An Integrative Approach
As an integrative psychotherapist I work with a variety of theoretical approaches. My psychotherapy training has been vigorous and has given me a solid foundation in Gestalt, person-centred, psychodynamic and Transactional Analysis psychotherapies. I am also trained and qualified to use the arts and sand tray in therapy.
Adapting to You
I adapt my approach to suit the individual and will work in harmony with your needs. The advantage of an integrative approach, which uses more than one body of theory, is that it allows me to be more flexible in meeting your needs and understanding how you want therapy to proceed. I prefer not to direct and to let you take the lead but can also provide a helpful structure as and when you need it. I am interested in your thoughts and feelings and want to understand your world. I do not give advice on how to live your life because I believe the answers are all in you.
Using Your Past Experiences
It is always helpful to connect our past and present experiences in order to make sense of how we behave and relate in the ‘here and now’ of our lives. Although we are often unaware of it, we cannot help but be shaped by our past experiences, especially those from our early years. Working collaboratively and at your pace, we can explore how current patterns of thinking and behaving may have originated. This exploration will give you a deeper understanding of why you do the things you do and feel the way you feel. It can also enable you to re-evaluate your past in a way that can leave you feeling less stuck in your life and ready for change.
Accessing Your Feelings
We are often taught from an early age not to show how we truly feel, or are shamed for expressing difficult feelings. As a result we can be left confused or overwhelmed by feelings and this happens across all cultures. Hidden feelings can often show themselves in physical symptoms so it is always helpful to listen to what our bodies are telling us.
It is our feelings which tell us what we need from life so repressing them can leave us feeling unfulfilled. Bringing our feelings into awareness allows us to better satisfy our needs and also helps us manage difficult feelings such as anxiety or depression. The first steps in managing anxiety and depression are to acknowledge that we are feeling that way.
Being allowed to explore ourselves in the safety of the therapy room allows for a deeper understanding of what we are feeling and why, and this new awareness can make positive, effective and lasting changes to our life.