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Counselling is nothing if it does not have one overarching objective; to help the client move forward. Everything else about counselling simply becomes a matter of personal preference based upon the counsellor’s worldview, reflecting their political, philosophical, sociological, and theological views – all of which should be challenged.
I am committed to placing you at the centre of the process. Treating you respectfully doesn’t mean blindly following a specific counselling guideline; it means having a deep philosophical and ethical commitment to understanding how I can best help you move forward.
A simple answer is: I want to work to build a world where people, especially men, are comfortable talking about their mental fitness.
Counselling is political (with a small ‘p’). Counselling does not happen in the isolated bubble of the counselling room; whatever we do in the counselling must fit and work with the client’s real world.
My approach is deceptively simple; we reflect on your experiences and try to understand what is going on. Once we have an understanding we are able to move forward and identify those actions and skills that will fir your situation and work in your context.
If you want a deep answer to this question, then you can find it in the critical realist philosophy of Bernard Lonergan, the psychoanalytical understandings of approach of Erich Fromm and the understanding of communication Niklas Luhman
Why do I work the way I do?
I want to help clients understand why I work with the approach I do. For many, this will be of general interest; however, the counselling approach and who inspires the counsellor are essential for some people.
Many clients take a lucky dip approach to choosing their counsellor; google “counsellor” in their area and pick the first one that appeals to them. That selection approach sometimes works, but maybe think that you are making a financial investment (counselling is not cheap) and an emotional investment – talking about things you may have hidden for a long time.
I look back on my first counselling and psychotherapy course with some fondness but recognise now that I was only equipped with the most essential tools. One of the joys of undertaking higher-level studies is that with each level, my skill set increased and my awareness of what I was doing deepened. The introduction to the grounded theory research method exploded my awareness, understanding and skills in communication. It allowed me to let go of being in control, trust in serendipity, and be more responsive. For clients, the process means that they are helped to understand what is going on and find a solution that works for them and fits their situation.
The grounded counselling process draws upon psychological principles and reflects the real world outside the counselling room by blending sociology, philosophy, and theology with systems thinking and complexity theory.
Many people, famous and infamous, living and dead, have inspired me, but every client has taught me more about counselling and living.
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