Counselling and Psychotherapy
What is Counselling?
Counselling aims to offer insight and awareness in order to move forward. Sessions are often arranged weekly or at mutually agreed times.
Can it help? Counselling and psychotherapy can help you lead a fuller happier and healthier life, supporting you while you tackle the challenges life throws at you. More positively it can help you work out the direction you want to go in life and influence your general wellbeing, happiness and outlook over time. As a therapist I aim to facilitate your self-discovery, rather than providing answers, as only you know what's needed.
I draw on my training for an MA in Integrative Psychotherapy, earlier business experience as a Coach and offer a range of tools from CBT (cognitive, behavioral, techniques,) often of great use in time-limited therapy to Mindfulness techniques (from Buddhist Meditation courses and the writings of Thich Nhat Hanh.) I believe my continuing professional development helps me continue to improve my skills to support and facilitate the process of self-discovery for my clients. Positive feedback from clients that the sessions are useful and giving them the increased insight they're looking for makes my work really rewarding.
While the "Therapeutic alliance" between the Counsellor and Client is perhaps the most crucial aspect that makes counselling successful there are various trainings and approaches that I draw on in my practice, in agreement with you, for example talking therapy and the following:-
Help in Life Crisis
How to keep yourself safe if you’re in crisis and work out how to feel better, move out of pain to feel happier.
Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reporocessing - this is an approach recommended in the NHS's NICE guidelines for working with symptoms of post traumatic stress but can be used to relieve symptoms from a range of other painful memories from grief to depression and anxiety. I have completed the EMDR Academy's Accredited Training, equipping me to work with clients and will be working towards accreditation.
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy can be very useful to understand and work on unhelpful or negative thinking that is keeping is stuck in habitual patterns and is often accompanied by homework between sessions for those who wish to use the time between sessions effectively in order to make the most use of the therapy.
Art Therapy with adults and children
Art Therapy involves the use of drawing and painting to creatively express concepts and feelings in images that occur naturally in the sessions. Drawing can be a direct means of communicating the heart of the issue you're facing. If you are interested in using this technique it's very important to suspend any inner criticism and not judge the quality of the artwork, but rather see it as a way to shed new light and understanding on a difficulty you're facing.
Play Therapy with children
Play therapy is a means to encourage free expression from young clients and the working through of the next steps needed in development. This can be through story telling, puppet work and simply playing.
Sand Tray Work
Sand tray work is another element I use in play therapy and also in working with adults. Sand tray work is literally making pictures in the sand with models or symbols, which often express inner dynamics and can illustrate past and present circumstances.
I offer a supportive environment to consider issues in family life like bereavement, illness, or patterns of behaviour, addiction, boundaries, anger, and communication to gain useful insight.
I work with couples to resolve difficulties in relationships and facilitate communication in a shared impartial space in order to work out the next steps forward.
Creative visualisation can be harnessed as an important tool in re-directing negative thinking towards an attitude of self healing.
Can be a useful technique to aid relaxation for example to tackle anxiety and aid motivation in working with addictions.
Shamanic Counselling can offer the opportunity to work psychotherapeutically on a very deep level to reintegrate life experiences – reconnecting with parts of ourselves that have become split off or disassociated’, perhaps because of trauma, grief or illness, in order to live more fulfilling lives. I view ‘journeying’ as a way of using the creative imagination to heal past wounds. Shamanic counselling techniques harness the holistic cultural tradition of the shaman, present in many of our countries cultural traditions and still current in indigenous cultures worldwide, more recently re-introduced to the West. Shamanism is a spiritual tradition that looks at life from the perspective that everything contains spirit. By “journeying” it is possible to ask for help and healing from the spirit world.
I trained with Jonathan Horwitz and Kathy Fried in the use of shamanic techniques, on the following courses. Jonathan Horwitz worked with Michael Harner the anthropologist often credited with popularising knowledge of shamanism and bringing it to a new audience in the West, in his classic book "The Way of the Shaman":
Basic shamanic training course Dec 1998
Soul Retrieval, March 1999
Death and Life Course April 2000
Shamanic Counselling Course Jan 2000
The Way of Council taught by Pippa Bondy March 2002
As an integrative psychotherapist I understand this work in the transpersonal context of a way of meeting the archetypal forces present in our dreams and written about by Jung in his work on archetypes and the collective unconscious, in order to turn within and access the help and healing we often desperately need but are often out of touch with. The training I received had an ethical grounding that fits within the compass of my professional values and puts respect for others at its heart.
How many sessions will it take? This varies widely - most people start with 6 to 12 sessions and for many people this is all they want to resolve the issues that brought them to counselling, for others tackling their issues can take longer. It is always your choice as the client to come to counselling and make sure the sessions feel worthwhile to you.
Contract: I adhere to the ethical code of my accrediting organisation, the UKCP and the BACP and GDPR legislation. The sessions are confidential, (limited only by Legal and Safeguarding issues), following the ethical guidelines of the UKCP and BACP). I usually ask for 24 hours notice for cancellation, or charge my usual fee to cover expenses incurred and alternative work lost.