Counselling and Psychotherapy


There are many types of therapy. To put it simply it’s like opening a tool box and taking out the correct tool for whatever the problem may be!

The sole purpose in supporting you is to help you to gain mental wellness and mental strength. To work together for however long it takes to teach you the skills to let go of the past, truly live in the present and to look forward to what’s ahead.

VLT

I have taken time below to describe some of the different disciplines of therapy that I have available to help your recovery. However, what is more important is not to get hung up on the various methods but to focus on the end result. My approach is personally tailored to meet your needs and it is vitally important that we initially discuss how I can help you achieve your fully functioning self.

Applying Them to You and Your Vital Life Therapy

Nowadays we live in a society that is constantly struggling to uphold its value and moral fibre. We struggle with laws that are out of date. Lives are devalued by the portrayal through every media that we experience and immediate gratification is a curse and a disease of each generation. Families have a much greater chance of falling apart than staying together and so people become more isolated. Ask yourself how often do we stay with what is good right now? How often do we enjoy the moment?

People go to counselling and therapy for many different reasons, often people seek therapy for the first time because someone close to them, or their GP has suggested they get help. Others seek counselling because they have identified certain goals or issues they would like to work on.

A common misconception is that people who go to therapy are weak, mentally unstable, emotionally insecure or downright mad. However, having a mental health issue in what ever guise is no different from having a physical ailment. There is no shame in looking after our own mental health. On the contrary, our mental well-being is vital life therapy!

The number of people who are affected by mental health is rising. In 1990, 416 million people suffered from depression or anxiety worldwide – these numbers rose to 615 million in 2013 (World Health Organisation, 2016).

Current figures state that each year in Britain an estimated one in four adults will experience at least one diagnosable mental health problem, though only 230 of every 300 who need help will actually visit their GP.

Mental illness is extremely common and exists in different forms, each of which can have an adverse effect on your well-being.

The vast majority of people who contact me are simply struggling with common everyday issues. In fact, we are all experiencing increased rates of mental health issues due to higher academic and career expectations, peer competitiveness, and the increased intensity of social pressures from the internet and social media. The help of the right therapist can promote self-actualisation, empower self-growth, improve relationships, and reduce emotional suffering.

As a therapist I am here to work with you collaboratively on whatever is most distressing or important. Often in therapy, you will explore much more than just your initial presenting problem – that is, the main problem that you brought to therapy in the first place. Together, we will decide the goals of therapy, and if the therapy should be short- or long-term.

Disciplines of Therapy

Listed below are the some of the main disciplines that I am experienced in:

Disciplines:

Person centered therapy
Psychodynamic Psychotherapy
Cognitive behavioural therapy
Humanistic therapy
Neuro linguistic programming
Hypnotherapy
Gestalt therapy
Transactional Analysis
Mindfulness
Solution focused therapy
Diversity affirmative psychotherapy

Person centered therapy

Human beings have an innate tendency to develop towards their full potential. But this is inevitably blocked or distorted by one’s life experiences, in particular those who tell us we are only loved or valued if we behave in certain ways and not others, or have certain feelings and not others. As a result, because we have a deep need to feel valued, we tend to distort or deny to our awareness those of our inner experiences that we believe will not be acceptable.

This approach aims to provide an environment in which the client does not feel under threat or judgement. This enables you to experience and accept more of who you are as a person, and reconnect with your own values and sense of self-worth. This reconnection with your inner resources enables you to find your own way to move forward.

Working to understand your experience from your point of view, and to positively value you as a person in all aspects of your humanity, while aiming to be open and genuine as another human being.

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Psychodynamic psychotherapy

Essentially, this type of therapy focuses on the unconscious and past experiences – that we are made from an accumulation of our past experiences. Generally psychodynamic psychotherapists adhere to the theories and teaching of Freud and his followers. Psychodynamic therapy also draws upon techniques from a variety of sources, including the ideas of various other psychoanalysts, to include Carl Jung, Alfred Adler and Abraham Maslow.

You are encouraged to talk about childhood relationships with parents and other significant people, the primary focus being to reveal the unconscious content of your psyche in an effort to alleviate psychic tension. I will endeavour to become a blank canvas onto which you can transfer and project deep feelings about yourself, parents and other significant players in your life.

