I am a qualified Person-centred, Children/young person’s and eating disorder therapist offering long term counselling to adults and young people/students online. I work with anxiety, depression, grief/loss, self-harm, low self-esteem, PTSD, childhood experiences and trauma, workplace, school and family issues.
What does that actually mean?
Person-centred therapy, also known as Rogerian therapy, is a client-based form of therapy that empowers the client to take ownership of their mental well-being. Person-centred therapy provides a safe space for clients to become more self-aware and find their own solutions.
As a person-centred therapist I am able to use the person-centred core conditions:
- Be congruent with you – being genuine and authentic.
- Provide you with unconditional positive regard – accepting without judgement.
- Show an empathetic understanding – seeing your world from your perspective.
- And to also create a safe, trusting relationship with you that helps to develop confidence and autonomy in what is right for self.
How long does this process take?
There is no fixed number of sessions when working using a person-centred approach. This is normally determined between us as sessions are regularly reviewed to ensure that you are still achieving what you require from therapy. Some clients come to counselling for a short period, such as six sessions, others come for a much longer period depending on their needs and wishes. Therapy has no time limit, and we will work together towards an ending when you feel it is appropriate.
How will we know where to start?
In our initial consultation, we will look at what brought you to therapy and what you would like to achieve from having therapy. There may be things from past, present or future that are impacting on ability to function for whatever reason. By exploring how daily life is, how things have been for you that week can be a really useful starting point in what you would currently like to feel better about. For some clients using a timeline to explore further into where struggles may have started is more beneficial and we work from there, for others it is a fear/anxiety of something in the future and unpicking that to see where the anxiety has stemmed from.
You may not realise or want to accept that what you have experienced at any point in your life may have been wrong. You may even blame yourself for what may have happened and can’t comprehend how it ‘was not your fault’. This can then lead to going through life not understanding why you feel, and possibly behave, the way that you do. Anxiety, depression, panic attacks, health anxiety, eating disorders, self-harm, PTSD and relationship struggles all come from something, somewhere in our lives.
By sharing, unpicking and validating feelings, by being heard and not just listened to, allows you to find your internal locus of evaluation and self-actualising tendencies. This in turn develops your autonomy in being able to recognise what is internally right for you and reduce behaviours of possibly reliant on others to be able to feel good about yourself and make decisions that are right for you, rather than people pleasing.
How would we start unpacking issues?
Hearing your story – by using correct paraphrasing, reflections and clarification to ensure what you are saying is being heard correctly – gaining as much insight into what is going on for you as is possible.
Explore your current support network, possible previous therapy (what was beneficial and what wasn’t), create safe spaces and use of anchoring techniques for when you may feel triggered or become overwhelmed.
Explain polyvagal theory/psychoeducation – How the brain and body are connected and defence mechanisms that are inbuilt so when triggered, result in natural protective behaviours. We then also look at being able to work with those to build resilience and confidence in yourself, and to be able to regulate quicker.
Work with inner child – self-concept – a lot of behaviours stem from childhood. Looking at and exploring your childhood, reflecting on yourself as a young person and what needs weren’t met, can be really powerful in being able to show self-compassion to your inner child. This then enables to build self-worth, self-image and an ideal-self as an adult – self actualisation and fully functioning. This may not be something you want to explore initially, but as our therapeutic relationship grows, you may feel it would be beneficial.
Look at implicit and explicit behaviours/actions – While using counselling skills focuses on the content brought, I may comment on mismatches between words and body language, so identifying possible incongruence which you may not have recognised. This can be thought provoking, and time needed to reflect on and explore.
Use of creativity – This can be through drawing, guided visualisation, creating an object etc, reframing techniques, journaling, emoji’s – pretty much anything that isn’t just verbal. This allows even the least artistic person to develop skills that can help to clarify what is going on for them – even by relating to a colour and what that means to them. You will find that you will reflect on memories of a place, person or holiday etc and then being able to explore that – both positives and negatives depending on the thought/memory.
I will provide a safe, nonjudgemental, confidential space for you to be able to share and explore whatever is going on for you. Developing you as a person, building confidence in what is right for you, and for some, being able to say ‘no’ is a big part of that without fear of repercussions. I will always offer/use all the skills from various therapies to enable you to achieve whatever your goals maybe, but nothing is ever forced, and we take it at your pace.
If you would like to seek mental health services in Bristol, our team can help. At Bristol Counselling and Psychotherapy, we have a team of experienced counsellors who are ready to offer support for a wide range of mental health issues, welcoming individuals into safe and non-judgemental spaces within which to begin their journey to recovery. For more information or to book an initial consultation, please email email@example.com. Alternatively, to speak to us directly, please contact 07751 271 709.