Emotional Insights

About EI & Denise

About EI

couple counselling'Emotional Insights' main service is the delivery of face-to-face Relationship counselling work with couples, or with individuals and in different contexts with groups.  Counselling is delivered with a unique, emotional focus.

Psycho-sexual therapy and relationship counselling are available in Northampton. Information about this is on the next page. 

Anger management is another face-to-face service that we specialise in, adjusting the focus as required, and in many cases utilising "emotional regulation", rather than purely anger management techniques.

For people needing expert help from afar, an email counselling service is also now available.

The other work that Emotional Insights undertakes is commissioned for groups of people and  their particular needs. This may involve the unique presentation of Emotional Insights, or the delivery of specialist focus work for example on Multiple Sclerosis, menopause, sexual problems, including the affects of prostate problems on the intimate relationship. The impact of Autism and related conditions on families and individuals is another area of specialism. 

In day and evening seminars Emotional Insights brings professionals and others a much greater understanding about many aspects of BASIC and the secondary / discrete emotions which evolve from these basic emotions.

In the context of domestic abuse Emotional Insights brings to counselling professionals a specific and detailed way of interviewing and assessing domestic abusers to determine if it is safe and advisable to work with them, as an individual or as part of a couple relationship. Risk assessments utilising a variety of models can be carried out for the courts or for social services.

Emotional Insights has devised a way of integrating much of the new research on emotions into a very useful and easily comprehendable framework. This work provides an enormous leap forward for the "beginner" - and it is an area about which nearly all professionals are really still  beginners -  for the "old pros" it provides a framework for you to easily "hold" and "predict" the likely emotively reactive patterns in people, and help your clients to understand themselves, too. 

You will need to know who I am, and how I came to be doing this; that's on the next page.

About Denise

Certified Relationship Counsellor and Psycho-sexual Therapist

deniseDenise Knowles has worked for RELATE, the UK's largest provider of relationship counselling and sex therapy, where she was a RELATE certified relationship counsellor and psycho-sexual therapist for more than 16 years. She has helped people through a wide spectrum of relationship issues, including family counselling, parent counselling, communications issues, sex therapy and behavioural issues.

Ms. Knowles has received a certificate in the Theory and Practice of Couple Counselling, a certificate in Systemic Practice in Family Therapy, and training in Effective Anger Management in Medical & Caring Professions.

She has had much experience helping clients and their loved ones deal with the diagnosis and challenges associated with chronic illnesses, including multiple sclerosis (MS). Throughout her career, Ms. Knowles has helped families and couples in their teens to their 80's deal with a variety of issues, providing counselling and support to help them communicate, express their true feelings and break down the barriers that they face in their relationships.

In her weekly advice column, which airs on BBC Radio Northampton, Denise discusses many relationship and health issues and provides advice to callers both on and off the air. She is married and has three grown up children - two sons and a daughter.

Denise has worked professionally with people for about 20 years in various forums. If you "Google" her, you'll find out more! You may well recognise her name from a host of quotes in magazines or newspapers or remember her from one of many television appearances or recognise her voice from 1000' s of hours on radio programmes. More recently she has been a guest speaker at conferences worldwide, speaking about the impact of Multiple Sclerosis on couple and family relationships. She has also been invited to sit on Advisory Boards.

But, believe it or not, most of Denise's work is with individuals, with couples and with families.


Specialisations, Training, Qualifications & Memberships

Member Organisation(s):

Member of COSRT, BACP & AFT

Training, Qualifications & Experience:

Relate Certificate in Couple Counselling (theory & practice)
Diploma in Psycho-sexual therapy
Relate Institute Supervisor Training certificate
Certificate of Systemic Practice Yr1 at Foundation Level in Family Therapy
National Open College Network Group Skills (theory and practice) for Trainers

Areas of counselling I deal with:

Other areas of counselling I deal with:

  • Managing emotions, your own and those of others
  • Breaking Bad News

Other services:

  • Supervision available
  • Online, email and telephone counselling available


Who can benefit from counselling?

couple counsellingRelationship counselling - Sometimes it can be difficult to sort out problems between the two of you; life can present you with all sorts of challenges and this is when it can be useful to have an independent third person to talk to.  It can be hard to focus on what's good in your relationship when a seemingly stubborn obstacle gets in the way of you finding a way forward together, and that's where counselling can help.The confidential counselling that the Emotional Insights team offer will effectively help you both understand how you've arrived in this place and help you to develop coping strategies that can improve the relationship.

