My Approach to Counselling and Psychotherapy
Together we will explore new ways of relating that are based on honesty, respect, and true intimacy through an integrated approach.
The foundation of our work will evolve from your life situation and the practice of Gestalt therapy – a humanistic, holistic, person-centred form of psychotherapy.
The framework I use for couples therapy is PACT, a psychobiological approach. This is a fusion of Attachment theory, Developmental Neuroscience and Arousal Regulation.
I also integrate the Gottman Method where “the goals are to disarm conflicting verbal communication, increase intimacy, respect, and affection, remove barriers that create a feeling of stagnancy in conflicting situations, and create a heightened sense of empathy and understanding within the context of the relationship.” (Gottman, 2020).
From a Gestalt perspective a well-lived life is grounded in a person’s awareness of how they live their life and conduct their relationships, in the present, within their life space. From this stance, the Gestalt approach stresses the importance of understanding the context of a person’s life. It seeks to promote awareness, support creative choice, encourage responsibility, instead of blame, and facilitate connectedness in a person’s efforts to realise a meaningful and fulfilling life.
Rather than starting from the therapist’s own insights and answers, value is placed on the client’s perception of reality. Awareness is heightened and explored, and you will be supported to find your own truth.
How Gestalt Therapy Can Help Relationships:
Awareness is one of the cornerstones of the Gestalt approach. Throughout our lives, particularly during early experiences, we adjust to situations to try to get our needs of love and security met. Sometimes the habits and patterns that we have adopted, that were once useful, are no longer effective in our present relationships.
I will help you raise awareness of patterns that have become destructive in your relationship and we will experiment with different ways that will allow more choices in your life that will bring a more lasting happiness.
Here and Now Approach
Although revisiting the past is an important part of identifying what needs to be healed, Gestalt therapy is an approach that focuses more on the ‘here and now’ experience of the client which gives attention to how we place meaning and make sense of our world and our experiences.
When feelings are not fully experienced in the past, they carry over into the present and interfere with experiencing in the present moment. This ‘unfinished business’ is addressed by facing what has been avoided, and bringing it gently into full awareness, in the now.
A present centered approach means that the therapy is dynamic. Instead of talking about how or what you want to change in your life you will be able to learn and integrate new experiences in therapy.
As a couple you will be addressing each other in conversation rather than ‘talking about’ your experience to me. In this way I will be able to see what you do and give feedback on your destructive patterns and ways of relating. We will experiment and find new ways that will be much more satisfying bringing novel perspectives to old patterns.
The Paradoxical Theory of Change
Change results not from striving to be different, but from accepting fully what is. Change then becomes inevitable, in harmony with the dynamics of life, rather than effortful work.
This means that through counselling we will explore ways that you can become more aware of how you are in your world, what you think and feel, how you conduct your relationships and what you are doing in your life that does or does not support you in your movement towards health.
How Can Mindfulness Help?
It is sometimes thought that the aim of mindfulness is to be calm and relaxed in every moment. While one of the benefits of mindfulness is the cultivation of calmness and peacefulness, the purpose is more about developing awareness and acceptance.
As part of mindfulness training I will help you develop an attitude of acceptance toward yourself and your own experience and to observe patterns or habits you see without judgement.
Without mindfulness you are on automatic, pushed around by past habits and destructive patterns. You react to situations that you later regret and although you are determined not to react in the same way again, you find yourself in the same situation.
Developing awareness through mindfulness will help you develop a sense of control, like driving a manual car, so you can choose how you would like to respond to situations rather than react.
The Benefits of Mindfulness
I work with individuals and couples who want to:
- Improve mental clarity.
- Reduce stress, anxiety, and depression.
- Be fully present to their experience
- Reduce pain levels and muscular tension.
- Experience calmness and peacefulness.
- Develop self-acceptance and self-compassion.
- Increase self-awareness.
- Develop a greater agency so life becomes more purposeful.
- Become less upset by and reactive to unpleasant experiences.
- Experience better thoughts and feelings safely.
- Become more connected to self, others, and the world.
If you are interested in learning about a mindfulness practice click on the Book Now button below to schedule a session with my online appointment book and I will call you to confirm your appointment and discuss your needs within 24 hours.
If you are not ready to make an appointment, call me for a free 10 minute phone consultation, where I will ask you questions about your situation and see how I can help you. Call 0438 184 727 now.