Patient Testimonials – Client statements
David Goodlad – Counsellor and Psychotherapist
I would like to express my sincere and very considerable gratitude for everything you have helped me to achieve in the past year.
As I write this it is one year since I first came to see you; at that point I was a broken man, I had lost all perspective on my life, my behaviour, and the impact my behaviour was having on my friends and family. In fact I had lost my family, I had lost my home, and I was in fear of losing my job, and my liberty.
I had become an alcoholic, but more than that, I had more or less completely given up on life, I was essentially resigned to surviving, to trudging through life from one misery to the next. I was suffering from depression and anxiety, self-loathing and fear, and the consequences of my drinking had gotten completely out of control. I felt as if I had reached the point of no return, but I knew that I needed help, and came to see you, and as a result my life has been completely changed.
Your insight into my behaviour, my condition, your patience and care, but also your determination and directness revealed to me the exact nature of my problems, not only my alcoholic drinking, but the reasons why I was drinking in that way, the reasons for my depression and anxiety; my unrealistic worldview and opinion of myself and those around me, my selfishness, egotism and low self-esteem.
I developed a clearer understanding of my problems, for the very first time in my life, and then an appreciation of what I could do, what I needed to do, in order to turn my life around. You finally helped me to rid myself of the skewed perspective I had developed and see the world and my life as it truly is.
As I write this now, thanks to you, I have done more than just turn my life around, you have helped me to really start it, you have helped me to save it, and for that I will be forever indebted to you.
With my deepest gratitude,
I first contacted David at a very low point in my life, having found myself in potentially serious trouble as a result of accessing internet chatrooms and internet pornography. It was at our first meeting that David spelt out in no uncertain terms the devastating consequences of my behaviour, not only on myself directly, but also on the relationship with my partner and family, which shocked me to the core. Through our subsequent sessions, he succeeded in forcing me to face up to the deceitful and secretive nature of my behaviour, which hitherto I had denied to myself. I also learnt to express greater appreciation for the real and very important relationships in my life, my partner, my children and wider family. He also provided me with the tools to help prevent me falling back into the addictive traps of the past, and to set me on a more healthy future course. I shall always be very grateful to David for his straight-talking and compassionate help in getting me through a very difficult patch in my life.
I am writing to you to express my great pleasure with the outcome of my present life which is very much thanks to you.
For others to read I can say that if you are ready and willing to invest in yourself, commit enough time and the results will follow.
I had spent many hours with different therapists and thought I was beyond help, a hopeless enterprise.
David made it very clear at our first meeting without a hint of judgement that it was going to be tough and demanding but if I committed definitely help was within reach.
With his help I discovered my inner-self regained my strength and self-esteem. His approach was not passive listening but very much engaging, strait talking and always with warmth, wisdom and last but not leas humour!
David my friend your a great person!
David is approachable, non-judgmental, sympathetic, challenging when needed to be and has the ability to get you to talk even when you would rather not.
His qualification certificates would paper a small house which is testament to his abilities and range of treatments offered.
I hadn’t seen a counsellor before and was apprehensive to say the least but David seemed to know exactly what was required and tempered each session accordingly.
Give him time and results will come.
I am writing this testimonial in a place in my life I never thought I would be in and it is all thanks to David.
I first contacted David after serious infidelity with my partner which blew my entire life apart. I couldn’t have been in a darker place in my life and thought that I would ever come back from this.
After meeting with David for my initial assessment, David made it clear that I needed help and that the journey I was about to embark on would be very difficult and long process.
With David’s help I soon realised the problem I had was a lot bigger than I thought and ran a lot deeper in my life. David helped to unpick my behaviours and what I had been doing and he was very straight with me, holding no punches, which is exactly what I needed.
I can honestly say I would not be in such a positive place with my entire life as I am now without seeing David over some long and dark months. I owe him a lot for helping me find my true self worth and giving me the strength and guidance to turn my life around and not just short term but to make permeant changes to my life which now I have made me a far better man than I had been
I can not thank David enough for what he has done for me and would not hesitate to recommend anyone to see David.
