My therapeutic approach - working with individuals and couples

The way I work is interactive, opening to mutual dialogue and reflection. It is not based on medical models and moves away from pathological labelling, while I am well-trained and clinically experienced working within such systems. I intend to develop a professional and humane relationship, rather than an 'expert-patient' one. My aim is to help you make your sense of your experiences: look at what is valuable and meaningful in your life, question certain beliefs that you may be taking for granted, and open to your responsibilities and possibilities in life. We will also look at your sense of being free or restricted (e.g. health, time, age, money), as well as relevant expectations that you or others might have of you. I would not tell you what to do but would fully engage with you in order to help you better understand conflicts and dilemmas, and might be forward at times making suggestions or sharing my opinion.

On a more practical level we could look at specific skills to challenge negative thinking, relax and let go, experiment with change, as well as focus on embodied feelings, creativity and imagination. As you would begin to notice how you really view yourself and what patterns you might be repeating in your life, you could also realise that you have more choices than you think in the way you live and relate; to yourself, to others, to nature. Awareness and insight can also be promoted by looking at experiences like dreams, fantasies, bodily senses and lifestyle (e.g. sleep, diet, sex or work patterns).

I would describe my approach as 'integrative' and 'relational', based on certain philosophical ideas (existential, eastern, ancient Greek) and informed by theories and techniques from diverse therapeutic approaches (phenomenology, humanistic, cognitive-behavioural CBT, psychodynamic, mindfulness, transpersonal). My belief is that no single therapeutic approach works for everyone as we are all different experiencing similar life issues in our unique ways, hence I always intent to adapt the way I work to your individual need or urgency. Counselling and psychological research* shows that the quality of the professional relationship between therapist and client is the essential factor towards a fruitful counselling experience.

In addition to the above, extra focuses for couples will be on how you communicate, relate and experience each other’s disclosures and feelings in therapy, what relational patterns you follow and what you are trying to achieve or avoid individually and as a couple. I usually see both partners together and for some sessions each partner separately.

A positive therapeutic experience is based on mutual commitment and the gradual development of trust and safety between us. Counselling sessions will be strictly confidential - but in the event I felt you or someone else is at serious risk I would attempt to access external support (usually your GP), after discussing this with you if possible.

* Cooper, M. (2004). Towards a Relationally-Oriented Approach to Therapy: empirical support and analysis. British Journal of Guidance and Counselling, Vol 32, No 4, pp 451-460.

"Wisdom begins in wonder."