“I am not what happened to me, I am what I choose to become”

Carl Jung

Integrative Psychotherapy

One of the most common questions I get asked when people enquire about therapy is, “How do you work?” or “What is your approach?” and the honest answer to this is – “That depends on you”. 

Integrative psychotherapy recognises that no one type of therapy will be beneficial to everyone and a good therapist will interweave strands from a range of therapeutic approaches, implementing those that will be most effective.

One aspect that is important, regardless of the approach taken, is collaboration. Therapy is a collaborative endeavour where we work together on whatever it is that you want to resolve.

Below I have outlined some of the approaches that I have found to be highly effective in therapy. However, it is also important to remember that the type of therapy that works for you might be very different from what works for someone else. Ultimately it will be determined by what is going to be the most helpful to you in achieving your aims.

If you have any questions about therapy or would like to speak before booking a consultation, get in touch.

Psychodynamic Psychotherapy

Influence of the past on the present

As the past influences the present, so the present will affect the future and psychodynamic psychotherapy seeks to understand the way in which our past experiences have shaped – and continue to influence – our current experience. 

We evolve through relationship. Exploring the relationships we have with others, the relationship we have with ourselves and understanding core beliefs we hold about ourselves and the world are key. Having a greater awareness and understanding of patterns and behaviour that may have arisen from our early experiences but which may no longer serve us, helps us to change and interrupt old patterns of behaviour. An increased awareness can shed light on the ‘why’ of our current experience but we also need to use that insight to get to the ‘how’. This is where we actively explore ways to help you move beyond outmoded behavioural and relational patterns and work to create new ones that provide you with more freedom and choice in your life. 

Embodied or body-focused psychotherapy

Beyond ‘talk therapy’

Western society tends to separate the mind and body, and this split is also reflected in most ‘talk therapy’, currently the predominant therapeutic modality.  Science and research increasingly shows us that the mind and body are deeply connected. When we work beyond talk therapy, we extend our awareness to understanding how our thoughts impact the body and vice versa. 

Where psychodynamic therapy looks at the importance of our early experience on our current circumstances/relationships, psychotherapy that includes an awareness of how these patterns are embedded not only as thoughts and patterns of behaviour but also how these patterns are reflected in the body.

For example, we may be very conscious of our bodies when we feel stressed, nervous or anxious. We all know what it is to experience symptoms such as butterflies in our stomach, sweaty palms, dry mouth etc. but bringing awareness to what we are less conscious of can be incredibly powerful. We can learn about, and learn to change what feel like automatic reactions such as when we become anxious or hypervigilant. This can be helpful in working with anything from performance anxiety to working with trauma.

Existential therapy

Finding meaning

Existential therapy focuses on the present rather than the past. Existentialism understands anxieties and uncertainties are a fundamental part of life. Therefore, how we deal with these anxieties and uncertainties can have a big impact on our quality of life: if, for example, when we feel anxious we consistently seek to distract ourselves and ‘not think about it’, we are sending our brain the message that we cannot deal with the anxiety, which ultimately compounds the anxiety. From an existential point of view, anxiety cannot be avoided and our task is to learn ways of dealing with it. 

Core to existential therapy is also the idea that we have the capability and responsibility for making decisions and creating our success. What gives you purpose? What drives you? What inspires and energises you? And what gets in the way of you moving towards a meaningful life? I believe these are all fundamental and important questions that are an essential part of any therapeutic endeavour. 

Want to find out more? Get in touch today.