When I first saw David, I was at undoubtedly the lowest point of my life. After 15 years of acting out, my addiction to pornography had become so strong that I was no longer present in everyday life, looking for every opportunity to pursue my addiction and to act out. This state had led to permanent feelings of anxiety and depression, as I continued to hurt and betray both my partner and myself. David was clear with me at the start that it would not be easy but through his patience and advice, helped give me the support I needed to overcome my addiction, focussing on the deep underlying issues in my past and identifying triggers and behaviours, to enable me to better protect myself from an addiction that threatened to ruin my life. Without David’s help, I am certain I would have lost my partner, dreams, career and sanity. If you need help overcoming an addiction and are willing to invest the time and effort into fixing yourself then David is the perfect person to give you the support that you will need to succeed.
I just wanted to say thank you for all your help dealing with my porn addiction.
I came to David in Oct 2016, its a date I will never forget.
Before I met David I had been addicted to pornography for over 20years, my wife and the love of my life had finally asked me to leave because of my addiction.
I was sitting in a small room in a bed & breakfast crying & trying to figure out what to do next.
I said “I’ve got to change if i want to save my marriage”, I started looking on the internet for help.
There is not much out there, then I found Davids website. I emailed the number asking for help not expecting anything. I got a phone call from David saying he was in his office picking something up and he saw my email which flashed up and it sounded desperate.
We spoke for about 10 mins and he booked me in for the Monday.
I can honestly say from the first time we met I felt better, over the weeks I came to realise how my addiction had ruined my life.
The turning point for me was to come to the understanding that I was powerless against my addiction.
From that point my life started to change.
I lived apart from my family for about 6 months, the hardest time of my life but with Davids help I got through it.
Now I’m back with my wife, I can honestly say we”re having the best time of our lives.
My marriage is strong, I’m porn free now for over a year.
I have a strength I never knew, I used to always feel ashamed, bent over unworthy.
Now I stand up straight, look people in the eye, I have nothing to be ashamed of.
David is the kindest person I’ve ever met, he’s a straight talker there’s no deceiving him.
If you decide to come to see David you just need to be honest with David and yourself.
I can’t change the past. When I think about the person I was it turns my stomach but I can make sure the person I was never comes back again and with Davids help I have done and am doing just that.
At the point I decided to contact David, I was extremely unhappy and depressed and really saw very little worth in myself as a person. I had recently experienced a marriage breakup and was now involved in an extremely emotionally volatile and unfulfilling relationship.
Like many people, I had spent most of my years having others transfer there own insecurities and failings onto me, particularly during times when I was at my most vulnerable. My feelings of worthlessness and irrelevance made it very easy for negative thought patterns to take a hold. Relationships saw me clinging on in desperation, way beyond the point that I should have respected myself enough to “head for the door”.
I found it very easy to shoulder the blame for any failings and as a result, my life became overwhelmingly full of guilt.
I knew, when I first spoke to David that, whilst he would empathise with me, he would not be a “push over”. I knew that I was quite capable of guiding conversations away from subjects/issues that I found too painful to deal with. There were occasions where I would try, however David was clearly fully aware of what I was attempting to do and told me as such. He never forced me to deal with issues that I was not happy to deal with and I always felt in control of my thoughts and decisions. My views and feelings felt valued at all times.
David, through his kindness and experience, has enabled me to journey to a place where I believe that I’m worthy of a happy and fulfilling life. I have been able to realise that my insecurities are understandable and with that knowledge I can also see that they needn’t define my future.
I am extremely grateful to have had the pleasure of working with David. It has been one of the most positive experiences of my life. I would have no hesitation in recommending David to others and I can safely say that if I need support, at some point in the future, it will be David that I contact.
Two years ago I was an emotional mess, drinking every day just to get from one end of it to the other. I felt completely overwhelmed, suffering from constant anxiety and relentless negative thoughts. I was crying everywhere – in the car, the shower, the supermarket. My mental health was deteriorating, my alcohol consumption was increasing and I felt that the real me had all but disappeared. No matter how much I drank or how many I drugs I took, reality kept pouring through the cracks.
