Theories of Counselling

As an Integrative Therapist I would work with the needs of my client and use my experience of the following theories to enable change for my client.

Person-Centred Therapy
Devised by Carl Rogers and also called “Client-Centred” or “Rogerian” counselling, this is based on the assumption that a client seeking help in the resolution of a problem they are experiencing, can enter into a relationship with a counsellor who is sufficiently accepting and permissive to allow the client to freely express any emotions and feelings.  This will enable the client to come to terms with negative feelings, which may have caused emotional problems and develop inner resources.  The objective is for the client to become able to see themselves as a person, with the power and freedom to change, rather than as an object.

Behavioural Therapy
Based on the belief that behaviour is learnt in response to past experience and can be unlearnt, or reconditioned, without analysing the past to find the reason for the behaviour.  It works well for compulsive and obsessive behaviour, fears, phobias and addictions.

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy
This combines Cognitive and Behavioural techniques.  Clients are taught ways to change thoughts and expectations and relaxation techniques are used.  It can be effective for stress-related ailments, phobias, obsessions, eating disorders and (at the same time as drug treatment) major depression.

Cognitive Therapy
Uses the power of the mind to influence behaviour.  It is based on the theory that previous experiences can damage self image and this can affect attitude, emotions and ability to deal with certain situations.  It works by helping the client to identify, question and change poor mental images of them, thus altering negative responses and behaviour.  It can help pessimistic or depressed people to view things from a more optimistic perspective.

Solution-Focused Brief Therapy
This promotes positive change rather than dwelling on past problems.  Clients are encouraged to focus positively on what they do well and to set goals and work out how to achieve them.  As little as 3 or 4 sessions may be beneficial.
Systemic Therapies
These are the therapies which have, as their aim, a change in the transactional pattern of members of a system.  It can be used as the generic term for family therapy and marital therapy.

Systemic Therapies
These are the therapies which have, as their aim, a change in the transactional pattern of members of a system. It can be used as the generic term for family therapy and marital therapy.

Relationship Therapy
Relationship counselling enables the parties in a relationship to recognise repeating patterns of distress and to understand and manage troublesome differences that they are experiencing.  The relationship involved may be between, for example, members of a family, or a couple or work colleagues.

Psychodynamic Psychotherapy/Counselling
This approach stresses the importance of the unconscious and past experience in shaping current behaviour.  The client is encouraged to talk about childhood relationships with parents and other significant people and the therapist focuses on the client/therapist relationship (the dynamics) and in particular on the transference.  Transference is when the client projects onto the therapist feelings experienced in previous significant relationships.  Derived from psychoanalysis it usually provides a quicker solution to emotional problems.

Psychoanalysis
This is based on the work of Sigmund Freud, who believed that the unacceptable thoughts of early childhood are banished to the unconscious mind but continue to influence thoughts, emotions and behaviour.  “Repressed” feelings can surface later as conflicts, depression, etc or through dreams or creative activities.  The analyst seeks to interpret and make acceptable to the client’s conscious mind, troublesome feelings and relationships from the past.  “Transference” onto the analyst, of feelings about figures in the client’s life, is encouraged.  This type of therapy is often used by clients suffering high levels of distress and can be a lengthy and intensive process.

Eclectic Counselling
An Eclectic counsellor will select from a number of different approaches appropriate to the client’s needs.  This is based on the theory that there is no proof that any one theoretical approach works better than all others for a specific problem.

Charges are £35 per hour negotiatble depending on client circumstances and for students.

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