Whilst the last 20 months (and counting) have been an emotional rollercoaster, one good thing to come out of the pandemic has been the long needed focus on mental health. No one needs to suffer in silence, hands are there to help (and hairy forelocks). Suzanne Martin speaks to Psychotherapist Mike Delaney about becoming an author, leaving Harley Street, addiction, PTSD, EFP and erm… horses.
Equine Facilitated Psychotherapy (EFP) is easier to understand in the context of the lockdown world, and its dog, getting a puppy. We now know what it means to connect with a fur baby and the mental health benefits they provide. Horses. They’re just a bit bigger, surely?
‘What horses do is hold up a mirror to humans,’ explains Mike. ‘It’s like communing directly with a horse’s spirit when you make meaningful eye contact. The horse reacts immediately to the moving muscles in our face as we express and suppress emotions and horses change their behaviour to mirror the tension and pain someone experiencing addiction and trauma is communicating non-verbally.’
Mike Delaney is a well known and respected Mental Health/Addictions Therapist with over 45 years’ experience working with hospitals, individuals, rehabilitation centres and professional bodies in the UK and internationally.
He is also a Registered Member of The British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy and has recently retired his Nursing Registration, which he held for 38yrs. He has also recently been awarded Fellow ACCPH (Accredited Counsellors, Coaches, Psychotherapists and Hypnotherapists).
Until 2018 Mike had a successful private practice in Harley Street London, and provided training for a number of Organisations including Veterans Aid in London and for a number of years was a Director of Pathways Supported Housing in Weston-super-Mare and LEAP Equine Therapeutic Programmes Ltd.
In 2018, Mike Joined CEO Martin Preston to develop a new and innovative addictions treatment model, rooted in trauma informed practice, empathy and compassion. Delamere, the UKs first purpose-built addictions treatment and mental wellbeing clinic, opened its doors in 2020 and has shown impressive outcomes with over 200 individuals engaging in residential treatment.
Through his wide experience of working with trauma and addictions, Mike firmly believes in taking a somatic approach to treating these disorders and has had great success with clients who have complex PTSD and addictions using Equine Facilitated Psychotherapy. Mike believes that trauma is held in the physical body and therefore needs to be released through the body as well as at a cognitive level.
Mike gives talks and presents papers on Equine Facilitated Psychotherapy in the UK and abroad, including a presentation of a LEAP research paper to the Royal College of Psychiatrists Conference around the efficacy of EFP for young people who have experienced childhood sexual trauma.
And not one to rest on his laurels, over the last 20 years he’s also been involved in contributing to many TV documentaries including the BBC Bafta award winning ‘Lager, Mum and Me’, Channel 4’s ‘Beauty and The Beast’, and Channel 5’s ‘The Comeback of Ant McPartlin’
In recovery himself from addiction to alcohol and drugs since 1996, Mike has had first-hand experience of the devastating effects of addiction on an individual and their loved ones and is passionate about using his vast practical and theoretical expertise to help others to succeed in recovery, whether it be from alcohol, drugs, depression, sex, co-dependency, food or gambling.
In 2018 Mike returned to his native Glasgow where he has just opened a new practice in Hope Street. He will see clients on a one to one basis but is also planning to run workshops and groups from the beautiful offices he shares with Dr Claire Macauley
Mike recently signed a book-deal with Olympia and his Biography ‘Behind The Smile’ will be available to buy later this year. His first novel has also just been accepted for publication by another UK Publishing House.
If Mike can help you, or someone you love, please email him at firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit his website for more information: mikedelaneytherapy.co.uk.
Visit Mike’s YouTube channel youtu.be/JXx_JsA0gH4, to hear a soldier with PTSD describing how Mike and Equine Facilitated Psychotherapy helped him.