My Approach

and life as a therapist

How did I arrive at this point in my life? Life is a journey. I didn't initially embark on a career with the intention of becoming a therapist. I’ve worked in different sectors. I’ve worked as an archaeologist, in the corporate world as a PA, I ran my own business and have also taught in schools as a teacher. Working with children in schools made me realise how mental health can impact all our lives. I took an interest in psychology to understand more and more about emotions and how they play a big part in our life. I then decided it was time to dig a bit deeper, so I started my Diploma in Counselling and then studied REBT/CBT.

I feel privileged to be part of the therapist world. I fell in love with the studies and research and subsequently with the profession. I can say I have truly found what I enjoy doing and can't envision doing anything else. My profession allows me to merge my two passions: working with and helping people and promoting health.

My core approach is Rational Emotive Behaviour therapy (REBT). REBT is a type of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) that aims to help a person challenge unhelpful thoughts to avoid negative emotions or behaviours. Understanding adversities and what unhealthy beliefs bring (whether they are past or present), have an important impact on a client’s self-awareness, as do identifying aspects of rationality and irrationality, analysing, and understanding cognitive and behavioural patterns and how this affects human behaviour.

These patterns allow me to comprehend my clients better and create significant therapeutic gains. I like the science behind the therapy, the analysis, the structure, and the interaction of thoughts, feelings, and behaviours. I like psychoeducation, a gentle way to direct a client when the client lacks motivation which I consider to be the “engine of therapy”. Sometimes when a client has strong rules from the past and they are not aware of these rules, they can feel stuck. Unhealthy beliefs are normally rigid rules that are formed in the past, during childhood, and are still present in the here and now. Understanding where these beliefs are coming from, and why, we may follow the same pattern or understanding why we have rules help clients to address the past and heal. Understanding unhealthy beliefs and changing them into healthy beliefs helps break patterns and increases flexibility.

My training allows me to use an integration of different therapeutic interventions related Humanistic, Psychodynamic and CBT models. Most of my clients will have experienced the integration of the three models depending on their goals, stage of therapy and presenting issues by the end of their therapeutic journey. I use Psychodynamic theories to help client to explore their past and to understand meaningful or suppressed memories, events, and feelings that went along with them. By gaining this insight, the client will understand what is required for changing and healing. I use the following therapeutic interventions: Inner-child, Parts work, Attachment Theory and Transactional Analysis, Transference and Countertransference. The possibility to tap into the unconscious, connect with their parts, look at their attachment, appreciate social interactions (Transactional Analysis) and link with the inner child. I also consider working with defences in the here and now and any transference. These help the client’s self- awareness, personal growth, and a deeper understanding of who they are and how they relate to others.

Since the basis of a good working alliance with a client is built on empathy, congruence, and unconditional positive regard, I tend to focus initial sessions on the Humanistic side of therapy so that trust and understanding can be formed early on and so that the client can feel they can explore difficult emotions and issues. Being empathic, having unconditional positive regard (UPR), and being genuine is fundamental in building strong therapeutic relationship. These concepts are the core of my practice.

In my practice, the collaborative relationship between the client and myself is key. Identifying what my limitations are. Understanding what the client wants from therapy, what they like and don’t like. Often, I get clients who have experienced counselling before and know what they want. Listening to clients and being transparent with their goals is a priority. Some clients don’t like to focus on the past, and they only want to work on their present, and the future and in these cases REBT will be the focus. Other are not ready to work on the here and now, not ready for the change, and only come to therapy to gain awareness and understanding where I would then use a Person-Centred approach. Other clients want a change but they still want to understand the problem in depth, so we may need to explore the past by making links to present behaviours and understanding their relational patterns and here, Person-Centred, Psychodynamic techniques and CBT will be the focus.

Integrative counselling and the different training I have undertaken, with CPD and the help of my supervisor, allow me to adapt to each client and each state. Being an integrative counsellor will enable me to always look at the client’s needs and preferences for therapy.

My primary task is to guide you in moving beyond the narratives that define your life, so we can delve into how you interpret your experiences. Only then can we tackle the root causes of the challenges that are holding you and your relationships back. Above all else, I'll stand by your side, utilising all available internal and external resources to support you on your journey toward healing and improved well-being.