A bit about counselling

What is counselling

Counselling provides a safe, confidential and non-judgemental space. Counsellors help individuals  work through personal difficulties and situations.  Anxiety, depression, relationship problems and loss are just some issues that counselling can help.

Therapy works within an agreed set of boundaries.  Counsellors are not “friends” and are able to listen and provide support in a neutral and objective way.

We offer Skype (face to face), Whats App, face time, phone or email therapy sessions.  Sessions are organised and take place at an agreed time between you and the

Online sessions allow flexibility, privacy and anonymity and is more manageable within the context of a modern lifestyle.

We provide counselling to support –

Anxiety and Panic
Work related stress
Relationship problems
Coping as a carer
Bereavement and loss
Domestic violence
Loneliness and Isolation
Self harm
Coping with change
New diagnosis and long term illness
Living as an Expat

This list is not exhaustive and often difficulties can be interlinked. If you are experiencing problems with your boss at work then it may involve levels of anxiety, anger or stress. A significant illness, a new diagnosis or moving and living abroad can produce feelings loneliness and isolation, coping with change, depression or anxiety.
Therapy helps explore the difficulty in question but also look at other relating factors that might be important.

Counselling Approaches

The key counselling approaches are outlined below.

Person Centred Therapy

Created in the 1950s by American psychologist, Carl Rogers, the person-centred approach ultimately sees human beings as having an innate tendency to develop towards their full potential. However, this ability can become blocked or distorted by our life experiences – particularly those that affect 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 allows the individual to feel accepted and better understand their own feelings ultimately helping them to reconnect with their inner values and sense of self-worth. This reconnection with their inner resources enables them to find their own way to move forward.

Psychodynamic Therapy

The psychodynamic counselling comes from Freudian ideas of the unconscious, dreams transference and countertransference.

The word psychodynamic derives from the Greek word “psyche” which relates to therapy (combination of the mind, spirit and soul) and the word “dynamic” which relates to the interactions of these three parts both internally and externally.

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.

Transference = To some extent transference happens in all relationships. All of us transfer unresolved ways of relating to other people around us, especially those who we are in close relationships with. 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) is a talking therapy that can help you manage your problems by changing the way you think and behave.

It’s most commonly used to treat anxiety and depression, but can be useful for other mental and physical health problems.

CBT is different from many other therapy approaches by focusing on the ways that a person’s cognitions (i.e., thoughts), emotions, and behaviors are connected and affect one another.

Transactional Analysis

Founded by Eric Berne in the late 1950s, 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 is a talking therapy and sessions are designed 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.

A positive relationship is forged between the therapist and client.  In this setting the therapist works collaboratively with the individual to identify what has gone wrong in their communication and provide opportunities for them to change repetitive patterns that limits them. TA therapists recognise that we all have the potential to live the life we want.  Sometimes however this potential is hindered by repetitive patterns or ‘unconscious scripts’ that stem from childhood decisions and teachings.

Solution Focused

Solution-focused brief therapy (SFBT) places focus on a person’s present and future circumstances and goals rather than past experiences.

In this goal-oriented therapy, the therapist encourages clients to develop a vision of the future and offers support as they determine the skills, resources, and abilities needed to achieve that vision successfully.

SFBT recognizes that people already know, on some level, what change is needed in their lives.  Therapists work to help the  clarify their goals. Individuals are encouraged to imagine the future they desire.

They work collaboratively 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 practicing those strategies, and encourage them to acknowledge and celebrate success.