Counselling and Psychotherapy
My therapeutic approach is an integration of various methods. My original training was in Existential Counselling and Psychotherapy, which has foundations in philosophy, as well as psychology. Nowadays I also use Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), the Human Givens approach and Mindfulness.
All of these models emphasise our unique ability to choose how we want to live. I work with every person’s individual experience of the world – their own values, beliefs and assumptions. These are what shape our emotions and plans.
What's the difference between Counselling and Psychotherapy? If you were watching a therapist and her client, to be honest much of the time you wouldn't see much difference, as we slide around from one to the other depending on the material the client brings, and possibly her goals for coming to therapy. I think the simplest way to explain it is to say that Counselling works on the immediate problem and aims to get the client feeling more stable and able to cope. That's enough in some circumstances, but then we can use Psychotherapy when there's an opportunity to work more deeply, looking at the underlying causes of the problem and helping the client really get back on her feet, undertake change and become more resilient for the future. Counselling and Psychotherapy might of course involve talking about the past - but only so that now and the future can be better
Until December 2014 I worked in a health service Primary Care setting for several years as a counsellor in the Primary Care Centre in Gibraltar, where the main emphasis of my counselling service was on helping people cope with episodes of depression and anxiety or panic that come about because of life events such as bereavement, redundancy, relationship and parenting difficulties. Many clients in those positions benefit from a short course of focused counselling or Cognitive Behavioural Therapy to get them back to being able to cope with everyday life.
Now that I can spend all my time working with people who want private therapy, we can of course simply do short-term counselling in my private clinics too. At the same time, in a private setting there are fewer time constraints and so more opportunity for clients to have longer term psychotherapy to work on deep, long-term issues if that is what you need and want to do.
In fact you don’t need to have overwhelming psychological or emotional problems - you don't even have to be suffering to benefit from counselling, psychotherapy and coaching, and this is another reason why I am also committed to providing private counselling and therapy. I welcome both individuals and couples to my private clinics with the aim of enabling you to enhance your life and to live it more fully.
The techniques of CBT are also used in Life Coaching and Business Coaching. As a coach I aim to help my clients define realistic goals and work towards them. This process works best with people who are not currently held back by deeper emotional or behavioural issues, but who are aware that they are a bit stuck and are not reaching their full potential. I enjoy working in this way particularly in a business environment. Before I became a counsellor I spent several years designing and implementing organisational and job change projects in a large UK bank. Coaching for me is a blend of those old skills, and the ones I have as a therapist.
To find out more about counselling and psychotherapy, follow these links:
BACP - The British Association for Counselling & Psychotherapy
UKCP - The United Kingdom Council For Psychotherapy
For other listings/registers of therapists:
UK Directory of Counselling and Psychotherapy