Every person is unique and the best way to approach your problem will be unique to you. For this reason integrative counselling reflects theory and ways of working from a number of psychological models. While there is considerable overlap in how the different approaches are practised, the focus of each is slightly different. Here are some examples:
- The Psychodynamic approach focuses on the relationships you had in your childhood and how your experiences still influence you today.
- The Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) explores your beliefs about yourself and other people. The focus is on your patterns of thinking and their impact on how you feel and behave. In CBT working towards change is usually planned step by step towards an agreed goal and incorporates homework tasks.
- Mindfulness and Focusing attend to what you are experiencing in your body. Not only does this help in learning to manage your body's reaction to distress, it also gives useful information about feelings on the very edge of your awareness.
- Relaxation, visualization and breathing practices are not in themselves psychological models, but are helpful ways of releasing tension and reducing stress. Recent neuroscientific research and the advent of brain imaging shows how inter-connected the mind and body are, each influencing the other through the nervous and endocrine (hormonal ) systems. A calm body helps you have a calm mind.
Drawing on the ways of working described above, integrative counselling offers a confidential, non judgemental relationship with your counsellor which is the "cradle" in which you can explore your thoughts, feelings and behaviour relating to the current problem and work towards change.
Underpinning the work is a belief that much of what we humans think, feel and do is a consequence of patterns learned in our childhood which have become mental, emotional and biological habits. Once we are aware of these habits which are no longer useful, we are more able to challenge them and learn to develop new, healthier ways of thinking, feeling and behaving.
Integrative counselling is for everyone and can offer much more than helping you address a specific problem. In the "cradle" of a confidential and respectful relationship, you can take time for yourself and think about how you are living your life and the choices you are making.
For an older person, counselling can give you the opportunity to reflect on your life journey, to celebrate the positive experiences and help you come to terms with disappointments which still pre-occupy you.
Discovering more about what makes you tick can help you have a more realistic view of yourself and become more accepting of who you are. In turn, self acceptance can help increase your confidence, enabling you to live your life more fully.
The Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) is a meridian energy therapy developed in America by Gary Craig. Emotional distress is seen as a blockage in the flow of body energy. As well as talking about the problem, you will tap on a sequence of points on your body meridians (the energy pathways) to enhance the energy flow and facilitate the emergence of memories, thoughts and feelings connected with your problem. This approach has proved particularly successful for those with phobias and suffering the effects of trauma. It is also a useful self help tool for many people.
Integrative Counselling and EFT sessions last 50 minutes and usually take place on a weekly basis, at the same time, on the same day of the week.
Sessions for couples are likely to last 90 minutes and to be fortnightly. The detail of the arrangements will be negotiated with you.
At your first appointment, you will be able to talk about your problem and find out if you are comfortable with the way I work. If so, we shall discuss whether to meet for a fixed number of sessions or to work in an open ended way.
The fee for the first Integrative Counselling or EFT consultation is £60. At this meeting we shall agree on a fee for the following sessions.
The fee for couple consultations is £90
Tel: 07884 979 373