My Approach and values
Through continued learning and experience over a number of years. I am grateful for being able to support people successfully, to achieve positive outcomes within their life. As a trained integrative counsellor I am guided by an integrative philosophy, which draws on all the major schools of psychology. Although, when it comes to the therapeutic relationship with clients, my way of working is grounded in Person Centred approach, as I believe that Carl Rogers Core Conditions; Empathy (walking in someone else’s shoes); Congruence (being genuine & real); and Unconditional Positive Regard (being non-judgemental and non-critical), are essential attitudes for the counsellor to have within the therapeutic setting. I also believe that all humans will ultimately pursue what is best for them.
Experience has taught me that there is no single approach, which can treat each client in all situations. I identify as eclectic in orientation, utilising whichever techniques work best in any given situation. I use both traditional counselling methods alongside non-traditional methods within my therapy sessions, tailored to the individual needs of the client. As I believe effective therapy should take account of all aspects of a person; mind, body and emotions. So although sessions will involve talking, we might also explore breathing or use some more creative approaches. However, I will never force you to work in a way that you are very uncomfortable with. Whatever therapeutic approach we take, I aim to work with you in a respectful, professional, and non-judgemental way.
Although I have my own beliefs and values I would like you to be rest assured that I will never knowingly impose my values on you, as it is not my place to be judgemental or dictate. I also believe in the sanctity and dignity of human life, that all people have meaning and purpose, and that no individual is without true value regardless of age, sex, gender, sexual orientation, race, socio-economic status, choices made in life, or religion. This means you will be treated with dignity, respect and genuine concern for your well-being.
I feel that it is important that my clients accept that I act as a guide, rather than a judge. As it is always the client, not the therapist, who must make the decisions regarding their life. As your counsellor/therapist I will show you the ways and provide the tools; but it is you who must then make the choice and walk the path of your choice. You and I will decide together how many sessions you might need. Sometimes people feel better after a relatively short time, but other people need much longer. Every few weeks we will have an informal review so you can make decisions about continuing with therapy.
Aims of counselling/therapy
The key aim of therapy is to assist you in managing any transition in your life. Therapy is about freeing ourselves, moving away from what we don't want, towards what we do want. This may involve enabling you to manage difficult feelings, without avoiding them or acting them out. To bring a sense of relief so you can better understand your current situation, and allow new healthier perspectives to emerge. Therapy will assist you in developing & building a deeper sense of yourself. This may include unpicking the meanings you have made in your life, exploring what matters in your life, your feelings, beliefs, the way you perceive reality and fears as well as your hopes, dreams, imagination, aspirations and values. So a further aim is to bring about awareness to your own actions & reactions and how you make up your mind to act.
Lastly therapy aims to develop the skills and competencies for you to take responsibility for freeing yourself of some of the life patterns (negative beliefs and thoughts) that may have been holding you back. These skills may involve for example development of the ability to helpfully disengage from past negative programming, an ability to respond kindly and effectively to painful emotions as they arise, an ability to replace self-directed criticism and hostility with self compassion, and / or an ability to balance emotions through the cultivation of positive emotional states such as achievement, excitement, compassion, connection, gratitude, relaxation, and peacefulness, so you experience a broader range of emotions. Ultimately resulting in you becoming your own personal therapist.
Counselling/therapy goals and outcomes
Working from a solution focused way the benefits I will strive to help you achieve from counselling/therapy include:
- feel happier, lighter and more energetic;
- understand why you were depressed and how to prevent it;
- feel calmer;
- relief from (traumatic) stress symptoms;
- feel better - recover from fears and phobias or heal trauma;
- relief from previously ‘bottled up’ feelings;
- enhance your social skills if needed;
- meet your essential emotional needs more in balance;