As an integrative counsellor, I am influenced by my training in the psychodynamic and person-centred traditions, as well as my background in complementary medicine.
Psychodynamic counselling views our early life experiences as the foundation of how we relate to ourselves and others. It places particular emphasis on the relationship between client and counsellor, their dynamic, and offers the client a means to understanding the unconscious forces at play in their lives. This encourages the client to open up and explore unresolved issues and conflict hidden in their unconscious that are affecting their mood and behaviour.
Person-centred counselling seeks to put the client at the centre of the work at all times, seeing them as the expert rather than the counsellor. At its heart is the belief that we all have an innate tendency to be our best selves given the right conditions, the absence of which can lead to great emotional distress. The person-centred counsellor strives to recreate these core conditions for the individual and facilitate their journey towards self-actualisation.
My approach to integration is to bring together different elements of psychodynamic and person-centred theory, adapting at all times to the individual client. I do not subscribe to the idea that a ‘one size fits all’ model can help bring about lasting change in a person’s life. We each create our own story of who we are, one that is unique to us and that only we can tell. It is in this that I am particularly interested – how we tell our stories and the meaning we make of them in our lives. I offer all my clients a safe, nurturing space in which they can share their unique selves with another.
I have worked with a diverse range of clients, both as a counsellor and in my voluntary work, and, in negotiation with the client, can offer both short and long-term counselling.
I am fully insured and attend regular supervision. I am also committed to continued professional development and, as such, attend lectures, workshops and courses to expand my theoretical repertoire.
It is imperative that clients feel themselves to be active participants in the therapeutic process and to work in collaboration with their therapist. I encourage all my clients to freely express any concerns or problems they may have in relation to our work together or to me as a practitioner. This can often be a useful opportunity to deepen the relationship and enhance the honest communication between client and counsellor.
In order to empower my clients in this regard, I urge them to acquaint themselves with COSCA’s Statement of Ethics and Code of Practice. Should they consider that I have not lived up to these standards, I would sincerely wish that we could work with the issues within the therapeutic relationship. Where that isn’t possible or where the client wishes to take their concerns further they can find information on how to lodge a complaint in COSCA’s Complaints Procedure.