Sometimes relationships come to an end, but even then counselling can be useful in helping you come to terms with the loss of the relationship and, if you are parents, how to remain on good terms, and in contact  with the whole family.

Anyone in a relationship can access this service.

individual counsellingIndividual counselling -  It isn't  always easy to get a partner to come for counselling so you can come to counselling on your own if you  wish. You may not be in a relationship, or find it difficult to form intimate relationships, or you may be thinking of embarking on another relationship but have some issues you want to talk about before hand; Emotional Insights is here for you too.

Problems at work can impact on the individual and dealing with these on your own can sometimes be a little overwhelming and life can preet you with unexepected problems which disrupt your emotions, talking to a counsellor can help you grow and find new ways of approaching these problems.

Psycho-sexual therapy  - Most people in healthy, respectful and loving relationships enjoy their sex life and for many it is a really important part of their relationship. But even in the most loving of relationships problems with sex can occur from time to time. There are many reasons that this can happen, both physical and emotional. Emotional Insights sex therapists will work with individuals or couples to help them overcome their sexual difficulty, whatever it is. As with all our services this is confidential. Before embarking on a programme of sex therapy, the therapist will assess what has contributed to the difficulties and then design a programme for you (if appropriate - if not they will recommend another service to you).

Family  counselling -  Almost every family will have arguments, falling outs or strong words from time to time, these are often easily sorted out but sometimes they just fester and get worse. Sometimes families hold 'grudges' and family feuds can be passed down through the generations, all of which is distressing for all involved. Emotional Insights family counselling looks at the whole family as a system that may need to make some adjustments so that the 'family' becomes a comfortable and safe place to express emotions, needs and wants. Working together as a team produces benefits for all. Not all family members need to be present for each counselling session, but the counsellor may invite other family members to come along if it will benefit the outcome of counselling.

Other Services Offered

Practice supervision - All Emotional Insights work is supervised, and the team works within the ethical frameworks of BACP, AFT and COSRT.

Supervision of Practice - If you are a practitioner looking for supervision of your own work, please contact us to discuss your requirements.

Training - Emotional Insights offers a range of training workshops and courses which can be tailored to your personal or organisational needs.

Exploring & Managing Emotions

Exploring & Managing Anger

Exploring & Managing Stress & Anxiety

Exploring & Managing Change

Breaking Bad News

Effective Communication     

................and more.


Online, email and telephone counselling available

Please contact us for further information.


Cognitive behavioural Therapy............Something missing?!

The difficulty is that CBT was designed before LeDoux finally established that emotion comes before thought! So of course, cognitive behavioural therapy focussed on managing the thoughts which lead to the behaviour, rather than the emotions that lead to the thoughts that lead to the behaviour.

So if you ask somebody who has followed an anger management course if it works, they will tell you that sometimes it does, and sometimes it doesn't. Of course everybody is pleased with the "sometimes it does", and disappointed with "sometimes it doesn't". The likely reason that it doesn't is that  most work seeks to address the behaviour of anger, not the emotion of anger. The emotion anger comes before the thoughts and the behaviour. So they have to learn to regulate their emotions, not necessarily "simply" manage the anger! And the regulation of their emotion requires a much deeper understanding of all their emotions.

The next difficulty is that the primary basic emotion is missing from virtually everybody else's list. Which is it? Well that is obvious, so obvious that it is missing from everybody's list. But when recognised it helps create a "pretty picture", and an entirely plausible and really quite easy way of understanding the workings of our emotions. Trust developed through Attachment is what connects our basic emotions.......simple?!



workshopsDenise and her colleagues have been testing out EMOTIONS in this format for just over 10 years and have found that clients' awareness and understanding about feelings and emotions - (if you are a woman!) and emotions and feelings (if you are a man!) have improved very dramatically in literally 100s of cases. So now is the time to bring this information to a much wider public.  People will choose to use this information for their many different purposes.

