Our teenage son had been struggling with complex issues and very distressing and difficult behaviours since he was 10 years old. The Schools he attended were unable to offer him the support he needed partly as school refusal was a large part of his behavioural issues. Our son’s previous experience of therapists had led him to have a lack of trust in therapy and to believe he was beyond help. He was refusing to talk to anyone. We eventually went to see a private psychiatrist feeling very desperate and worried. After being given a diagnosis of depression and anxiety, the psychiatrist recommended medication and a particular type of talking therapy. We did not want to go straight to medication and wanted to try therapy alone first. However, we found it difficult to find a therapist who had the skill set and experience the psychiatrist recommended to deal with our sons’ complex needs, and also was able to design an approach to help to rebuild his trust in therapy full stop. Craig was totally engaged, involved and flexible from the start – from initial phone conversations, to speaking to the psychiatrist and attending school meetings. We have had appointments at home, at the office, with a puppy, doing practical sessions. As well as the more direct work, Craig delivered the therapy indirectly via the family unit – coaching us in language, and approaches and giving us books to read and helping us find new ways to approach certain situations, all which have been invaluable in helping us all deal with difficult behaviour, and we have felt supported by Craig in what has been one of the most difficult times in our lives. He also helped the school understand what they could do differently to support our son and added gravitas to those conversations. Craig also helped us to make a decision about medication, which has been life changing for our son. Last term our son didn’t want to be alive and had a school attendance of around 50%.This term he says he is happy and no longer needs therapy and his school attendance is 93% and is looking forward to choosing his options and going on a big school trip to the US, something that would have been inconceivable 6 months ago.
Craig was allocated to us, he came highly recommended with a wealth of qualifications and experience. All of which are extremely impressive and deserve immense respect and acknowledgement. However, what would all that matter if our pre-teen son didn't trust Craig, feel the vibe, and connect and open up to him? All those concerns disappeared after actually speaking with Craig via telephone. I instinctively knew this time around counselling would be a positive experience. Craig was definitely the right counsellor for our son. Craig's tone and manner immediately creates a sense of peace and calm and reassurance. Our initial dialog outlined our reasons behind the need for Craig. He suggested that my husband, our son and myself attend a taster session with no obligation to continue or commit. Our son is publicly 'winning at life' - a happy loving confident boy, successful at school, on the sports field and with his peers. He has many interests and hobbies and a loving and supportive family. Behind closed doors however, our son was still a loving and confident boy, but his frequent angry and disruptive outbursts caused him pain and confusion. He couldn't understand the 'dark thoughts' his brain was telling him. From teh onset our son trusted and connected with Craig. Craig's continued calm and reassuring ways resonated with our son. Craig went out of his way to connect and engage with our son in each session regarding his hobbies and interests, very quickly, gaining our son's trust. He would listen and acknowledge our son's pain and confusion but would turn those thoughts around and focus on the many positive and talented attributes - all of which, as his parents are easy to forget at times in the 'heat of the moment'. Although we felt our son needed Craig, it soon became apparent that we as a family needed some support with breaking behaviour cycles, along with a bit of marriage guidance thrown in for good measure! Craig is always on the end of a phone or text message if ever needed between sessions, always calm, reassuring, and always with a positive and constructive solution. We cannot recommend Craig more highly. Our child's mental well being has improved immensely. Craig cannot 'cure' - he gave our family the tools to change patterns through positive coping mechanisms. But most importantly, he gave our son the ability to understand himself, to understand how his brain processes situations and feelings and he gave our son the self esteem for him to know it's ok not to be ok all the time."
I was lucky enough to have Craig as my counsellor. He helped me understand my brain and myself in ways I didn't think were possible. I am now saved from my anger and can understand me as a person more. The hardest sessions are always the ones with the best outcomes. So if you are sitting in that room with Craig, feeling upset and saying to yourself 'I can't do it' say to yourself 'yes you can' because if it's hard, it's the best session.
My daughter had behavioural and low self-esteem issues when we decided to take up counselling with Craig. At first she was not particularly keen to speak to someone about it, however Craig managed from the start to gain my daughter's trust and put her at ease. In fact during every session she had with Craig she was not merely able to talk about her behaviour freely, but thanks to Craig's approach she was willing to explore her issues from different angles and made her think about the reasons that triggered her behaviour. Craig has been amazing with my daughter and always patient and reassuring and in a relatively short space of time her behaviour improved greatly as she has been since willing to make an effort to follow the steps Craig discussed with her in order to prevent her outbursts. She was looking forward to her session with Craig every week at first and then when she improved Craig suggested that we would come once every fortnight. Craig also made their meetings fun as well, as they did activities with pen and paper and colouring. She was sad in fact when Craig suggested that she did not need to see him anymore as she found the right path from which she is building up confidence and better behaviour. I must say Craig helped me as well to think about strategies to make my relationship with my daughter better and stronger. I cannot thank him enough.
Craig served as my Grandson's Intensive In-Home Counselor for six months. I have had my Grandson with counselors for 12 years. Never have I met a counselor like Craig. He went over and above at every step. He earned the trust of a child that no one had ever been able to do before. He took the education on the disabilities that my Grandson has and worked with the family to help us all better understand. Craig taught me changes that I needed to make in myself that were targets my Grandson was seeking. Craig was always just a text message away. I never sent him a message that I didn't get a call from him the moment he was finished working with the client he was working with at the minute. Craig was willing to come at very early morning hours, because those were the target times. He then went back to regular hours after he taught us skills to deal with these issues in the early morning hours. I can not ever thank Craig enough for all the help that he gave my Grandson and our family. It broke our hearts when he left the States and went back to the U.K. Do your family a favor and give Craig an opportunity to help your family in the manner that he helped mine.
Craig Puller has made huge impact on my child the two years we had his devoted attention. I have needed services for my special needs daughter. Craig explained things to me to learn the process of dealing with a child with challenges. Whenever I needed him he was there. She did well with Craig and I appreciated him and what he has done for our family.
We're proud of the work we do here.
Take a moment to read what our clients are saying.