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My approach to Psychotherapy

Counselling and psychotherapy involves meeting, usually weekly, for 50 minutes a session. You will lead the sessions in terms of what you want to talk about. However, I will gently question you, and possibly challenge your perceptions of certain things, or encourage you to explore specific things in more depth, in order to help you understand them in a new light.

I will encourage you to reflect on your experiences growing up, and on your relationships with your family, or the people who looked after you when you were a child. This is because our early experiences, particularly in terms of our key relationships, have a big impact on our feelings and actions in the present. Although this impact is often very significant, it can also be quite subtle.

The therapeutic process of understanding your unconscious beliefs, and the ways in which these were formed in childhood, is called psychodynamic therapy. The purpose of psychodynamic therapy is to bring thoughts and feelings that are not in your conscious awareness, into your conscious awareness, so that you have more control over them, and can choose whether or not to hold on to them.

I will also encourage you to reflect on what is happening in your life today, the way you feel about things and the way you tend to respond to people or situations. I will listen to you with empathy and respect. I will accept your darkest and most troubling thoughts, and I will help you to start to accept them too. This approach is called humanistic therapy. Humanistic therapy focuses on people’s innate ability to move towards growth, strength and happiness.

I combine both psychodynamic and humanistic approaches.

Some people worry that having counselling is self-indulgent or self-centered. Actually because therapy increases self-awareness, it can help you to relate to other people, and tune into the world around you, with an increased level of thoughtfulness and care.

I strongly believe therapy is as much about learning to accept yourself, as it is about making positive changes to your life.

“To love oneself is the beginning of a lifelong romance.” Oscar Wilde