Chronic Fatigue Syndrome / ME
Generalised Anxiety Disorder
Stress, including work related stress
Low self-confidence / self-esteem
It may be possible for us to work together on other difficulties you may be experiencing, e.g. psychosis, substance abuse. However, for this to happen successfully, I will work alongside your GP, and/or other agencies such as the Community Mental Health Team (CMHT). Additionally, due to the in-depth exploration of issues and setting of goals, integrative counselling typically requires a substantial investment of time on the part of the client. Therefore it may not suit those who want a quick, solution-focused approach to personal development.
Our first session together will be an assessment session. This will be a chance for me to get to know key information about you, including any previous counselling experiences you may have had, and how you think counselling can help you with your current situation. We will also talk about your current protective factors, including hobbies and coping mechanisms.
You are free to choose how many sessions you want and I am very flexible as to whether you would like weekly or fortnightly appointments. During our sessions, we will, between us, discuss how you are getting on and to check that you are still getting what you want from counselling.
In order to benefit fully from this integrative approach, you must be committed to self-exploration and open to identifying what factors in your life are perpetuating problems, and/or are causing current concerns. My integrative approach will help you face each moment openly and authentically without having formed an opinion, expectation or attitude beforehand. This will enable you to better focus on the fears and hurts that limit your psychological freedom, and recognise specific triggers that may be causing disruptive patterns of behaviour. Through this awareness, we will work together to create a healthy alliance between mind and body - empowering you to start setting goals and practising new behaviours that will enable you to move beyond your limitations and discover greater life satisfaction. Our work in helping you to discover your ‘safe place to cross’ will be tailored to your personal limits and external constraints.
Counselling success depends on the existence of a number of different factors but you can be confident that these are identified at the initial assessment stage and if it did not seem likely that counselling would benefit you then we would not go ahead. Instead, we would explore alternative options together.
By approaching integrative counselling with an open mind, and a willingness to accept change, I hope that by the end of our time together, you will have located your safe path, and are negotiating its crossing with confidence and ease.
Most of our work together will be talking and verbally exploring in the counselling space. However, I can work creatively if we feel that this would be beneficial to our work, and your progress.
Some of the more creative techniques could include ‘empty chair’ work. This exercise is a chance for you to express your thoughts and feelings as if you were talking to a specific person. Even though that person is not present, you can direct your words towards the empty chair, and imagining that person sitting in it while you talk.
We can also discuss complimentary activities that you could practice outside of our scheduled session. This may include activities such as regular mindfulness practice, which may benefit you in achieving more clarity of thought. Any such activities would only be suggested after discussion and agreement with you. We would also practice these techniques together in the therapy room before you practice them independently.