Developing Emotional Awareness

Introduction to 8 Basic Emotions:

  • Anger
  • Fear
  • Trust
  • Sadness
  • Joy
  • Shock
  • Curiosity
  • Disgust

Developing Emotion Intelligence and Empathy

Colin Wilson, a well known local psychiatrist made the following comments about this model of understanding emotions and human beings:

"As a Capital Radio doctor I broadcast with Anna Raeburn. When I moved jobs I met Denise at Radio Northampton. I have always found her an approachable an eminently sensible therapist with an eclectic and practical approach and an excellent understanding of the human condition. I am delighted that she has decided to expand her practice in this very useful way." Colin Wilson, Consultant Psychiatrist

Other Workshops

  • Anger Management   
  • Stress & Anxiety
  • Breaking Bad News
  • Managing Separation & Divorce

NEW series of workshops!

           Exploring & Managing Anger

           Exploring & Managing Loss

Workshops are available to groups of private individuals and corporate organisations in both the private and public sectors.

Workshop clients say:

“I came hoping to help my two autistic kids and came away with information on how to make my family work as a unit. Thank you so much!”

"Fab! I needed to know how the brain works to help my kids. Thank you"

"Excellent speaker – very informative"

"Very good can take back and use in family life"


"Good. Emotional stages explained"

Who can benefit from workshops?

You! Everybody! But particularly people working in a facilitative manner with other human beings under stressful circumstances or helping them to cope with stressful circumstance, amongst them:  solicitors, doctors, nurses, Counsellors,  police officers, teachers, life coaches, dentists, advice workers, support workers, and many others.

Many of the above people may need to take part in 2 or 3 of these one-day workshops.

Parents and carers: Understanding your own children and their emotional responses is often a complex and stress filled job.  Two of these days are likely to provide a very useful foundation to your understanding of your child - if you get hooked on this then you may want to undertake the next one, but you will be well enough equipped to have plenty of new insights into the emotions driving your child's behaviour.

One of my colleagues told me the following little anecdote about how he very successfully managed an aspect of his son's worrying behaviour. It illustrates the point exactly.

His son was a twin and almost begged his brother to be able to sleep in the same room. The brother recognised this "desperation" and began to use it to his advantage, requiring certain favours from his brother in exchange for a night's sleep. Having thought carefully about the situation my colleague realised that this was about a deep fear. He remembered that at about the age of 6 this twin had sleep-walked out of the house and, on the other side of a Yale lock, he was unable to get back into the house. The little boy had spent a very frightening night outside in the garden, unable to rouse anybody to let him back into the house.

His fear, my colleague construed, was that the same thing would happen again, but that his brother would look out for him and raise the alarm if he was missing. So he reckoned a little low-key suggestion might help. He planned a simple sentence which he would just "shove into the conversation" about the differences in Yale locks and the mortice locks in the house that they now lived in, with no reference to his son's fear. So, on the way to rugby one Sunday morning the opportunity to simply point out the differences between yale locks and mortice locks was taken, i.e that you have to lock the latter with the key from the outside, so you cannot get locked outside by accident. And that was it!  His son moved out that night and his dependency on his brother decreased enormously. Fear recognised, dealt with sensitively, in this case obliquely, respecting the teenager's need to "be a man" and not show fear.

What do women want? Books have been written about this and films have been made!  Is anybody really any the wiser because of them? Well, yes, perhaps a little. But clearly one difficulty for many men is that whereas they prize and value emotional constancy (I hoped she wouldn't change, but she did!) women tend to permit themselves much greater emotional swings, which men simply cannot follow, by which I mean understand. Emotional Insights this will help a lot in this area! And of course women ("I wanted him to change, and he didn't!") bump into the opposite reaction, with equal and voiced frustration. A couple ways of looking at these basic emotions will help people to understand why they bump into one anothers difficulties.

Questions & Answers

Press cuttings

Confessions of a sex therapist
Daily Mail Confessions of a sex therapist Daily Mail Here, we look at a week in the life of a busy sex therapist . Denise Knowles, 54, from the East ...

Should we delay divorce?
Relate counsellor Denise Knowles says: 'In a lot of relationships, ... Denise adds that many couples avoid the issue of divorce because of what they see as an unwelcome ....

