Approach

My training and approach is 'integrative', meaning that I don't rely solely on a single tradition of counselling and psychotherapy. I draw upon the approaches and ideas that I feel may be most helpful for each person. Some of this might be quite immediately practical, for instance, looking at how particular situations are managed by the client and alternatives they might want to experiment with. Alongside this, some of the work may be focused upon the client's account of their history, how they make sense of this and how this might be affecting their way of living.

Research over the past thirty years or so suggests that, on the whole, the effectiveness of psychotherapy is related to the quality of the working relationship between the client and the therapist, irrespective of the therapist's theoretical approach. Many contemporary counsellors and therapists have therefore decided to place the quality of the relationship and their ability to respond to the individual needs of their clients at the centre of their work.

 

This doesn't mean though that theory and training are unimportant, just that they are only useful in so far as they help the work that goes on between counsellor and client.

In terms of my theoretical approach to therapy, my training combined a study of both the humanistic and psychodynamic traditions in counselling. The area of psychodynamics known as 'Object Relations' and the humanistic approach called Gestalt have been formative influences on my understanding. Both of these approaches look at patterns of relating and how we manage contact with others and with our own experience. If you want to know more about these approaches you could look at the helpful factsheets and guides offered online by Mind. Mind's Making Sense of Counselling is a good starting point.

Following completion of my professional qualification, I continued with further professional development, including, among other things, an introduction to CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy) and to Narrative Therapy.

 

The course I teach at City Lit has a humanistic, Person-Centred focus. The Person-Centred tradition and the insights of Carl Rogers on the therapeutic relationship are very much at the core of how I practise.