There are so many counsellors and therapists practicing in so many modalities that it's easy to become overwhelmed when trying to find the right match for you. Research consistently shows, though, that regardless of modality or technique, what's important for a positive outcome in counselling is a good, safe relationship between you and the counsellor, so it's important to listen to your gut.
At the same time, trusting a stranger with your problems and feelings isn't always easy. Many people struggle to relate to a therapist who adopts a “blank screen” persona; I bring to my clients a commitment to being a real, caring and collaborative human being.
I’m an integrative relational therapist. My training included a thorough grounding in the major modern theoretical approaches to counselling and psychotherapy, but the way I work is most strongly influenced by relational psychoanalysis, attachment theory and interpersonal neurobiology — a stream of psychotherapy that brings together over a century of clinical wisdom and cutting-edge research on how relationships affect the body, brain and mind. I’m also inspired by the fast-growing field of positive psychology.
In practice, integrative means that I draw on multiple models and techniques to tailor our work sensitively to you, your personality and your needs. It also means our work will focus on you as a whole person. We’ll bring mindful attention to your body and emotions in the present moment, not just your thoughts. We’ll invite parts of you to speak that might not have had much chance to be heard. We’ll also explore your strengths and resources, and what motivates you, inspires you and brings you meaning and joy.
Relational means that my work is founded on the understanding that we as human beings are not meant to go it alone — we need connection and belonging to survive. We are born, develop and live in a network of relationships, which can shape and affect everything from how safe we feel in the world, to how we deal with stress, to how we make meaning of what happens to us and feel about our options for the future. Our work will likely consider important relationships and patterns in your life and how they’re affecting you now.
Therapy is not just about understanding the past or changing your thinking, but about transforming how you behave, feel and understand your life. It’s never too late for change and growth. Relational therapy offers a safe, supportive, boundaried relationship where we can explore what’s troubling you, how it fits into the story of your life and where change is possible in the here and now.