How to enjoy your toy boy
"Don't be tempted, says Denise Knowles. 'The day will come when you'll ...

Can happy couples live apart?
Denise Knowles points out that the couple who live apart by choice are not ...

Does marriage still matter?  
Relate counsellor Denise Knowles says we most definitely do. ... Says Denise: 'If you are committed to working at your marriage - and not just expecting it to work for ....

5 New Year love resolutions
"Get a new diary and make the first thing you write in it your 'couple time' for the upcoming months," says Denise Knowles. ...

How to have a friendly divorce
'Bear in mind that some time during the divorce process, you will not like each other,' says Relate counsellor Denise Knowles. 'That's perfectly normal and ...

What would make him sexier?
Denise Knowles says this is a common problem. 'A lot of women whose partners have let themselves go to seed see it as a statement of how he feels about the ...

Are you ready to be married?
Statistically it's proven that if you live together before marriage, you are more likely to get divorced,' says Relate counsellor Denise Knowles. ...

The Recession tore us apart
14 Aug 2009 ... Knowles explains that, far from being unusual, our situation was ... Relate counsellorDenise Knowles on how to survive the downturn – together ....

Is your man an anger junkie?
It can take a long time to leave an abusive relationship, says Knowles, because 'women ... Denise Knowles also works for Temper! Some of the men who are referred, .... Singer agrees to 'talk it over' ....

What's his ex factor?
We asked Relate counsellor Denise Knowles for her view on the main ex types and how .... says Denise. 'His reluctance may not necessarily mean that there is anything ....

Should you remarry your ex?
Not necessarily, says Relate counsellor Denise Knowles. History. 'Having a shared history is a very powerful thing,' she says. 'Couples who've been married ...

How to stop choosing dangerous men
Relate counsellor and therapist Denise Knowles says that these women find ... that comes with being attached to a gangster, or a dangerous criminal,' explains Denise. ....

Does every woman need a gay best friend?
According to Relate counsellor Denise Knowles, the magic ingredient is that a gay man ... to have a giggle and be a bit outrageous, which we women love,' says Denise. ....

Men aged 18 to 30 are taking Viagra to keep up with Sex And The ...  
Sex therapist Denise Knowles, of counselling service Relate, ... Singer agrees to 'talk it over' in counselling The Daily Mail has learned that the X Factor ...

Should couples have their own money?
Relate counsellor Denise Knowles confirms that money is at the root of many relationship ... Denise believes that, ideally, couples should pool all their money. ....

Regain your sexual confidence: How to embrace our more experienced ...  
26 Apr 2008 ... Relate counsellor Denise Knowles concedes that the hormonal ebbs and .... Singer agrees to 'talk it over' in counselling The Daily Mail has ...

Could you get over an affair?
However, Relate counsellor Denise Knowles warns that for couples like Zoe and ... Denise feels that the only realistic way couples can put an affair behind ... Coleen Rooney continues her daily bikini parade in Barbados with a pink two ...

How to make your mother-in-law love you forever
As Relate's Denise Knowles explains: 'The main problem with the mother and ... Denise says it's worth reminding yourself that your mother-in-law can be a blessing, ....

Is it time to think outside the inbox?
'Once, we would get on the train and read or talk,' says Denise Knowles. ... piece of technology at the same time, such as when we e-mail while watching TV, ...

Women are the 'unfaithful sex'
Relationship counsellor Denise Knowles said: 'Women now have more scope for having affairs. 'This is partly because of modern-working practices and because ...

Oo-er! And you thought pelvic exercises were only for women
Denise Knowles, sex therapist at Relate, warns against unrealistically high expectations. 'We recommend pelvic floor exercises for both sexes as a healthy ...

A grandmother's story
26 Jul 2004 ... According to Denise Knowles at Relate "a lot of young mothers haven?t ... and is a truer reflection of what Denise meant (she doesn't want people to ....

More fitness secrets by Raquel Welch
Denise Knowles, psycho-sexual counsellor for Relate, says: There is double ... Singer agrees to 'talk it over' in counselling The Daily Mail has learned ...

Revealing the five secrets of compatible couples
Being truly compatible is the key. Here Relate counsellor Denise Knowles reveals the five essential elements found in every compatible relationship: ...

