I come from a humanistic perspective which believes in providing empathy, acceptance and genuineness. It is an optimistic approach and believes in fostering peoples own strengths. In my counselling I use a creative therapeutic approach through drawing on a range of techniques such as Sandplay therapy, Creative Arts therapy, Cognitive Behaviour Therapy, and Solution Focused therapy; combined with a strength based approach.
Sandplay therapy is a highly effective and powerful technique that can be used with children and people of all ages. It is a very deep process, which gets to the core of things very quickly. It uses a sandtray and a large range of miniature symbols that reflect all aspects of life. Sandplay bypasses the mind and gets into the body/feeling level and can help children particularly to express themselves without verbal communication. Sandplay looks at bringing the inner world into the outer world by using the miniature symbols to create a picture in the sandtray. Through creating this picture and telling their story, they start finding solutions to their problems, self discovery, and work through emotions and feelings to situations. This is all done in a safe, special place with a trained Counsellor to help facilitate the process.
Creative Arts Therapy
Creative Arts Therapy looks at using a range of creative techniques such as, painting, drawing, writing, music, role playing and much more. Using these techniques helps children and people of all ages to express and explore how they feel, through art and creative ways. This can help deepen their understanding and awareness. While using these techniques the therapeutic relationship is one of companioning the client and is respectful, collaborative and focuses on being present to the client’s experiences. With the combination of counselling and using creative arts to gain more self awareness, exploration and through creative representations it looks at becoming aware of patterns in life and help clients to realize their choices and assist them in making changes if they need. Creative arts therapy is a powerful way to further explore what is going on and an engaging way to help facilitate conversations in a relaxed non threatening way
Cognitive Behaviour Therapy
Cognitive Behaviour Therapy is used to look at how we think, feel and act in situations and how they all interact together. CBT aims to look at the links between thoughts, feelings and behaviours and to recognise and address unhelpful thinking. It is an active and goal orientated therapy that recognises that our thinking or thought processes effect our emotions. It helps clients to become aware of what their irrational or unhelpful thoughts are and then looks at changing the irrational thinking into more realistic thoughts. This can take some time depending on how long these thought patterns have been set, but doing this work is very effective.
Solution Focused Therapy
This is a short term therapy that looks at focusing on solutions rather than on problems. Instead of analysing the past and trying to figure out what went wrong; it helps you look forward to the future, to find direction. It looks at identifying positive changes that you can make in your life and how to approach and achieve goals with more confidence. It assists the client to see how they would like to be different and recognise what changes need to be made, what blocks could potentially get in the way, and essentially being positive and setting goals to work towards the changes. This therapy helps clients recognise their strengths and learn to use them along with resources/supports to action the changes.
Strength Based Approach
Working with a strength based approach is a huge part of where I come from. I believe in helping people to realise their own strengths, unique qualities and to be confident with who they are. I also like to assist families to recognise their own resources, abilities and strengths. This approach fosters empowerment, growth with clients and creates hope by looking at what has been successful in the past to have realistic expectations. This approach really looks at the client having the power to know what has worked, what does not work and what could work in the future.