My Way Of Working
I don't follow one exclusive method as I believe the client’s needs come before my personal preferences.
The various methods I draw upon from my training and experience as an integrative psychotherapist enable a flexible approach to a variety of issues. Perhaps the most useful part of my training was undergoing extensive personal therapy that allowed me to understand my own strengths and weaknesses better and empathise better with the blind spots most of us have when trying to understand our role in the world. I believe the relationship between therapist and client is central to the work whichever method is followed.
As a trained psychotherapist – rather than a life coach or unqualified counsellor – I can offer the benefits of insight gained from a thorough training at a reputable university along with the practical experience gleaned from working with hundreds of clients. Many come to therapy for answers to life’s problems and possibilities, but therapy is less about doling out advice than working with people to help them discover the truth about what they want from life and how better to go about achieving it.
Nonetheless, my main influences are as follows...
I believe a person-centred perspective allows clients to feel understood without being judged, while also showing them how they may be perceived by the outside world. Friends, relations and partners can offer useful support, but are not always available or able to offer truly objective insights. Thus some issues are more easily talked about with someone with whom they do not share a close and compromising relationship.
Many of the ideas of the first prominent psychoanalysts such as Sigmund Freud and Melanie Klein are still popular today under the banner of psychodynamic therapy - particularly in organisations like the NHS. This work has been largely adapted and modified over the last century. I am not personally suited to the relatively detached and neutral stance displayed by many of these therapists or those theories which have not yet been ratified scientifically. Nonetheless, I think much wisdom can still be found in their work particularly in dealing with the influence of the family and early life experiences. Recent developments in neuroscience offer a better understanding of the real value of these early ideas.
A later development in psychodynamic thinking is attachment theory pioneered by the psychologist John Bowlby. Put simply, this concerns the importance of early close relationships such as parents and carers and the difficulties that can result when these fall short of the ideal. Another related school of thought is object relations, which considers the influence of significant others in moulding our personalities.
Some clients are more interested in working on their current and future lives rather than being ‘stuck’ at some point in the past. They may be interested in an existential perspective. This thinking is heavily influenced by philosophers such as Kierkegaard, Heidegger, Nietzsche, and Sartre along with the work of writers such as Camus, Gide, Hesse and Kafka. Its overall emphasis is on living a more authentic and fulfilling existence.
Carl Jung, the founder of analytical psychology offers a vast body of far-ranging theories which are often cited in helping people fulfil their potential particularly during the second half of life. Ideas such as synchronicity, personality types, archetypes, and the collective unconscious were all devised by Jung and remain useful and enduring concepts.
Another favoured therapy with the NHS is Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) which is often offered on a short-term basis with practical achievable aims. Nonetheless, while it can sometimes be criticised for its unsuitability for exploring ‘deeper’ issues, it is often successful for overcoming bad habits and patterns of destructive or unhelpful behaviour.
All the above featured heavily in my training along with Systemic and Psychosexual approaches, Gestalt, Focussing, Psychopathology and Transpersonal therapies.
If you are interested in the service I provide, I would suggest coming for a session and deciding for yourself whether it feels right for you. If it doesn’t, or you don’t feel we can establish a rapport suitable for working together, I am happy to recommend a fully-trained and highly competent therapist who works in a way that may suit you better.