Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to it
In counselling with me you will feel respected, heard, supported and accepted. My approach as a therapist is one of collaboration, empowerment and non-judgement. From the first counselling session I seek to establish a friendly and honest relationship with clients in order to create a safe space for them to explore their fears and concerns.
In the past my clients have thanked me for being straightforward and genuine. They appreciate that we can explore their current situations and relationships with curiosity but also with humour. Laughter is an important element of learning and discovery and it is very welcome in our sessions. My aim is to create a lively and engaged therapeutic relationship that creates results.
My counselling approach
- A combination of different therapeutic approaches according to what the presenting issues are, what you respond to best and what I think will benefit you most. I have training in and use Cognitive-Behavioural Therapy (CBT), Schema Therapy, Mindfulness, a Solution-Focused approach, Relaxation, Positive Psychology, and Assertiveness training.
- I focus on building a genuine relationship with my clients rather than remaining a detached therapist. This means using humour and laughter in sessions, checking regularly for client feedback on what is working and what not so much, making reasonable flexible arrangements for appointments, and even shedding the odd tear.
- Exploration of the wider context of presenting issues when relevant (e.g. childhood experiences, family relationships, etc). I believe that such a systemic approach does not frame issues as individual problems that exist in a vacuum but rather considers the full picture.
- Offering practical suggestions and directions when needed. This may include in-session exercises and role-plays, suggesting coping strategies for various issues, goal-setting, assertiveness training, guided relaxation and mindfulness, homework, or setting recommended readings.
- Using experiential techniques such as guided imagery and two-chair role plays. Such techniques can be powerful vehicles for change as they typically activate strong emotions and offer unique opportunities to work through them in session.
- Exploring clients’ strengths and resources, using solution-focused talk rather than problem-focused talk. I believe that every person is capable of solving issues and handling difficult situations and my role is not to tell you how to do this but help you gain the confidence to do what you are capable of.
Main areas of therapeutic practice:
- Anxiety, including OCD, panic attacks and social anxiety
- Low self-esteem
- Childhood trauma, abuse and neglect
- Women’s issues including post-natal depression and anxiety
- Abusive relationships and domestic violence
- Setting healthy boundaries in interpersonal relationships
- Working with tertiary students and relevant issues
The first counselling session
The first therapy session is about getting to know each other and establishing a relaxed, safe atmosphere. It is completely normal to feel uncertain and apprehensive at this stage but I make every effort to welcome you in the therapeutic space and answer any questions you might have.
At this stage I will make an assessment of your current situation and what you need from me. I will be asking you more questions than I normally would, in order to gain a sense of what is going on in your life. During this time we will also jointly decide on your goals and what is realistic for us to achieve in counselling. As we consider them, I will suggest a length of therapy that I feel would be appropriate as well as suggest to you additional resources or referrals that may be useful. If you are currently experiencing a crisis I will work with you to find immediate solutions and reduce the pain.