How Psychotherapy can help:
Counselling is for anybody. Whether in the form of falling off your bicycle as a child, losing something, a job, the loss of a relationship or loved one, experiencing or witnessing abuse or neglect, all of us somewhere along our life from birth to death meet trauma, it is unavoidable. We all react differently to these events and counselling can help us to process feelings and emotions that may arise in response to these traumas so that we can live more peaceful and fulfilling lives.
Psychotherapy can help us gain insight into patterns that no longer serve us well. With this self-awareness it becomes easier to make sense of confusing emotions or damaging behaviours, and then have the opportunity to change them.
It can feel daunting taking the first step to attend or enquire about a counselling session. If you have never spoken to anyone about your feelings and emotions before it may be difficult to know if counselling is what you need. However, most people feel the benefit after their first session as they have taken a first positive step in addressing their problems.
Individual Counselling & Couples Therapy:
Counselling and Psychotherapy sessions are usually 50 minutes once a week; however this is flexible depending on your needs. In my experience it can take from 6 to 10 weeks for you to start to feel significant changes. This regularity and consistency at the beginning of your therapy is necessary for you to feel the benefits of the work.
I offer to work from a number of different perspectives and approaches so that we can, together, find the approach that feels right for you. I will provide you with a confidential, therapeutic, non-judgemental, congruent space so that you feel supported and understood enough to explore your issues.
The Therapeutic Relationship:
Trust is the most important ingredient in the Psychotherapy or Counselling relationship. Sometimes, I understand due to difficult emotions it can be difficult to develop that trust. For some you may feel comfortable working with me immediately, for some this trust may take time to grow and for others a different counsellor may be more suitable for you. I welcome and appreciate your feedback and if necessary I am happy to explore finding another counsellor with you that may better suit your needs.
Counselling/ Psychotherapy Approaches
The four main approaches I work from are the:
- Humanistic Approach
- Cognitive Behavioural Approach
- Social Approach
- Psychodynamic Approach
Humanistic (Person-Centred) Approach
“When I look at the world I’m pessimistic, but when I look at people I am optimistic.” (Rogers. C)
I believe that we are all unique and, therefore, that our view on our own reality and how to manage it should be trusted. This Person-centred approach is non-directive. It allows you to take the lead in therapy so that, in the process, you will discover that you have your own solutions.
As your therapist, I act as an empathic facilitator to fully understand your world, listening without judgment, acknowledging that your experience is always real and valid.
My role is to encourage and support you and to guide the therapeutic process without interrupting or interfering with your process of self-discovery.
This approach is effective in helping you gain self-confidence, develop a stronger sense of identity, building healthy relationships and learn to trust your own decision making.
You as the client do most of the talking. I do not interpret what you are saying and I will not judge or analyse any of your words. I attempt to fully understand your feelings and thoughts by stepping into your shoes and wondering how your experience might feel for you.
I restate your words in an attempt to help you to elaborate further and understand yourself more deeply. Moments of silence during the session are very helpful to allow you to process your thoughts and feelings...
This all helps facilitate your self-discovery, self-acceptance, and moves you in the direction of healing and positive growth.
This approach is the foundation of my practice. This approach seeks to help the client feel deeply understood and accepted in their experience with no judgement and I am repeatedly reminded of the powerful healing effect this has on a client. It also reminds me that no wisdom, including my own has any authority over the clients own wisdom.
“No Prophets nor Holy books or research or revelations of Gods and man will take precedence over my own direct experience”. (Rogers. C)
This approach is otherwise known as Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT). This approach helps you to become aware of your thoughts & actions and how they can affect the way you are living or not living your life.
This therapeutic process is effective to help you change behaviours, habits, routines and thoughts that may be causing you financial stress, disease, anxiety or depression to name just a few.
Using this approach we can work together to challenge what I call “mistaken thoughts and misunderstood beliefs”. This approach helps us to look at conditions and conditioned behaviour that can become ingrained in us through society, family and friends. These conditioned thought and belief systems can keep us trapped in certain ways of living our life that bring us great difficulties and block us from reaching our full potential. The following is a helpful way to challenge and explore these beliefs:
- What is the evidence for this belief?
- Does this belief invariably or always hold true.
- Does this belief look at the whole picture and does it take into account both positive and negative ramifications?
- Does this belief promote my well-being and/or peace of mind?
- Did I choose this belief on my own or did it develop out of my experience of growing up in my family?
I can also help you identify any unhelpful thinking patterns that may be disempowering you. For example, black and white thinking, mind reading, predicting, catastrophic thinking, use of should and must language, critical self-thinking and creating mountains and molehills.
This approach helps you to find practical solutions for the present without unpacking your whole life and digging too far into the past.
Social psychologists believe society and family has a major influence on a person’s behaviour, thought process and emotions.
This approach can help you understand family and societal systems and how these can profoundly shape a person’s identity or self-image by influencing their thoughts, feelings and actions in the world.
It will help you to understand roles different family members may take on as a form of defence/survival instinct that may lead to addiction, abusive, violent, emotionally unavailable behaviours or mental illness.
Sometimes it is possible that a client may feel very different from their family or tribe of origin. When this happens we may begin to feel lonely in the world which can lead to depression and anxiety.
An exploration of your family system can bring greater awareness, understanding and self-acceptance to gain a more fruitful enjoyable life.
This approach can guide you to a deeper place within yourself, this new awareness and acceptance of yourself can help you realise who you truly are when all the masks, defences and coping mechanisms that may have been learned to survive in your family or society over time are dissolved.
The psychodynamic perspective considers the individuals’ way of being in the world as mirroring their internal make up. Sometimes we may find ourselves repeating patterns over and over again without any awareness of what is driving this cycle. This approach helps us to unlock your unconscious thought and behavioural patterns which, if destructive or unhealthy may be causing this cycle to continue in your life and holding you back from your true potential.
This approach uses techniques such as dream analysis and free association to bring the shadows of the unconscious into light. It will provide you with deep insight and awareness about yourself, your thoughts and behaviour patterns. You will begin to really get to know yourself which will help you change patterns that may be leaving you feeling depressed, disempowered, anxious or angry. Letting go of any negative patterns will help you live a more healthy life with a more positive sense of self.
This approach can seem complicated, however, when facilitated correctly can guide you, the client, to find gems and jewels which may transpire into an enhanced state of self-awareness.
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