about the therapy
What is it and how does it work?
Although I draw upon and integrate various relational and somatic approaches and wisdoms, at it's core, the therapy I offer is person-centred.
This approach means I work to understand your experience from your point of view, because your experience is unique to you. I do this with honesty and non-judgement because I value and respect all that you are as a human.
These therapeutic conditions are the essential elements of an environment that can be used for healing and growth as they provide an opportunity for:
your distress and uncertainties to be expressed, acknowledged and valued
greater insight and acceptance about yourself - how you feel, think and behave
opening up possibilities of how you can go forward in ways where you feel more free & at peace
"In a sense the counsellor attempts to provide different soil and a different climate in which the client can recover from past deprivation or maltreatment and begin to flourish as the unique individual they are".
Mearns & Thorne
I see our struggles as reasonable, healthy responses to unreasonable, unhealthy conditions.
Person-centred therapy is based on the understanding that humans are hardwired to move towards what we need in life. However, we can often receive messages from all angles of culture that particular needs or feelings are not acceptable. We can then take on these messages and find it difficult to accept these parts of ourselves. As such, we can find ways to adapt ourselves and suppress these needs or feelings, resulting in all sorts of forms of distress (e.g. anxiety, depression, shame, anger, low self-worth, discontentment); to depress something is to push down on something. This is us doing super well to try and take care and protect ourselves the best way we know how. It also means 'symptoms', 'dis-ease's and 'dis-order's have wisdoms, they are telling us something important - that something is not in the right order - for us to get curious about and attend to.
A therapeutic relationship offers acceptance and appreciation of these needs and feelings; these different conditions can enable more awareness, acceptance and valuing of these in ourselves. When we are more fully able to understand and accept our needs and feelings, we can make choices about how to meet them - enabling us to 'be ourselves' in more fulfilling and less distressing ways.
Therapy is a Relationship
It is widely understood that it is the quality of the relationship between therapist and client that is one of the biggest factors in determining the outcomes of therapy. My way of working involves being attentive to our relationship. This includes:
all the contextual culture and systems that will be showing up in the room between us
what it’s like for you to be in relationship with me and share what you are sharing (in the moment experiences as well as more generally). This can tell you things about what it’s like (or not) to be in relationship with other people in your life - and this is almost always a big part of the work. Sometimes I will share what it’s like for me to be in relationship with you too – as this can also hold useful information about yourself and how you are in the world
finding ways of being together that is most supportive to you to do the work you have come for
"If we can learn how to feel our way through these experiences and own our stories of struggle, we can write our own brave endings. When we own our stories, we avoid being trapped as characters in stories someone else is telling"