How I work

 

As a counsellor my aim is to offer a setting and a therapeutic relationship in which a client can feel safe to bring concerns and problems. There are many reasons why someone seeks to seek counselling from life events, relationship difficulties, struggles in the workplace or health issues. Counselling gives the opportunity to discuss current problems and to connect these to the context of the client’s life, including past relationships and family issues as well as problems with anxiety, depression or poor self-esteem. Often the relationship with the counsellor itself can reflect some of the difficulties that occur or have occurred in other relationships.
 
Although the process can be challenging at times, counselling can enable a client to gain more insight and into their own responses in situations and the patterns of thinking and feeling that may sometimes be self-limiting. More awareness can lead to developing new perspectives and more choices about how we relate to others and the perceptions we form about ourselves.
 
As a psychodynamic therapist, I am interested in the development of the whole person, the way we perceive ourselves and the learning that grows as we are able to challenge our defences that may no longer be helpful as we become more conscious of fears and anxieties that have shaped established patterns of interacting in our environment.

 

 The first session:

 

 

I offer an initial session of up to one and a quarter hours to give an opportunity for describing the reason for seeking counselling and to find out about me and the way I work as a counsellor. I will ask for background details to gain a picture of the context of the current problem in a client’s life. I will also seek information about whether the client has engaged previously in any therapeutic work; whether they are taking any medication, and details about how someone is functioning in their life at present. We also discuss the focus for therapy should we agree to work together and the kind of contract we might make- e.g. brief counselling of six to ten sessions or a more open-ended contract.
 
Towards the end of the appointment we will consider practical matters such as fees and time availability. I always invite the client to take time if they wish to consider whether or not they wish to proceed in setting up a contract for counselling with me and to contact me later to let me know.
 
The first appointment offers a therapeutic encounter in itself. It may be that I recommend another way of working or a different therapist whom I consider could offer an approach that is more helpful to the client.