Integrating Different Approaches
I tend to merge several different approaches together depending on your needs and your situation. Below is an overview for your information of the different types of counselling I would look to draw on.
Working in a Person Centred Way
Fundamental to this approach is the unshakeable belief that we are all on our own paths to our best and truest self. Like a plant that grows towards the light, we will steer ourselves, in the best way we can, to our optimum growth and life potential. With this approach I would pay close attention to who you are – without judgement, and allow and invite all of who you are to become more and more present. I would step into your world with you to really understand and experience it.
Questions we may explore would include:
• How are your relationships working?
• What are your core values and how do these impact you in your life?
• What has happened so far in your life that has shaped you – positively and negatively?
• How have you learned to cope with the negatives?
• Are these still serving you well or could this benefit from updating?
• What do you focus on or overlook?
As our counselling relationship grows, I would listen to what I feel being with you, and bring this into the space between us. Often this provides really useful ‘insight’ as to how you relate to yourself and how others might experience you. We might look at how this fits with your current struggles, or how you see yourself or how you think others see you. Often we have become used to looking for external feedback or approval for the things we say or how we behave. We will try to bring your focus back within you – which creates a sense of calm and internal connection.
Working in a Solution Focused way
If you are looking for and ready to make changes, I might draw from a Solution Focused approach. This can be very effective at helping you to see beyond your problems and give you the chance to experience ‘living’ life without their presence.
It isn’t always right for everyone, and sometimes it comes down to using it at the right time.
Working creatively – using art materials, shells, stones, visualisation or other tools can really help to connect with your right brain. This is our feeling, creative, instinctive self – and working creatively can help us to move away from the thinking, logical, rational left brain approach.
It can help us to visualize and bring hidden emotions to the surface, allowing them to be further investigated in therapy. This isn’t for everyone and I will suggest it if I feel it would add benefit, but you can always decline.
Working Using Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT)
CBT is based on the ideas that how we think feel and act all interact together. Specifically our thoughts determine our feelings and behaviour. Therefore negative and unrealistic thoughts can cause us distress and result in problems.
CBT tools can be really good to uncover negative thinking beliefs and patterns and challenge these. This generally requires you to notice and record things outside of the sessions, but can help to develop alternative ways of thinking and behaving.