How I Work
These are the tools that I use that I have found to be effective in resolving issues and giving you a greater sense of freedom in your life.
Cognitive Behaviour Therapy
Cognitive Behaviour Therapy can help you change what you think (‘cognitive’) and what you do (‘behaviour’) and evidence shows this can help you to feel better. This method focusses on your problems in the ‘here and now’ and what you can do now to improve how you feel.
CBT can help with all kinds of problems including anxiety, depression, panic attacks, OCD, phobias, PTSD and can also help you improve your self esteem.
For example, if you look at a particular situation you are in using this approach, you will see how what you think about it has affected how you feel which has then affected what you did. It shows you how your thoughts, feelings and behaviours are connected and how you can also change them.
To help this process, we might use a diary or template to help you write down the problem and the thoughts, feelings, physical sensations and actions you have when you experience the problem.
Couple & Relationship Therapy
The approaches used in relationship counselling will vary depending on the issues presented and suitability for the client.
We draw from several approaches to couple therapy including:
The Gottman method
The Gottman Institute is an internationally renowned organisation dedicated to building and repairing relationships.
Dr John Gottman has dedicated 40 years to the analysis of stability in relationships and the patterns that cause couples to separate.
The goals of the Gottman method include increasing closeness and friendship behaviours, addressing conflict productively, and building a life of shared meaning together.
A key concept in The Gottman method identifies four factors that are more likely to lead to separation and these are Criticism, Defensiveness, Stonewalling and Contempt.
Other principles of the Gottman method include:
“Building Love Maps”: An awareness of our partners’ worlds, how they think and feel, their values, hopes, aspirations, and stresses.
“Expressing Fondness and Admiration”: Appreciating most aspects of each partner’s behaviour and learning to live with differences.
“Turning toward one another’: Talking about topics of interest to your partner and respecting their interests.
Jungian therapy aims to bring together the conscious and unconscious parts of the mind to help a person feel balanced and develop them fully. Jungian therapy involves bringing into awareness the ‘hidden”, denied and unconscious aspects of a person to explore a more whole and “real” self rather than the self presented to the outside world
For example, difficulties such as anxiety or depression may have resulted partly from a lack of development of an aspect of personality such as assertiveness or a willingness to take risks.
The process involves working on our unconscious, dream interpretation, identifying ‘complexes” and looking at how past experiences have impacted on present issues and relationships, for example.
Family Systems Therapy
Family systems theory is based on the premise that families and couples are interconnected and cannot be understood in isolation from each other.
How this is used in couple counselling is by understanding the role each partner in a couple plays and how that role was created in the family of origin and evolved over time. It sees the couple as a ‘system’ of two people influencing each other.
Studying your own patterns of behaviour in your relationship can help you to change your normal response or understand where it comes from.
Relationship patterns are also influenced by external stressors such as money, work, relationships with children and parents. By helping you think about how you react to various situations, you can explore healthier ways to respond.
We give you skills and strategies to change behaviours and attitudes and help regain love and intimacy including understanding the best way to communicate love to your partner.
Positive psychology is an approach to therapy which focusses on strengths instead of weaknesses. It includes a focus on optimism, well- being, self-esteem, compassion, resilience and gratitude.
That doesn’t mean that we should focus only on the positive and ignore our problems and negative emotions. It doesn’t mean that we should not experience all of our emotions.
Instead the value of positive psychology is to add a different perspective to problem-focused psychology when it’s appropriate.
Using positive psychology, alongside other approaches, might be useful when dealing with certain issues like when thinking about our goals in life or improving our self confidence and finding the courage to make lifestyle changes.
In life we tend to focus on negative experiences more than positive ones; for example when we receive 95% positive feedback and 5% negative, we focus on the 5% negative. A therapy session might help you see this in a new perspective, by helping you notice and focus on positive experiences through a variety of techniques.
MBTI (Myers Briggs personality type indicator) & Career Counselling
The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) Assessment tool is used to help people understand the differences in their behaviour related to the way they perceive things, respond and make judgements. MBTI was built on the psychological types created by Carl Jung.
As well as looking at the preferred strengths and behaviours of your personality type, we will provide a career report based on your results.
The four basic preferences that are explored with the MBTI method are:
Extroversion vs Introversion – do you prefer to focus on your inner world or the outer world?
Sensing vs Intuition – do you like to focus on what’s real or on imagined possibilities?
Thinking vs Feeling – do you like to analyse issues objectively with logic or understand issues through human values and motivations?
Judging vs Perceiving – do you prefer to plan and be organised & decisive or do you prefer to live spontaneously with flexibility