Welcome to Fully Human Psychotherapy. Fully Human is a private psychotherapy practice owned and run by Avigail Abarbanel. Avigail has worked in private practice in Canberra (Australia) since 1999. She moved to the Scottish Highlands in January 2010 and reestablished her practice in July 2010.
Avigail is a BACP Accredited psychotherapist, and (UK Other Professional Body Accredited) Member of COSCA. She is on the BACP Register and on the COSCA Register. Avigail works with adult individuals, couples and families on a variety of life issues. She is a supervisor and she also runs groups and facilitates workshops for professionals and for the public. Avigail is an experienced trainer and public speaker. She offers consulting services and training to organisations in the private and public sectors.
• Fully Human Psychotherapy practices a non-discriminatory policy. It is not affiliated with any faith or religion and is welcoming to the LGBT community and to people of all backgrounds, cultures and creeds.
*Please note that the waiting period for a first appointment with Avigail is now 3 to 5 weeks. If it is urgent for you to see someone, please do not wait . You can try Lorna Gunn on this site, the BACP Find A Therapist facility or the COSCA Directory to locate another therapist in the area. Other options are to ask a GP or someone you trust for a referral.
Important — Please read carefully before contacting us.
• Fully Human Psychotherapy does not under any circumstances accept referrals from EAP companies or other referral companies.
• At Fully Human Psychotherapy we do not practice CBT (Cognitive Behaviour Therapy). We are completely opposed to CBT as an approach to mental health and therapy. CBT is out of step with neuroscience. It is based on incorrect assumptions about mental health, especially: that thoughts create feelings, that there are ‘good’ and ‘bad’ feelings, that there is such a thing as ‘faulty’ thinking or that uncomfortable feelings are a problem to get rid of. Our core values are humanistic and CBT is based on anti-humanistic values and principles.
We consider CBT harmful because it leads people away from the neural integration work that is essential for good mental health, development and recovery from trauma or other psychological injuries. It also constitutes ‘more of the same’ as most people have already tried to push their uncomfortable feelings away, ‘think’ them away, manage or control them. For good neural integration which is what’s needed for a healthy and fulfilling life, feelings need to be listened to properly as nature intended. Feelings can be uncomfortable but they are a significant source of information that we need in order to live a full life, manage our adult responsibilities within a complex modern reality and make good, adult decisions. The more uncomfortable feelings are, the more we need to listen to them and they won’t go away until we do. Feelings are not in themselves a problem, or the problem, no matter how uncomfortable they are.
Please be aware that CBT is intended only for symptom relief. It was never developed and was never intended for growth or development. CBT is unable to help people work through the underlying causes of problems. It is therefore a form of counselling rather than psychotherapy.
Because pure CBT doesn’t work, we believe it can cause further harm because it can leave people feeling even more like failures. The CBT programme often feels to people irrelevant, sterile and boring and most people are unable to follow it. It can therefore cause many people to conclude that their problems cannot be solved. CBT can be especially harmful for people with trauma because it focuses entirely on the outside and ignores the complex context of trauma and what caused it in each individual. People with trauma tend to feel that their problems are their fault and CBT risks reinforcing this message. (To read more about this, see a link to my trauma booklet below).
The vast majority of people are capable of much more than just symptom management. Most people are able to change the architecture of their brain — something we do each time we learn something new — in the ways necessary for growth and development.
• Fully Human Psychotherapy does not offer therapy by phone, email, Skype, or any other remote method except very occasionally to clients who we otherwise see face-to-face, and under certain circumstances if a client cannot make a face-to-face appointment. We do not have the specialised training needed to practice psychotherapy by remote methods or online.
• Fully Human psychotherapy does not offer symptom management or ‘techniques’ to manage emotions. Our practice focuses on the real work that needs to be done in order to grow and develop. Symptoms begin to disappear as a byproduct of real and effective psychotherapy. What we pursue is integration (growth), not symptom reduction or management.
• Fully Human psychotherapy does not offer techniques like EMDR, hypnotherapy or EFT (the tapping technique). Anything that promises to re-wire the brain quickly is out of step with how our brain works.
• Fully Human psychotherapy does not offer shortcuts, tricks or quick fixes simply because there aren’t any in human psychology. The human brain takes time to wire and re-wire itself in order to change its neural architecture. You cannot ‘fix’ psychological issues overnight or get rid of symptoms you have had for a long time for the very same reason that you cannot learn a new language over night. Our brain just doesn’t work this way. Real and lasting change takes time and a great deal of practice. Practice of the right emotional skills (and there is right and wrong when it comes to emotions!) leads to neural integration in the key areas of the brain that are responsible for what we think of as good mental health, healthy self-esteem, healing, maturity, confidence, healthy boundaries, feeling grounded, fulfilled and peaceful. (If you want to read a bit more about this, take a look at my booklets on anxiety and relationships. See links below.)
Fully Human is a private psychotherapy practice. It is not an emergency service and does not provide around the clock urgent or crisis help. If you are in trouble or contemplating taking your own life or someone else’s, if you are yourself under threat, there are services that can help you 24/7. Here are a few possibilities:
• The Samaritans — 08457 90 90 90 –You can talk to the Samaritans any time you like, in your own way, and off the record – about whatever’s getting to you. You don’t have to be suicidal.
• Trauma Counselling Line Scotland — 08088 020406 – A national telephone counselling service for adult survivors of childhood abuse.
