As therapists, we work using an integrative approach. This basically means we use a range of different Approaches in Counselling theory, to ensure your sessions are tailored to be as unique as you are.
Approaches in Counselling
Created in the 1950s by Carl Rogers. The person-centred approach sees human beings as having an innate ability to develop their full potential. However, this ability can become blocked or distorted by our life experiences – particularly those that affect how we feel about ourselves or “our sense of value”.
The counsellor works to understand an individual’s experience from their point of view. The client is valued as a person in all aspects of their uniqueness. This helps the individual to feel accepted and better understand their own feelings. The person-centred approach aims to help individuals reconnect with their inner values and sense of self-worth. Reconnection with our inner resources enables us to find our own way to move forward.
The psychodynamic approach comes from Freudian ideas of the unconscious, dreams, transference and countertransference.
The relationship between the client and therapist is a crucial aspect of the counselling process. The counselling relationship needs to be more than a good working relationship. It requires particular qualities in the therapist. If the right conditions are present the client can change psychologically.
A key difference between psychodynamic and other counselling approaches is the use of transference and countertransference feelings and how these affect all relationships.
Transference = To some extent transference happens in all relationships. All of us transfer unresolved ways of relating to other people around us, especially those with who we are in close relationships. In the counselling setting transference can bring old conflict alive and these can be worked out with the assistance of the therapist. The transference offers the client the opportunity to experience a different response to the original cause of conflict.
Countertransference = This can be understood as the feelings and attitudes that the counsellor has in relation to the client. Countertransference can be a powerful tool as it provides the counsellor with an insight into the problem of the client that perhaps would go unrecognised.
The psychodynamic approach helps the client to become more aware and to bring unconscious feelings into consciousness. This is achieved by bringing unconscious processes, resistances, defences, conflicts and feelings to the surface.
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy
Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) can help you manage problems by changing the way you think, feel and behave.
It’s most commonly used to treat anxiety and depression, but can be useful for other mental and physical health problems.
CBT focuses on the present situation and how a person’s thoughts, emotions, and behaviours are connected and affect one another and how we can improve the negative thought patterns that can cause us difficulty in coping.
TA therapy is based on the theory that each person has three ego states: parent, adult and child. These are used along with other key transactional analysis concepts, tools and models to analyse how individuals communicate and identify what interaction is needed for a better outcome.
Throughout therapy, the therapist will work directly on here and now problem-solving behaviours, whilst helping clients to develop day-to-day tools for finding constructive creative solutions.
Transactional analysis helps to explore an individual’s personality and how this has been shaped by experience, particularly those stemming from childhood. Sessions can be carried out in the form of one-on-one counselling, or with families, couples or groups.
The counsellor works collaboratively with the individual to identify what has gone wrong in their communication and provide opportunities for them to change repetitive patterns that limit them. The TA approach recognises that we all have the potential to live the life we want. However, old scripts and patterns can get in the way and block our potential.
Solution-focused brief therapy (SFBT) places focus on a person’s present and future circumstances and goals rather than past experiences.
It’s a goal-oriented therapy. The counsellor encourages individuals to develop a vision of the future. Support is offered to help determine the skills, resources, and abilities needed to achieve that vision or goal successfully.
The counsellor and individual work together to develop a series of steps helping them achieve those goals. In particular, therapists can help clients identify a time in life when a current issue was either less detrimental or more manageable and evaluate what factors were different or what solutions may have been present in the past.
Therapists guide individuals through the process of recognizing what is working for them. Then help to explore how best to continue practising those strategies, and encourage them to acknowledge and celebrate success.
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