If you haven’t been to Counselling before you may be curious as to what therapeutic approaches I might use to help you improve your life… fair enough… I’d want to know how someone could help me too if I was about to start a healing journey. So…let me fill you in.
No word of a lie there are literally hundreds of different therapeutic modalities and theories out there. Each has its own merits and each therapist will offer those therapies which best align with their therapeutic style and interests.
I’m no different.
Although, according to my professional code of conduct, I am not ethically allowed to say I ‘specialise’ in any particular style of therapy, I have chosen to focus on, and master the delivery of, 3 different therapy styles. These 3 specific therapy approaches (or ‘modalities’ if you prefer) are 3 that definitely align with my therapeutic style and personality as a whole. They are also what I offer because, well, I know they work.
Here we go, a brief overview of the 3 therapeutic approaches I may use when working with you;
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT)
This therapeutic approach has been around since the 1960’s. I won’t bore you with its history (you can turn to Google if you want that!) but in a nutshell it is a long standing, widely practiced and highly effective form of therapy. CBT is regularly used in the treatment or support of Anxiety and Depression but can be used to support people experiencing many types of mental health challenges.
All CBT evidence based techniques and strategies are used to help a client better understand the relationship between thoughts, emotions and behaviours. By discovering, breaking down and replacing unhelpful beliefs and stories a client is holding onto, the client is essentially able to understand why they are having the thoughts they are having. This in turn allows them to change their thoughts and associated feelings.
Once this is achieved a client’s behaviour begins to change (in whichever way it needs to) and consequently life outcomes can be dramatically improved. CBT is a fantastic therapy modality for creating more self-awareness, thus its success.
Solution Focused Therapy (SFT)
This one is exactly as it sounds. It’s as simple as where are you now and where do you want to be? Ok ok… I know it’s not that simple. If it was, I wouldn’t have a job… everyone would be able to sort out their own challenges! SFT has been around since the 1980’s and is widely used by therapists the word over.
Essentially SFT is based on the idea that focusing on problems alone will not help you move forward. It aims to create a stronger sense of future, rather than past, by encouraging the client to explore what it is they are hoping to achieve more than having the client explore what it is they are trying to escape or fix.
This form of therapy is very much goal-orientated. It can be particularly useful when client’s already have some idea of what they are after in life but when they may not necessarily know how to take action to achieve the goal.
Person Centered Therapy (PCT)
This form of therapy speaks to my heart. It’s the one I love most because it aligns with my natural desire to support, nurture and encourage.
PCT is a warm, positive and very personal style of therapy. It relies significantly on a good working relationship existing between therapist and client and it places the client as the expert on themselves, instead of some more traditional styles of therapy which place the therapist as the ‘academic expert’… thus creating a sense of power over the client.
Instead of focusing on problems and ‘technicalities’ PCT therapists focus on helping the client to see that they already have within them everything they need to solve their problems. In other words, this form of therapy builds the capacity for self-healing thus reducing the need for further support in the future.
PCT therapists hold unconditional positive regard for their client, regardless of the client’s challenges. They also exhibit high levels of empathy towards their client and will always be a client's cheerleader, not their ‘instructor’ or ‘teacher’.
So there you have it… 3 therapeutic approaches I regularly use with my counselling clients to help them get unstuck and get going on their healing journey.
If you found this article useful let me know in the comments below and don’t forget to check out What Happens In Your First Counselling Session? and How Will Therapy Actually Help Me? If you’d like to learn more about me and the services I provide you can do that here!
Until next week…
Yours in better mental health,
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Erica has a passion for Women’s Health. She works with women who want to be heard, supported and empowered! Erica is a survivor of many life experiences. A Mum. A travel lover. A green thumb in training and an eternal optimist!