Over the years counselling has improved the quality of life for millions of people, but this can only happen if you want it to happen. A person usually decides they need counselling if they are experiencing problems that are affecting their life, and they are unable to resolve it themselves or with help from family or friends.
Counselling is fundamentally based on you being able to "talk things through" with a qualified counsellor or psychotherapist who will respect you as an individual and really listen to you. Through analysis of the problems you might be experiencing, a counsellor will aim to help you achieve a better understanding of your problems which can often enable you to reach a different perspective on life so positive changes in behaviour or thinking can take place.
There are many different models of therapy which may be confusing for clients. I trained as an integrative counsellor, which means that I use a combination of psychodynamic, person centred and cognitive counselling theories, depending on the problems presented by my clients. Every client is unique and I will discuss and agree a tailor made programme with you at the beginning and at intervals during therapy, to make sure the right method is working for you. It is possible that different issues can arise during the course of sessions, so it may sometimes become necessary to change the approach to achieve the most effective results.
Some clients benefit from a short series of sessions that focus on specific key issues. It may also involve the accomplishment of specific tasks, which will help to resolve and change thought processes or behaviour patterns that could have been established as a result of trauma or negative experiences. This is often referred to as CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy) or CAT (Cognitive Analytical Therapy) and can be very effective in helping to change thinking and behaviour.
Other clients benefit from a more "in depth" exploration and analysis of their conscious and unconscious thoughts and feelings which generally requires a longer term approach. Previous experiences or traumatic events may have had a profound effect, albeit unknown to the client, that has led to problems in later life. By working together with the counsellor, clients are encouraged to examine both the conscious and unconscious mind in a gentle, safe and secure environment. The aim being to determine, unlock and resolve the key issues that have been causing the present day problems. This may be described as Analytical or Psychodynamic Therapy.
Other forms of therapy that I use are Gestalt, Humanistic or Person Centred. All have their place in finding the most suitable and appropriate counselling method for each individual client