Counselling and Psychotherapy;
integrated modalities

The counselling and psychotherapy modalities described on this page apply equally to personal counselling and to individual psychotherapy. If you wonder what is the difference (or is there a difference at all), you can read more about that here: Personal Counsellling vs. Individual Psychotherapy below.

After many, many years of practice it has become clear to me that my way of being a counsellor and psychotherapist is anchored in the three, inseparable principles; being Authentic, Personal and Present. And these are also the three principles that best capture where most of my clients find the greatest benefits from our work together.

My approach to counselling and psychotherapy has been greatly influenced by an integration of
Mindfulness and Gestalt therapy. To be fair, though, it can only really be described as eclectic and transtheoretical. My approach integrates the most useful elements from a range of counselling and psychotherapy modalities, according to the needs of each client.

To arrange your first session of Personal Counselling, call me on (07) 3716 0600 today, or send me a message, using the email form on the Contact page!

The therapeutic relationship

Before I go into the counselling and psychotherapy modalities that have influenced my approach, I must point out one of the fundamental truths about therapy. There is now a vast body of accumulated research that has shown, beyond all doubt, that the theoretical foundation, modality or technique that is applied in therapy is far from the most important factor in therapy.

The crucial factor, when it comes to making sure that the client gets the most beneficial outcome from therapy, is the therapeutic relationship that develops between the client and the therapist. In other words, the tools that are used in the therapy process are less important than how well the therapist and the client work together using these tools!

What this means, in the practical situation of counselling/psychotherapy is that you, as my client, need to feel that I really “get” you. That I understand you, not only your words, but you as the person that you are, with all your strengths and weaknesses, abilities and challenges. Only then will the “dance of therapy” have its full benefits for you!

Being Authentic, Personal and Present

In the “dance of therapy” the therapist leads the way, and introduces the client to what may be a new way of being together with another person. The principles guiding my interactions with you are the same principles that determine the quality of any other personal connection in life. And the more you learn to rely on your ability to operate from these principles, the easier it becomes for you to deal with the challenges that life throws at you – most of them involve interactions with other people, after all.

Being Authentic

Being Authentic is about honesty and integrity; being honest not only in words but also in my way of conducting, being and showing myself. Every individual has many facets to their personality, and if we only ever show one side of ourselves we are really not honest about who we are. What distinguishes close friends from acquaintances is that our close friends know many more – if not all – sides of us.

Being Personal

Being Personal is about sharing with others what it is like in my inner world, exposing what goes on in my private, inner space; how I think, how I feel etc. Another word for ‘personal’ is ‘intimate’, but that word comes with so many preconceptions. Really, though, ‘intimate’ is what ‘personal’ stands for. Being personal means meeting without the separating shields, being close, being vulnerable to some degree, taking the risk of being seen as you are.

Being Present

Being Present with someone is not only a matter of being physically present. It is a matter of giving attention to the person we are with, i.e. not being on the phone, on facebook, or lost in watching what goes on around us. Our attention may wander somewhat, but we must at least remain tuned-in to the other person well enough to notice where they are at in their process, so we can genuinely connect when it is called for.

Being Present also applies to non-relational settings. Being present to our own experience, alert, awake and fully tasting the flavour of each moment of life, as it is. Being open and welcoming to life as it gives itself to us one moment at a time. This is what is practised in Mindfulness.

Mindfulness

Mindfulness is about non-judgemental awareness in the here-and-now of one’s actual sensory experience + thoughts, feelings, reactions, behaviour and functioning. It is about noticing what is happening in each moment, to fully experience one’s life as it happens, rather than being lost in thoughts, conceptualisations, opinions and judgements about one’s experience.

When mindfulness-based approaches are integrated into counselling and psychotherapy modalities, you develop increased awareness and understanding of yourself. Not through “second-hand”, intellectual speculation, but through being fully in touch with all aspects of your lived experience.

Read more about Mindfulness in therapy…

Gestalt therapy

The initial theoretical foundation for my approach was established through Gestalt therapy, which I first started training in in the late 1970s (in Sweden), and which I also hold a Masters degree in.

A central aspect of Gestalt therapy is that it fundamentally is a methodology based on relational dialogue, not a set of techniques as such, and that it therefore allows for inclusion of pretty much any technique that will be of use to the client.

Read more about Gestalt therapy…

Other counselling and psychotherapy modalities

Over the years since I commenced practice, over 25 years ago, I have gradually come to incorporate a range of counselling and psychotherapy modalities and techniques into my approach.

I have already mentioned two major influences, Gestalt Therapy and Mindfulness. But there are also many other counselling and psychotherapy modalities that have become integrated into my approach. Such as…

Existential therapyPerson-centered therapy
Psychodynamic therapyCognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT)
Interpersonal therapy (IPT)Mindful Breathing Therapy (MBT)
Voice dialogueRapid eye movement therapy (EMDR)
HypnotherapyNeuro-linguistic programming (NLP)
+ Many other techniques and modalities…

To arrange your first session of Personal Counselling, call me on (07) 3716 0600 today, or send me a message, using the email form on the Contact page!

You may also be interested in browsing some of the articles on my Blog page…