My approach for psychotherapy and counselling
There are many different types of talking therapies and individual ways of working. Over the years I have brought together different ways of working and created an approach to give my clients the best environment for healing and for growth.
My aim is to facilitate a change in the person, which will enable them to see and seize the opportunities that life affords them. My clients are individuals who want to solve and grow beyond their problems and get to the top of their game, whether this concerns their profession, their ongoing wellbeing, their ability to be a parent and a partner in a relationship.
My clinical philosophy
I have noticed over the years that the people who come to see me greatly benefit from being helped to look at themselves as a whole, rather than being treated as the unwilling host to a set of symptoms that need removing. This means that, to address and progress beyond their pathology, I help a person make sense of themselves and all of their experience of living, which includes:
- their thoughts, feelings, sensations, intuitions and dreams
- their relationships, close or distant, professional and personal
- what happened in their past, what they do now, and the direction and meaning of their life
I help my patients experience themselves fully, so that they may acquire a deep knowledge of who they are and what they are meant to do. I encourage people to talk freely about whatever comes to mind (a method that is called free-association), and help them “join the dots” when they need to analyse what is happening when they free-associate. I also encourage people to talk about their dreams during their sessions, which greatly enhances the insight they can acquire about their inner life and increases their ability to integrate all aspects of their inner life with one another. (Read more about the use of dreams in psychotherapy and counselling).
I trained as an integrative practitioner of psychotherapy and counselling at the Centre for Counselling and Psychotherapy Education, which means that my teaching sought to integrate into one whole different schools of thought, including:
“Integrative psychotherapy […] affirms the importance of a unifying approach to persons. Thus a major focus is on responding appropriately and effectively to the person at the emotional, spiritual, cognitive, behavioural and physiological levels.”
(European Association for Psychotherapy).
In my experience, it is the therapist’s knowledge of himself or herself that most determines the effectiveness of psychotherapy and counselling. As psychotherapist Anthony Lunt (1989) puts it: “it is not [their knowledge of technique] but the therapist’s state of being in the world that heals”. This is why, besides my training, personal research and academic work, I have chosen to centre my own development as a practitioner on my personal experience of psychotherapy with a senior practitioner and regarded author. I also receive weekly supervision from a senior jungian analyst, which broadens the scope of my practice and ensures its rigour.
Psychotherapy and counselling services
I offer different types of therapeutic services, which I can recommend to my patients during the initial consultation.
Individual psychotherapy and counselling
The majority of the people who see me have chosen to engage in open-ended therapy. This means that it is up to them to decide how long they will come to see me. In my experience, the people who tend to benefit most from my help, have chosen to come once or twice per week, for an extended period of time, that can sometimes last several years. In such cases, people engage with a very deep transformative process, that allows them to gradually overhaul their personalities and their lives.
Individual, brief psychotherapy and counselling
I know from practising therapy and counselling, in settings where there is a time-limit (such as the NHS), that people can benefit from engaging with a therapeutic process that only lasts for a few months (typically, 8-10 weekly sessions).
Sometimes, people ask me for time-limited psychotherapy and I will offer it, if this is what is going to be most helpful.
Couples psychotherapy and counselling
This form of therapy requires attendance by both parties. The treatment is open-ended, and I tend to recommend weekly sessions. Couples counselling will tend to be more focused on a specific issue, such as, for example, working through the changes that come with expatriation, mariage, new parenthood. Couples therapy is more appropriate for when there seem to be deep-seated issues in the couple, that are not caused by an external event.
Psychotherapy and counselling on Skype
I offer Skype consultations on a regular basis, to people who are either based out of the country, to frequent travellers or people whose work schedules does not allow for enough availability to engage in regular and intensive psychotherapy. In my experience, Skype is an excellent means of engaging with a therapeutic process, provided that some conditions are met (such as privacy, a good enough internet connection, and a regular appointment time).
Psychotherapy and Counselling in French
As a result of extensive research that I have carried out on the subject, I have concluded that psychotherapy and counselling are more effective when the patient has the option of working with the therapist in their native language. This was amply confirmed by my experience of working with patients.
I am bilingual in english and french, and work with equal effectiveness in either language.