• Combat Stress – 0800 138 1619, text 07537 404 719 or email email@example.com — Combat Stress is a 24-Hour Helpline for the military community and their families which can advise on various issues from mental health to practical support.
• Scottish Women’s Aid — Scottish Women’s Aid is the lead organisation in Scotland working towards the prevention of domestic abuse. http://www.scottishwomensaid.org.uk/advice-information-lp/women
• Rape & Sexual Abuse Service Highland (RASASH) — A new charitable service based in Inverness. RASASH provides accessible, appropriate and high quality emotional and practical support, information and advocacy for survivors, their non-abusing partners, family and friends. http://www.rasash.org.uk
• Rape Crisis Scotland (6pm to midnight daily) Ph: 08088 010302 http://www.rapecrisisstoland.org.uk
• Young people in the Scottish Highlands — Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS), based on the Raigmore Hospital Site. Ph: 01463 705597
• Young people anywhere in the UK
PAPYRUS — Prevention of Young Suicide UK — HOPELineUK: 0800 068 41 41)
YoungMinds — A charity committed to improving the emotional wellbeing and mental health of children and young people — Parents Helpline: 0808 802 5544)
• You can also contact your GP, the police, the emergency line ‘999’ if it is an emergency, or the NHS24 number: ‘111′.
Information & Appointments
Avigail sees clients at her home counselling room near Croy on Mondays and Tuesdays and in Inverness every second Thursday. Please visit Avigail’s page for exact times on those days, or see below. Avigail does not offer therapy by phone, email, Skype, or any other remote method, to clients she has not already worked with in person.
- Please refer to our individual pages for more information about us, our work, fees and how to book appointments.
- BEFORE you contact us to make an appointment please read Important Note below about what we don’t do and the conditions we do not work with. For ethical and legal reasons we can make no exceptions.
- If you do send an enquiry by email, text or voice message, please state your age as we don’t work with people under 18. We also need to know if you have ever had a psychiatric diagnosis and if so what it was, because there are conditions we don’t work with (See below).
- All contact with a therapist right from the initial enquiry is confidential (Be aware that there are ethical and legal limitations to confidentiality, even in private practice. These are listed in the Ethics page.)
- Avigail: £60 — individual session, £65 — couple session, £75 — family therapy session, £75 — supervision. (Cash, cheque, card or BACS)
- Lorna: £60 — individual session
- Avigail’s & Lorna’s sessions are 90 minutes long.
- We ask for 24 hours notice for cancellations, or the full fee applies. This does not apply in the event of an emergency or illness.
For enquiries and new referrals, please contact at the details below between Monday and Friday during office hours. Weekend or after-hours phone messages, texts or emails will be attended to as soon as possible during office hours on weekdays.
- To make an appointment contact:
Avigail – M: 07913 295 029 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Lorna – M: 07917 125 346 or by email at email@example.com
Times & Location — Avigail
Monday —10:00, 12:00, 14:00 and 16:00
Tuesday — 10:00, 12:00, 14:00, 16:00
Monday & Tuesday appointments are at my home counselling room near Croy. Address: Kilmalieu Cottage, Croy IV2 5PW (0.5 mile before Croy if you come via the back road from Inverness. I am across the field from Cantraybridge College.) This is a quiet and private location.
Thursday — 10:00, 12:00, 14:00 and 16:00
From the 17th of January 2019 Thursday appointments will alternate between Inverness and my home counselling room near Croy.
The Inverness counselling room is at Therapy 1st, 1st floor, 1 Ardross Street, Inverness IV3 5NN. (Please be aware that there is no disabled access and that there is a waiting area, where you might see other people waiting for their appointments.)
Monday to Friday in the evening and on Saturday mornings. All sessions are in Inverness at Therapy 1st, 1st floor, 1 Ardross Street, Inverness IV3 5NN. (Please be aware that there is a waiting room, and you might see other people waiting for their appointments.)
This counselling service is strictly:
- NOT a way to give the client all the answers.
- NOT crisis intervention (See important notice for emergencies at the top of this page).
- NOT for individuals who are currently abusing drugs or alcohol. In order to use our service, you must already be well into recovery and have a comprehensive and well-established support network.
- NOT for individuals with psychiatric conditions such as bi-polar disorder, personality disorders, schizophrenia, or psychosis.
- NOT a substitute for necessary medical attention or hospital care.
- NOT a ‘repair shop’ for the mind.
About Facebook – Please note that because of professional boundaries we don’t ‘friend’ clients on our personal Facebook pages. (To learn more about professional boundaries please look at the Ethics page on this site.) Clients and members of the general public are welcome to ‘Like’ and post questions or comments on the Fully Human Facebook page any time!
*Don’t forget to visit the News page for the latest information about upcoming public and professional talks and workshops and all other updates & notices.*
“New! ‘Fully Human Psychotherapy Tools for Life Series’
The first four booklets in the ‘Fully Human Psychotherapy Tools For Life’ series are now available on Amazon Kindle and in paperback on amazon worldwide.
It can be difficult to find the energy or brain space to commit to reading a full sized book when people are not at their best. That’s why all the booklets in this series are small, affordable, and accessible.
Booklet 1 – Grief and Adjustment to Change
Booklet 2 – Don’t Put Up With Anxiety: Cure it!
Booklet 3 – Trauma & Its Impact: What you need to know