I use a combination of Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT) and Solution Focused Therapy. Both these forms of therapy are practical and used to treat depression, self-esteem and relationship issues along with many other psychological problems.
- One of the main points of working with a counsellor is that we don’t force our opinions or view points about your life onto you. Each individual is what they are today through the events in their lives and interactions with other people. You are the only one who has experienced your life and you are the only one who truly knows what you want from life. The happy times, the sad times, the easy and the hard, they have helped shape you into the person you are now.
- I listen to you and learn from you what you want, and then I help you to navigate your way to reach your goals.
- During the initial counselling session, we will run through what the counselling process is about and I will answer any questions you may have about counselling. I then listen to you as you tell me about you and what it is you want from counselling. From there we will outline how we will move forward, discuss goals and strategies and look at issues that might hinder your progress and work through these together.
- Counselling is most beneficial if you continue to work on strategies at home and implement the things we talk about into every day life. Together we generally set some small tasks to be completed at home which may be as simple as practicing some communication skill we have worked on in session. Generally, the more you put into therapy, the better the results you will get.
- The best results are obtained from being consistent and regular with counselling sessions.
- At the start of each session we review where you are at, the progress you feel you are making and adjust our approach as required. I often email clients (with permission) in between sessions to remind you or help motivate you. This provides a counselling process that is complete and supportive to help you reach your goals.
- You can also email me in between sessions, at no cost, for help if you feel you need it. This provides a unique supportive relationship for you throughout the counselling process.
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy
This is one of the main therapies I use and is used to help individuals change negative or unhealthy thoughts or behaviours.
The basis of this therapy is that our thoughts and behaviours are linked and if we can alter the negative thoughts that we have then we can alter the behaviour that results from those thoughts. For example, typically with self-esteem, individuals have an inner dialogue that tells them perhaps how useless they are or how unattractive they are. This may impact them socially as they have trouble interacting with others. By identifying these thoughts and finding more accurate thoughts to replace them an individual can change their thoughts and as a result alter the attached behaviour.
Essentially we look to replace the inaccurate negative thoughts that have become automatic with positive thoughts with the aim of making the positive thoughts automatic.
As well as working on the thoughts we focus too on behaviour patterns that may be impacting on the quality of life. By identifying negative behaviour patterns and putting in place replacement behaviours we can have a great impact on changing an individuals life.
This therapy is considered to be quite a short term therapy but it may still take some months to make the changes needed to reach the goals that have been set. Cognitive Behaviour Therapy is an interactive therapy which means that the more you contribute to the process, the more you will get out of it and generally speaking, the quicker the results. The clients that I have worked with that have embraced the process, trusted me enough to be honest and consistently complete their home tasks are generally the clients that get the best results.
Solution Focused Therapy
This therapy is a really practical one that many people like as it provides small achievable goals. The focus of this therapy is to look at what a client wants to achieve through counselling rather than looking backwards to see what problems brought you to counselling in the first place. Working towards achieving the goals the client wants involves identifying what parts of their goals they already have in place or have in place sometimes and determining what makes this happen. We then use that information to focus on making changes in the clients life so that these small goals are achieved more often.
Again this therapy is considered to be quite short term depending on what issues we are working to change. Home tasks form a large part of using this therapy and help to promote faster results.
Depression & Self-Esteem
This is a subject close to my heart as I have experienced it personally within my own life and know how hard it can be to live through, how hard it can be to ask for help and how incredibly relieving it can be to finally find a path to recovery with support to help you.
Initially working with clients on an individual basis, I will spend some time with you going through how counselling works and what you can expect from it. We will then talk about you and what you are feeling and what you want different in your life. Sometimes clients don’t know what they want and that’s alright too as we can work through it together to determine how you want your life to look. There is no pressure on you, just support and some guidance to help you navigate your way back to a rewarding life.
Often a big part of depression is feeling that you have no idea which way to turn or how to proceed and just want someone else to guide you and tell you what to do. It is important to know that I won’t dictate to you what you need in life, but I will offer you support while we work through it together. With guidance and support, what previously seemed impossible becomes achievable.
