I was trained as an Integrative Counsellor. This means I believe that no one theory will either make sense of or be entirely applicable to every person. Neither will one approach or technique help all people. I work with people in whatever way helps them to resolve the issue they have chosen to address.
We can experience difficulty in a number of ways: in our thoughts; in our feelings; in our bodies and in our spirits. My approach is to explore where the blocks lie and work with a person to help them move forward.
Broadly speaking my approach is humanistic and optimistic because I believe in the essential goodness of people, their innate drive to develop and their ability to use their inner resources to resolve difficulties.
As well as being a qualified and experienced counsellor, I am also a qualified teacher. I have taught English & Drama in Secondary schools, worked with children with special needs and worked in a Higher Education Chaplaincy.
I employ approaches and methods from Person-Centred Counselling, Gestalt Therapy, Transactional Analysis, Transpersonal Psychology, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy and Psychosynthesis. If you would like to know more about these approaches you can find a brief summary of each below.
The person-centered approach views the client as being the best authority on their own experience and as possessing the internal resources they need to change and grow. Person-centered counselling aims to provide three ‘core conditions’ (unconditional positive regard, empathy and congruence) which help that growth to occur. It is a non-judgmental, non-directive approach to assisting the client in finding personal solutions.
Gestalt therapy focuses on clients gaining an awareness of emotions and behaviours in the present rather than in the past. In therapy, clients become aware of what they are doing, how they are doing it, how they can change; and learn to accept and value themselves. Gestalt therapy takes into account the whole person including thoughts, feelings, behaviour, body sensations, and dreams. The focus is on integration: how the many parts of the person fit together and how the person interacts with their environment. Many therapeutic interventions — exercises and experiments — have been developed to enhance a client’s awareness and bring about change.
Transactional Analysis (TA) is a set of practical conceptual tools for personal growth and change. TA's foundational principles are that people can be responsible for their choices and thoughts; that people are OK, worthwhile, and deserve to be treated with dignity; that people make decisions about their lives; and that people can change. TA concepts can help people to think clearly and raise their emotional intelligence; develop new options and outcomes; analyse difficult situations; and change destructive or harmful thoughts, situtations or behaviours that happen over and over again.
Transpersonal Psychology is concerned with humanity's highest potential and with the recognition, understanding and realization of unitive, spiritual, and transcendent states of consciousness. Transpersonal psychologists attempt to integrate timeless wisdom with modern Western psychology. Transpersonal psychology is about the seen and the unseen — the sources of conscious and unconscious beliefs and programs that govern people's lives.
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) is a type of therapy that aims to help clients manage their problems by changing how they think and act. CBT encourages clients to talk about how they think about themselves, the world and other people and about how what they do affects their thoughts and feelings. By talking about these things, CBT can help clients to change how they think and what they do, which can help them feel better about life.
Psychosynthesis is composed of two Greek words: 'Psycho', meaning Self or Soul; and 'synthesis', meaning bringing together. It deals with the whole person — the physical, the emotional, the mental, and the spiritual. Psychosynthesis is a comprehensive psychological and educational approach to the development of the whole person. While most Eastern approaches have tended to emphasize the spiritual side of being, and Western approaches have usually focused on the personality level, psychosynthesis attempts to view a person as a whole and to accord to each aspect its due importance. In psychosynthesis counselling a range of approaches and methods can be used to encourage integration: dialogue, Gestalt techniques, dream work, guided imagery, affirmations, meditation, sand play, art therapy, journaling, drama therapy, and body work.
My advanced diploma was accredited by the British Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy and I work within their Code of Ethics. I receive regular supervision as required by the The Ethical Framework of BACP.
I have a Confidentiality Policy which I explain to clients during the introductory session and, with my clients’ permission, I keep written records in accordance with the Data Protection Act.
I am fully insured.
I hold an Advanced Diploma in Integrative Counselling (Adv Dip Couns) accredited by the British Association of Counsellors and Psychotherapists (BACP). I have completed The Institute of Psychosynthesis' Fundamentals of Psychosynthesis course and a course in Transactional Analysis. I have been trained as a Samaritan Counsellor for Samaritans.
I have attended additional courses on: self-harm; domestic abuse; bereavement; dying; body therapy; Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder; anger; and children and adolescents counselling.
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