Counselling Coventry works with individuals and couples offering short or medium term focused work and quite often clients who come to see me have 6 - 8 sessions, and others long-term in-depth psychotherapeutic counselling. With over 17 years post qualifying experience with 10 years in the NHS working with a range of clients, as a psychotherapeutic counsellor I am able to work at depth with clients who present with either one or more complex issues at a deeper psychological and emotional level. shorter-term psychotherapeutic counselling engagements I have found the best strategy is to focus on helping you to use your existing strengths and resources in new ways. Longer-term work provides the opportunity for working through more entrenched difficulties helping you to make subtle but important changes not merely to what you do but who you are.
I have had extensive training since my training in humanistic counselling; in gestalt psychotherapy, developmental and somatic psychotherapy, and relational living body psychotherapy and I usually get a sense of what combination of these approaches will help you in our initial meeting/assessment. After building a professional therapeutic relationship and gaining my own understanding of what your difficulties are, I provide a safe environment for difficult thoughts and feelings to be spoken about, evaluated and changed. Over time you will gradually come to a new, more helpful understanding about what, how and why you think and feel. My approach focuses on how psychological and emotional issues are manifested in the body, it's processes and how that affects how we deal with psychological and emotional difficulties and therefore our relationships and ways of relating.
I am experienced in the following areas:
Some personality disorder traits
Work related stress
As a qualified and experienced Registered Counsellor (MBACP), what I offer would be more accurately described as psychotherautic counselling and is humanistic and integrative in orientation.
The UK Council for Pschotherapy (UKCP) states that: "As its name suggests, psychotherapeutic counselling is a type of counselling that draws from theories and approaches used in psychotherapy" (Click Here).
Psychotherapeutic Counselling, has been distinguished from traditional counselling by its emphasis on the co-creation of an in-depth therapeutic relationship; wherein the suffering human being is viewed holistically, body, mind and soul and in the context of a concrete life situation and developmental stage. In short, it means being able to work at depth emotionally and psychologically with clients.
I describe my practice in counselling as psychotherapeutic, and humanistic and integrative in orientation. Humanistic simply means that I work with you as a whole human being, a person, a person who we believe has the postive human potential to improve their life and living should they wish or want to. Integrative means that I integrate, as appropriate, various techniques, skills etc from a range of counselling and psychotherapeutic approaches, but my overall approach is influenced largely by Humanistic and particularly Gestalt Psychotherapy
I see the therapeutic relationship as crucial for healing and growth. It is important to me that I offer a relationship that is non-judgmental, respectful and safe with clear professional boundaries. I see both support and challenge as essential parts of a therapy relationship. Therapy is a commitment, which requires courage and honesty from both client and therapist.
Often people seek therapy when they have got stuck in repetitive patterns of feelings, thoughts, body sensations and actions. Therapy is a process that enables clients to increase their awareness of these patterns and thus make their own choices about changes they want to make in their lives. As well as increasing awareness of the client’s patterns, as a humanist integrative psychotherapeutic counsellor, I help create opportunities for clients to try out new ways of being in the world.
My short term work approach is influenced by an integration of brief gestalt therapy and solution focussed therapy.
Since qualifying, however, and I have ten years post qualifying experience and much of it in the NHS, I have undertaken advanced 4 year training in Gestalt Psychotherapy and a further 2 years in Developmental and Somatic Psychotherapy which is now influencing much more of how I work with clients.
Counselling and Clowning
How might the performance art of the clown be useful in my counselling practice with clients?
There are a number of ways, but in general it is about looking at the issue that concerns you from a clown perspective. This is not about trivialising the issue or making fun of it, so we need to understand that the clown perspective is about making sense of an understanding from a creative position. It is about creativity, imagination and the willingness to explore what brings you to counselling. I have no wish to share too many of my secrets here, but if you wish to know more then the best way is to experience the clown perspective as a client. If so, then the first step is book an assessment and move into therapy.
However, don't forget of course that you don't necessarily have to have a 'problem' to work with me, but you might wish to learn more about yourself from a personal development perspective and work with me as a client in a personal consultancy/coaching context.
My humanistic integrative practice has been deepened and enhanced with four year training in gestalt psychotherapy.
Gestalt Psychotherapy has an holistic approach to human functioning – the mind, body, emotions and spirit entwined as an interactive whole, constantly working to achieve balance. An individual’s personal growth is encouraged through development of self awareness and self support for appropriate, spontaneous and creative contact with others.
