Counselling is a talking therapy, allowing you to work through issues that are affecting you and change your life for the better.
It is based on a personal, empathetic, non-judgemental relationship between you and the counsellor. Within this relationship you can explore what is going on in your life, gain insight into your feelings, and better understand your behaviours and thinking patterns. This can help you to come to terms with past experiences, develop better ways of coping, help overcome depression or anxiety, and challenge and change unhelpful ways of thinking.
I work integratively, which means using different approaches, where appropriate. I have been trained, to a post-graduate level, in the three approaches below.
- The Person-centred approach to counselling, developed by Carl Rogers, comes from the assumption that every person strives towards wholeness and fulfilment of their potential and has a need to feel loved and valued.
- It views the individual as the best authority on their own life and experiences.
- Problems can arise when we are denied acceptance and positive regard from others, or these are only offered conditionally, when we behave in certain ways.
- This can lead us to incorporate these conditions into our view of ourselves; we start to view and evaluate ourselves by other people's standards and demands.
- The relationship between client and counsellor is crucial and will offer unconditional positive regard, allowing the client to explore their thoughts and feelings and grow in their own way.
- In this relationship you, the client, will be accepted and respected for who you are, shown empathy and positive regard, and what you choose to share will be approached in a non-judgemental manner.
- The counsellor will be genuine and "real" with you, not an aloof expert.
- CBT is the preferred treatment of the NHS for depression and anxiety.
- It is a more directive approach, looking at the interaction of thoughts,emotions, behaviour and physical reactions.
- CBT seeks to identify unhelpful behaviours and thought patterns, and helps to evaluate and, where appropriate, modify them.
- CBT has a strong research evidence base and has been shown to be very effective for many situations.
Attachment Theory focuses on the way people form relationships (based on the work of John Bowlby and research by Mary Ainsworth). Our ways of relating to others are initially formed in childhood, depending on the experiences we had then. Adult relationships often follow the same patterns as established earlier in our lives.
This can explain issues in our current relationships, and help address those, as well as show origins of problem areas we might have in our lives and offer ways of overcoming them.