I genuinely believe that no matter how bad, overwhelming or confusing life seems, we can all find our way. I see therapy as genuinely collaborative work to gain a better understanding of what’s going on for you and why; what you can accept and what you want to be different; and how to get to where you want to be.
I'll listen to you, encourage and support you, and help you clarify exactly what you are grappling with. Sometimes that might be all you need to better hear yourself and understand what you need to do now. At other times, you might benefit from a more focused exploration of thought patterns, assumptions, expectations, hopes and fears; information and a better understanding of what you are going through and why; or explicit work on managing symptoms or making changes.
I think humour can have its place in the therapy room - alongside serious reflection and exploration, of course. Change takes guts and courage, but it needn’t always be grim...
In therapy, I prefer to focus on what is going on now - as that is what we can change. However, our feelings, thoughts and behaviours in the present are rooted in learning from the past. Understanding our underlying motivations, beliefs and expectations - acquired from past experiences - can often help make sense of current feelings, thoughts and behaviours that may seem unhelpful or negative in the present, and can help us see how to move forward whether in acceptance or change. Challenging habitual patterns of thinking is often the key to positive change.
Competent counsellors recognise the value of drawing on a variety of approaches, tools and models to aid their work with clients, as I do. I am an ‘integrative therapist’, with a Humanistic positive view of people and their potential, and I tend to focus primarily on the present. I also draw on the Adlerian approach of how people operate in the world (which is primarily psycho-dynamic), and use aspects of CBT and other tools in certain circumstances.
Neuroscientific and neuro-psychological perspectives increasingly offer key insights and guidance into what really works, and what doesn't - this is a key part of the therapy I offer. Scientific research endorses the effectiveness of our historically intuitive practices (with a few exceptions and caveats), so a 'scientific approach' is not always necessary for good therapy. However, used appropriately, neuroscientific insights offer useful guidance on issues such as how to create the best conditions for change; how to understand and manage conditions such as anxiety, depression or trauma responses; or how to deal with unhelpful thought patterns. They also offer ideas for improving and maintaining our mental well-being.
Understanding things from a biological perspective gives hope too... We are literally wired for change, and whilst we can learn unhelpful patterns, we can unlearn them too…
For more information, see the FAQs or contact me. I will be adding more information about relevant theory here for those who are interested.