As an integrative therapist I use a combination of therapeutic interventions, based on my individual client and what they bring to a session and what our agreed aims are. I believe that each person is unique, made up of their own set of life experiences and circumstances and so the therapy is also tailored to your individual needs. An integrative approach to therapy is a powerful way of working, which combines counselling and psychotherapy skills to get greater understanding of what the problem or undesired behaviour might be. This can then be followed up by using an appropriate therapeutic intervention to bring about a resolution or desired change. Alternatively many clients come to therapy without any particular goal in mind, but just for a space to explore their thoughts and feelings, in order to gain greater understanding about themselves and their life.
Hypnotherapy is a natural and safe therapeutic intervention. Some clients worry that they will lose control or not remember what has happened during hypnosis, which is not the case. During hypnosis clients often report simply feeling a deep state of relaxation. This hypnotic state is also known as ‘trance’, which every one of us goes in and out of quite naturally throughout the day - such as when we are daydreaming or on autopilot whilst doing an activity, such as driving. During these common trance states our brain frequency slows down (likened to the conscious mind taking a back seat). Therapeutically this is a ideal time for tapping into the subconscious (also known as the unconscious - a store house to our beliefs, habits and behaviours). By working with the subconscious mind, effective therapeutic interventions can take place such as changing our unwanted habits and behaviours, finding solutions to our problems and concerns, and empowering us to fulfil our potential and achieve our desired goals.
Psychotherapy involves talking to a trained therapist. The psychotherapist helps clients with their life difficulties by talking and relating to them and using concepts from established theories of psychology and counselling. The therapeutic space allows a client to look deeper into their problems and gain a better understanding of the issues that are troubling them. A therapist will treat sessions as confidential, therefore allowing a client to establish trust. One of the most important parts of the therapeutic journey is the decision to start it. Of equal importance is finding the right therapist for you. It is the relationship between the two of you that determines whether you trust them enough, and they come to understand you enough, to help you explore your problems. When starting a course of therapy you are agreeing to a contract, with both sides making a commitment to a collaborative working relationship.
Neuro-Linguistic Programming describes the fundamental dynamics between the mind (neuro) and language (linguistic) and how their interplay affects our body and behaviour (programming). It was created by Richard Bandler and John Grinder in the 1970s and is an approach to communication, personal development and therapy. It is used extensively within education, training, marketing and leadership, by providing tools and skills for the development of states of excellence. It is also used within therapy for personal development and change work. NLP is particularly useful when an individual may feel stuck in their life, and unsure of which direction they are heading. NLP is a dynamic and creative way of working, in the ‘here and now’, and incorporates aspects of hypnosis and imagery within its therapeutic interventions. There are a number of interventions an NLP Practitioner can use with a client and many of the techniques used are then taught to the client, to use in their everyday life, beyond the therapy room, making NLP very empowering.
Mindfulness has been developed using some elements of Buddhist meditation practice, however it is not allied to any religion/spiritual belief. It combines the techniques of breathing, focusing and paying attention to the present moment, whilst maintaining a calm awareness of one's body, feelings and mind. By practising mindfulness we can separate ourselves from our thoughts (which can be repetitive), by accepting them non-judgmentally, and then bringing our focus back to our breath/body. This allows us to fully embrace our very existence in the present moment. It also allows a healthy connection/integration between the mind & body. Studies have shown that mindfulness practice can help with people’s overall mental health, alleviating a variety of conditions, including anxiety, depression, lack of concentration and chronic pain. Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) has also been found to have increasingly positive results when combined with mindfulness.