What is an Integrative Counsellor?
Every client is unique and there is no blueprint or standard procedure for what methods and/or techniques ought to be adopted. As an integrative counsellor, I am qualified to employ a number of methods, modalities or approaches rather than just one. In very broad terms, there are five major methods, described as follows:-
Person Centred Counselling
This therapy is based on the idea that a client enters into a relationship with a counsellor where the client is allowed to freely express any emotions and feelings. This enables the client to come to terms with the negative feelings that may have caused emotional problems, and develop personal skills. The objective is for the client to become able to see themselves as a person with power and freedom to change.
This approach stresses the importance of the unconscious and past experience in shaping current behaviour. The client is encouraged to talk with their therapist about childhood relationships with parents and other significant people, and the therapist focuses on the dynamics of the client/therapist relationship. ‘Transference’; when the client projects their feelings experienced in previous significant relationships on to the therapist, is a method used in this type of therapy. The psychodynamic approach is derived from psychoanalysis, but usually provides a quicker solution to emotional problems.
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT)
This type of therapy combines cognitive and behavioural techniques. Clients are taught ways to change thoughts and expectations, with the use of relaxation techniques. CBT has been effective for stress-related ailments, phobias, obsessions, eating disorders, and major depression.
Solution Focussed Brief Therapy
This type of therapy promotes positive change and aims to move the client on from dwelling on past problems. Clients are encouraged to focus positively on what they do well, to set goals and work out how to achieve them. As little as three or four sessions may be beneficial.
Transactional Analysis is a comprehensive approach which incorporates aspects of humanistic, cognitive-behavioural and psychodynamic approaches to therapy. TA therapists categorise the human personality into three aspects – Parent, Adult and Child (called ego states) and they use this model to help clients understand how they interact with others. This can be particularly helpful in understanding what may be behind difficult or challenging relationships such as with a partner or work colleague/manager.
How much does it cost?
My standard rate for a full 1 hour (60 minutes) session is £40.00. I offer both face-to-face and online counselling. I offer an initial consultation at £25 (see below).
How many sessions will I need?
Therapy can be just a few sessions and sometimes even one session may be enough. It may continue over several weeks or months. This depends on your individual situation. I would discuss this with you before and during your course of therapy. Ultimately, there is no commitment beyond the next session whether the next session is your first or fifty-first. As the client, you are free to end your counselling, for whatever reason, whenever you decide.
What information will I have to share?
It is your choice what you reveal to the counsellor; however it may be helpful to give an idea of what has brought you to therapy to enable the process to be effective.
What happens if I miss a session?
If you are able to give me 24 hours notice of your cancellation, I will not charge you for the appointment and will do my best to offer you an alternative slot that week. If you are unable to give me 24 hours notice of the cancellation then I reserve the right to charge for the appointment albeit I appreciate that sometimes circumstances can dictate that only short notice is possible.
I would recommend that in the first instance we arrange a consultation session where we can find out more about each other, and for you to see whether my style of counselling feels right for you. This session lasts for 45 minutes and is free of obligation. I can accommodate both face-to-face or online consultations or phone consultation if this is more convenient.