How I work
I have experience working with a broad range of issues and see each client as a unique individual. I endeavour to offer my clients a safe, positive and welcoming space to explore issues, gain clarity and insight into how problems have come about, and ideas on how to move forwards. I am actively involved in the counselling process, working alongside you and always in reference to your own goals and understanding of yourself.
In an initial session I will explain briefly how I work and give you the chance to ask any questions or talk about any worries you have about therapy. The main part of the session will give you the chance to talk about what brings you to therapy, what you might want to explore and if you have any specific goals. We will review the session at the end and we may make a decision then as to whether to give therapy a go. You are also welcome to have some time to think about whether you would like to come back. Whatever we decide the commitment is open to change; my clients are free to end therapy at any time.
Although theoretical orientation is important each therapist will have their own unique way of working. The research into therapy suggests that the quality of the relationship between a therapist and their client is perhaps the most important indicator of success so it is important to choose the right therapist to work with.
I very much see therapy as my clients leading the way wherever possible. I also see myself as an active participant in the work and see therapy as a co-creative process.
What is Integrative Existential Counselling?
I describe my work as being ‘Integrative’. This means I practice in a way which utilises ideas from across the counselling spectrum. However, I would also say that my foundation is based in existential philosophy and existential therapy.
My training in Integrative Counselling introduced me to a number of different theories of counselling. When I began this I had recently completed a degree in philosophy which was heavily focused towards existential philosophy. I found that I was drawn towards ways of doing therapy that were based on existential ideas.
Existential philosophy and therapy is actually very practical and sees the importance of decision making and experience in how we make sense of ourselves and life. Our actions help define our identity, as do our relationships. The past, present and future are viewed as interwoven and all given attention in existential therapy, or at least the way I practice. How we see the future, and what our plans and goals are, says something important about ourselves.
The question of meaning is fundamental to existential therapy. This is about the therapist helping people explore what is meaningful in their lives and how they can experience a more meaningful future, in keeping with their own values.
Existential Therapy can also help people get in touch with their freedom and feel more empowered to make decisions.