Counselling Approach

Everybody is different and people choose counselling for a variety of reasons. My counselling approach is Humanistic. I believe that every person is unique and given the ‘right’ conditions has the capacity to change and to reach their own potential.

The main counselling therapies I practice are:  Person Centered, Transactional Analysis and Gestalt.

I am also trained in short term Solution Focused Therapy and am currently engaging in my third year of training in Voice Dialogue.
(More details see below)

Art Therapy

In addition I have a Person Centred Art Therapy Certificate and when appropriate I  use creative techniques, including art imaging and sand-tray in my counselling practice.
Images, like dreams, tap into the world of spontaneous knowing, nothing to do with thoughts.”
Liesel Silverstone, Art Therapy The Person Centred Way (1993)

What is Sandtray?
sand-tray therapyUsing the Sandtray, you are invited to set up a world, by means of figures and the arrangement of the sand in  the sandbox, that corresponds to your inner state. In this manner, through free, creative play, unconscious processes are made visible in a three-dimensional form.

Therapy in Nature

I have a certificate in taking therapy outdoors in natural spaces and  offer ‘walk and talk’ therapy at the Ecotherapy site in Stanmer park. I believe that being in nature  and  ‘wilder’ settings provides an alternative way to deepen awareness and connection with your self (more details found here).

Synopsis of Counselling Approach

The following is a brief synopsis of the five therapies mentioned above – should you wish to know a bit more about the background to how I work.

PERSON CENTRED therapy evolved in the fifties by a man called Carl Rogers.  He believed every individual has their own answers for change and growth.  He saw the therapist and the client as equal partners, rather than the ‘expert’ treating the ‘patient’. Person Centered Counselling is about offering a non-judgmental relationship between my self and you in which you can explore what you are looking for and how to achieve that.

TRANSACTIONAL ANALYSIS (T.A.) also evolved in the fifties, by a man called
Erik Berne. Transactional Analysis counselling/psychotherapy is:
• a theory of personality (how we grow into the people we are)
• a model of communication (looking at ways in which we communicate)
• a study of repetitive patterns of behaviour (looking at why we behave the way we do)

Transactional Analysis is underpinned by the philosophy that:
• people can change
• we all have a right to be in the world and be accepted

GESTALT THERAPY was developed by Fritz Perls, Laura Perls and Paul Goodman in the 1940’s and 1950’s. Gestalt is the German word for ‘form’, ‘shape’ or ‘figure’. However, in English usage the word has come to mean ‘as a whole’ or ‘holistic’.

Gestalt therapy is a form of counselling/psychotherapy that focuses upon:
• the individual’s experience in the present moment (what you may be thinking/feeling right now)
• the therapist-client relationship (how we relate to each other)
• the environmental and social contexts of a person’s life, (looking as a whole at you and the environment in which you live)

Solution Focused Counselling Therapy focuses on what you may wish to achieve in therapy rather than looking at the problem(s) that may have attributed to you seeking help. Together we would explore goals and preferred futures and implement actions towards making changes either large or small, supportively managed in the context of your story, your strengths and your resources.

Voice Dialogue was developed by American psychologists Hal and Sidra Stone. Hal Stone was trained as a Jungian analyst. Sidra Stone was trained as a behavioral therapist.

In this psychological theory, the idea is that a person is made up of not one, but a large number of selves, also called sub-personalities or parts. These selves have their own way of behaving, their own history and act on our behalf in their own way. Most  people recognize these constant inner dialogues within themselves and quite often, these selves can cause inner tension, split feelings and doubt.

Voice Dialogue is a powerful and non-judgmental method for guiding people towards a better understanding of their inner urges and motives.