Counselling can mean many different things to many different people; fundamentally, I see it as the meeting of two people to explore deeper feelings, emotions and ways of being surrounding a whole number of varied issues, concerns and past experiences. As a person-centred counsellor, I employ Carl Rogers' core conditions of empathy, congruence and unconditional positive regard in all that I do.
Empathy is seen as attempting to understand the thoughts and feelings as the client experiences them, simplified as: ‘walking in someone else’s shoes’. Congruence is the art of being real, warm and genuine, valuing the client for who they are. Unconditional positive regard allows a client to fully open up and speak about their difficulties in their own time, without fear of being criticised or judged by the counsellor.
I have worked with a wide range of client issues including anxiety, low confidence and self-esteem, trauma, depression, self-harm, bereavement and loss, physical and learning disabilities, sexual and gender identity, suicidal ideation and general feelings of low mood and loneliness. As well as allowing clients to talk through their feelings, I have also employed creative techniques including free drawing, letter writing, poetry and songwriting, play scriptwriting and sand tray work.
I believe that counselling is vital for a person to discover themselves at a deeper level, moving beyond a comfortable standard of understanding towards a higher comprehension of their unique personality and being.