I believe that the therapeutic relationship between us is core and this connection contributes to change. I also value integrating in-depth exploration and practical solutions into sessions.
To do this, my style is collaborative, supportive, encouraging and accepting. I am a strategic and present listener. I tend to take more of a direct yet empathetic approach. At times I will use humour and lightness to create trust, openness and safety. I allow space for emotional exploration and processing yet there can also be space to be practical and action-oriented. I tend to keep sessions casual rather than clinical since you need to feel comfortable and safe.
I appreciate that you are the expert of your experiences so my role is to validate and caringly guide you, ask the right questions, challenge you, provide different perspectives and offer you feedback on unhealthy thought and behaviour patterns.
Each client is unique so flexibility is essential. Growth work needs to begin from different starting points and I need to meet each client's way of learning and responding. in order to take a holistic approach (appreciating the mind-body connection) and emphasize both counselling process and progress, I strongly believe that creativity and life coaching skills need to be brought into therapy.
Creativity helps to address the mind/body link and enhance emotional understanding in a non-threatening way. Creativity means experiencing rather than reporting about something. Evidence suggests a link between creativity and increased emotional well-being.
Life coaching is more action driven, changes perspectives, recognizes obstacles, offers clarity, sets future goals and strategies to achieve your goals.
Talk therapy enables you to focus on the long term, dig deep and emotionally explore. You can become more aware; shifting painful emotions and self-destructive patterns and gain better coping tools and a greater sense of who you are.
I draw from such evidence-based talk therapies as Solutions-focused therapy, CBT, Narrative Therapy, Acceptance & Commitment Therapy, Dialectical Behavior Therapy, Emotionally Focused Therapy, Humanistic and self-compassionate mindfulness-based techniques.
Creativity can take the form of visual arts, creative writing, working with sand/clay, music, using photographs or body-movement. I also use Hakomi (a practice that combines mindful exploration, body awareness and creative experimentation to promote healing) and Qigong (healing oneself through breathing, body movements, meditation and guided imagery) when appropriate.
Life coaching techniques range from goal setting, asking open-ended questions, determining plans of action, tracking progress to ensure accountability and a therapist who is optimistic and inspiring.