Many people have asked me what my approach to therapy is.
Here, I outline my views on therapy and why it’s important.
I believe in the innate potential that we have as human beings to gain a deep understanding of what troubles us helping us to make difficult changes in our lives.
This fundamental respect for the individual has helped me to recognise many of the strengths that clients bring to therapy. It obliges me to provide an environment where individual clients are able to hear themselves think.
Clients have often remarked with surprise that they have been able to answer for themselves, the questions that they had been asking me. I believe that clients have felt empowered by my faith in their abilities and that this has helped to facilitate feelings of accomplishment and hope in their lives.
I believe that we have an innate drive to form relationships. Where relationships provide understanding, acceptance and trustworthiness, we feel comfortable with who we are and can face ourselves, and our personal challenges more readily.
I believe, therefore, that therapeutic growth can occur inside or outside of therapy but never outside of the relationships that we form with those around us. What makes therapy different is the honesty and level of focus of a session.
Many seek help when they feel isolated or estranged in their relationships with others. They are often surprised at the notion that a professional, or anyone for that matter, might care about them. However it's every therapist's job to care. So why expect any less.
In sessions, I endeavour to feed back to my clients my own understanding of what they are saying. I don’t always get it right. In a session recently, a client became surprised when I did not understand her. However, I believe that the process of finding words to help me see things from her point of view helped her to evaluate her own perceptions and to see that there could be another perspective.
In my training I have absorbed a variety of different models, which help frame my work. In later blogs I will be looking at Cognitive Behaviour Therapy, Solution Focused Therapy, ideas from Object Relations Theories and varied approaches in couple and family therapy.
I have blended these approaches together to make a seamless garment. My clients seem to like the fit. The importance is in how I weave my fundamental respect for what they are going through, my wish to be as honest as I possibly can and my desire to understand.
Fraley, R.C. (2004) "A brief Overview of Adult Attachment Theory and Research" http://www.psych.uiuc.edu/~rcfraley/attachment.htm
Greenberg, J.R. and Mitchel, S.A. (1983) "Objects Relations in Psychoanalystic Theory" Harvard University Press: Cambridge, Massachusetts.
Merry, T. (2002) "Learning and Being in Person Centred Counselling" PCCS books: Ross on Whye