Psychotherapist or Counsellor? Personally I use these titles interchangeably, meaning that I use ‘talking therapies’ to help my clients find peace, contentment and happiness.
I don’t adhere to one particular therapy approach, but tend to dip in and out of many, depending on the needs of the client, identifying and using techniques that work. I prefer a ‘solution-focused’ approach as I believe we need to learn from the past but focus on the present and the future. I love the idea of ‘Person Centred Counselling’; as therapists, we should always be genuine, empathetic and non-judgmental, and, perhaps obviously, client-centred. I particularly love the ‘Human Givens’ approach for suggesting that we need to meet both our physical and emotional needs to be mentally well, and ‘Transactional Analysis’ for helping us to understand our relationship with others. I try to incorporate the ‘basics’ into my therapy sessions; mindfulness, gentle exercise, relaxation, good nutrition and quality sleep, and there is often laughter in my therapy room!
Although I see clients suffering from, for example, depression, I don’t use a specific ‘formula’ for this particular mental health problem. In fact, as Irvin D Yalom suggests, I “strive to develop a new therapy for each client”. Everyone I work with has a different ‘story’ to relate, so they will need a different approach from another person suffering with a similar issue. Some need to be heard and accepted, some need to cry, some need coping strategies, some need to deal with trauma and some need to find ways of accepting the past. Many lack self-confidence and have poor self-esteem, many have been suffering for much of their lives and for others, a more recent crisis may have led them to seek my help.
Some clients need a brief number of sessions, whereas others may see me for months or even years. Compared to more traditional counselling, I may ask the questions you have avoided asking yourself, but only when you are ready, and I think my expertise lies in knowing when and how to ask the difficult questions. I may offer suggestions and help you to see your problem from a different perspective, but I will not give you answers or tell you what to do. Often, I am privileged and humbled to be the first person a client has been able to tell their deepest secrets to.
If you have any comments or questions, or would like my help, please do contact me.
Until next time,