We think we listen, but very rarely do we listen with real understanding, true empathy. Yet listening, of this very special kind, is one of the most potent forces for change that I know.” – Carl Rogers (pioneer of the humanistic approach)
Features of the Humanistic Approach
I am focused on creating an environment that helps you to feel safe to explore issues that may be troubling you. My warm and gentle approach helps to ease anxieties you may have about counselling and to build good relationships. I am also committed to being non-judgmental and respectful.
I believe in:
- human uniqueness and our fundamental innocence;
- a holistic need to balance intellect, spirit, emotions and the body;
- individual autonomy and responsibility;
- and the importance of learning to accept our limitations and thrive regardless.
In my work I also aim to recognise and value human differences:
- whether of ethnicity,
- sexual orientation and identity,
- religious and spiritual belief,
- or levels of ability/disability.
As a humanistic integrative counsellor, I can adjust my approach to your needs. This tailor-made style can blend theoretical perspectives and include also the latest findings in Neuroscience.
Blending Theoretical Approaches that Work
I recognise that different clients have different needs and believe that no one single approach is sufficient. This is why I combine the Focusing Oriented, Humanistic, Existential, Psychodynamic, and Transpersonal approaches. The integration of these models aims toward understanding your internal world and your experiences, and to use approaches that suit best your needs and preferences. It is also a Holistic way of working that considers the whole person: Mind, Body and Spirit.
Focusing Oriented Therapy
“What is split off, not felt, remains the same. When it is felt, it changes. Most people don’t know this. They think that by not permitting the feeling of their negative ways they make themselves good. On the contrary, that keeps those negatives static, the same from year to year. A few moments of feeling it in your body allows it to change. If there is in you something bad or sick or unsound, let it inwardly be, and breathe. That’s the only way it can evolve and change into the form it needs.”— Eugene Gendlin
This holistic approach is based on research findings about successful and unsuccessful therapy . According to this, positive change comes from people’s ability to engage in a certain way with their bodily felt sense of a situation. This means that I encourage clients to engage with their internal sense of rightness or unease to guide our sessions. You can also learn to access deeper levels of awareness that usually would not be available to your conscious mind.
When we attempt to solve our problems with what we already know, think and feel, we may find that we are just going around in circles. When we are able to access deeper levels of awareness, something new can emerge and real change can occur. This discovery is a great advance in the field of psychology. I am keen to make sure that my clients can benefit from this approach and experience real positive changes in their live. Focusing oriented therapy is especially suitable for highly sensitive, intuitive or creative people. It is also beneficial, if you feel ‘stuck’ in some way and if you’d like to be more self-reliant and authentic.
This approach emphasises the uniqueness of every human being. As a humanistic therapist, I focus on helping clients realise their own unique potential. My positive and supportive attitude communicates understanding, trust and acceptance to clients. You will be also encouraged to see yourself in a more balanced and accepting way. Trusting your judgements and focusing on your unique strength, while accepting our limitations will be the key. The humanistic approach can be very empowering to clients, especially people struggling with lack of confidence, motivation and assertiveness, or difficulties around identity and self-acceptance.
We all struggle at times to accept the limitations of being human. Accepting illness, aging and our mortality can be challenging. We can also battle with a sense of isolation, no matter how close we are to others. Our sense of freedom and responsibility to others can create conflicting demands on us. We can also struggle with a lack of meaning or purpose. This can happen even if everything in our life seems fine on the surface. My awareness of these universal aspects of being human has been supportive to clients facing similar challenges.
Psychodynamic theory focus on the recurring patterns we can create in our relationships. Some of our habits are formed in response to our childhood environment. This helped us coping with our family, but in our adult life this also can be limiting when relating to others. You may be aware yourself of some of these negative patterns. Never talking about problems to others, to avoid appearing vulnerable is fairly common, for example. You may also be just aware of recurring problems, but don’t know why it keeps happening to you. Counselling can help you to understand how some of your habits may contribute to your difficulties. A good therapeutic relationship with your counsellor can also encourage you to try out new ways of relating, like taking the risk of talking openly with someone you can trust.
The transpersonal perspective focuses on the deepest yearnings of our soul. This can be useful when we struggle finding purpose or meaning to our lives. Looking at the world in a way that brings peace can be also a challenge. Whether we are religious or not, we can be interested in exploring issues that are more to do with our spiritual concerns than with issues of an everyday practical nature. My sensitivity towards these issues can help you to explore similar concerns in a meaningful way. Using creative and holistic methods, like working with dreams, visualization or meditation techniques can also help you to access your inner resources and intuition and speed up your healing.
What Neuroscience Teaches Us
Neuroscience has been through a great revolution in the past decade. We finally have the instruments needed to examine the working of the human brain and connections between the body and mind. Research in this field proved many old theories about healing and personal growth. The healing potential of relationships, meditation or exercise is widely recognised by science now. Research also opened up some exciting new perspectives in this field. Discovering the innate trait of Sensory Processing Sensitivity (also known as Highly Sensitive People or HSP) is one of these revolutionary breakthroughs. Neuroplasticity is also a significant new scientific concept that proved that many aspects of the brain can heal and improve. My counselling work has been influenced by these research findings and I often share relevant information with clients that may aid their recovery and well-being.