I work with an integrative approach, which combines Person Centred Therapy, with techniques from CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy), Gestalt Therapy, and Mindfulness.
This means I can draw from different approaches to offer you the counselling that will best suit you and your needs, as a unique individual.
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT)
Cognitive-behaviour therapy (CBT) suggests that the ways we think and read situations are important in how we feel and behave. It proposes we often have unhelpful negative or unrealistic ideas about ourselves and the world around us. Which can make us feel low, anxious or upset.
When working with a counsellor using cognitive-behaviour therapy, the focus of therapy is on recognising the thoughts we have. How they relate to what we feel or do. Then developing strategies to think more positively or realistically to help us feel better and enable change.
Cognitive-behaviour therapy is a ‘talking therapy’ like counselling but it's more structured. Placing greater emphasis on techniques to understand why we feel the way we do and then to make changes as a result.
This often means clients undertaking specific tasks or activities outside sessions. Such as keeping a note of situations that seem to invoke feelings of distress (such as anxiety). Or trying out new ways of doing things to see if what we believe or fear actually comes true.
Person-Centred Counselling is based on the belief that everyone tries to, and has the capacity to, fulfil their own potential.
It emphasises the quality of the relationship between the client and counsellor. This is considered the most important thing to help a client get things off their chest and determine the right way forward for themselves.
It does not involve being given advice or being told what to do by someone else. The counsellor helps the client learn to trust themselves and realise their potential. Counsellors work to offer clients an understanding approach that doesn't judge and is honest and friendly.
The client decides the main focus of the counselling, and is able to discuss what might help. The counsellor helps the process by asking questions and helping the client clarify what they think and how they feel.
Mindfulness therapy is based on the ancient practice of mindfulness. It's a very popular approach that can be helpful for people who are stressed, anxious, or suffering from mood-related issues.
Mindfulness can also be very helpful in helping focus your mind on the immediate present. This process, with practice, allows you to recognise the wanderings of the mind as only thoughts, not reality.
For example, you may start thinking: “What if I can’t cope”, “that person doesn’t like me”, “I’m no good at that”, etc. These thoughts will lead to negative feelings such as anger, sadness, guilt, anxiety, or regret.
But if you let these feelings pass through your mind freely you can learn to accept them as only day-to-day thoughts and nothing more. You can then free yourself of the negative feelings that go with them and learn to feel more peaceful and calm on a day-to-day basis.
Indeed, research suggests that patterns of the mind actually change with the practice of mindfulness.
Gestalt therapy is an approach to counselling that helps clients focus on the present. Understanding what is really happening in their lives right now. Rather than what they may perceive to be happening based on past experience.
Instead of simply talking about past situations, clients are encouraged to experience them. This can involve focussing on the event and bringing past feelings to the here and now, so they can be fully explored and made sense of.
Through the gestalt process, clients learn to become more aware of how their own negative thought patterns and behaviours are blocking true self-awareness and making them unhappy.
The word “gestalt” means whole. Gestalt therapy was developed by psychotherapist Fritz Perls on the principle that humans are best viewed as a whole entity.
Consisting of body, mind, and soul, and best understood when viewed through their own eyes. Not by looking back into the past but by bringing the past into the present.