Counselling and psychotherapy are both "talking therapies" which attempt to help us make sense of our lives and survive crisis, difficulty or turning points. I work from an integrative framework, which means that I have been trained in a number of different theoretical approaches. I draw variously upon humanistic/person centred, cognitive behavioural and psychodynamic models. I have specific training in brief solution-focused therapy, schema therapy, eye movement desensitisation and reprocessing (EMDR), mindfulness and existential therapy. What this means in practice is that I adapt my approach to meet the needs of the individual. All clients are different and come with their own history and unique set of specific issues and concerns.
For example, I might use CBT or Mindfulness for clients experiencing panic attacks or social anxiety. Whereas, the person who is depressed or struggling with relationships might benefit from a more relational or philosophical approach. When working short-term (typically 6-8 sessions), I use solution focussed brief therapy to quickly identify and build upon resources that the client is already using and help them to further develop their skills base.
People come to counselling and psychotherapy for all sorts of reasons. A significant life event such as bereavement, relationship breakdown, redundancy or panic attack can feel overwhelming. There can also be an underlying sense of unhappiness, malaise or a feeling that life could be better or different. Clients may present with a single issue or symptom, or a range of issues that they wish to address.
My aim is help client's explore their way of being and to clarify those aspects of life that cause distress, confusion, dissatisfaction or anger. Such feelings often lead to a sense of being stuck, unfulfilled and frustrated with life.
I also believe that it is important to consider the specific concern in the context of the individual's ongoing struggle to live authentically. For example; the presence or absence of meaning, and the role of choice and responsibility in one's life.
In exploring our thoughts and feelings about our current difficulties and concerns we move towards a better understanding and clarification and so begin to get a clearer sense of the options and choices before us.