"Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we've been waiting for. We are the change that we seek. "
~ Barack Obama
Counselling and psychotherapy are about change and growth. While the work of Counsellors and Psychotherapists with clients may be of considerable depth, the focus of Counselling is more likely to be on specific problems and changes in behaviour to foster well being and is usually of a shorter duration. Psychotherapy is more concerned with helping people with psychological problems or recurrent patterns of behaviour that have built up over a long period of time and which keep you from feeling good about yourself and others. However, it is not unusual for psychotherapy to be incorporated into a counselling session and counselling to be an essential part of psychotherapy.
Choosing the Right Counsellor
Research shows the success of counselling and psychotherapy depends above all on the therapist's ability to form a 'therapeutic relationship' with you. Choosing the right counsellor (who feels right to you) is key. First and foremost, I offer you a safe space to breathe and to be yourself – space where there is room to explore your experiences, thoughts, and emotions - both positive and negative - without judgement: space to better understand who you are and who you would like to become. Building on your strengths, resources, values, and knowledge, I work with you to achieve positive change and personal growth.
Offering both brief counselling and longer term psychotherapy, I work from a variety of traditions incorporating a blend of cognitive behavioural, solution-focused, emotion-focused and psychodynamic (relational) approaches. My approach also incorporates positive and existential psychology and self-determination theory (SDT). My aim is to help you learn to act freely on the basis of your interests, needs, values, and spiritual beliefs in support of your psychological health and personal well-being.
Forget Normal Focus on Health You are Not Alone and There is Help
One of the joys of being a counsellor/psychotherapist is letting people know that they are not “strange” or “weird” or the only ones who could possibly have this problem or think these thoughts. Often clients express a wish to be “normal”, believing that no one else could possibly feel this anxious, this afraid or panicked, this depressed, this angry, this guilty, this lonely, this grief stricken, this responsible for being bullied or assaulted, (you are not!), this unsure of a career or life direction, this confused about relationships, sexuality, and gender, or that no one could ever like me or love me. My first response is to welcome clients to the human race because these thoughts and feelings are all too common. My second response is a declaration to forget “normal” and focus on what is “healthy” for you. Mental health and well being are on a continuum from illness, helplessness and unhappiness to vitality, resilience, optimism, and self-fulfilment. Counselling and psychotherapy are designed to move clients along that continuum to improved health and life satisfaction. To foster that movement, throughout our sessions, I will be interested in the quality of sleep of your sleep, the presence or absence of exercise and good nutrition in your daily life and your participation in events and activities that you enjoy and those that foster positive social contact.
"The only normal people are the one’s you don’t know very well."
~ Alfred Adler