My counselling approach
Psychodynamic counselling works with issues arising from a client’s current life situation. It explores how early experiences or relationships impact on your life today. There are often unconscious links between the past and the present.
Deeper exploration and understanding will help hidden feelings come out in the open. What happens in the relationship between client and counsellor will be an important part of this process.
As the counselling progresses, the client may be experiencing feelings in relation to the counsellor and to the counselling setting. These feelings are entirely natural, but they may not always be positive. The client may experience uncomfortable feelings like irritation, frustration, annoyance or anger.
However, if enough trust has been developed between the client and the counsellor, it will then become possible to talk about and explore these feelings and work with them in a constructive way. This can be very beneficial and may enable the client to achieve a deeper understanding of themselves.
Very often the feelings experienced by a client in relation to the counsellor mirror an aspect of the client’s internal experience or an aspect of their past relationships.
This threefold counselling approach: looking at current issues, linking these with experiences from the past and uncovering hidden feelings, as well as exploring the relationship with the counsellor, can have a positive impact on your life today. It can help you achieve the changes you are looking for. It can also make you feel more confident in yourself.
Counselling approach with couples
When working with couples my role as a counsellor is slightly different.
The main aim for the couple counsellor is to enable a couple to express difficult feelings to one another and to support a couple to listen to each other in order to understand each other’s behaviour better.
A couple counsellor’s responsibility is to the relationship and both partners should get equal time, attention and understanding. The aim here is to enable a couple to gain greater understanding of the relationship dynamics, the roots of their difficulties and hidden feelings in order to improve communication and relating. In some instances a couple decides to separate and the couple counsellor will try and help the couple to work through this process.
Trends in counselling
The increase in children and young people suffering from mental health problems is of huge concern to me. Recently I have become more proactive in this area including some in-depth communication with staff at BACP and other colleagues. I don’t work with clients under 18, but I support and work with the parents of children who are psychologically unwell which can be very enabling and improve matters for the child or young person.
More and more I find older people are turning to counselling to explore a range of issues, which have arisen for them in later life such as practical difficulties or feelings of loss and regret. I very much enjoy working with this client group and value the changes that can be achieved at this stage of life.