There are a myriad of modalities and frameworks that can be used in the therapy process. However, as individuals we are all different and therefore, I believe an important part of the counselling process is finding the therapy style that best supports you. This is one of the benefits of an integrative approach which, as the name suggests, means I combine and weave a number of different modalities and styles.
At the foundation of my approach is the importance of creating safety and trust, receiving you with warmth and compassion, giving you space and time to share your personal difficulties, to talk freely about things that concern you, to explore thoughts and feelings that you might not normally share, for you to be deeply heard and acknowledged in your struggles. (In therapy-speak this is what we call ‘Person-Centred Counselling’)
Sometimes we might use exercises that support you to give full, safe expression to your dilemmas or exercises that give you an experience of being in deeper feelings. This is because I believe we can often learn more about ourselves and come to realisations by actually BEING IN the experience as opposed to simply TALKING ABOUT the experience (In therapy speak we might call this ‘experiential therapy’).
I believe our past influences our present, often in subtle or unconscious ways. Therefore, where it is helpful, we may devote time to exploring experiences from the past (In therapy speak this is what we call ‘Psychodynamic Therapy’).
We may also explore your dilemmas in the context of the wider family in which you grew up. This is because we take on beliefs, roles and values based on events that happen in our family through the generations. This can unconsciously shape who we are and how we behave in the world today (In therapy speak this is ‘Family Systems Theory’).
Where it might be helpful and appropriate, we can use Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT). This is a practical, self-help technique from the exciting and emerging field of energy psychology. It involves tapping certain pressure points on the body. I admit it does look exceedingly strange! However, it can rapidly create positive changes and is underpinned by a strong and growing clinical evidence base. You can think of it as 'psychological acupuncture', without the needles of course!
I am also influenced by 'mind-body' approaches such as mindfulness-based practices and the Alexander Technique as well as Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP), Non-Violent Communication and the Twelve-step recovery principles.
However, going back to how I began ... it all depends on what I believe will best support you. Everybody is different and we will draw from different approaches in the way that best supports your growth and evolution. Most of all it's about supporting you to make your own discoveries and find your own answers. I believe within each of us we all have the innate potential and resources that we need to be able to move through our struggles and grow.
I see counselling as journey between counsellor and client. Together we are both simultaneously teacher and student. We will work together to set goals for what you would like to achieve from your sessions. It’s important that these goals feel right for you. We will work together at your own pace to help you take steps that will move you in the direction of your goals. It is not always going to be easy. There may be difficult and painful emotions and experiences that arise for you through the process. Working through such moments is a necessary part of the healing process. I commit to stand beside you throughout.