Integrative Counselling or PsychotherapySam Horrocks2017-05-11T15:58:07+00:00
Integrative Counselling and Psychotherapy
What is Integrative Counselling or Psychotherapy?
There are many different models and theories of Counselling and Psychotherapy that have been around for years. You might have heard of particular theorists such as Maslow, Rogers, Freud or Jung for example or come across models of Counselling such as Person Centred, Psychodynamic, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) Gestalt and Transactional Analysis to name but a few. Some Counsellors chose to stay pure to one particular style or model of counselling.
I chose to work as an Integrative Therapist which means that I have knowledge of different models and theories within my training repertoire. As an Integrative Therapist I am able to adapt my style to match the needs of the client at that time and in that session. Integrative Counselling allows for flexibility within the counselling room and avoids a one size fits all approach.
In the past I have come across a number of clients who feel that they function or process differently to those around them and they worry that others don’t or wont ‘get them’. The Counsellors role is to really understand you and your frame of reference and to help you find the answers from within. I find my tool bag of different models of counselling makes this achievable by inviting different ways of expression and understanding.
Having said all that, fundamentally I believe good therapy comes down to your relationship with your Counsellor. The basis of counselling is that you are able to build trust with your counsellor and feel safe enough to explore your thoughts and feelings whilst perhaps accepting gentle challenge at times. You can expect unconditional positive regard and confidentiality as a given.
Whats the difference between Counselling and Psychotherapy?
Some experts suggest that Counselling tackles problems at the time of crisis and that Psychotherapy is longer term and focuses on more deeply embedded psychological problems however this is not universally agreed. This debate remains unsettled in the Mental Health world and the truth is there is no definitive agreed difference.
Counselling is not something that is done to you, nor is it a treatment, it is a process that you engage in based on the relationship you have with your Counsellor. Every therapist will work using their knowledge, skills and experience to support and assist you in your journey but ultimately they cannot change you – you have the resources within to make your own changes. The process itself is about bringing unconscious thoughts, feelings and behaviours into your awareness so that you can make those changes no matter how long it takes.
An important point to note is that your Counsellor can provide you with the right environment for nurture and development but you need to want to do it and it needs to be the right time for you. If you attend counselling because you feel you have to for the sake of others, it is unlikely that you will get what you need from it. Having said that, even if you are ready to engage the process can be challenging and emotional but also very rewarding.