As a therapist I am guided by the needs and concerns of the person attending. I work with well established models of psychotherapy. These approaches, outlined below, can help when we experience difficulties in how we feel, think, behave and relate to one another. One form of therapy does not suit all, so the different types of therapy described here are chosen to suit a wide range of needs and situations.
Much of my work is Cognitive, which means paying attention to how and what we think, the kinds of thoughts we have about ourselves and how our thinking affects the way we feel. In therapy we have the time, safety and space to look at how we have come to think as we do and why we believe the things we have come to believe about ourselves. The more aware we are of why we think and feel the way we do, the more we can make conscious, positive choices in how we respond to ourselves and to others. This process of self-discovery can, at times. be difficult. It can also be immensely rewarding. Through the process of psychotherapy we can find the capacity to deal with the unresolved hurts and difficulties that occur in life. In doing so, we can discover the strengths and qualities to live a more full and satisfying life.
A Psychodynamicapproach looks at the factors that have been an influence in one’s life and the effects these may have had. This approach attempts to bring to conscious awareness what had been unconscious or forgotten. Dream analysis, word association and the use of art materials can be helpful in achieving this.
A Humanisticapproach focuses on the power of listening with empathy. To be fully heard and accepted without judgement can in itself be of great benefit. Being listened to helps us to listen to ourselves more deeply and perhaps discover things we had not previously been aware of.
GestaltTherapy is more interactive, working through techniques and exercises that enable us to become fully conscious of feelings in the here and now and to realise why we feel as we do. This approach is particularly useful for people who tend to live through their thoughts and ideas rather than through their feelings. Gestalt helps us to re-connect with the wholeness of our lives.
Mindfulnessis complementary to Gestalt in that it focuses awareness on the here and now, however mindfulness can be more meditative. Mindfulness need not be as interactive as Gestalt and can be practiced individually and form part of one’s daily life.
There has been, and continues to be, much research into the numerous psychological and health benefits of mindfulness, particularly in the area of stress reduction.
The Therapeutic Alliance. Whatever the method or approach taken, the central, most important aspect is the quality of the person to person encounter in the therapy sessions. As the therapist and client work together for the the best outcome, It is crucial that the person attending therapy feels comfortable and safe with the therapist they have chosen and that they feel understood and heard by their therapist.