The words “counselling” and “therapy” are to me interchangeable and I use them here to mean the same thing: the process of meeting with a therapist or counsellor with the aim of improving individual wellbeing through addressing problematic behaviours, beliefs, feelings, relationship issues, and/or somatic responses (sensations in the body). Some people use the term “psychological therapist” as a catch-all for the different names that therapists call themselves.
How it works:Therapy is a process which offers you:
- an opportunity to talk to someone neutral, outside of your situation, and who is experienced at helping people find their own answers
- a professional relationship with a qualified practitioner which is supportive, trustworthy and confidential, within which you can safely explore your concerns
- someone who really listens to you in an accepting and respectful way, acting as a compassionate sounding board to help you make sense of your concerns in the wider context.
This process may allow you to have:
- different ways of understanding yourself
- a greater awareness of how repeating patterns (ways of relating, feelings, thoughts and behaviour) play a part in your concerns
- an opportunity to identify & work towards the changes you want to make (and a way of working towards acceptance of things that you cannot change)
- a chance to learn new coping strategies.
Therapy may be time-limited (for example we may initially agree to six or eight sessions and then review our progress) focusing on a few specific things you wish to address or achieve, or it may be longer term and open ended, more suitable for an in-depth approach tackling deeper emotional problems that have a long standing history.
The type of therapy I offerThere are literally hundreds of different types of psychological therapy, but they can broadly be divided into three categories: behavioural therapies, which focus on cognitions (mental processes) and behaviours, psychoanalytical and psychodynamic therapies, which focus on the unconscious relationship patterns that evolved from childhood, and humanistic therapies, which focus more on self-development, and what is going on 'here and now'.
As an integrative counsellor/therapist, my training has drawn on aspects of all these categories, but in the main it is a humanistic approach. This means we begin with (but are not limited to) what is going on in the present, and as the trusting relationship between the therapist and the client develops, this becomes a safe and therapeutic space to work towards greater wellbeing. Clients are encouraged to think about their feelings and take responsibility for their thoughts and actions, and the therapy can be described as "holistic" or looking at the person as a whole, including context and social factors.
Some presenting issues such as stress and anxiety management are known to respond well to certain approaches, such as CBT, but this does not suit everyone. I work with my clients to find the approach that works best for them. Working with couples and relationships sometimes includes suggesting some homework to practice between sessions. Again, this approach is adapted to the needs of the client or clients. If you are interested in working with me, please contact me to find out more.