I am an integrative therapist qualified to Masters level, specialising in attachment theory, cognitive behavioural therapy and person-centred approach. I am registered with the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP) and have over 5 years of experience working with clients with a wide range of presenting issues and problems. The training I have undertaken has been broad and it is of great advantage in the counselling room to be able to draw on a number of different theoretical approaches. It is essential, in order for counselling to be successful, for you to be able to trust your therapist. The following section outlines all of the regulatory bodies that I am part of, insurance, data protection and confidentiality information, and any other information that relates to my qualification to practice as a therapist.
Regulation and confidentiality
All my training was done as part of a BACP accredited course. The BACP rightfully ask a lot from their counsellors and ensure that I am sufficiently resourced and trained by making sure I adhere to a strict list of guidelines and regulations, which can be found here. I am insured for practice and registered with the ICO for data protection. Clear guidelines for confidentiality are set out before counselling begins and can be found in the contract which can be viewed here.
As part of good practice set out by the BACP I meet with a supervisor once a month to discuss the ways in which I am working and to make sure that I am providing the best possible counselling service. The supervisor is highly experienced and accredited by the BACP to carry out supervision, and is bound by the same strict confidentiality guidelines found in the contract. Furthermore, any discussions about particular client situations take place anonymously. Details of the supervisor are available upon request.
Care has been taken for the virtual platforms of therapy to choose mediums that are highly protected and secure. Skype is used for both video and online chat platforms because of its high security. Not only is the session confidential and secure at the time, but the conversation will be deleted upon cessation of the session.
Brief notes are taken about the sessions but only ever about psychological processes and not actual events.
About the way I work
Despite the particular training that every therapist has undertaken, they will develop their own nuances in the way they conduct therapy. I have trained as an integrative therapist and have had the privilege of learning in depth about many different theories. Understandably, each of the individual theorists make a case for their brand of therapy being the most effective. However, I have come to realise that each of the approaches has been developed through observing human behaviour and interaction, and as such all are just slightly different interpretations of the same thing. Each theory focuses on a different aspect of how our experiences have led us to become the people that we are today. Importantly this means that as long as a therapist is competent then you should benefit from any of the well respected theoretical approaches. Being able to draw from a number of different theories means being able to view situations from different perspectives.
The majority of therapists will tell you that the relationship between client and therapist is vital to successful therapy, and for good reason. This position is highly documented and backed up by research. It is the foundation of the way I work and hence why I always offer a free assessment so that clients can meet me before starting therapy. Alongside the therapeutic relationship there are many other desirable qualities in a counsellor. Of particular importance though is the ability to fit psychological understanding to the client’s situation. Counselling is a joint venture of client and therapist, with both having to work hard to achieve change. Both parties must be on the same page and it is important that the therapist can share their knowledge in a way that makes immediate sense to the client in their specific situation. I view counselling in a similar way to some of the other health services. If a physical ailment occurs, a physiotherapist may be consulted to use their expertise to educate and direct the individual to a way of recovering. In the same way attending counselling is about using a professional counsellor for a certain period of time in order for them to use their experience to educate and direct the client to their own resolution.
While I am trained and interested in a number of different theoretical perspectives and presenting issues, I have a keen interest in understanding relationships. I have done particular work in negative relational patterns and also domestic violence with both perpetrators and victims. An understanding of the way in which we develop our skills and methods of interacting with others is very interesting and beneficial for most people. I find attachment theory (John Bowlby) and offshoots from person-centred approach (Carl Rogers) such as transactional analysis (Eric Berne) are particularly helpful in these areas.