1st paid session:
- Assessment and information gathering- enabling you to explain why you have made the appointment and what you want from counselling
- Setting goals.
- Discussion of what counselling approach will be best for you and the issues you are bringing. You will be fully involved in every decision made in the counselling process.
- All sessions last 50 minutes and you will be encouraged to work alongside the therapist to bring about the desired outcomes. For better outcomes these goals are best worked on both inside and outside the sessions.
- A review takes place every 6 sessions in order to make sure your needs are being met.
- Where possible, the counsellor will work to a time- limited method involving 6 sessions spaced weekly. This, however is only a guideline and depends on the presenting issues and progress being made. Long term interventions are offered where appropriate.
- Your specific requirements will always be considered and tried to be met where possible such as flexible appointment times and spacing to fit in with your needs at the time.
Style of counselling:
- Cognitive behavioural therapy
- Solution focussed therapy
- Person centred therapy
- Integrative therapy
It focuses on what clients want to achieve through therapy rather than on the problem(s) that made them seek help. The approach does not focus on the past, but instead, focuses on the present and future. The therapist/counsellor uses respectful curiosity to invite the client to envision their preferred future and then therapist and client start attending to any moves towards it whether these are small increments or large changes. To support this, questions are asked about the client’s story, strengths and resources, and about exceptions to the problem.
Solution focused therapists believe that change is constant. By helping people identify the things that they wish to have changed in their life and also to attend to those things that are currently happening that they wish to continue to have happen, SFBT therapists help their clients to construct a concrete vision of a preferred future for themselves.The SFBT therapist then helps the client to identify times in their current life that are closer to this future, and examines what is different on these occasions. By bringing these small successes to their awareness, and helping them to repeat these successful things they do when the problem is not there or less severe, the therapists helps the client move towards the preferred future they have identified.
One way of understanding the practice of SFBT is displayed through the acronym MECSTAT, which stands for Miracle questions, Exception questions, Coping questions, Scaling questions, Time-out, Accolades and Task.
Person centered therapy
Person Centered Counselling focuses on a person`s self worth and values. Being valued as a person without being judged, can help an individual to accept who they are, and reconnect with themselves.
This approach sees human beings as having an innate tendency to develop towards their full potential. But this is inevitably blocked or distorted by our life experiences, in particular by those who tell us that we are only loved or valued in we behave in certain ways and not others, or have certain feelings and not others. As a result,because we have a deep need to feel valued, we tend to sit or or deny to our awareness those of our inner experiences that we believe will not be acceptable.
The counsellor aims to provide an environment the client does not feel under threat or judgement. This enables the client to experience and accept more of who they are as a person, and re connect with their own values and sense of self worth and move forward.
The counsellor works to understand the client`s experience from the client`s point of view and to positively value the client as a person in all aspects of humanity, while aiming to be open and genuine. These attitudes of the counsellor towards the client will only be helpful if the client experiences them as real within the relationship, and so the nature of the relationship that the counsellor and client create between themselves is crucial for the success of the therapy.
Some counsellors practice integrative therapy which means that the counselling draws on and blends specific types of counselling techniques so that the approach is carefully tailored to suit the clients individual needs.
Mindfulness is a very useful adjunct to other tools and techniques. It aims to allow the individual to gain greater control over the focus of their attention than they already have. It creates a way of noticing, observing and describing rather than impulsive reactions to situations. In a nut shell it creates a more relaxed state of mind. whereas CBT aims to re-balance unhelpful thoughts , mindfulness allows you to notice them and to then choose to focus your attention on something else which is more meaningful and helpful.