Most important is the relationship of trust I will build with you ; a confidential relationship which is accepting, understanding and honest , so that you can share openly, explore, understand and feel/ become more fully yourself. Because you are not alone on the journey, you can feel more motivated to continue . You will be valued as a unique individual, with a need to express yourself, freedom of choice, and inherent abilities to grow.
‘Integrative’ (‘fitting together’) refers to the counselling process where we reflect on how your emotions, thoughts and behaviour are linked , expanding awareness of all these aspects of experience for a greater sense of personal wholeness. How we think and feel, what we sense, remember, and believe about ourselves and the world are all connected – each aspect of our experience affects another, influencing how we behave and the choices we make.'Integrative' also refers to a way of working: bringing together different approaches in a flexible response to individual need to support this process of growth and connectedness .
We can think of counselling as a partnership, in which you are an expert in your own life and I collaborate with you through bringing active listening skills , knowledge and understanding about human development and emotional health. The interactive process of counselling can reduce confusion and distress by increasing personal insight into past-present connections, self-acceptance, and the resolution of inner conflict. This leaves you freer to choose differently, with more energy to concentrate on your present life, and with a greater feeling of personal continuity and coherence.
For some years now my ongoing professional development has included a deepening understanding of the effects on the nervous system of shock and stress. The body sometimes remembers implicitly , and puzzling or distressing difficulties in the present may often have originated as protective or survival strategies. As well as offering safety in the therapeutic relationship therefore, I would also discuss and encourage where appropriate ways of fostering a sense of physical safety in the present which help us feel that a difficult experience is really 'over'.