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Counselling approaches

There are a number of approaches to counselling and psychotherapy which can be divided into three main categories:

Psychodynamic approach

This approach has evolved from early work based on Freudian psychology. It explores how we are influenced by sub-conscious thought processes and often involves exploring how childhood experiences have affected our thinking and behaviour. My original training in the 1990’s was influenced by this approach and some of those insights still inform my practice .

Humanistic approaches

This is a wide term covering a number of different approaches to therapy including Person-Centred, Gestalt, Transactional analysis, and Existential approaches.

More information on these approaches can be found here
Counselling Approaches

Person-centred Approach

The person-centred approach is the approach of my professional training. It is the approach I am passionate about and is at the heart of my practice. It is based on:

  • A deeply held respect for the individual.
  • The belief that the relationship between counsellor and client is central to the healing process .
  • A belief that the client is the expert in his / her own life and will know what hurts and what might help.

Provided that certain conditions are present in the relationship, then healing (psychological change) can take place. I believe that in this therapeutic environment a person can discover their own inner resources for growth in their own way, and in their own time.

More information about this approach can be found here

Cognitive and Behavioural approaches

These therapies are based on the way we think (cognitive) and the way we behave.

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) has become very popular and may be available on the NHS. It is based on understanding the connection between our thoughts, emotions and behaviour and how each of these can affect the others. It is more directive in approach and usually involves doing homework in between sessions. I have an advanced diploma in CBT methods for person-centred counsellors and I sometimes draw on this if clients like this way of working.