Wedding blues: Help! I've got Post-Nuptial Depression
11 Dec 2008 ... Indeed, Relate relationship psychotherapist Denise Knowles has a word of warning for all those brides painstakingly planning their big day, ...

Does your man know what you want after making love?
Relate counsellor Denise Knowles says that because men need time to recover physically from sex before they can have intercourse again, many of them have ...

R U 2 busy texting to talk?
Says Relate counsellor Denise Knowles: "Too much time spent texting or emailing can mean we end up not communicating in any real depth. ...

Stress, the passion-killer which can be found in more than 15 ...  
24 Oct 2007 ... Denise Knowles, a relationship counsellor with Relate, ....

Should you change for a lover?
Relate counsellor Denise Knowles says making a U-turn to make your partner happy is not necessarily a bad thing. "The person who is never prepared to ...

Is your relationship a triangle?
Tip: "Keep an eye on the amount of social time you spend both with your partner and your friend," says Relate counsellor Denise Knowles. ...

Changing Rooms
Neighbours Stephan and Denise Knowles and Dave Davies and Clare Souch have enlisted the help of Anna Ryder Richardson and Oliver Heath to transform each ...

Why you need your friends
counsellor and therapist Denise Knowles. Mutual friendships should really be seen as the icing on the cake and not the mainstay friendships you rely on. ...

Britain in love-life crisis
Sex therapist Denise Knowles pointed out that Britain has the longest working hours in Europe, and people are worried about debt and job insecurity. ...

Can you patch up your sex life?
3 Oct 2006 ... says Denise Knowles, a Relate counsellor and spokeswoman. .....

Women divorcees turn the screw
27 Aug 2005 ... Denise Knowles, a counsellor at Relate, said: "These findings reflect .....

The Origins of Single Again - Welcome to Single Living! - Single ...  
It was an escape from the pain and anger of living daily in a deeply .... and Sky television, and in theDaily Mail and New Woman magazine. ..... Denise Knowles advises that it can "compound the feelings of failure from the first time. ...

Divorce: the true cost of the festive season?  
Lawyer James Stewart is quoted by the Daily Mail as saying: "Christmas ... relationship counsellorDenise Knowles from Relate told the Liverpool Echo: "I am ...

Match.com LoveGeist - Future Love  
This is a sentiment shared by Relate counsellor Denise Knowles, ... relationships, lifestyle and celebrities for The Daily Mail, the Guardian, ...

Conduct unbecoming
9 Oct 2009 ... A Daily Mail story went on to suggest that the collapse in morale was so .... saysDenise Knowles, a psychotherapist for the relationship ...

Snoring ruins sex lives  
Daily E-mail ... And Denise Knowles from the relationship counselling service Relate, said that snoring was an issue that ... E-mail this story to a friend ...

Girls are hot grabbers during divorce
... seeing these things as the fabric of their lives," Daily Mail quoted Denise Knowles, a counsellor at Relate, as saying. ...

Culture Review  
The Daily Mail Confessions of a sex therapist (English) ... Denise Knowles, 54, from the East Midlands, has a th... Independent online ...

Husbands and wives who are a world apart
19 Jan 2006 ... Content from the Daily Telegraph and Sunday Telegraph newspapers and video from... But Denise Knowles - a relationship counsellor for Relate, ... "E-mail, the internet and cheaper telecommunications have made the idea ...

But according to Relate sex and relationships counsellor Denise Knowles, the reality is quite different. "Men are increasingly reporting lower sex drives ...

Top 10 seasonal stress-busters
'Prepare yourself beforehand,' says Relate psychotherapist Denise Knowles. 'Be proactive. Make sure that people who don't get on don't sit next to each ...

Why does sex fade in marriage?
Denise Knowles, a psychosexual therapist with Relate, says: “The man may have problems, but the woman may not want to put him on the spot. ...

Your love life after the birth - Pregnancy & Birth and Mother ...  
'Until the birth, men don't know how they will react,' says Denise Knowles from Relate. 'Some men feel ignored. There may be feelings of rejection and ...

Denise Knowles. Program Advisor. Phone: 780-497-5168. Fax: 780-497-4239. Address: 7-367A, 10700 - 104 Avenue. Edmonton AB. T5J 4S2. Send a message.

