01 Sep 2011

A beginner’s guide to counselling and therapy: #1 What should I talk about?

Inspired by the variety of questions people ask when they first begin therapy, this is the first in a series of short posts aimed at helping you to get the most out of your counselling sessions.

New clients often ask ‘what should I talk about in my counselling sessions?’ The short answer, of course, is that you can talk about anything you like. Absolutely anything at all. This is the joy of the therapeutic relationship: the counsellor is there to think about you whilst you are there to think about…, well, you. You won’t get this in any other relationship in your adult life, so you may as well make the most of it. Talk about your boss, your neighbour, your partner, your cat or that woman off Waking the Dead that reminds you of your mother but is a bit nicer. You talk about whatever it is – and I mean whatever – that is taking up your attention right now. It might be a specific problem – this is why you have come to counselling in the first place, after all – but it might just be something that is sitting at the front of your mind and you don’t really know why you keep thinking about Steve from accounts. That’s why you are coming to counselling –  to let someone else help you to make sense of things.
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Posted in A beginner's guide to counselling and therapy, General, Psychotherapy | 2 Comments »

20 Jul 2011

Characterological diagnosis: labelling or liberating?

Humanistic and Integrative Psychotherapists can get very squeamish about the use of diagnosis in psychotherapy. Diagnosing characterological or personality types is seen as a step too far towards the medical model: clients are pathologised in the diagnosis and subsequently treated as if they have a psychological flaw that requires ‘fixing’ or ‘curing’. We tend to believe that diagnosis treats people as if they had something wrong with them when in fact we are all just imperfect creatures doing our best given the hand we have been dealt.

I’d like to offer a different view of diagnosis: one that equally rejects the paradigm of pathology but that rehabilitates the use of diagnosis as a tool for empowerment for both therapist and client.

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Posted in Humanistic therapy, Intersubjectivity, Psychotherapy, Structures of the self, Training | No Comments »

16 Jun 2011

How do I find the right counsellor for me?

When I google ‘counselling in Skipton’ I get approximately 72,000 results. How on earth do I find the right therapist for me?

This is a question I am asked on a regular basis. When people ring to make an enquiry about psychotherapy or counselling, they are trying to make a decision about whether or not I am the right therapist for them. They are usually trying to make this decision via email or over the telephone in a very short space of time and with very little information about me, how I practice or knowing what they really want to get from visiting a therapist.

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Posted in General, Psychotherapy | No Comments »

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