I describe myself as an ‘integrative’ counsellor as I draw on a number of counselling approaches, rather than just specialising in one. This is because I believe that people’s experiences are not just unique, they can also be complex, and having a number of techniques to draw on enables me to fully support people, across a range of issues.
The Person-Centred approach is based on a belief that everyone has an in-built capacity to achieve their full potential. My aim is to provide the right ‘safe’ non-judgemental environment to enable this personal growth to happen through empathic listening, and also encouraging you to explore what needs to happen in order for you to be able to achieve your goal.
Cognitive-behavioural Therapy (CBT) is an empowering approach which can be useful when thinking patterns are not helpful. Working together collaboratively, we will look at alternative ways to make sense of the situation which is feeling difficult. This can help if you are feeling ‘stuck’ or ‘trapped’ within your current way of thinking or viewing things, as it frees you to choose alternative interpretations of events. CBT is a particularly effective approach for anxiety and depression.
From a psychodynamic perspective, it is believed that the past can still influence us in the present - perhaps outside our consciousness. We may also uncover subconscious conflicts within ourselves that are keeping us stuck in our present circumstances. This therapy explores how the unconscious mind influences thoughts and behaviours, with the aim of offering you insight and change for the better. It tends to look at experiences from early childhood to see if these events have affected your life, or potentially contributed to current difficulties. This form of therapy is considered a more long-term choice and can continue for weeks, months or even years depending on the depth of the concern being explored.
Transactional Analysis (TA) offers a framework upon which we gain a better understanding of our own personalities, relationships and patterns of communication. This model can shed light on why we act in a particular way with different people in our lives, gaining valuable insights about ourselves (for example life patterns that originated in childhood, that get repeated even though they can be self-defeating or painful) and others, the value of which in turn can lead to personal growth and positive change, as you begin to step outside your normal unhelpful behaviour patterns.