My Approach to Counselling

Why counselling?

Counselling is a way of exploring your feelings about difficulties you may be having or have experienced in your life. On this page, I outline my approach to counselling.

How I work:

Clients usually attend weekly, fifty-minute sessions, at an agreed time each week (some flexibility available). I also offer Skype and Zoom online sessions, and currently, work with clients around the UK. I offer both short (6-12 sessions) and longer-term counselling and psychotherapy to individuals both young people and adult men and women. Every client’s experience is unique and individual. Therefore, as part of our initial session, we will discuss and agree on how we might continue working together.

My Qualifications and experience:

I am a fully qualified humanistic integrative counsellor and psychotherapist with a wide range of therapeutic experience.

I completed 4 years of training; my initial therapy training was at the Iron Mill College in Exeter where I gained a certificate in counselling. I subsequently gained a foundation degree and then studied for a BA in Integrative Therapy from the University of Worcester. I learned various theories in order to choose which worked for me as a person, to be able to deliver effectively as a therapist. My approach is more accurately described as Integrative.

What is Integrative Counselling?

My approach to counselling draws from both the Humanistic and Psychodynamic schools of thought in dealing with issues brought by my clients such as; change or acceptance, and I draw on a number of approaches and styles of counselling to help clients explore and resolve their problems, and to achieve their goals and aspirations. These include Person-centred, Humanistic, Psychodynamic, Existential, Transactional Analysis and Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) principles.

Not all therapy approaches suit all people; people are individual and therefore I tailor a therapeutic approach to suit their specific requirements.  Individuals think, feel and react in different ways.  Integrating these different approaches can help bring changes to people’s life.  I take the view that there is no single approach that can treat each client in all situations. Each person needs to be considered as a whole and my counselling techniques must be tailored to their individual needs and personal circumstances.

Integrative counselling maintains the idea that there are many ways in which human psychology can be explored and understood.  All theories are considered to have value, therefore, require the need to be integrated.  The integrative approach refers to the infusion of an individual’s personality and needs then integrates the affective, behavioural, cognitive and physiological systems in one person.  Integrative counsellors tailor the therapy to their clients and not the client to the therapy; as they are not only concerned that an approach works but why it works.

I do short, medium and long-term Counselling click here to see more.

Relationship-Relationship- Relationship, is my personal philosophy, I believe that the efficacy of any approach in therapy is based on the quality of the relationship between client and counsellor.

The Integrative counselling, I draw upon:

Person-Centred Counselling

The model closely fitting this philosophy is called person-centred counselling devised in the 1940s by Carl Rogers.  Rogers was influenced by post-Freudian concepts in psychotherapy and believed that reliance on theory could lead to a situation where the therapist attempted to fit or mould a client into a preconceived cognitive structure rather than engaging in the client’s world as he or she experienced it. (1) He researched what clients said worked for them, and the conditions required to enable their personal development. One of the main concepts that he drew from the research was the requirement of certain “core conditions” which he refers to as congruence (honesty, authenticity), unconditional positive regard (a non-judgmental and wholly accepting attitude to the client) and empathy.

Rogers believed that with the right conditions a client will move towards self-actualisation “the curative force in psychotherapy – man’s tendency to actualize himself, to become his potentialities. I like to see that as the Acorn Principal click here to see more.

Regarded as the cornerstones for the person-centred approach, it is my belief that these core conditions are powerful when they are part of the therapist’s way of being in a relationship. This is a philosophy, not a technique.

How integrative therapy works

My approach to counselling is Integrative therapy draws its theories and tools from the three main schools of psychotherapeutic thought – psychoanalytical (which includes psychodynamic), humanistic, and cognitive behavioural.

Psychoanalytical therapy explores your unconscious to discover how your past experience has informed your future and can involve free association and dream analysis.

Humanistic therapy is interested in your capacity to achieve your potential and believes you know best what works for you. It might look to the past for patterns but also focuses on helping you address present-day behavioural patterns.

Cognitive behavioural therapy mostly focuses on changing your present-day behaviour to improve your moods and ability to cope. It focuses on the connection between thought, emotions, and actions.

Mindfulness is also increasingly used. It is a set of tools that help you be more present to what you are thinking, feeling, and experiencing right now, instead of always being caught up in worries about the past and future.

Creative therapies

I occasionally use creative interventions when clients may be stuck in their process and require something different to talking therapy to access their emotions. This might be sand tray work, visualisations, drawing or writing to help the individual in their process. This is all done with discussion and agreement beforehand.

My work and experience as a therapist/Counsellor:

I have been working as a counsellor and psychotherapist in private practice since early 2017. 

I also work regularly with counselling and psychotherapy students in therapeutic settings

Other experience includes working as a school counsellor for a private international college in Taunton.  

Over the years, some of the issues I have helped clients explore and resolve include:

  • stress and anxiety (including panic attacks)
  • depression
  • relationship difficulties / couples counselling
  • self-esteem and confidence issue
  • sex and sexuality issues (including gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and questioning issues)
  • sexual abuse issues
  • issues with personal relationships
  • loss and bereavement
  • addiction
  • communication difficulties
  • family issues and mediation
  • work and career
  • health and well-being
  • coping with change and transition
  • eating disorders
  • obsessive-compulsive behaviours/disorders
  • anger management
  • divorce
  • religion
  • dealing with redundancy
  • self-harm