The Encounter rooms
Still the Hunger provides a variety of highly skilled clinical interventions for those suffering with complex emotional difficulties, including intensive residential EMDR, weekly EMDR, psychodynamic psychotherapy, and support groups- all with a compassion-focused therapy approach. We work on-line and in person in Reading and Somerset, with the intensive residential EMDR retreats taking place in Somerset. We work with conditions including complex trauma, dissociative disorders (including DID), body image issues such as BDD, as well as depression, anxiety, eating disorders, and other dysfunctional coping mechanisms.
Therapy aims to build self-esteem within a supportive environment as you learn to overcome negative patterns of thinking and behaviour. For some more complex difficulties joining a weekly group alongside your individual therapy can often provide the encouragement to keep going and challenging yourself. Working together we can address deep issues as you gradually regain control of your life.
We launched in 2012 by a small group of Christians to alleviate pressures felt both by local GP surgeries and the church, due to the worsening mental health crisis. Since the pandemic and moving online, we have been able to work with people all over the UK and internationally, and have continued to offer an online service. The charity is a positive response to lengthy waiting lists for appointments and the limited resources available to those who need help quickly. We work directly with Berkshire Consultant Psychiatrist Dr Abrar Hussain at the Circle Hospital Reading, and the Royal Berkshire, Dunedin, and Circle Hospital Pain Clinics, as well as other external agencies to offer the best support we can that isn’t time-limited; we simply help people on a day-to-day open-ended basis.
Whilst the charity has a Christian foundation, we are clinically qualified and accredited and work with people of any faith or none. People have come to us via various routes; including by self-referral. We have seen the charity successfully meet the needs of those who are often the hardest to support, offering quality and effective rehabilitation.
Registered charity No. 1151004
Alongside therapy, we also run a variety of workshops, support groups, and training. Since March 2020 our individual therapy, group therapy, and training courses have been offered on-line and we have been able to reach a greater number of people from all over the country and internationally. We will continue to offer therapy and training on-line going forwards, although in person therapy is now available with Charles in Reading or Somerset with Beverley for those who would prefer it.
Therapy involves change and require commitment. Group Therapy looks at understanding coping methods, negative thought patterns and patterns of behaviour through relationships with others; understanding familiar patterns of behaviour, and supporting one another with new tools to bring about change. We aim to equip people with new strategies to respond positively to distressing memories and trauma, setting realistic goals with each individual for the upcoming days, weeks, and months to come. All of this is done within a safe environment on-line, within which everyone supports each other in the process of recovery.
We launched an exciting new project in summer 2022. Hannah's Project, which offers intensive residential EMDR retreats in the beautiful Somerset countryside. It is now possible to book anything from a full day of EMDR, or a long weekend (3 days), or a midweek break (5 days). Intensive EMDR can bring about dramatic results over a shorter time period allowing people to get back on with their lives again. See Retreat page for more information.
In addition to the above, we run two free monthly support groups for 1) Body Dysmorphic Disorder or 2) childhood sexual abuse and DID. These groups are offered in conjunction with regular weekly therapy. These groups are for support and information with regards to how therapy might be progressing and supporting each other on the same journey. It can be particularly beneficial to discover that you're not the only one going through something that might otherwise be difficult to talk about with friends and family.
FEES: Please note that our fees for therapy are worked out on a sliding scale according to joint income. We are unable to provide therapy for free as we do not receive any statutory grants to cover our running costs. Our therapists are highly qualified clinicians who do not work on a voluntary basis but offer a quality service to our clients.
"BUT IS IT FOR ME?"
Therapy often requires a huge commitment and one size doesn't fit all. It is perfectly acceptable to use the initial assessment meeting to find out if the therapist is right for you. Come prepared with questions you want to ask about the therapist and their approach. Whilst the idea of attending a group is an even more daunting prospect for most people, there are many benefits to be found in it and we strongly recommend giving it a go before ruling anything out! The groups are no larger than 10 people at a time (usually smaller), with a common theme between them. Our weekly support group has an annual intake only and is for both male and female over the age of 18, and suffering with either body image difficulties, C-PTSD, or DID. The free monthly groups however are with a specific focus each (BDD or childhood sexual) as described above.
We know that for some people, change can seem very daunting and a long-term lifestyle is hard to change overnight. Because we recognise this, we want to provide a space where everyone feels welcomed and accepted at the very least. It is this part of our Christian ethos that forms the basis for how we work – that everyone is treated with respect and has a life worth living.
We want to provide affordable therapy for everyone, so we operate a sliding scale of fees. We also work with health insurance plans (AXA and Aviva).
If you are interested to know what some of our past clients have said, please click here to read more.
We are able to provide a Breakfast Encounter, or evening ministry encounter event for churches around the UK. We can provide worship, teaching, and ministry for your event, led by Rev Charles French.
Please contact us for more information if you would like us to come to your church.
We also run our own Encounter Room with worship and ministry on an occasional basis. Contact us for more details for next dates.
We offer an eight-week discipleship course on complex mental health conditions, which is designed for small groups and is an ideal resource for the church. It offers interactive friendly sessions aimed towards helping people take back control of their own lives. It shows you how to challenge negative thought patterns and behaviour, as well as showing you how to develop and work towards new attainable goals together. We run this in-house at Still the Hunger, or as an external event within your own church. For more information, see our Resources page.
We also offer this as a two-day intensive workshop for therapists.
If you would like to discuss how we can bring this to you, or for more information about in-house event availability at Still the Hunger, please click here.