. But it feels as if it is not worth expressing it for fear of hurting them but also because it should belong in the past. I don't know where the should comes from. On reflection it feels as if to deal with it is just too much effort because I will come up against the same brick wall. I hope this and my other e-mail have srted out any remaining confusion. Many thanks Gemma

-- Anonymous, May 30, 2001

JUne 8th

Counsellor response Dear Gemma

Thanks for your last email. I liked the way you said "it feels very still". It feels like that to me too, as if we have passed through a difficult time and are in quieter waters.

When Gemma speaks, it is clear and unequivocal. When little gemma speaks it gets unclear in some way. I cant quite put my finger on what this kind of " unclear" is: something about that "pretending to listen" I think.

Little gemma must be very puzzled about what is really going on. It seems that when you dont know, when you get baffled and muddled, it makes you very angry indeed, and you want someone to explain. If noone speaks, and everyone just pretends to listen, what hope is there of ever communicating properly or disovering the truth?

I almost get some kind of feeling that you may have wondered if there was something going on that you were not party to, some secret, and that made you feel isolated. Thats a real guess amd I may be quite wrong there, just a hunch.

Till next time,

From Tish

Your skyways counsellor

From: "Ms G L P Mason" >To: "Tish Hayton" >Subject: client response 12.06 >Date: Tue, 12 Jun 2001 19:16:35 +0100 > >Dear Tish > Many thanks for your e-mail and I don't know if I have much more to say. However, I do feel that my anger comes as a response to asking and not being heard. > >I am going on holiday with my parents in the next couple of weeks and it seems as if this might be an opportunity to see if I can relate differently to them. I will let you know. > >For the time being I would like to bring our contract to a close, would it be possible to begin again if I felt I needed it? > >Warm Regards > >Gemma

wednesday 13 june Dear Gemma

Thanks for your last email. Thanks you also for being so open and frank with me during our exchanges. I have learned a great deal from working with you. As for the contract, the terms were that you end it, and so it is ended , as you have told me that you want to stop.

As for renewal of the contract, let's see where we are in a while, because as we meet more often in other situations, meetings etc. it may make it hard to maintain boundaries. If we did work together again we would need to be very clear what we worked on and what we didn't, lest we get the same situation again when I broke the information boundary earlier by mentioning your epilepsy.

Thanks for a very interesting experience!

with best wishes



-- Anonymous, June 25, 2001

Supervising Brian with anonymous client

This client was expressing great anxiety about the Internet as a medium, and Brina seemed to be picking up on that and was anxious himself. The client has some real issues to be worked on and was understandably nervous before beginning. The supervision consisted of a single email, in which I reflected upon how Brian has described the behaviour of this client, and suggested that maybe it was completely normal and was a way to test out the counselling environment before making a start. I felt that it had probably not been all that helpful, but Brian said that he has questioned some of his assumptions and so this had helped.

Being supervised by Brian with my anonymous client

This client set before me a very complex situation involving four flat mates. This made me very nervous, but I was able to chat with Brian about it on MSN. He simply held me in my anxiety and affirmed me in the methods I was using. I found him steadying and ready to respond in the moment I needed him, which was excellent. The client went on to create another difficult boudaries issue and then left a long space without any emails, then asking for them to start again. I felt messed about and annoyed, but realising to what extent I had ben "wound up" by the anonymous client in the beginning I was more sanguine this time and did not seek out supervision.There was no further contact.

-- Anonymous, July 22, 2001

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