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.

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Person-Centred

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.

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Experiential

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.

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Emotion-focused

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.