It’s frightening to admit that you have a problem beyond your control and I was scared stiff going to our first appointment but, from the minute I met David, I also dared to be hopeful for the first time in ages. I needed someone I could trust implicitly, robust enough to steer me out of addiction but gentle enough to help me rebuild my decimated self-esteem and in David I found the perfect fit. He is down-to-earth, intelligent, honest, kind, funny and highly skilled at his job.
Therapy is not always an easy ride but David took everything at my snail’s pace, giving me a safe space to face up to my addiction, guiding me towards better ways to manage relationships and helping me clear the emotional obstacles that were blocking my path. The whole process has been illuminating. I no longer drink or use drugs and I absolutely LOVE sobriety – who’d have thought it?
It’s not often you meet people who change your life so profoundly but with David’s help, his years of training and experience, his humour, compassion and patience, I have rediscovered the me that I thought was gone forever. It is the most incredible gift and I will be forever grateful to him. If you are reading this then it’s likely that you are ready to make a change in your life and looking for someone to support you through the process – I would recommend David in a heartbeat, he has honestly saved my life.
David, thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you.
Having spent several hours with another therapist several years ago, I was sceptical about whether seeing David would help. However, we began to make progress very quickly; noticeably within the first few sessions. I felt that the style David chose to adopt with me was wholly appropriate for the situation and gave me a level of insight that I’d not previously experienced. In terms of value, I can honestly say the amount of time, money and heartache saved as a result of our sessions is vast if not immeasurable. I would wholeheartedly recommend David’s services.
I just wanted to take the time to thank you and show my appreciation for all of your help last year. I can honestly say that I can finally wake up in the morning both sober and ready to face whatever life throws at me. Also, I am now off all of my medication with no anxiety or panic attacks plus I have a positive outlook to the future and life in general.
The headaches and other health problems have calmed and almost passed. It still amazes me how powerful the mind can be!! I honestly don’t know what I would have done without your help, I’m glad our paths crossed. Both myself and my wife are both looking forward to the arrival of our new baby. I’m slightly nervous about what to expect however this has been outweighed by the excitement.
I just really want to show my gratitude for everything you have done for me and my newly growing family.
Kind regards, B
I was in denial, not thinking that I really had a problem with a porn addiction, until it very nearly cost me everything that I hold dear. I had thought for a long time that I could control my casually irresponsible interest in porn, until it ramped up to an unacceptable degree that could have wrecked my marriage, and I realised I needed help. David was able to intervene and show me how I had become deluded as a result of my addiction and that I needed to get a proper perspective on what it was doing to me , my wife and my family.
For me, porn is an evil and pernicious thing which creeps in almost unnoticed until it gets a grip on my mind and starts to control and influence my actions. It is an addiction quite unlike the others recognised with drugs and alcohol yet I was trying to defeat it on my own and I was failing time after time. Thankfully I was brought to my senses when I realised how bad things had become and that I needed help. I dread to think where I would be now if I had not done so.
I got in touch with David and he responded straight away. We met, and so began a course of therapy that has been challenging and quite tough at times because I needed to see quite how serious my condition had become. He helped me get to grips with the core issues, and find ways to overcome the habits, and identify the triggers that had led me to this addiction. Most importantly he has made me change the way I think.
I have managed over the course of several months to sort my head out, restore my most important relationships, and my life is a whole lot better. I realise now that this is an issue that I will have to deal with and be aware of for the rest of my life, just as an alcoholic would have to, but society doesn’t openly talk about or recognise porn addiction in quite the same way. For people like me who have developed an addiction there are inevitably going to be times when the temptations are there to regress, but thanks to David’s intervention, help and encouragement, I am never going to get into the same mess again. Thank you David.
“David Goodlad gave me strength and understanding, the tools to cope with the difficulties of life, and the confidence to live happily with a firm foundation in my heart and mind. I had been to see a counsellor before, which was of some support at the time, but now having been to meet with David I can see that they were light years apart in terms of skill, knowledge and investment. If you are reading this, then you are no doubt considering contacting David to start on your journey – well I can only urge you to take the first step, and then put yourself in David Goodlad’s highly gifted hands.
