Counselling can mean different things to different people, depending on why someone is seeking help. If you are looking to solve a specific issue and have urgent concerns about something in particular, then it can be helpful to be able to talk it over with someone who is impartial, open and non judgemental.
If, on the other hand, your reason for seeking counselling is more broad, associated with certain feelings or concerns that are wider in scope and envelope a bigger part in your life then, likewise, you may wish to have a space where you can openly explore how you feel, safe in the knowledge that the person listening to you has your best interests at heart and will help and guide you to develop a better understanding of yourself and your emotions and support you in finding the strength to make choices you perhaps previously felt impossible to.
As a counselling psychologist who is deeply rooted in humanism, my approach to therapy is existentially/phenomenologically based, which means that in therapy with me we will focus and look at your own unique and personal experience, how you have come to find yourself where you are- right now- and then look at the possibility that you may be in a constant process of becoming, ever changing, but always in relation.
This is the first question I tend to ask new clients who seek me out. Asking this very simple question helps us to establish a working alliance, one where we are constantly able to remind ourselves what it is that brought you here in the first place. Regular reviews as part of therapy will allow us to reflect on that initial answer and to see where we are, to tweak, adjust and to feel reassured in the safe space together.
Together we will work to discover new ways of relating in the world and raise awareness to the possibility of change, choice and taking responsibility for your actions and we will look at ways that help you identify and challenge the difficulties you have experienced.
When you feel that you have gained a more thorough understanding of what it means to be you and how you find yourself in the world we can look at building a future that is filled with personal meaning.
I believe that through finding a better understanding of yourself and how you both exist and relate in the world with others, you will be able to enhance existing and build healthy relationships in the future.
While my approach to therapy is firmly rooted in the philosophical realms of humanism, existentialism and phenomenology, my personality lends itself to a more active setting in which we will engage in an open dialogue where I tend to reflect, encourage, question, attentively listen and actively engage with whatever you bring.
At the onset of therapy together we will agree on the setting of our shared space, which includes you telling me what you wish to discuss and explore and whether you wish this to be for a set number of sessions or more open ended. We will agree on regularity of meetings and how you prefer to work together and we will review after a set time to see how we are doing and whether we feel we need to adjust our initial agreement.
Issues you may wish to discuss in therapy include:
- Relationships and intimacy
- Sadness and depression
- Anxiety, fear or a general unease around existence
- Anger, mood swings
- Loneliness and isolation
- Stress and burn-out, career issues or academic stress, performance anxiety
- Issues with eating, weight or body image
- Sexuality, gender identity
- Self- harm
- Suicidal thoughts or ideation