How I work
“It is the experience of being in connection that fulfils the longing we have to feel fully alive.”
Laurence Heller & Aline LaPierre
All therapists naturally bring their uniqueness to the therapeutic relationship, and it is the person to person connection more than the therapeutic approach, which matters at the end of the day. That said, I hope to give you a flavour of my approach as it flows from the ground of my training.
From my Person Centred counselling training, I draw on the core conditions of Carl Rogers, founder of the approach. By this I aim to be “myself”, not an expert, aware of and available to my own experience in the moment as I sit with a client. And I may choose to communicate aspects of my experience, if I think it will be of help to the client. I intend to support clients with a warm, compassionate and accepting attitude, where clients feel safe and free enough to explore whatever brings them to therapy. Having the space to tell our story and be heard in the process, is so important.
As with the Person Centred approach, Gestalt Therapy and Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) are both grounded in the here and now of raw experience. Rather than simply “talking about” or “analysing” our experience, I encourage clients to turn towards what is already here – thoughts, feelings, physical sensations, behaviours – with a kindly, non-judgmental attention and curiosity. Instead of trying to fix or problem solve, I seek to raise awareness of “what is”. This may enrich our experience, bring insight, and help us choose where we need to go or what we need to do next, rather than automatically running off old patterns of behaviour. If you’d like to find out more about Gestalt Therapy or MBCT, please read on.
What is Gestalt Therapy?
Gestalt Therapy is a wonderfully rich and integrative therapeutic approach. The word “gestalt” means whole or pattern. Gestalt Therapy makes space for us to discover, explore and experience our wholeness and patterns. By increasing our awareness of “what is", we may become more curious, more accepting, and so move into greater connection with our experience.
In therapy there can sometimes be an emphasis on what’s going wrong or not working in our lives at the expense of what is going right. Gestalt Therapy embraces the wood and the trees, which opens up space for exploring not only our difficulties, but also our healthier functioning – our resources, our strengths and resilience.
Gestalt Therapy is an experimental and creative approach, which encourages us to think and be out of the box. Drawing, journaling, paying attention to posture, voice, experimenting with movement, are all ways of getting to know our experience more fully – from different perspectives – and expand our possibilities.
What is Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT)?
The MBCT programme was initially designed to support those who had already suffered episodes of depression to maintain healthy functioning between those episodes. The course is now found to have many benefits for an increasingly wide audience - those experiencing low mood, anxiety, stress, and also with those who are looking for ways of bringing some balance to busy lives, or who are simply curious about mindfulness and wish to set aside time to explore the potential benefits of mindfulness cultivation for themselves.
The skills taught help to train where to place our attention, so that we don’t get lost in rumination about the past, or lost in anxious worrying about the future. We also learn to increase awareness of our patterns, particularly the less helpful ones, so that with this awareness, we have choice about how to respond, and we discover some new ways of being with challenging emotions and situations.
I am happy to deliver the MBCT or the “Finding Peace in a Frantic World” course on a one to one basis. For this we would need to allow 90 minutes per session. Please enquire if this is of interest to you.