Counselling can be a safe and confidential space to explore the difficulties you are experiencing. Working with a counsellor can help you express ways of thinking and behaving in a non-judgemental space. It is a collaborative process, which allows you to feel heard and have a clear understanding of your presenting problems and goals for therapy. You will develop links between your thinking processes and emotional and behaviour responses. By rethinking the presenting problems in a way that feels less confusing and begins to make more sense, you are able to challenge beliefs, build confidence and better coping strategies.
Below is an outline of the counselling theories I am trained in. I would be happy to explain my way of working should you wish to know more.
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT)
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) is a research based modality of counselling and it is through the gathering of empirical evidence that clients can dispute negative automatic thoughts and core beliefs. The CBT therapist’s role is to guide and mentor rather than instruct. Coming alongside the client as they explore new thoughts/behaviours and help them open up new opportunities for exploration through questioning. The approach is open-minded and curious, not accusatory or persuasive. All the while watching for distorted thinking and helping to challenge assumptions. CBT is structured on a client’s readiness to engage in change as well as the relationship. It may be helpful to use worksheets to help break down issues and form new patterns of relating. Clients develop a bespoke toolbox which they can practice outside of sessions. This builds confidence in using skills even when therapy has ended.
Humanistic Integrative Therapy
I use a combination of Person Centred, Gestalt and Transactional Analysis. They each have their roots in humanistic theories. The client not only experiences the therapist but also their own emotional difficulties and chooses whether to respond to them. It is the relational depth that allows the clients to reduce self-protecting behaviours and be able to express themselves more fully. It is a set of attitudes and values and is considered an approach rather than a formal theory or method. Each of the modalities has different ways of understanding distress and communication which are the root causes of presenting problems. The therapeutic relationship is equal and improves the client’s trust in themselves and self-confidence. The client is the expert on themselves and the therapist walks alongside as if in the client’s shoes.
Single Session Therapy
The principle of a single session is to work on an immediate problem that needs resolving. It can be a good starting point into counselling and help clients to understand what might be expected in longer term therapy. It is goal focussed and looks at one problem agreed at the start of the session. Working collaboratively the therapist will challenge the client to define the problem causing the most impact. By understanding the problem and how this might be reconsidered the client is equipped with strategies to go away and implement.