I found David Goodlad after a thorough search online for specialist therapists in Kent. After a brief exchange of emails, I was confident that he had the correct skills to deal with my specific needs, and I was determined to tackle my problems head-on with his help. David is superb at his job; it is vital for a therapist to have a complete understanding of a situation, without bias, and be armed with experience, appropriate references, compassion, intelligence, and to find the specific skills and ammunition for each person to take away.
David approached each session with a warmth and understanding that is positively disarming; and was able to push me to look for answers within myself. Sure I may have squirmed on more than one occasion, but it was never uncomfortable; I knew that I would only regain control of my life if I was honest with him. David’s wealth of experience allowed him to explore several unexpected areas of my life and my personality, and helped me to understand how it all connected to my current circumstances. I always left with a deeper understanding of self, and no matter how complex the ideas we discussed, I was never confused. With the common ground of music and fatherhood, I felt I was talking to a friend, and I am certain that we shall remain in contact for many years to come. ”
I came to Dave, more or less as an ultimatum from my wife. I was reluctant, in denial, angry and embarrassed.
By the end of the first session, I saw that Dave was a man I could trust and that I could talk to. Over the following weeks, we discussed my addiction and he showed me how my supposed resolve was utterly powerless in the face of the compulsion I had. By breaking down the causes, the components and the origins of my addiction, he helped me to see the delusion that I had put myself under and the damage that I was doing to my wife, myself, our life together and the risk to my livelihood.
Dave often challenged me, but never harassed me: his manner allowed me to feel relatively comfortable, even when squirming within myself at the recollection of some of the unbelievably stupid and risky things that my compulsion had led me to.
The knowledge that I am not alone and that there are ways to overcome the hold that my addiction had and the insight into how the mind works against itself, when in the thrall of self-denial has helped me to make a recovery and has put me back in a position to start to rebuild the trust that my wife once had in me.
Whilst freeing me from the guilt that I carried around constantly, he has made me aware of my responsibility to maintain the behaviour that I now aspire to and has given me a chance to try to right some of the wrongs that my addiction inflicted on my wife.
I am glad that I let myself be bullied into going to see Dave and, ultimately, to see myself, warts an’ all.
Thank you Dave, for your quiet, persistent, effective help.
I went to see David for grief counselling. I was in a terrible state and called him on the off chance that he might fit me in. He was in fact on his way home , but assured me he would turn back and see me in his office straight away.
I was in deep, desperate grief as my Father had died. I was lost and didn’t know how to carry on. I had such a great relationship with my Father and felt adrift without him.
David helped me through my grief and all the fall out consequences of it. I thought I would never be able to cope again. But with patience and guidance, he walked me through it.
I am eternally grateful for his wisdom, candour and advice. Grief is a multi faceted issue, he helped me see through it. I honestly don’t know what I would have done without him.
Thank you David. Your work is so important and much needed.
I just wanted to email you to thank you for making such a phenomenal difference to my life and to my partner’s also. We are both in a really stable and positive place. My partner has landed himself a fantastic job and just a week or so ago he proposed to me and I said yes. Without your help we may not be in this position (engaged!!) and our relationship is much happier and positive. Also… I think the little psychological tip worked. I focused and worked hard independently… I ended up achieving a first in my degree. I am incredibly happy and we cannot thank you enough.
I sought the help of David a few months back. My relationship with my wife was in jeopardy, again, due to my infidelity on more than one occasion. I was dubious that David, or any other therapist would be able to help me, and that although I had taken a number of online tests for sex addiction (Which every time pointed to me being an addict) that I am more than likely just a “red blooded male”. I knew though, that something had to change. I took the plunge and met with David. I knew after the first session that I had made a good decision. There were a few “light bulb” moments and it was clear that my way of thinking had not been ideal. It was also quite evident that David would be able to help. I particularly like David’s demeanor. He has always been upfront and would rather say what needs saying, than what I may prefer to hear. I have had a number of sessions with David. My relationship with my wife has improved in a number of ways. I feel better equipped to manage a variety of situations that would have been risky before. It’s quite clear to me that I did need help, even though I was cynical about it. David was able to provide that help. I would definitely recommend David to anyone who is struggling with an addiction or pattern of behaviour that is causing concern.
