Counsellor Fd Couns, Dip Couns (Integrative), Dip CBT MBCAP
I am a registered member of the British Association for Counsellors and Psychotherapists (BACP).
I offer therapeutic counselling within a supportive, compassionate and empathic relationship. I work from an integrative approach which means that I believe there are many ways of exploring and understanding human functioning and that no single approach will help all clients in all situations.
For those who may find the formality of a counselling room daunting, I offer ‘walk and talk’ sessions around some beautiful local walking areas in East Dorset. For more information please see my ‘Walk & Talk’ page under services.
How I work
My work is rooted within the Person-Centred approach as I believe in peoples potential and ability to make the best choices for themselves. I work in a very collaborative way and firmly believe that people possess an innate capacity for self-healing, personal development and growth given the right therapeutic environment.My integrative training means that I can also draw upon Transactional Analysis (TA), Gestalt, Solution Focused Therapy (SFT), Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) and Mindfulness practices.
Below is a brief overview of these approaches and what presenting issues that they may be particularly helpful for. What is really important is that by working together, the therapy would be tailored to you the client rather than the client to the therapy.
Developed by Dr Carl Rogers in the 1940s, unlike the psychoanalytical therapies, this approach no longer saw the therapist as the expert and people as inherently flawed with problems that require treatment. Rather, it was more optimistic and viewed people as being the expert on their own experience and as naturally having great capacity and motivation for reaching their full potential. This process however, is often blocked or hindered by past experiences especially by the conditions imposed by others before they will accept and value you. Perhaps this has been your experience and has resulted in you losing touch with what your own experiences means. Often people can lose a sense of their own identity and the direction that they would have naturally taken; their true self becomes stifled which can stunt personal growth and development and feed a 'psychological' struggle and distress.
Rather than technique this approach offers a way of being that provides the kind of therapeutic environment that will facilitate clients becoming true to themselves and reaching their full potential. It focuses on empowering the client by respecting their choices and by accepting them unconditionally and non-judgementally. The therapist will strive to accurately understand a clients experience (thoughts, feelings, meanings) from the clients perspective demonstrating acceptance and conveying that they have worth and value. The therapist and client are equal and work side by side; the therapist being authentic and transparent with no air of authority. Therefore it is a non-directive approach and is particularly helpful for clients who struggle with self-acceptance, low self-esteem and self-belief or are looking to reconnect with their true self and inner resources that can enable them to find their own way to move forward.
Transactional Analysis (TA)
Gestalt was developed in the 1940's by Fritz Perls with the aim of helping people to become more self-aware particularly in the present moment and context, using various techniques created by the therapist and client together. Like the Person Centred Approach (PCA) and TA, this approach concentrates on the 'here and now' experience and is interested in the whole experience of the client; their thoughts, feelings, beliefs, values and behaviours and believes that all people naturally seek growth and balance. Again like PCA, there is an emphasis on unconditional positive regard for the client, and empathy.
Gestalt therapy believes that forced change creates more distress. It views meaningful change being driven by an acceptance of what is; clients therefore, will learn to become more aware of how they present to those around them and respond to their environment. This self-awareness can help clients recognise choices, behaviour patterns and blocks to their wellbeing and reaching their potential. The integration of Gestalt may be helpful for clients presenting with anxiety and depression and lack of self-confidence.
Solution Focused Therapy (SFT)
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT)
CBT is a very popular form of talking therapy and there is much evidence to support its effectiveness and is the choice of therapy for common mental health problems if receiving treatment within the NHS. It is a solution based 'here and now' therapy that acknowledges the impact of past experiences. CBT focuses on the link between your thought life regarding yourself, others or the world, how you feel as a result and the affect this all has on your behaviour. If we challenge unhelpful thinking we can modify our emotional response and so change how we act. How we behave of course will then feed into how we think and feel. CBT holds that it is not events that distress us but rather our perception and interpretation of those events. This therapy can help clients break enduring patterns of negative thinking, feeling and behaviours.
The purpose of CBT is to help the client become their own therapist. Part of the approach requires the client to learn techniques in session and practice them between sessions. CBT works well for clients seeking to address behaviour changes, addiction issues, phobias, anxiety, depression, anger and sleep problems.
Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT)
ACT is different from CBT in as much as it recommends that we accept out thoughts for what they are...just a thought and mindfully live with them, rather than trying to stop them, directly challenge them and change them. It's not saying we should give up and do nothing about our suffering; rather it holds that by using mindfulness and diffusion techniques, clients can learn to live with psychological flexibility that allows room for painful and distressing thoughts and feelings.
ACT encourages clients to identify their values (what's really important to them) as they will inform them as to the direction they likely want to take in their lives. Knowledge of their values also helps them in the stress and distress responses.The commitment part of ACT is concerned with clients making goals that are consistent with their values. Commitment to these goals (the action) will produce the change the client is seeking. Clients with anxiety and depression generally respond well to this therapy as the thoughts and feelings involved can seem very powerful and difficult to challenge and change. ACT is encouraging clients to change their relationship with the thought rather than get rid of the thought. There is increasing evidence to support the use of ACT in substance misuse relapse prevention.
Although an ancient Buddhist practice, there need be no conflict with religious or cultural beliefs and traditions as the practices are offered in a purely secular atmosphere. It is simply a range of practical skills that can help clients observe their thoughts without judgement and notice and appreciate the present moment though their five senses. It can be used by anyone as a practice that facilitates relaxation and wellbeing. More structured forms of mindfulness such as Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction and Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy have been very helpful in relapse prevention for those who suffer with clinical depression or live with anxiety disorders.
For further information
The Counselling Directory is a database of qualified and professionally registered counsellors and psychotherapists and you will find my profile listed with them. They also have information about what counselling is and explains the different types of therapies available. Please follow the links for further information
As a registered member British Association for Counsellors and Psychotherapists (BACP), I would also recommend viewing the section called "Its Good to Talk" which provides information for those seeking counselling and psychotherapy. It explains what therapy is and the different types available.
Please feel free to contact me if you require any further information
Other areas of practice