Nuance Therapy

Specialising in self-injury

Personal Therapy, Counselling, Well-being, & School Based Counselling.

Joanna Naxton MBACP, BA Hons, Cert Ed, Dip Coun

21 Coniscliffe Road, Darlington, DL3 7EE


Our words reflect our beliefs. Whether conscious or unaware, the language we use for our observations and perceptions communicates what we believe, value, and feel. 


The German word for empathy - meaning a 'feeling into'

How can we know what it feels like to........injure oneself , to hurt so bad due to trauma, abuse, divorce, separation?

One can only attempt to be with you.

My PHD Study

A research project as a requirement of my studies for the qualification of Doctor of Philosophy:

Therapists emotional reactions to working with self-injury: an autoethnographic study.

The research project aims to explore my experiences and feelings and emotional reactions working alongside individuals who self-injure and to discussions and conversations I have with other therapists and practitioner’s in relation to the subject of self-injury. The research will use this exploration to inform understanding, develop practice, provoke discussion and reflection about the role of fear and the experiencing of strong emotions within the field of counselling and psychotherapy and when working with self-injury. This may broaden existing knowledge around the experiences of therapists working with clients that self-harm. My intention is to try to capture my own reactions whilst simultaneously holding the voices, perceptions and experiences of those I work with and weave these into a story which captures reflections about counselling practice.

The project aims to address the gap in the literature which explores implicit and explicit feelings among therapists working with clients who self-injure and develop a deeper understanding of the emotional realities of working within this field of counselling and psychotherapy. The hope is that this will result in a powerful, evocative personal narrative embedded within a context which has the capacity to expand on and open up a wider lens onto the experience of self-injury, counselling, psychotherapy, teaching, and human emotions. 


How can we let out our potential? By Joanna Naxton

Posted on August 6, 2018 at 4:35 AM

Sometimes I wake in the morning and I think, for no reason that I just can't do it, yet I have witihin me a story to tell and a magic person to offer everyone. Sometimes I think to myself, no one can see me, no one understands how lovely I am; how I, little me  could be a successful person, a happy person, a smiler... a shiner - One of those people that cycles to work every day, eats vegetables and bounces along!

I know that I am that person, but that person is sitting within this other person that stops that other guy from coming out. So, I just sit here anyhow and allow that controlling, suffocating 'other' to oppress and control the other me to keep quiet and stay dark and without light. I also feel him pushing and tugging and pulling, wanting to come out. I tease him and taunt him... "Go away, you are nothing, you cant do anything, you will be never 'be' anything....ever...not ever."

Yet, at the same I feel the strength of successful me, the handsome me, the nice me, I hear him say " you can do it, let them see, let them know 'you' because 'you' are lovely and shiny and sexy and awesome". 

I know that this is me and the other me is me too!

How do I get them to mix up a bit and be kind to each other. I want to be a stronger person and build myself up and let myself out. I want to be valued cos I am worthy of being valued, but they dont value me...whose they? There is a longing, a hunger within my mind, heart and soul for meaningful conversation. A meaningful opening up of myself so others can see the beautiful me behind the closed up mess visible the mirror when I take a glance at myself or catch myself in the window of a shop or such like.

Change is painful you know, hard and confusing. I wish I could be there for you...they say - Friends.

There may never be an answer - there is so much worth in you...they say - Friends & Family.

Am I going mad? - You are in the middle of a process - they say - Friends & Family.

What do they know, do they really see me, value me, like they say they do.....Why can't I believe them? Why can't I feel it? Why don't the words hit my stomach and meet me inside? Why can't I really believe them. Yet at the same time. I know they are right! It's so confusing. I feel sad. I am empty.

All day, I have been sad, crying and trying to be a good human... whilst utterly alone. Wanting to be strong and then...No...I can't be.

I want to distance myself from others and engage with others...fill myself with reason. I feel powerless, a powerlessness that is hard to describe and understand. There is no connection....then maybe a slight connection and then that explodes all the feelings I have.

I am trying to figure this out but I am going around in circles. I want to understand the tuldgy tangling roots that hold me stuckfast to this stupid feeling I have. This low-ness of low ebb that I can't seem to shift....



Categories: Depression

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