How I work
The information below should give you an idea about the work that I do. If you need further information, please feel free to get in touch via the Contact page.
The person-centred approach is based on the belief that human beings have an innate tendency towards growth; it's part of the survival instinct. However, this 'actualising tendency' can become blocked by life experiences which may have distorted a person's sense of self-worth.
As a person-centred counsellor, my aim is to understand an individual's experience from their point of view.
In order to this, it is important that I am able to develop a relationship with the client, based on an unconditional valuing of their full humanity, even those aspects that the person finds hard to accept. This goes hand-in-hand with a commitment to being genuine with the client.
The therapeutic relationship is vital to helping a person feel accepted and fully understood. This is often the first step to enabling a person to reconnect with a sense of self-worth and find their own way to move forward.
My approach within the person-centred school of thought is 'experiential'; I actively engage with what the client is experiencing in the here-and-now. This is underpinned by a high level of 'empathic attunement'; listening very carefully to not only what is said, but what is left unsaid.
As a psychotherapist, I place great importance on careful tracking of your 'process', following the flow of the material you have chosen to focus on and the direction it is taking you, moment-by-moment.
I will offer suggestions as to areas that it might be useful for you to explore at greater depth. I might suggest techniques and exercises to help you do this, including exercises drawn from Cognitive Behavioural Therapy.
But remember, you are in control; I will never pursue something if you do not feel ready or able to be with a particular experience.
I believe that negative emotions, feelings, reactions and thoughts each have something important to tell us, even though they can be disturbing and debilitating at the time.
Emotion-focused therapy draws together the person-centred approach with aspects of 'Gestalt' therapy, with the aim of developing a person's emotional intelligence. Emotions are vital to survival (in other words, they are 'adaptive') in that they help us communicate and problem-solve. But negative life experiences can lead to 'maladaptive' emotional responses which are less helpful to us.
I will work with you to explore these responses, so that you are able to better understand them. I will also work with you to help you organise and regulate your emotional responses, so that you experience and express them without being overwhelmed by them.