Peter Stell, counsellor, counselor at Aegis offers counselling, counseling, therapy and psychotherapy for clients, couples or those with family problems in Spalding Lincolnshire
Revd Dr Peter D. Stell - Counselling Consultant
8 Van Gogh Drive, Spalding
Lincolnshire PE11 3HU

Telephone 01775 762546
Mobile 07947 139929

Senior BACP Accredited and Nationally Registered Counsellor and Psychotherapist
Attachment Based Psychotherapist
Member of the Group Analytic Society International
Member of the British Psychological Society

Child Abuse

I am a senior accredited counsellor and psychotherapist who has been specially trained to work with survivors of childhood and vulnerable adult abuse.

For more than two decades I have worked with survivors of all ages who have either been abused by ministers of the Christian Church, including Anglican clergy, church workers or members of the laity, or have not been protected and supported by the Church Community. My background in ministry, plus my experience and advanced qualifications in psychotherapy, provide a high degree of empathy for survivors and a willingness to provide the best possible care.

For many survivors of childhood and vulnerable adult abuse, counselling may be the first time they have ever disclosed the trauma they suffered. They may have been locked into silence for years or even decades.

Sharing a Personal Story

Although never easy, sharing one's personal story with the counsellor can bring tremendous relief. On the other hand, some survivors may have revealed the abuse previously, only to be met with disbelief or rejection. This, sadly, is a common story when survivors have had the courage to report their abuse to senior members of the Church or a statutory body. It is also the case that many survivors have been abandoned and rejected by members of their own families for "telling lies," "attention seeking" and "making things up," especially when speaking out against an abusive parent, relative or family friend. So, not being judged, listened to, heard and believed for the first time is an immensely important and liberating experience..

The question of trust v mistrust is a difficult issue for survivors of abuse. They want to trust but may find it impossible to trust anyone: because anyone could be a potential abuser, especially when it is highly likely that the survivor was abused by a known other e.g., parent, friend, sibling, partner, teacher, priest, medical professional, entertainer, politician, employer, work colleague or relative. Others, though, have a problem with trusting people too easily. As children, they weren't able to learn who to trust and who not to trust, so in adult life they have not been able to use their instincts to recognise situations that would make secularly attached people feel threatened or uncomfortable. This leaves them vulnerable to predators and so they may find themselves getting into abusive relationships and dangerous situations.

For counselling to be effective, there needs to develop a therapeutic relationship between survivor and therapist that empowers the client and facilitates a working alliance that is trustworthy in every respect. For my part, I offer the survivor a safe place to explore their story. I offer respect, empathy, congruence, unconditional positive regard and transparency. Client safety and security is of paramount importance in this work, so too is confidentiality, reliability and maintaining firm boundaries. For me, establishing a trusting relationship with the counsellor allows the client to re-set their capacity to trust other people and form more loving and trustworthy relationships.

Child Abuse
survivors of childhood
survivors experience intense feelings of guilt and shame
survivor and therapist

Childhood sexual abuse
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
survivor to experiencing intense feelings of anger, sadness and grief

Childhood Sexual Abuse

Childhood sexual abuse, indeed all forms of abuse are traumatic in many different ways, and children often learn to protect themselves by emotionally and psychologically splitting-off their awareness of the abuse. This defensive process is called dissociation, and it is almost like self-hypnosis. A consequence of dissociation can be that adult survivors experience terrifying flashbacks of the abuse, which don't feel like real memories. In this sense, survivors are experiencing elements of extreme trauma as seen in Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). A trained counsellor, like myself, can help the client to understand the process of dissociation and PTSD so that they are less frightened, and can begin to better manage and ultimately integrate their painful memories.

Many survivors experience intense feelings of guilt and shame, which they carry around with them all the time. They tell themselves, "it's all my fault, I got what I deserved." Telling their story to a counsellor, like myself, who is non-judgmental, allows them to see things from a different perspective. They may realise for the first time that what happened to them was really not their fault and just how young and vulnerable they were when the abuse took place. The attuned counsellor will emphasise that a child or vulnerable adult is never to blame, no matter how persuasively the abuser tells them that they are. Hearing from a therapist that their experience was typical can bring huge release from guilt and shame. Becoming self-aware leads to a better understanding which can lead the survivor to experiencing intense feelings of anger, sadness and grief, which the counsellor can help the client deal with in a safe way.

What You Can Expect From Me

I'm one of a number of psychotherapists who has been trained in working with sexual abuse, as well as with PTSD, domestic abuse, neglect, physical, spiritual and psychological abuse. We are available to hear distressing accounts of current and historic abuse and are motivated to help survivors heal at the broken places. For the client, being able to share details which once seemed unbearable for another person to hear, can bring great comfort, and again can help to dissolve feelings of guilt and shame. Current issues, no matter how painful, can be brought up in a supportive, non-judgmental environment with the understanding that the survivor can become a thriver. Ultimately, the aim of therapy is to enable the survivor to thrive and move on, leaving counselling feeling empowered to take charge of their own life, and free to live life to the full. Click here to contact me.
Peter Stell

Revd Dr Peter D. Stell - Counselling Consultant
Telephone 01775 762546 Mobile 07947 139929
Senior BACP Accredited and Nationally Registered Counsellor and Psychotherapist
Member of the Group Analytic Society International
Member of the British Psychological Society