Psychodynamic therapy has been used effectively in individual psychotherapy, group psychotherapy and family therapy.

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Cognitive behavioural therapy

This refers to behaviour therapy, cognitive therapy, and to therapy based upon a combination of basic behavioural and cognitive principles and research. Commonly used with people dealing with anxiety and depression using a blend of cognitive and behavioural therapy. This technique acknowledges that there may be behaviours that cannot be controlled through rational thought. CBT is ‘problem focused’ (undertaken for specific problems) and ‘action oriented’ (tries to assist you in selecting specific strategies to help address your problems).

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Humanistic therapy

Humanistic therapy emerged in the 1950’s, and although behavioural therapy and psychoanalytic methods were available, a humanistic approach offered individuals another alternative. This approach focuses on recognising human capabilities in areas such as creativity, personal growth and choice.

The emphasis is on self-development and achieving one’s potential. A ‘client-centred’ or ‘non-directive’ approach is often used and the therapy can be described as ‘holistic’ or looking at the person as a whole. The client’s creative instincts may be used to explore and resolve personal issues.

The main goals of humanistic psychology are to find out how individuals perceive themselves here and now and to recognise growth, self-direction and responsibilities. This method is optimistic and attempts to help individuals recognise their strengths by offering a non-judgemental, understanding experience.

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Neuro linguistic programming

Neuro linguistic programming (NLP) is not generally seen as a model of therapy that is used on its own, but usually as an additional way of working with other types of therapy.

You may have heard of this as ‘the power of positive language’.

NLP sees a world of excellence where people can be helped to create their own choice and flexibility. Based on a number of operating principles, NLP theory states that ‘we either already have all the resources we need or we can create them and ‘modelling successful performance leads to excellence; if one person can do it, it is possible to model it and teach it to others’.

NLP is based on finding out how someone does something well and then repeating the process with a goal of ‘excellence for all’.

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Hypnotherapy

A form of psychotherapy used to create unconscious change in yourself in the form of new responses, thoughts, attitudes, behaviours or feelings. It is undertaken with you in hypnosis.Our minds work on two levels –conscious and subconscious mind.  The subconscious controls our habits.  In hypnosis, the conscious mind is subdued, while the subconscious becomes more aware.  Positive suggestions given by the hypnotherapist are readily accepted in this altered state.  Also, the subconscious is not subject to time.

To hypnotise someone, we need to disassociate ‘conscious’ from ‘unconscious’ experience.When hypnotised, most people can’t tell the difference between a hypnotised state and a ‘waking’ state.  It’s different for everyone – some people feel relaxed and lethargic, others feel weightless and some have tingling in their fingers.  Hypnosis is completely safe because you are in complete control at every moment and you can terminate the hypnotic state at any time.

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Gestalt therapy

Developed by Fritz Perls, Gestalt therapy focuses on the whole of the client’s experience, including feelings, thoughts and actions.

The client gains self-awareness by analysing behaviour and body language and talking about their feelings. This approach often includes acting out scenarios and dream recall.

‘Gestalt’ is the German word for ‘form’, ‘shape’ or ‘figure’. However, in English usage the word has come to mean ‘as a whole’ or ‘holistic’.

Gestalt therapy will try to help you by concentrating on your experience in the present moment and the environment in which you live. Gestalt therapy seems to be particularly beneficial for people who are rather ‘buttoned up’ when it comes to their emotions. But it can be used for a wide range of mental health needs.

During therapy the client is encouraged to bring out hidden feelings.

Much use is made of something called the ‘open chair’ technique.

This is when the client sits opposite an empty chair and then mentally places into that chair someone significant, who has caused them pain or trouble.

The client then tells the ‘person’ in the empty chair what they have been unable to express before.

Sometimes the client is encouraged to swap chairs and to answer his own claims or accusations from the other person’s perspective.

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Transactional Analysis

Transactional Analysis is a comprehensive approach which incorporates aspects of humanistic, cognitive-behavioural and psycho-dynamic approaches to therapy. In TA, we categorise the human personality into three aspects – Parent, Adult and Child (called ego states) and I will use this model to help you understand how you interact with others. This can be particularly helpful in understanding what may be behind difficult or challenging relationships such as with a partner or work colleague/manager.

