What is Counselling?

The Counselling Service And My Approach

Counselling provides a safe, confidential and supportive environment for clients to work through their pain, confusion, or difficulties whether these be short term or longer term. It is about finding meaningful alternatives to present unsatisfactory ways of thinking, feeling and behaviour that are holding you back or causing you distress. It is about finding our own 'inner gold' - our precious inner resources that can become mislaid or buried when we have had difficult past experiences or are going through a traumatic period.

An Integrative Approach:

My training and personal approach to counselling is described as 'Integrative' (often called therapeutic). That means that I am able to draw on and use a wide range of relevant theories and techniques within a structured model of counselling. The main theoretical approaches I work with are:

  • Humanistic/Person-Centred
  • Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) and
  • Psychodynamic.
  • Transpersonal
Within these areas there are a raft of techniques and schools of thought that can be utilised and applied as appropriate. Every client story will be unique and no two therapy programmes will be the same.

Cognitive Behavioural work (often termed CBT) typically looks to better understand the origins of our negative thinking patterns and offer more positive alternatives that will improve our emotional well being and behaviour.

In simple terms, Psychodynamic therapy looks to understand the influence and impact of our past experiences on the present. Some clients find looking at, understanding and healing their past invaluable, whereas for other clients it is more appropriate or preferable to work in the present.

For me working in a Humanistic/Person-Centred way is the philosophy and foundation underpinning all my client work - it is fundamentally about respect, understanding and openness and a belief that given the right therapeutic relationship and environment, all clients can be empowered and find their potential and 'wholeness'. It is about working in partnership and at a pace appropriate for the client.

I can also use coaching tools with clients where relevant and am trained in other alternative techniques such as EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique), NLP (Neuro-Linguistic Programming), Hypnotherapy and healing.

Some clients request the use of hypnotherapy within their treatment programme (see What is Hypnotherapy? page) whereas for others it is not appropriate or relevant. For some Hypnotherapy can be very beneficial and it can often accelerate the pace of the therapeutic process.

But many clients prefer to work purely with a counselling approach. I am really happy to work with clients in the way that they feel most comfortable with.

I always adapt the counselling and therapeutic techniques to the client's needs rather than fitting the client to an 'off the shelf' approach. I rely on my past experience and powerful intuition when working with clients.

How Many Sessions?

For some clients very few sessions are needed and change and positive outcomes can happen very quickly. For others, longer term therapy may be desired.

For counselling clients the average number of sessions is around 8-12. But I do have the occasional longer term client where broader work is required or the client has a lifetime of emotional pain.

The use of hypnotherapy often reduces the number of sessions needed.  The average number of sessions for those having counselling with hypnotherapy is around 6.

Free Initial Consultation:

I always invite a client for an initial 20-30 minute consultation which is free of charge. This allows you to outline your problem or situation and gives you the opportunity to ask any questions you may have. We can discuss the type of therapy programme that is likely to be the most beneficial for you. This session is completely without obligation because what is most important is to ensure that I am the right therapist to deal with your very specific requirements.