Painful Sex :: Sexual Health
"A painful childbirth can scar both mentally and physically," says Denise Knowles, a sex therapist for Relate. "A woman may also feel her vagina is ...The wages of sin; Cohabitation.(New laws may give live-in lovers ...  
So Denise Knowles, a counsellor, describes the widely held view that lovers ... Relate counsellorDenise Knowles says this is because...commitment you find ...

Sex in the Suburbs
The Daily Waffle. Breakfast Blogging: Opinion(ated) Scribbling for No Apparent Reason ... Denise Knowles, counsellor with Relate, says, 'In my experience, ... E-mail (private). Website. Notify me of follow-up comments via email. ...

About Us - Single Living  
Denise Knowles, Relate marriage guidance counsellor and spokeswoman ... inspirational Get The Self-Esteem Habit, as recently recommended in the Daily Mail. ...

Drinking :: East of England  
30 Dec 2008 ... Denise Knowles, a counsellor with Relate, commented: "While drinking can be ...the recommended daily limit of 3-4 units for men and 2-3 units for women. ... Print this page | E-mailthis page to a friend | E-mail web team.

Related To Bigotry: The Repression of Swingers in Early 21st ...  
The Daily Record, the main downmarket Scottish tabloid, ran a follow-on story ... and Manchester Evening News ran full pages while the Daily Mail gave it two. .... Denise Knowles is a Relate counsellor and psychosexual therapist who has ...

Britain becomes a nation of loners  
Daily E-mail ... But Denise Knowles, counsellor for marriage guidance group Relate, told BBC News Online ... Marriage guidance counsellor, Denise Knowles ...

Romance can survive
Denise Knowles, relationship counsellor at famed patcherupper Relate, reassures cynics like me that there is hope yet. 'Romance is still there, ...

Bayer Schering Pharma Starts Global Awareness Campaign
16 May 2008 ... The program also features expert advice from Denise Knowles, a certified relationship ....

Talking about sexual problems in a relationship  
Psychosexual therapist Denise Knowles explains why talking about sex is so important, especially if there's a sexual problem.

The wages of sin; Cohabitation.(New laws may give live-in ...  
So Denise Knowles, a counsellor, describes the widely held view that ... Relate counsellor Denise

The Baby Show - Top tips for keeping your relationship tip top after ... baby 
Pampers Expert Denise Knowles. 15.30, Top tips for keeping your relationship 'tip top' after having a baby

Pampers poll: Best age to become a dad

Other peoples children
Denise Knowles, Relationship and Family Expert for the Pampers Village Parenting Panel insists you can remain friends: "You'll have nine months to get used ...

Conduct unbecoming  
9 Oct 2009 ... With or without complications, working together can be a blessing or a curse, saysDenise Knowles, a psychotherapist for the relationship ...

The curse of the Best Friend - This Britain, UK - The ...  
Denise Knowles, a counsellor for Relate, believes that women seek each other out ... Denise Knowles says the confidences traded by close female friends can ...

The top 10 passion killers..
9 Aug 2007 ... "If you never argue, at least one person's needs aren't being met," says Relate sex and relationship counsellor Denise Knowles. ...


Couples Therapy

Help with your relationship: couples therapy

Female sexual dysfunction

Female sexual dysfunction: There are many different types of sexual dysfunction in women. Dyspareunia is pain during intercourse. Anorgasmia is not being able to have an orgasm. Vaginsimus is when the muscles around the vagina clamp up and make penetration difficult. There is hyposexual disorder, lack of desire and other issues. Video courtesy of NHS Choices.

Ireland: AM

Pampers Irish Tatler image

Ireland AM - Answering the queries on starting a family: http://www.tv3.ie/videos.php?video=38233&locID=1.65.74&page=15

Ireland AM interview Starting a Family: http://www.tv3.ie/videos.php?video=38235&locID=1.65.74&page=20
Ireland AM Q&A Starting a Family: http://www.tv3.ie/videos.php?video=38233&locID=1.65.74&page=21

The Sunshine radio clip

Pampers Irish Tatler clipping - August 2011

The Baby Show - an essential part of having a baby

Expert Denise Knowles speaking at the Baby Show

Taylorfitch. Bringing Newsletters to life