My approach is based on the observation that when we are in understanding and honest relationships in which we are prized and valued as whole people, warts and all, we tend to grow for the better. As such, I focus on establishing a trusting relationship built on a genuine desire to understand and accept my clients for who they are. This lays the foundation for you to explore openly and without shame.
I believe that everyone can benefit from a therapeutic relationship and a diagnosis is not required to engage in therapy.
My therapy places you in the driver’s seat to take the therapy wherever you would like to and to use your sessions as best you see fit. This might be a scary prospect, but is an important part of the therapeutic process. I aim to empower you in understanding yourself and making changes as you see fit.
My therapy is based on person-centred therapy. It involves creating the ideal conditions in which each individual can flourish – what that flourishing looks like is different for everyone. Every therapist is unique too, so there are always small variations to individual practice, so it is important to find a therapist that you feel with whom you can have an effective relationship. This introduction to the person-centred approach can offer some further information.
The answer to this very much depends on who you ask! In the United Kingdom, counselling and psychotherapy are not legally protected terms – anybody can use them. Some practitioners and psychotherapy organisations believe that psychotherapy is more in-depth, long-term and should require the practitioner have a postgraduate degree, such as Master’s degree.
Whilst I have a Master’s degree in ‘counselling and psychotherapy’, I offer the same service in both cases. I do tend to prefer the term ‘psychotherapy’ because it is a little more descriptive of what I do – therapy for the psyche, from the Greek word meaning ‘soul’, ‘spirit’, or ‘mind’.
Coaching, again, when done in a person-centred way, differs little from psychotherapy. What differs is the type of issue or problem the client might bring. Coaching is typically more oriented towards ‘performance’ in some task or role and less about psychological distress. However, the service and the goal remain the same – a relationship in which you can work on your issue or problem towards success, however that might look to you.
The quality of the relationship between practitioner and client has been found to the greatest contributor to successful outcomes in therapy, so it is important that you feel confident the relationship is working for you. I would encourage anyone seeking therapy to ‘shop around’ and find a practitioner you are comfortable with. If you find that, during our time together, the relationship feels like it is no longer working, I’d very much encourage you to bring this up, and we can explore what is going on. If you decide you would like to end therapy that is perfectly acceptable, and I’m happy to support you on where to find a new practitioner.
There’s no typical session and I take my lead from what you bring to each session. You might be feeling unsure where to begin. You may wish to sit in silence for a bit and gather your thoughts. An important part of person-centred therapy is that I don’t have an agenda for you – we work together to develop your agenda for yourself whilst remaining flexible to work with whatever comes up for you in the moment.
Privacy and confidentiality are extremely important to counselling and coaching. Everything you discuss in therapy is kept private unless there is a risk of harm to yourself or others or in the case of certain serious and organised crimes. In this case, I may need to discuss what you have said with an appropriate authority. Additionally, in order to provide the best service possible, I engage in regular supervision and may talk about my work with you. This is to ensure that I am working ethically and effectively with you and my supervisor likewise keeps this information confidential.