“I came to David at a point of emotional turmoil. With hindsight he helped me in 3 distinct ways:
First was the immediate emergency. He gave me tools to deal with it as well as acting as a crutch, a support and someone to vent to. He made himself available at short notice. It would have been easy to tip into depression, suicidal thoughts or extreme behaviour and David skilfully headed me off. I cant exaggerate how lost I was, my mind fogged with confusion, anger and sadness. He dealt with me like a shocked patient – simple easy steps to get me out of crisis. Once I was in a position to cope he engaged at a deeper level.
My interactions with David then evolved into a distinct second stage, with David helping me to work out why these issues were happening and how I was going to handle them in the longer term. The big questions were ‘How did I get here?’ ‘What ongoing strategies am I going to use?’ ‘How can I avoid these issues in the future?’ To do this required an amount of analysis. Whilst David is supportive, he is not an uncritical observer and he challenged me. He never left me feeling angry or hurt, but it could be painful, especially as I realised my faults and responsibilities. He was supportive here in a way I really needed. Once some of the deeper causes were identified he suggested ways to rethink my approach. He was particularly good on the steps necessary reinforce those new behaviours.
Finally, there was the more positive final stage about where did I want to go from here? Having strengthened me to deal with the crisis in front of me and to avoid damaging behaviours that trapped me in a lifelong cycle I realised he had helped me to partially reinvent myself. In that new place it was life affirming to talk about where I would go from here. I have always been suspicious of the slightly nirvana like plans we make, the type made as you come home from a really good holiday. David was much better at this and great at showing how to make the life you want realistic and achievable.
For me there was a slightly adolescent pleasure in talking about my issues and it would have been easy to stay in this self absorbed state. David doesn’t indulge; David solves and I am enormously grateful to him.
Life now is still sometimes challenging… …I dont know if I make good decisions, but I make them from a more centred and considered place, less buffeted by circumstance. “
David’s caring and professional manner allowed me to completely relax and share my feelings from the outset. His sessions were extremely thought-provoking and gave me a deeper insight and understanding of my problems. With David’s help and homework I was able to address the root cause of my problem. With David’s help I was able to share all that was wrong with my life and lighten the burden which I had carried for so long on my shoulders. I always left the sessions feeling lighter and with clear and defined methods about how to conquer my addiction and ultimately be happy with my life.
I wanted to thank you for your help in dealing with my problems.
As you may remember I first contacted you after looking online for someone who specialised in treating people with my specific addiction.
I had already seen a general counsellor but had been disappointed with the results.
From our first session you immediately made me feel at ease which enabled me to talk freely and frankly to you about my problems.
I found your approach to be very subtle but thought provoking which left me thinking about things long after our sessions had ended.
I am pleased to say that since our sessions have ended 1 have had no desire to return to my previous addiction and consider the treatment to be a complete success.
I am again enjoying a great relationship with my partner (who accompanied me to one session) and we both agree that without your help we may not have been able to get though this with our relationship in such good shape.
I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend you to anyone else who needed similar help.
When I first arrived to meet David I was experiencing huge difficulties in coming to terms with my life situation and my feelings around this. I was overwhelmed by uncertainty, sadness and loneliness. I felt almost paralysed by my own life decisions, unsure as to how I had arrived at this point in my life and even more unsure how to proceed forward… During my time with David it quickly became clear that the one right decision I had made was in making contact with him.
There is a strength about David that shines through and always filled me with great confidence about our work together. My experience of this in a therapeutic relationship aided a contact to my very own well of deep resources – this is an invaluable tool to living my life with integrity. David seems to have a deep, warm and perceptive nature that moves to the heart of the matter, he possesses an enquiring curious nature which requires you to seek a clarity and confidence about your own life. A gift I hadn’t bargained for was the help to locate a peace that I hadn’t know existed within me, priceless.