A central concept in TA is the notion of people having a Life Script, which is a way of understanding your beliefs about yourself and others and how you interpret or understand the world around you. These Life Scripts may be recurrent patterns that you act out at an unconscious or preconscious level and which may perpetuate your difficulties. We will seek to identify these limiting script beliefs and work together to help you to change these.

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Mindfulness

Mindfulness is a specific way of intentionally paying attention to one’s thoughts. It is based on the idea that one negative thought can lead to a chain reaction of negative thoughts.

This approach encourages people to be aware of each thought, enabling the first negative thought to be ‘caught’ so that it is seen as just a ‘thought’ and not a fact. This breaks the chain reaction of negative thoughts giving a mental ‘space’ in which the person can re-centre themselves in the present.

Mindfulness-based therapists can work with individuals and groups and will usually integrate mindfulness in with another type of therapy, in which they are already trained.

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Solution focused therapy

As a solution focused therapist, I believe personal change is already constant. By helping you identify positive directions for change in your life and to attend to changes currently in process that you wish to continue, I can help you construct a concrete vision of a preferred future for yourself.

I will support you to identify times in your life when things match more closely with the future you prefer. Differences and similarities between the two occasions are examined. By bringing small successes to awareness, and supporting you to repeat your successful choices and behaviours, when the problem is not there or less severe, as a therapist I will facilitate your movement towards goals and preferred futures you have identified.

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Diversity affirmative psychotherapy

In order to reduce barriers to health and wellness within my therapy practice, one of my guiding priciples is to respect and understand differences in sexuality, race, ethnicity, culture, religion, gender, and experience. We can work together towards authenticity and self-acceptance, acknowledging the social difficulties involved to better understand ourselves.

Talk to Me Rainbow - Image credit Ben Wiseman
Image credit Ben Wiseman

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Contact me now on:
Telephone: 01895 751265 / Mobile: +44 7887 567929
Email: vicky@vitallifetherapy.co.uk


Summary

Areas of counselling or situations that I can help you with

  • Abortion
  • Affairs and betrayals
  • Anorexia nervosa
  • Antisocial personality disorder
  • Binge-eating disorder
  • Borderline personality disorder
  • Cancer
  • Dependent personality disorder
  • Eating disorders
  • Feeling sad
  • Generalised anxiety disorder
  • Miscarriage
  • Narcissistic personality disorder
  • Passive aggressive behaviour
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • Seasonal affective disorder (SAD)
  • Smoking
  • Suicidal thoughts
  • Abuse
  • Alcoholism
  • Anxiety
  • Avoidant personality disorder
  • Bipolar disorder
  • Bulimia nervosa
  • Career counselling
  • Depression
  • Domestic violence
  • Emotional abuse
  • Gambling
  • Internet addiction
  • Low self-confidence
  • Obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD)
  • Panic disorder
  • Physical abuse
  • Redundancy
  • Self-harm
  • Sex addiction
  • Sexual abuse
  • Spirituality
  • Trauma
  • Addiction(s)
  • Anger management
  • Attachment disorder
  • Bereavement
  • Body dysmorphic disorder
  • Bullying
  • Chronic fatigue syndrome/ME
  • Dissociation
  • Drug abuse
  • Family issues
  • Hoarding
  • Loneliness
  • Low self-esteem
  • Obsessive-compulsive personality disorder
  • Phobias
  • Postnatal depression
  • Relationship problems
  • Separation and divorce
  • Sex problems
  • Sexuality
  • Stress
  • Work-related stress

Therapies offered

  • Acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT)
  • Behavioural therapy
  • Cognitive and behavioural therapies
  • Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT)
  • Cognitive therapy
  • Couples counselling
  • Existential therapy
  • Gestalt therapy
  • Humanistic therapies
  • Integrative
  • Jungian therapy
  • Mindfulness
  • Person-centred therapy
  • Psychoanalysis
  • Psychoanalytic therapy
  • Psychoanalytical and psychodynamic
  • Psychodynamic therapy
  • Psychosexual therapy
  • Solution focused brief therapy
  • Transactional analysis

Contact me now on:
Telephone: 01895 751265 / Mobile: +44 7887 567929
Email: vicky@vitallifetherapy.co.uk