My Counselling Approach
An integrative, relational style
Only from the heart
Can you touch the sky
First of all, I believe in providing the essential basics for counselling or psychotherapy: a confidential, listening space for you. My way of working is quite interactive, with the focus on you and how we are inter-relating. Coming to counselling with someone you don't know is often a challenge, so I believe that we will need to build a trusting enough relationship and contract for this to work for you. For some people developing trust with another person is a key part of the work.
IntegrativeI work as an 'Integrative Relational Therapist'. My principal training was in a Humanistic tradition, into which I have blended some key elements from some of the major and not so major therapeutic traditions. Providing you with empathy, respect and authenticity, and working with a mix of witnessing and support, along with appropriate challenge and the experience of relational difference, my aim is for you to develop insight, understanding, confidence and to be able to relax into yourself. We have all developed ways of surviving to best cope with the stresses and challenges of our own life, and while our coping habits were originally useful, and still sometimes continue to be, these familiar ways can also be limiting - the challenge is how to let go and both be yourself and be different.
Relational and EmbodiedA key thread in my approach is working Relationally - after all our ways of being a person are a product of us in relationship with others: people, the non-human world, nature and the universe; this is how we connect. Therapy is not just about exploring the content of your issues, it is just as much about who you are and how you relate to others - embodied as well as words - and this will include me your therapist. Sometimes connecting and relating as to others as living beings is not at all easy! I believe that both the quality of the relationship between client and therapist is key (this is supported by considerable research), as is the experience of your relationship with me another adult focussing and working with you.
My approach to working relationally includes
- Developing a sufficiently trusting, respectful and collaborative relationship to support the therapeutic process
- Working with the ‘here and now’, so that we can pick up and explore the relational dynamics between us, as a key to ‘edge of awareness information’
- tracking body/mind awareness and how our embodiment - how we form our body shape, gestures, muscles etc - holds important keys to sub surface information for us.
- Providing you with an experience of relational difference
- Bringing in awareness of connection with our wider world
I am increasingly interested in working outdoors, if this is appropriate to you as client. Being in contact with nature and the elements bring access to another type of relationship, and can offer immediate awareness of aliveness.
Sometimes people are
Not in looks
Not in what they say
Just in what they are
- Marcus Zusak
I provide counselling and psychotherapy for a wide range of presenting issues and am based in North Somerset, on the city boundary with Bristol; my practice is in Long Ashton, North Somerset, within easy reach of many parts of central and south Bristol: Southville, Clifton, Ashton Gate, Hotwells, Totterdown, Knowle, and Windmill Hill; and the North Somerset towns & villages of Backwell, Nailsea, Failand, Wraxall, Flax Bourton, Pill, Abbott’s Leigh.