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Personal balanceWhat is Integrative Counselling?


Integrative counselling works with an individuals whole functioning, taking into account the persons emotional, cognitive, physical and behavioural development, as well as the persons external influences such as social, cultural and environment. As no two people are the same and come from different walks of life, their level of distress and personal needs may differ. An Integtrative therapist values each person as unique and may draw upon a broad range of healing and supportive modalities that works best with each persons frame of reference.

Although each Integrative counsellor/therapist will work within their own level of expertise, experience and preference, and are usually grounded by one theoretical approach and integrate other theories as a multi-dimensional modal, they work with each persons own personality, learning style and personal requests through the therapeutic process.

My integrative approach to counselling draws upon many theories that are tailored around the individual and their presenting concerns.  The underpinning of my work is Humanistic. The theoretical approaches that I may use are Gestalt,  Psychodynamic, Transactional analysis, Cognitive behavioural therapy, it is not limited to these theories, and will depend on each persons needs and circumstances.

I endeavour to allieviate personal distress and empower each individual through our work together.

All sessions are private and confidential, please refer to the  Client Agreement page for more information.

  Theories Explained

Gestalt Approach:  It originated in the existential-humanistic tradition of psychology. Gestalt means "whole" and aims to explore the persons needs, how they arise or are frustrated and how they are satisfied that has meaning for each person in the given moment. It's focus is on the process and engagement in dialogue. Gestalt draws upon cycles of awareness; we all enter cycles in any given experience, constructive and uninterrupted movement through this cycle can produce healthy processes. If there are any blockage, resistance, interruptions at any stage of these cycles it can cause unresolved or unfinished business for a person and will re-occur/surface at any stage, often in a more intense form. A new and more meaningful contact in the here and now can encourage a new felt sense of self, satisfaction, release of tension and relation to the world and others through a safe and respectful environment that allows new experiences to emerge through the exploration process.

Transactional Analysis (TA): TA is a humanistic  social psychology approach that focuses on personality. TA philosophy believes that we are all born "ok", through communication with others we may follow family or parental figure influences that causes us to make early childhood decisions about the world and others called scripts, this may  limit our potential and can manifest causing us to repeat patterns in adult life which may result in communication breakdowns.  TA can provide us with an opportunity to change these repeated patterns in our lives by understanding our scripts and learning to identify which ego state ( Parent, Adult and Child model) we are in and to intervene when necessary and give care and attention where it is needed to help strengthen the Adult within us which can improve the quality and effectiveness in our communication and relationships.

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy ( CBT) : CBT is a talking therapy that can help you overcome difficulties by identifying and challenging unwanted thoughts, feelings and behavioural responses. It focuses on negative beliefs (schemas) that we may have developed in early childhood, through traumatic events or life experiences (stimuli) and can be triggered by situations that resemble the original experiences. CBT believes that it is not the the event that is  eliciting the emotional response but the meaning that we attach to them. The aim in counselling is to help an individual to become aware of unwanted (distorted) thoughts that may be causing psychological distress and behavioural patterns that may be reinforcing it and to challenge them to arrive at a more realistic view. CBT is more of a short term therapeutic approach and an individual can acquire coping strategies and improve skills on awareness.