What is your approach to counselling?

There are so many different ways of working with people it can be very confusing, so let me explain the way I approach the stories people share with me.

Safe Space

In a review of the many kinds of psychotherapies available, it was discovered that successful interventions all started with the same requirement – a warm and trusting relationship. So the first thing I want to provide for you and your family is a safe space to share the things that are on your heart, the things that trouble you, the things that you want to change. Confidentiality is a key to this trust and you will read about that in my information/contract document that I send to all clients before their first appointment. Safety also comes from knowing that you are fully in charge of the process. I see myself as a consultant and our relationship as a collaborative one. Please feel free to ask any question you have and discuss anything that bothers you about the process – I will be asking for feedback along the way because I am also learning, along with you, about the ways that I can better help and support you.

Individually tailored treatment

The massive benefit of one-on-one consultation is to be able to tailor an intervention to the needs of the individual. That’s why we will spend a little time finding out about you – not just your problem. Many times the client mostly wants relief from something distressing. I am here to help you make sense of what you are thinking and feeling, ways that you are acting and reacting – so that together we can chart a way forward. My training brings the skill of making a psychological formulation and matching it to an evidence-based practice (a way of working that has been shown to be helpful for this particular difficulty.) Some examples of evidence-based practices are described below:

Narrative Therapy

Developed in the 1980s by a team of family therapists, the Narrative approach acknowledges that people often get into difficulties when their lives are dominated by a “single story”, a problem-centred narrative, which doesn’t tell the whole story of their lives and doesn’t help them to get in touch with alternative narratives and skills and resources that could enable them to re-story the present and build a different expectation for the future. This is a great way of working with families but also has huge value for the individual who is “stuck” enacting a story which doesn’t work well for them or those around them. Watch HERE for a short video talking about the power of story in my own life.

Cognitive Behaviour Therapy

This therapy aims to help people change their problems by changing the way they think and behave – for example, when we are feeling down or anxious, we often fall into patterns or thinking or acting that perpetuate a negative cycle, keeping the problem going and preventing recovery. This is a short-term, goal-oriented therapy which has been shown to be very effective in helping people learn skills and tactics to combat anxiety and depression, specific phobias and even to overcome the effects of trauma.

Solution Focused Brief Therapy

This is a positive future-oriented form of therapy, which helps clients to identify a preferred future and then take steps towards it. It can often turn situations around in a short space of time and, like narrative therapy, assumes that the client is the expert on their own life. It works on the assumption that we don’t always need to know what caused a problem, to work out a solution to it.

Check out this short video that explains the difference between some popular forms of therapy