How I work

I want you to get the most out of your counselling.  In order for this to happen, I spend the first couple of sessions finding out about you and your perspective on the difficulties you're having and what changes you want to make.  I'm a systemic therapist, meaning that I want to have a good understanding about you in the context of your immediate and extended family relationships, your community, and the world.  

 

We are all affecting and affected by so many different things in our day to day lives, but each of us has unique ways of understanding and processing events.  I have training in various counselling approaches but I mostly use Experiential, Narrative, and Solution Focused therapies while drawing on elements of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), Dialectical Behavioural Therapy (DBT) and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT).  Please see below for brief descriptions of the models mentioned.  Ultimately, for positive change, the connection between you and I will be more important than the specific models utilised.

 

I am an active therapist - ready to commit my time, attention, and energy to you.  Some clients like their counsellor to mostly listen, others want to use handouts or activities, some like to do creative tasks, or a combination of all of these.  You're in control of how we spend the time, and how deep you want to go. In order for change to happen, I will ask you to be open to trying new things, but will never insist that you do anything with which you are not comfortable.

Therapy models

Experiential Therapy - This is a general term for a range of different techniques and approaches.  I am interested In exploring the connection between emotions and bodily sensations, and handouts/activities focus on helping clients make these connections.  Creative techniques are often experiential in nature.

Narrative Therapy - This model of therapy focuses mainly on the language we use to describe our difficulties and our identities.  Some techniques of this model  help clients shift perspective by changing their language and also thinking of their problems as separate from themselves.

Solution Focused Therapy - This approach helps clients think about positive change that can happen in the here and now.  It can be very helpful for people who don't feel a need to explore the past in detail.

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy - this model helps clients develop alternatives to unhelpful thinking patterns.  It can be very helpful for breaking out of default thoughts and behaviours.

Dialectical Behavioural Therapy - this is similar to CBT, but adds an element of self-acceptance and non-judgement of self and others.

Acceptance and Commitment Therapy - this model helps clients explore their values and develop ways to live according to their values and life goals (ways of being rather than things to be achieved).

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Please note - these are just my interpretations of these models and how I incorporate them in my work.  Other therapists may describe them very differently.

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