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My Approach

I am an integrative counsellor. This means my approach to therapy is based on the understanding that everyone who attends therapy is different, and what works for one person is not the same as another.  As an integrative counsellor, I use techniques from different types of therapy to tailor an approach specifically for you, depending on your needs at any moment in time.

These are a some of the methods which are used during therapy sessions. By describing them, I hope to take the mystery out of all the names.

Humanistic & Person-Centred Therapy

This about free will, self-discovery and achieving your full potential as a human being. It looks at everything that makes you who you are and focuses on you as a unique individual and your relationship with the world around you.

The therapy is client-led, so I will work with you on the issues you want to explore. I help you think about your feelings and take responsibility for your thoughts and actions.

It works on the idea that human nature is inherently good and everyone has the potential to find their own answers to their problems. It's just that sometimes we need a helping hand.

It can really help to express your inner most thoughts and feelings out loud. Talking to an independent person may be the first time these things make sense to you. It can also be the first time you feel you have permission to think or feel this way.

Gestalt Therapy

Gestalt is a holistic process, which means that meaning cannot be found from breaking things down into parts but rather from appreciation of the whole.

I work with clients to help them focus on self-awareness: on what is happening from one moment to the next, in the here and now. This brings better awareness and understanding of the present, of one’s immediate thoughts, feelings and behaviour, and of patterns of relating to others.

Focusing on immediate thoughts and feelings, makes it a very lively, spontaneous and creative way for us to work together.

The increased awareness and insight into how you think, feel and act is very liberating. It can bring about powerful change and new perspectives in your life, builds self-confidence, frees you to address issues and helps to live life to its fullest potential.

Narrative Therapy

Narrative therapy is a form of counselling that views people as separate from their problems and difficult behaviors. This allows you to get some distance from the problem you face.

When we face difficulties, they can take over our whole life story and we find ourselves stuck in a narrative which is dominated by negative things. Narrative therapy can help you separate yourself from this dominant story, so you can see all of the other, alternative, positive aspects which also help to make up your life story.

 

With this perspective, you can feel more empowered to make changes in your thought patterns and behavior and “rewrite” your life story for a future that reflects who you really are, what you are capable of, and what your purpose is, separate from your problems.

You are not the problem... the problem is the problem!

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT)

This is a type of therapy that looks at your thoughts, feelings and behaviours and helps to change some of these to manage your problems.

A key part of this is identifying the negative thinking patterns that you may feel trapped in, helping you to break free from these and to feel better.

CBT focuses on providing you with the tools to address current problems in your life and relieve the symptoms you’re facing. It can help you to understand and change the negative things you believe about yourself into positives instead.

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Art & Creativity

I do not advertise myself as an Art Therapist, but it is a core part of my training. This means I have a strong belief that creativity is a powerful force in life, and that we all need creativity to help us lead a healthy, balanced life.

I believe that counselling and therapy are creative processes, where the people that come to see me have imagined and  hoped for a better way of living, and are seeking to change in some way. Creativity is central to change, because it is the process of taking one thing and forming it into something different... better than it was before.

The idea of art and creative activity in therapy is very different to how it might be at school or art classes. There are some things which are hard to put into words, perhaps even because you only feel it, and you may not understand it enough yet to be able to describe it. Using art and other forms of creative expression can help you to bring this out into the World, in the hope that we might be able to understand it in a new way, or even just to help you feel better by doing it. Sometimes, thoughts and feelings emerge as we make art, because it can make our thoughts quieter and we stop trying too hard to find things.

This kind of art doesn't have a right or wrong... you might just feel the need to scribble or splash things around! There isn't a good or bad version of it, it is not being judged and so you don't need to be an 'artist' to do it.

Making art is an excellent way of letting go, learning to start things without having a plan, or worrying about outcomes, or what others might think. It helps you to embrace the unknown and to restore a sense of adventure and fun into your life.

Psychodynamic Therapy

Psychodynamic therapy helps you understand how your current feelings and behaviour are shaped by your past experiences and your unconscious thoughts and actions.

When you experience the trusting relationship that therapy provides, it means that you can talk freely and openly about topics like your childhood, your fears, dreams, fantasies, past experiences and your relationship with your parents. This can help you understand what you’re feeling now, why you behave in a certain way and how this affects your relationships and other aspects of life.

This can bring things which may have been tucked away in your unconscious mind into your awareness, helping you to understand them. This increased understanding and awareness can be a powerful way to move on with your life when you feel stuck.

Jungian Therapy

The purpose of Jungian Therapy is to bring together the conscious and unconscious parts of the mind to help you feel balanced and whole again. Jungian therapy invites people to delve into the deeper (and sometimes darker) elements of their mind and look at the real self rather than the self they present to the outside world.

The goal is to help you to understand your unconscious and its influence on your conscious behavior. This self-awareness can empower you to make changes that will help you to become more balanced and whole again. Jungian therapy can be very creative and engaging because it involves talking about dreams, drawing or expressing things in a non-verbal way, and using your imagination in lots of different ways.

Jungian Therapy can help us understand that when we feel pain or have difficulties, we are not alone and that as human beings, having lots of deep emotions and feelings is natural. Jungian therapy contains lots of images and symbols which describe these parts of being human.

Key Values

At the heart of my practice are some key values which I always ensure, regardless of what methods are used. They are...

Confidentiality

Confidentiality is one of the most important aspects of our work together. Having that sense of trust means that you have an open and safe space in which to explore personal feelings and difficult issues

Image by Chris Linnett

Non-Judgement

My job is not to judge and criticise but to listen and try as best as possible to understand what it is you are saying and feeling. It is not about anyone else's thoughts and feelings... only yours! This allows the real you to be heard and valued.

Image by Kenny Eliason

Respect

Regardless of how positive or negative your thoughts and feelings are, you will still experience acceptance and support without any conditions. There is no right or wrong way to be, in order to be accepted and listened to.

Image by Darius Bashar

Listening

To be truly heard is an empowering thing. It is understandable that you may need to say things without interruption which you may not have had an opportunity to say anywhere else. To listen properly is to go beyond just hearing the words spoken.

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