What is Counselling?
Counselling is a specialised type of interpersonal relationship that enables clients contending with a variety of emotional problems to explore their experiences in a safely contained and supporting environment. It is a helping relationship predicated on a qualified practitioner assuming a facilitative role in assisting clients in their psychological growth, maturity and development.
The therapeutic relationship is characterised by a conglomeration of relational qualities evidenced to be growth-promoting. These qualities are conducive for clients to explore experience uncontaminated by evaluative or interpretive attitudes on the part of the therapist. As a result of the provision and reception of these interrelational conditions, clients are able to explore and talk about experiences they would've heretofore found inadmissible.
The therapist seeks to empathically understand what their clients are experiencing in a manner that is uncorrupted by any semblance of judgement or preconception. This requires sensitively entering the clients internal frame of reference; meaning the world through their eyes. The client is prized as a unique person and their autonomy promoted. They are then empowered to explore their emotional conflicts in their own way.
The counselling relationship is structured around boundaries of vital importance. These professional boundaries provide security and safety for both the client and the practitioner. A therapeutic hour, for example, typically fifty-minutes in duration, is maintained in the interests of both continuity and consistency. The value of confidentiality is absolutely crucial to containing sensitive information and promoting a climate of trust.
Why do people go to counselling and how can it help?
Seeking out a practitioner to explore painful emotional issues can be a tremendously challenging thing to do. In order for you to be sure that therapy is a viable option, I feel it's important to be clear about what counselling entails and why you may want to consult a counselling practitioner.
You may be struggling with low self-esteem, complicated relationships, suicidal ideation, self-harm, bereavement, anxiety, depression and a gamut of other difficulties that a counselling relationship may well be of assistance in addressing and subsequently resolving. The counselling relationship promotes insight about yourself and your predicaments. With greater awareness, you are helped to process your feelings and perceptions in new ways and challenge unresolved conflicts from your past.
The constancy of acceptance and empathy from a counsellor engenders security that facilitates the exploration of thoughts, feelings and emotions that can otherwise be too upsetting in the absence of a counselling professional. It creates a supporting climate that permits you to process and understand what you're going through at an unrushed and comfortable pace. Rather than set an agenda for you, person-centred practitioners promote clients self-direction and autonomy. Indeed, person-centred counselling believes in the inherent constructiveness and trustworthiness of the person and sees relationships as the key to emboldening you to flourish.
Counselling enlivens you to make your own informed choices by reconnecting you with your own internal resources that may have been repeatedly marginalised as a result of meeting the expectations of the people around you. Without realising, many of us live our lives estranged from our values and sense of personhood. The therapeutic process can be very effective in getting you back in touch with your true self.
Whatever experiences or attitudes you bring to the consulting room, you will be treated with equitable compassion and consideration. It takes an enormous amount of courage to reach out and look for support. My counselling practice offers you a professional and confidential space to start your journey towards feeling better and more like yourself.
What is your approach to counselling?
The therapeutic modality I practice is the person-centred approach.
As counselling is practised and conceptualised in a variety of different ways, it's important you're abreast with information about what distinguishes my approach from disparate counselling methodologies. This is essential to making an informed choice about whether or not my therapeutic practice is right for you.
The person-centred approach was formulated by the late psychologist Carl Rogers. Rogers recognised that it is the client who knows what's best. The authority that was previously situated in the hands of the practitioner was to become decentralised and made for a more equalitarian therapeutic dynamic. This groundbreaking discovery set the stage for revolutionising the therapeutic procedure by challenging the assumptions at the heart of the medical model.
After years of clinical experience and meticulous research about the therapeutic process, specifically with respect to ascertaining what makes therapy such an efficacious means of mobilising healing, Rogers discerned that it was the client's underappreciated capacity for self-direction that proved a potent force for constructive personality change. Rogers began to appreciate this inherent forward moving tendency as the nexus for healing and its power to be released when the practitioner possessed and related to his clients with a certain operational philosophy.
The therapeutic relationship is established on what's come to be known as the core conditions of empathy, congruence and unconditional positive regard. Attitudes sincerely held and emitted by the practitioner allow the client to explore aspects of themselves and their experience in a manner that they may be unaccustomed. The absence of threat permits clients to venture into emotional territory hitherto cordoned off by defences. Clients can come to perceive themselves differently and accrue crucial insight into their individual experiences and their situation. These conditions will galvanise the client's actualising resources toward living more wholeheartedly and authentically.
I will endeavour to cultivate a therapeutic space epitomised by the qualities of trust, warmth and unwavering respect. My efforts will be focused on working collaboratively alongside you, free of any semblance of coerciveness or oppressiveness, to explore what you're experiencing as an empathic companion. This will enable you to effectively find your own solutions and lead you to do what you feel is right for you.
After amassing many years of experience in the field, working with children, adolescents and adults, I sincerely believe that the relational components that constitute the classical person-centred approach are truly effective in unlocking and mobilising the self-healing potential of the client as they struggle the find their true self. I will do my utmost to facilitate these therapeutic conditions in order that I may be of the greatest assistance to you on your counselling journey.