The learning and application of Gestalt Therapy is experientially based and experimentally oriented. As a therapist I work with what is immediately obvious and available to awareness, in the Here and Now. Blocks in awareness and behaviour may emerge in the therapy in the same way as they manifest themselves in the client's life. From there the therapy may proceed in small steps using mini-experiments with new behaviours in order to expand awareness. In this way optimal support for creative and adaptive contact with one’s environment becomes possible. It’s an interactive process where past experiences and future longings are appreciated and explored as manifested in present thinking, feeling and behaving. Ideally, and with time, the client experiences relief as s/he becomes able to expand their experience and behaviour. In this way gestalt psychotherapy results in an increased capacity for living more authentically and fully.
The Gestalt approach is much more than a psychotherapy which enables people to cope with their daily lives. It is a deep philosophy that also provides a practical method of transformation, leading progressively to the realisation of the evolving authentic self. The aim is the awakening of a person’s full potential, supporting what is most alive and energising.
Gestalt Psychotherapy is based on the philosophy of trusting the human potential for a growing relationship with their particular environment. Gestalt as a method has a holistic approach to psychotherapy and is based on a core belief that the desired outcome of psychotherapy is achieved through heightened awareness within the therapeutic relationship in conjunction with creative and active experimentation.
The Gestalt Psychotherapy and Training Institute (GPTI) describes Gestalt therapy as:
Gestalt provides a practical, creative approach to psychotherapy and emphasises, that we can only be understood as part of the environment in which we live. It underlines the importance of the connection between events and the settings in which the events occur. In the famous phrase: “no man is an island”: we all influence and are influenced by our surroundings all the time.
The therapeutic relationship is integral to the process of growth and involves supporting a fuller sense of the ways that experience emerges, including feelings thoughts and actions, in different situations and at different times. The approach focuses on the development of holistic awareness of each other, our circumstances and how we function differently in different situations. Through raised awareness of moment-to-moment activity in the therapeutic setting, choices about how we live, interact with our world and make contact with others are increased" (Click Here).
In a nutshell, as they say, I work with you holistically as whole person including your body. This does not mean touch or anything like that. I am able to work using my own body and observation of movement etc. to inform my work with you. This might mean working with you to raise awareness of how you might be holding you body or body parts for example. There are many ways of working. The most important aspect of my work is to establish a professional yet therapeutic relationship with you. For greater explanation, please see the next page.
See a short video that explains gestalt therapy in nutshell Click Here
Developmental and Somatic Psychotherapy
I received training in Developmental Somatic Psychotherapy with Dr Ruella Frank (2011-13) in NYC. This training has been integrated into my Dance Movement Psychotherapy Practice (DMP), detailed on the next page, which informs and develops on my initial developmental training and practice in DMP. However, body movement work is often included (as appropriate) in my ‘talking therapies’ humanistic integrative practice as a psychotherapeutic counsellor, which is why it is included here.
In short, this is a gestalt framed psychotherapy with a focus on six fundamental movement patterns and how they structure our neurological emotional and mental functioning from new born right through to adulthood and beyond.
"Developmental Somatic Psychotherapy, developed by Ruella Frank, Ph.D., is a relational and movement-oriented psychotherapy within a contemporary gestalt therapy framework.
“Developmental Somatic Psychotherapy is a template for understanding and working with early psycho-physical blocks as they emerge in present moments of the adult therapy session. Attending to movement patterns within therapy is particularly powerful when guided by current developmental thinking”.
“Developmental Somatic Psychotherapy’s comprehensive system of phenomenological analysis allows practitioners to diagnose and treat their clients using movement experiments. Learners are taught a variety of developmental movements and their relation to psychological functioning." (Click Here).
In her introductory workshop, currently being offered for 2020: “Ongoing nonverbal interactions with our primary caregivers during the first year of life set a relational foundation that is apparent both in the everyday life of the adult and in psychotherapy. Even though our adult postural attitudes, gestures, gait and breathing patterns have changed over time, the foundations established in our first year remain readily observable and available. Attending to these patterns within psychotherapy is especially powerful.
This workshop is open to psychologists, social workers, psychotherapists, psychiatrists, infant educators as well as movement therapists-educators who wish to better understand the relationship between psychological experience and physical expression.”