Your First Session
In your first session, we will take some time getting to know each other. I will talk you through what you can expect from counselling and answer any questions you have. I will explain the ethical framework that I work with, and how this ensures that I always put you at the centre of the sessions. It is important that you feel comfortable and safe with me and this first session will help you to decide if you would like to work with me moving forward.
Different Counselling Approaches
Person Centred Approach:
This approach focuses on a person’s ability to flourish if they have the right conditions provided. As a plant needs sunlight, water and food, if we have love and care without judgement, we can become the best person we can be. However, if we are conditioned to believe that our true selves are not acceptable, we adapt to try and become more accepted and lovable. However, feeling unable to be ourselves only leads to unhappiness and unfulfilment. This approach requires the therapist to provide the right conditions - empathy, to be non-judgemental and to be genuine. The client can then begin to realise that they are lovable and can start to flourish.
This approach focuses on what lies beneath the surface, in the unconscious. We all understand that our experiences shape us and make us who we are. However, we often bury these experiences and the way they make us feel. We don't like to acknowledge these feelings as they are too painful and so we supress them. However the feelings don’t actually go away. We build defences to bury the feelings deep down and to try and protect ourselves from the hurt. This approach believes that these defences do more harm than good. Psychodynamic counselling works with the client to uncover these experiences, explore them, and acknowledge the impact of them. Processing these experiences and understanding them means that they can be resolved and the client can begin to move forward without those defences.
I am an integrative therapist which means that I am able to combine different approaches to make sure that I work in the right way for you. . Each person is different and therefore it is important that I work in a tailored way.
Some counselling approaches that I use are:
Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT):
This approach focuses on changing unhelpful thoughts. It believes that many people develop habits of unhelpful thinking which makes them respond to life events in unhelpful ways. This way of thinking can make us feel unhappy, depressed and anxious and lead to a vicious cycle that’s difficult to get out of. For example, we may tell ourselves that we are unlovable without actually having any evidence for this. This can make us feel depressed and then believe that we are unlovable because of the depression. Our thoughts inform our feelings which then inform our behaviour. CBT counselling explores these unhelpful thinking patterns and replaces them with a more helpful way of thinking.