I use a client-centred, integrative approach to counselling which means together, we’ll have a range of strategies and techniques at our fingertips. Chemistry is key in our working alliance and can help us accomplish good work in as little as two or three sessions.
Many clients are interested in attending therapy for a short time, tackling issues quickly and setting achievable goals and timelines. My training in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy and Behavioural Activation Therapy is a good match for this kind of collaborative work.
For some clients, this style seems abrupt. In that case, we can take a more exploratory approach, helping you uncover the pathways and decision-making sequences that lead to choice and broader insight. For clients who are experiencing negative effects of past trauma, I am now offering EMDR treatment.
It’s possible that for some clients, having a supportive and confidential environment in which to be heard and understood is more important than specific strategies and interventions.
Above all, we’ll go at your pace, monitoring along the way to see how our work is progressing. If something isn’t working, we’ll seek to understand why and try a different approach.
What individual therapy usually looks like:
First session or two – This is our introduction, a time when clients paint a picture of what is happening for them. I ask occasional questions and offer comments to confirm I’ve understood the circumstances correctly.
Second or third session – We work together to determine your goals for therapy. Goal setting can take one session or sometimes it takes two or three sessions to uncover and pinpoint the most useful or lasting objectives, sometimes however, this goal setting can happen in the first session.
Third/Fourth session and beyond – This is the bulk of our work together as we discuss ideas, try out strategies, and adapt our course of action to find the right fit. Keeping a regular meeting time that we establish together – once a week or once every two weeks, perhaps – is important for gauging progress. If, however, the presenting issue is more straightforward, there’s a chance these sessions will see us wrapping up our time together.
Last session or two – Our collaboration comes to a close. The personal change clients seek is in the works and we feel satisfied and confident as we do our final review of our work together. Clients might decide to revisit counselling for a separate concern in the future or to ‘fine tune’ the original concern.