Psychotherapy is an actvity "which involves our fellow human beings, and our being with them as fellow human beings."
- Condrau (1988)
Some principles on how we work.
People come to therapy for many reasons. We support people to develop a better understanding of themselves and others, address life difficulties and make the changes they want in their lives.They want things to change but are not quite sure how to make these changes. They often express themselves as feeling quite "stuck". We see symptoms such as an addiction, emotional dysregulation, depression and anxiety as not merely events to be removed by magic words or medication, but as indicators that the way the person is living their live is unsatisfactory to them. They may lack the skills that could help them live a more fulfilling life; to be able to make healthier choices or to simply lead a less chaotic or dramatic life.
"The ways we evade and deny reality often form the basis of symptoms. Beneath every symptom is an unfaced dilemma. Essentially clients come to therapy when their usual evasions and denials are not working as well as they used to and they need a new way of tackling, but feel at a loss to find one". Emmy van Deurzen
We offer both psychotherapy and counselling. Although counselling and psychotherapy can overlap, there are also differences. Counselling focuses on enhancing people's capacity to cope with specific life challenges such as relationship endings, bereavement, and anxiety. Seeing a counsellor helps people resolve crises, reduce distress, develop goals for change and improve their wellbeing. Counselling also assists with problem solving and developing inner resources to move on with life in meaningful ways.
Psychotherapy focuses to a greater extent on achieving change in the personality or self. Often people notice that the nature of their personal difficulties is repetitive. Similar issues arise time and again in different contexts and relationships. Psychotherapy helps people achieve better self-understanding and change long- standing patterns of behaviour that may be disrupting relationships, work and study.
Our therapeutic approaches are integrated through an existential lens and we specialise in relationship issues arising from Addictions and Trauma. We draw on Family Systems Theory, Deep Enquiry and Imaginal Exposure, Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT), Mindfulness and Meditation practices, EFT (Emotional Focus Therapy), Comapssionate Theory; Body (Somatic) and Focusing Oriented Therapy (Trauma) and some CBT (Cognitive Behaviour Therapy).
Our work from an "Existential Lens" means:
- We focus on knowing and understanding individuals as human beings, rather than knowing all about them
- Understanding the human experience and the meaning of these experience(s) for the individual and
- Understanding the unique features of each individual.
We also weave psychoeducation in to our work when needed as we believe education and knowledge is key to bringing about understanding and awareness for individuals. With greater awareness, the possibilities for change may arise as new perspectives are understood; creating a little bit more room in their lives for different choices rather than the usual unhelpful yet familiar patterns of functioning.
We believe people who come to therapy wish to:
- to be understood and to feel that if they keep working at it they will ultimately understand themselves a bit better
- to be supported and feel safe in their tentative steps into the unknown world of change for themselves;
- to feel they are not the only person to feel as they do and to be released of shame about not coping as well as they feel they ought to.
People who choose to come to therapy are unlikely to know these things by simply being told they are one way or another or just by being reassured. They will need to discover all these strange and amazing things by themselves, with our help, so that they can experience and understand them. Existential therapy is a process of uncovering and discovery.
Our rooms are open from 8:00am Monday - Friday and Saturday mornings 8:00 - 12:00 midday