My approach

My approach to counselling isn’t about “curing” or “fixing” clients’ problems, and it isn’t about telling people what they should or shouldn’t do.  What I aim to do is to help you find your own solutions and your own way forward.  Usually this means coming to an understanding of a problem rather than trying to eliminate it altogether. Our problems develop for a reason, generally in an attempt to cope with some wounding or some fear. They can often alert us to something that we need that’s been overlooked. Understanding this, and undergoing a new experience through the therapy, can help to overcome problems and break negative cycles.  

If all this sounds like a long haul – well, sometimes it might be.  But often dramatic effects can be felt in only a few sessions.  I’ve done a lot of short-term work with clients (typically six sessions) through Employee Assistance Programmes, that maybe because time is limited has been extremely effective; and I’ve been using the same basic techniques.  What is most important always is the readiness of the client to engage in the counselling process – to be open to it, in other words.  This can take quite a lot of courage, but it’s always worth it. 

I see my role as a guide working alongside you, rather than as an expert telling you what to do or trying to change you as a person.  I will provide a safe, supportive, confidential space for you to express whatever you need to say, and to feel whatever you need to feel.  I will always be on your side, and will give you unqualified respect, even if I may sometimes challenge you to see things differently.  I will listen deeply to you and pay close attention to what’s going on for you, and I’ll share with you what I notice, whenever I feel that would be helpful for you.  I believe in the creative power of the human psyche, and I trust that, in the end, you know best what is best for you.

If you’re interested in the theoretical basis for my approach, I can say that it’s basically humanistic but with a psychodynamic flavour.  I’ve been deeply influenced by the Gestalt therapist Richard Hycner and his “Dialogical” approach; and also by the post-Jungian archetypal psychology of James Hillman.  But underpinning all this are the person-centred values of Carl Rogers.
Decades of research have shown that regardless of the various therapeutic models and techniques, what really does the healing is the relationship between therapist and client.  If that is right and goes well, then positive change will always occur.  I hope to be able to provide the conditions for a good therapeutic relationship to flourish.