integrative Counselling

Why have Counselling?
There are many reasons why people seek counselling, and there are no right or wrong reasons.   they can bring whatever is troubling them and stopping them leading the life they wish to lead. They may not even be aware of what the cause of their unhappiness is, or what is not working for them.

Counselling provides an opportunity to share concerns with a skilled listener in a safe, non- judgmental and confidential environment. Through exploring your experiences, past and present, you can gain an understanding of how these experiences are linked to your current behaviours and situation. This can help you to move forward to a space which feels more balanced, comfortable and healthy.

Who I work with.
I work with individuals who are experiencing issues such as: –
•    Generalised Anxiety Disorder, and/or panic attacks
•    Bereavement
•    Depression
•    Relationship issues
•    Work related stress
•    Post Natal Depression
The list is not exhaustive.

I work with Couples who are experiencing issues such as: –
•    Lack of trust
•    Betrayal or affair
•    Jealousy
•    Lack of communication
•    Financial issues
•    Work-related stress
•    Intimacy and/or Sex
•    Family conflicts
•    Different values/beliefs or goals
•    Different parenting styles
•    Life changes
•    Conflict
This list is not exhaustive and every situation is unique.

What is Integrative Counselling.
There are many different approaches (or methods) to counselling and psychotherapy which are built on a wide range of ideas and theories.  (You may have heard of CBT, Gestalt, Person Centred ((Humanistic)), to name just a few:) Integrative Counselling draws on these major orientations, and includes them in a Counselling method that treats the person as a whole.

Each Integrative Counsellor will have different combinations of models that they have trained in to become an Integrative Counsellor.

The Models I am trained in.

Psychodynamic Theory

Sigmund Freud is the founder of the psychodynamic theory.  The theory focuses on trying to get inside the head of individuals to make sense of their relationships, experiences and how they see the world.

Systemic Theory

Where Psychodynamic is inward looking, Systemic is more outward looking.   An individual’s significant relationships can be used as a resource, whether in the Therapy room or not, to facilitate change, and reduce stress and difficulties for all family members.

Brief Solution Focused Therapy

This approach typically focuses on the present and future, focusing on the past only to get a clear understanding of the clients concerns, and to communicate empathy.   It is conducted over a small number of sessions and is therefore very goal orientated.

Narrative Therapy

Every person is the expert in their own life, and will tell a story about that life that has meaning to them.  Those life stories are often problem saturated, for instance “I’m just an anxious person.”   This approach is one of curiosity and collaboration, enabling clients to externalise their problems, so that they can assess its effects in his or her life, come to know how it operates or works in their life; relate their earliest history; evaluate its position in the present; and in the end, choose their relationship to it.

CBT (Cognitive Behaviour Therapy)

CBT is a form of talking therapy that combines cognitive therapy and behaviour therapy. It focuses on how you think about the things going on in your life – your thoughts, images, beliefs and attitudes (your cognitive processes) – and how this impacts on the way you behave and deal with emotional problems. It then looks at how you can change any negative patterns of thinking or behaviour that may be causing you difficulties. In turn, this can change the way you feel.

What happens when you come for Counselling?

Individual Counselling

In a warm, empathic, non-judgemental environment, you talk about what you want, and what your needs are.  I will then encourage those needs to shape the way we work together. I will always remember that you are the expert on your life, your experiences and your emotions. Deep within yourself, I believe that you know what you need; you may have become confused about how to find that knowledge, or feel that you are still getting nowhere, and that is where talking, and really being heard, can be powerful tools in helping you to progress with your life in the way that is best for you.

Relationship/Couple Counselling

For people experiencing relationship issues, I work with both partners, mostly together, although I do sometimes see people individually. I listen to you both as you explore how you have been feeling, what has been bothering you, what you each feel the issues are in your relationship, and how you would prefer your relationship to be.  My role is to then facilitate change by helping you to communicate more effectively.

Each of the approaches mentioned above provides me with different ways to listen, and to then facilitate you getting to where you want to be, whether that is as an individual, or as part of a relationship.  Sometimes I may suggest homework, or different techniques in the Counselling room.  Here are some of the techniques I may use: –

  • Empty chair technique (Gestalt)
  • Express yourself creatively (using buttons, pebbles and other play therapy material)
  • Psychodrama & Role-play techniques
  • Inner child focused intervention
  • Bibliotherapy -using books as part of your therapy to enhance understanding
  • Creative therapeutic writing
  • Use of visualisations
  • Mindfulness
  • Dream work often has led clients to powerful realisations
  • Imagery and expressive art

How long will I have Counselling for?

This really depends on you.  Sometimes one session is enough for people to get some clarity on their issue, and what they want to do about it.  Other times people can have many sessions until they feel ready to finish.  But I will negotiate with you what you want, and how many sessions you would like.  If you have no idea, then we set a small amount, and work towards that, and then review. If you feel ready to finish at the end of that time, then great, but if not, we re-negotiate another number of sessions that you are comfortable with.