There are many types of counselling, based on different theories and principles. If you’ve had counselling before you’ll know that this makes a difference to the ‘style’ of help you’ll receive, so I thought I’d dedicate some space here to describing my approach.
My approach is based on Humanistic values and Person-Centred principles. Something I consider very important is autonomy: I believe that people need to be self-governing in order to feel happy and content. It is always my hope that counselling will help you to feel more self-reliant, confident and ‘competent’ as a person. Therefore, my counselling style is non-directive, I don’t give life advice or try to steer you in a particular direction; instead the aim is to help you to find your own way forward. We talk about what you want to talk about, at your pace, and I don’t set pre-determined limits on how many sessions you should have.
My counselling style is holistic, rather than reductionist. I take the view that mental distress is a normal reaction to what happens to you, not an illness or sign of personal failing. This means I focus on understanding you and your situation, not a “condition”, symptoms or interventions. I believe counselling is fundamentally a human thing, rather than a medical thing, and that people are best helped through empathy, being listened to, and having the opportunity to make sense of their thoughts and feelings.
I believe we are all unique individuals, no two people are ever truly identical in terms of their personality or situation. This means that as your counsellor, I avoid making assumptions about you and what you need. Part of my job is to help you clarify what you need. This could be along the lines of making peace with the past, exploring uncomfortable thoughts or feelings, coping with stressful situations, coming to terms with a life-changing event, building confidence and self-esteem, feeling more calm or more energised – or indeed something else.
I see the counsellor-client relationship as a collaboration; I have knowledge of theory and experience in helping; but you are the expert on you. I read widely and am familiar with many theories and ideas; I share these where I think they might be helpful, but I value your individuality and trust your input and your perspective more highly than theories. Hopefully together we will find out what you need in order to live a happier, more fulfilling life.
You are very welcome to browse my blogs or get in touch with me directly if you’d like to know more.