I believe that we all hold the ‘inner keys’ to our growth and transformation whatever that may be. In my personal and professional experience I see the process of therapy as a gradual unfoldment of the authentic-self, the real you, that may have become buried under years of adaption to your environment. It’s a little like unpeeling the layers of an onion until we arrive at the centre of the ‘essential you’. Greater self awareness is the foundation for creating better relationships with ourselves and others.
I view the person as a unique and holistic being encompassing mind, body and soul. This is integral to my approach and means responding to the ‘whole person’. It’s also why I trained as an integrative therapist. This basically means that I work with a variety of different approaches to help you depending upon the presenting issue.
If you are interested please find a brief summary of the approaches I work with below…
Psychodynamic: How the past and particularly how our early childhood experiences have shaped our present lives and sense of who we are. Through making conscious the unconscious or forgotten aspects of ourselves we are able to fit together the missing pieces of a jigsaw puzzle so that we begin to feel more integrated and ‘whole’.
The dynamics of our early relationships may get replayed in our current relationships and therefore by default, the therapeutic relationship. The role of therapy is to make conscious these dynamics through the therapist and client interpreting together what is taking place between them. This gives us the awareness and choice to change any behaviour that might now be counter-productive and help us evolve in the way we relate to ourselves and others.
This approach does not necessarily mean getting hung up on our past: it can be enough to stick to what is happening in the here and now and use this as the key to understanding our past.
Humanistic: An umbrella term for a number of theories which focus on growth, health and realising potential. My training focused on the following:
Rogerian (person-centred): Carl Rogers wrote in On Becoming a Person, “It is the client who knows what hurts, what direction to go, what problems are crucial, what experiences are deeply buried.” The Rogerian approach is non directive (on part of the therapist) while the client is in charge and directs the process of therapy. The therapist’s role is to offer unconditional positive regard, non judgement, and deeply empathise with the client’s experience. The therapist’s attitude provides the safe conditions required for the client to explore his/her world resulting in personal growth. Pretty much every theoretical approach has these/should have these principals at their core.
Gestalt: An approach which focuses on present-centred awareness, becoming mindful, without judgement, of our thoughts, feelings, bodily sensations as they happen in the present moment. This process allows us to consciously feel the effect we have on ourselves and deepen the connection to our experience. It allows us to shine a light on the unconscious, tap into our inner resources and find creative solutions. Gestalt means ‘whole or complete’: simply ‘being present’ to our inner world can help reintegrate disowned or lost parts of ourselves and complete unresolved experiences.
Existential: This approach explores our personal meaning about life. It views personal problems as being rooted in existential concerns. For example a fear of death or isolation might be underpinning a particular feeling or stopping you from making choices and moving forwards. This approach can help you face reality, take responsibility, accept the limitations of existence and find meaning through being authentic.
Transpersonal: This is a psychology which embraces experiences that go beyond the limitations and boundaries of individual consciousness and which connect us to our inner wisdom or being. It involves working with tools such as meditation, visualisation, dreams, breath and body work in the recovery or discovery of our true nature. Most importantly this approach takes the view that there is a purpose to life’s obstacles and suffering and that these offer unique opportunities for growth – sometimes we need to break down to break through.