I use a combination of Cognitive Behaviour Therapy and Solution Focused Therapy in my counselling work for the treatment of depression and anxiety. These are non-confrontational therapies and allow clients to achieve small goals and see that they are making practical changes in their lives. Most of the focus in counselling is on the present and the future but certainly clients need to be able to talk through the events of their pasts that have caused them issues and this is particularly true of those that have experienced past abuse. Some time is therefore given to working through your history if this is appropriate.
Counselling can be a really effective way of dealing with depression and self-esteem issues. There are times however when I believe that you may benefit from a combination of counselling and medication to help you move forward. If this is the case I will discuss it with you and if you are comfortable with the idea, ask you to see your GP to talk about medication with them.
Usually we will set tasks during counselling that you can carry out at home and these are generally minor but really effective in helping you move forward. I don’t ever ask you to complete tasks that you are not ready for or are not comfortable with. The entire counselling process is about you and helping you so I will keep it as comfortable and directed at you as possible.
Counselling for depression tends to be longer term than other counselling such as marriage counselling and I find we get the best results if clients attend regularly. I am also available for email support for you because I believe that often events happen outside of counselling that can set clients into a panic and if they can contact me, then they can get some support and continue with the tasks for the week. The problems that arose during the week will be discussed further during the counselling session, but being able to email immediately seems to provide a level of comfort and support to most clients.
I find that clients are often reluctant to ask for help with depression or self-esteem because they either feel they are not worth it, that nobody can help them, that life as they know it is ‘normal’, or that their problems are too small and insignificant to bother anyone with. Overcoming these thoughts and acknowledging that you are important, that your problems matter and asking for help is the biggest and hardest step you will have to take. If you feel this is you, then please just email me and I will call you to chat about what your concerns are. Sometimes this is a less confronting way of getting help.
Marriage and Relationship Counselling
Marriage or couples counselling is generally conducted with both partners present. There are times though when for whatever reason, one partner refuses to attend or one person wishes to come on their own. In these cases I can work with just one partner to help make changes within the relationship often with good results. Relationships are all about how we work with each other and how we act and react to each other, so changing one partner’s behaviour even slightly, can often have a great impact on the relationship.
The first session for relationship counselling is about learning from you, what you are here for, what the problems are and how you would like your relationship to be. Clients are encouraged to engage in discussion between them during the session which helps me to see how clients interact with each other and builds a more complete picture of your communication styles. Based on what you want to achieve from counselling we design strategies and tasks that will help to achieve these things. Some practice may be done in the counselling room with a lot of the focus on completing tasks at home in between sessions.
I work with you using a combination of Cognitive Behaviour Therapy and Solution Focused Therapy to pinpoint the issues that are causing problems in your relationship, work with you to discover the outcome you would like and then put in place practical strategies to achieve these results.
Relationship counselling is a really powerful and effective way of making positive changes in your relationship and creating healthy relationships. Often issues that are too volatile to discuss at home on your own, or issues that seem to always end in a fight are resolved through counselling with the help of a counsellor who is genuinely interested in helping you work through them.
Clients often come to a counselling session and bring up issues that they have ‘saved’ for the session because they feel that if they attempt to resolve them on their own then they will not get a good result. In the counselling room I can help you to make sure that your partner understands what you are after without feeling like they are being attacked. It is important to remember that I do not make any judgments on your relationship or your choices. My role is to help you achieve the results that suit you.
I work with couples on a whole range of issues and there is no need to be embarrassed about any choices you have made in the past or feel ashamed to state them in counselling. Infidelity and sexual intimacy issues are things that clients often come to counselling for and these are valid issues to raise in counselling without fear of judgement or blame.
Whilst most of the time in relationship counselling I work with both partners, there are times when it is beneficial to see one or both of you individually. If I feel this will be helpful to you then I will discuss it with you.
Throughout the counselling process I will check with you periodically to see how you are finding the sessions, if you feel you are making progress and if you are happy with my style. At times we can adjust how we work together if it is not meeting your needs. You are encouraged to speak up about the counselling process and how it is working for you. I may also make contact with you in between sessions to remind you of tasks we have set, offer some further information or just check in with you to see how you are progressing. You are also invited to email me at any time in between sessions if you encounter real problems. I believe it is important for clients to know they have support available throughout the counselling process, not just during sessions.
Are you ready to take the first step to making change?
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