Integrative counselling is a term used to describe the integration of two or more therapies or counselling techniques. Integrative counselling is not aligned to any single type of therapy as its practitioners believe that no single approach works for every client in every situation. As humans we each think, feel and react in different, unique ways and so an integrative counsellor can work with each person to produce a unique therapy that is suited to their individual needs.
Cognitive behavioural therapy is a form of psychotherapy which combines cognitive and behavioural therapies with the aim of helping individuals change how they think and behave. Unlike other forms of psychotherapy, CBT focuses specifically on the problems and difficulties we are facing in the present, rather than the past. CBT focuses on the thoughts, beliefs and attitudes we hold (our cognitive processes) and how this interacts with our behaviour to create our emotional problems. Fundamentally, CBT is based on the theory that it is not the events themselves that upset us, but the meanings we attach to them. Thereby, our thoughts can prevent us from seeing things that do not fit with what we believe is true. As such, CBT helps us to see the alternative explanation and enjoy the rewards of seeing events differently.
This branch of therapy focuses on the present and the future, rather than the past. The fundamental implication is to find the solution to the problem rather than to focus on the origins to the problem. Brief therapy lasts for a limited number of sessions. Duration will depend on the needs of the client. Solution focused therapists work with the client to improve psychological wellbeing. A therapist may explore any difficulties or barriers and how to overcome these along the way. A therapist will be goal-directive and will support an individual in finding out what their goals are and how to achieve them in a healthy way.
Rational emotive behaviour therapy holds that humans are prone to adopting irrational beliefs and behaviours which stand in the way of achieving their goals and purposes. These irrational attitudes take the form of dogmatic ‘musts’, ‘should’ or ‘oughts’, which often contrast with rational wishes, preferences and wants. During REBT therapy the therapist helps individuals to spot when they are distressing themselves with dogmatic beliefs and instead tries to replace these thoughts with more positive preferences.
Person-centred therapy evolved in the 50s and 60s and views all individuals as capable of being loved, creative and knowledgeable. However, this approach also recognises that achieving our full potential requires favourable conditions and that sometimes in adverse conditions individuals may not be able to develop in ways they could. For example, sometimes we behave in ways that can elicit positive regard from the people around us but that we ourselves are not happy with and similarly we can elicit negative reaction when we do not behave as they expect. Over time, we may lose touch with what we really want and our ability to achieve our potential becomes stifled. During therapy, the therapist will aim to provide an environment in which the individual does not feel under threat or judged. This allows the individual to experience and accept more of them as a person and move towards recognising their potential. By demonstrating genuineness, empathy and unconditional positive regard, the therapist can create an environment where the patient finds their own solutions to their problems.
Transactional analysis seeks to identify what goes wrong in communication and provide opportunities for individuals to change repetitive patterns that limit potential. It encourages individuals to analyse previous decisions they have made to understand the direction and patterns that limit their potential. It encourages individuals to analyse previous decisions they have made to understand the direction and patterns of their life for themselves. It also helps clients to trust their decisions and think and act as an individual, improving the way they feel about themselves.
Play therapy is about helping troubled children cope with difficult life events. Play is the medium of communication because it is the way children make sense of their world. Play therapy can be Non-directive Play, Focused Play, Collaborative Play or Cognitive Behavioural Play Therapy (CBPT) therapy. The techniques used are designed to promote a general release of emotions. This is when different and distinct approaches to counselling converge and are used together.
Secular Couple counselling means helping couples reach the best outcome for their specific issues by helping them talk about their feelings with one another in a strictly confidential, non-judgemental and non-side taking setting. It is only by exploring these often difficult issues with each other that a solution can be explored, discussed and decided upon.