David is a highly professional ,competent therapist which is served with a great integrity. I struggle to express the full depth of gratitude I have for him.
Having suffered from a problem for the past ten years, I was fortunate enough to discover David.
He has helped me to understand the issues and has given me strategies which have enabled my recovery.
David is the most inspirational and motivational person and with his kindly but professional approach I would not hesitate to recommend him to anybody.
Thank you David
I contacted David at a time in my life when I felt unable to function day to day because my mind was full of unanswered questions. His sensitive, methodical and understanding approach to my individual needs has given me a clearer perspective and a more positive outlook. Through David’s guidance my life is back on track.
If you are feeling hopeless and that your depression will never go then see David. I don’t know what will happen in the future however I do know that should something come back then he is the first person I will be going to.
Having suffered from depression on and off for years I believed that I could never see a way out. The NHS are fantastic for when my depression peaked but the same negative thought patterns would still be hanging around.
At this time I feel so much better than I have done in ages even though one aspect of my life could be a source of stress I’m dealing with it much better.
David looked as if he might be the man to help me when I checked his resume on the internet. And so it has turned out. He answered my call for help within minutes (I left a message) and we have be talking ever since. He has provided just the right balance of challenge and support such that I believe now I understand what happened to me, and more importantly for me, why. It has been a learning experience and a revelation. I only wish I had called him years ago before it became critical.
My sexual addiction had become unmanageable and my life was coming apart fast. Either I get help or leave the family home, that was the ultimatum from my wife and my wake up call to face my problem. I didn’t know where or even how to get help so we bought some books online but they just made things worse with sensationalist stories.
Then my wife found David’s website and arranged an initial meet. I had no idea how I would ever be able to talk to someone about all the things that I had done but I knew I had lost control and I didn’t want to lose my family. Either I saw someone and got help or left the family home. So I chose to go and see David. He has helped me to help myself to save my life and my family.
Life looks very different now as I become free of shame, guilt, fear, doubt and weak self belief. A year later and we are working together on growing my capacity to cope with and really live a life free from addiction. An outcome I thought was impossible just months ago.
Mr P. A.
“I was feeling overwhelmed with feelings of worthlessness and as I have had a history of depression I looked online for a counselling. I was taken away with just the initial call from David and I am sure that working with him would result in a drastic improvement in my internal thoughts”
Dr B C Trathen Consultant Addictions Psychiatrist
I have worked closely with David Goodlad for over ten years in my capacity as a consultant addiction psychiatrist. David has consistently displayed impressive insight into the emotional makeup of individuals underlying their compulsive behaviours, and the harms those cause. More than this, and knowing him well for over a decade, I can say without doubt he is probably the most accurately empathic and non-judgemental person I know. I would never hesitate to recommend David’s services to anyone suffering from addiction problems, whether these are demonstrated in drug or alcohol misuse, compulsive sexual behaviours, pornography addiction, or other forms.
Mark Gillman, Public Health England
My expertise in addiction is based on public health and criminal justice research and policy. If I have any questions about the treatment of substance addiction or sex addiction I phone a friend. That friend is David Goodlad.
Strategic Recovery Lead
Public Health England
Nikki Sweatman Psychotherapist
“David has a excellent understanding of the issues for those suffering from addiction (including sexual addiction). He also has a detailed knowledge of how it is to live with those suffering from addiction. I have no hesitation in referring clients or relatives to him.”
Re: Professional Testimonial for David Goodlad
I have been working closely with David for 8 years. David came highly recommended through professional colleagues. His knowledge and understanding of addictive behaviour make him a clear leader in this field.
David’s ability to ask the right questions at the right time are what I feel make him unique. His care and compassion are evident in all that he does both professionally and personally.
East Coast Recovery
Chief Executive Officer
‘David is at the forefront of addiction treatment in the UK. Those intent on recovery will find his experience, wisdom and strategies supportive and effective’
Mr J McGhee RSA (MBACP), Psychological Therapies Supervisor