Tom Keely Counselling

Space To Talk...

Space to deal with life's challenges ...

Do you struggle because of issues with anxiety, depression or an important relationship. Or maybe with how you express your anger, the impact long term stress is having on you, substance misuse, insomnia, or ADHD. Or perhaps you struggle with self-esteem issues or in pursuing what you want from life.

Whatever your reason, and however difficult things might seem right now, making the decision to work together could help bring about the change you want.

Tom Keely, BACP Counsellor & Psychotherapist, South Manchester.

Working Together

My private practice is based on a powerful form of therapy, called Intensive Short Term Dynamic Psychotherapy (ISTDP). Opposed to offering insight and understanding or helpful coping strategies, ISTDP attempts to address the root cause of a person’s problem so they can be freed from destructive and self-defeating patterns of behaviour.

ISTDP is a highly relational form of therapy which draws from several different approaches including cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), psychoanalysis and mindfulness. It has been shown to help with a wide range of difficulties including, depression, anxiety, panic attacks, self-criticism, chronic fatigue, interpersonal relationship issues, performance anxiety (ie. public speaking, sexual, sport, performing arts) and symptoms without a medically identifiable cause.

Feelings / emotions are central to ISTDP’s understanding of problem causality because in life we inevitably experience conflicts with others and when they occur, we naturally start to feel our emotions. However, when our emotions become too hard or painful to bear, we can easily find ways of unconsciously and automatically avoiding them or pushing people away. These temporary strategies can be helpful in the short-term, helping us to survive difficult points in our lives. However, with time these coping strategies tend to be damaging and often leads to emotional and/or physical suffering. Most importantly they prevent us from reaching our potential and living life to the full.


To summarise how I work – I understand a person wants my help because they’re struggling somewhere in their life. As we explore this and examples of when it arises it’s likely they’ll unintentionally struggle to express their true feelings. This is likely to play out through unconscious & often deeply ingrained defences which will appear in our relationship. My role, as their ally, is to make these defensive processes be known so that together we can see its effect and how it links to the issue that led them to see me (ie anxiety, depression, relationship difficulties). Once revealed these unconscious and self-defeating processes then become the heart of our work, because once my clients realise the cost of how they’re treating themselves, then their healthy longings, feelings and memories are likely to rapidly rise to the surface. And as this happens their presenting issue start to shift, they’re likely to become more honest about their needs, and new possibilities often appear. Many clients describe this phase of the work as liberating because it involves the creation of a new more caring, compassionate and honest relationship with themselves and others.

Clients who’ve worked with a therapist before quickly come to realise I take an active, yet compassionate, role in helping them change rather than that of a neutral observer. This includes care, empathy, encouragement, challenge to take responsibility, and confrontation when I sense they’re resisting change. Fundamental to working successfully together is the building of a safe talking space in which my clients feel able to explore healthier ways to deal with life’s challenges. Their needs are at the heart of how I work, and rather than giving advice, I’m here to help them find their way. Ultimately, what happens is done together but the work is always decided by them.

I appreciate entering therapy for some may bring with it a sense of trepidation as well as anxiety, because of this I always suggest any potential first meeting be a trial session to explore if how I work could benefit them.

If you’d like to explore working together then please email, text or message me to set up a free 20-minute telephone consultation.e


I’ve always had more than a passing interest in well-being and mental health. Some years ago I chose to make this interest my profession when I left a corporate career to become a counsellor and psychotherapist. During my training, I was able to work with a broad number of approaches and observe which  produced the best outcomes. I chose to specialise in ISTDP because I found it capable of producing lasting change, effective where past therapies may have failed and flexible enough to work with a wide range of presenting problems. 

My professional development is important as it ensures I offer the knowledge and skills needed to deliver a professional service to my clients. As a Registered Member of the British Association for Counselling & Psychotherapy (BACP) I’ve met the strict standards required to be on the accredited register approved by the Professional Standards Authority for Health and Social Care. I’m also a member of IEDTA (International Experiential Dynamic Therapy Association) and have completed a comprehensive 3 year IEDTA Certified Core Training in Intensive Short-Term Dynamic Psychotherapy with the ISTDP UK Institute. 

My practice is based in West Didsbury, Manchester.

• Counselling Concepts.
• Counselling Skills.
• MA Counselling, University of Manchester.
• 3 year IEDTA ISTDP CORE Training – ISTDP UK Institute (2018)
• Advanced CORE Training – Josette ten Have-de Labije (at present)



Sessions cost £80 and last for 1 hour – I offer a reduced rate for those on low income.

I offer an initial free and confidential 20-minute telephone consultation so you can explore working with me. Note details of this call and all information provided will be treated in the strictest confidence.

Please contact me via the enclosed form, telephone, text or email – details are below.

(Carl Rogers)
    (Carl Rogers)

    The curious paradox is that when I accept myself just as I am, then I change."

    (Rick Warren)
      (Rick Warren)

      "“We crave intimacy but fear vulnerability - you can’t have one with out the other.”"