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Affirm Counselling Counselling & Psychotherapy in Brighton (Seven Dials) & Hove

How I Work

My aim is to work in a non–judgemental way. I am trained in cognitive and existential psychotherapy, the fundamental principals of which underlie the way I work. For example, respect for individuals and differences. I take a creative approach to working with my clients and focus on the relationship before anything else. Research supports the importance of the connection between the client and therapist and the relationship that forms. This does make a difference.

I believe therapy should be about providing a supportive and compassionate environment, where truths can be discovered and where courage may be required to confront the challenges, such as difficult feelings and thoughts. These could involve how you relate to yourself, to others and situations outside the therapy room.

My intention is to be as fully present as possible in the session in order to focus on these challenges and to provide supportive listening and insightful reflections. We may discover that you want to change or develop and encourage and ignite new ways of being.

In order to suit each individual I refer to the following contemporary therapeutic practices:-

Positive Visualizations useful for stress relief resulting in positive outcomes for clients and is a simple technique anyone can learn.

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) is designed to help you deal with specific problems. It identifies unhelpful negative thoughts and associated feelings and behaviours. You will learn to use more helpful alternative balanced thoughts, which in turn lead to a lessening of the intensity of negative feelings and a more positive outlook. The emphasis is on learning to use these strategies through homework so that you can become your own best therapist.

Schema-Focused Therapy was developed by the American psychologist Dr. Jeffrey Young for the treatment of personality difficulties. This has gained a popular following in recent years. Schema therapy focuses on the treatment of one or more of the 18 Early Maladaptive Schemas (or Life Patterns) which can be self-defeating, these are core themes or ‘lifetraps’ you can fall into, repeating them throughout your life. The schemas, in addition to the respective coping styles (surrender, avoidance or over-compensation) are usually created in early childhood and persist throughout adult life. The goal of Schema Therapy is to minimize the impact of these maladaptive schemas by becoming more aware of them and using more adaptive relating and coping styles.

Mindfulness is based on an ancient Buddhist practice and is closely linked to meditation. It involves focusing on the present moment (rather than past problems or anxieties about the future) and developing your skill of becoming more grounded by observing, rather than getting involved in your continuous internal chatter with commentary or judgement. Through the process of observation you can discover that contentment does not necessarily come through outside changes, more by an internal state in which you can let go of attachments to your thoughts and feelings. Mindfulness in this case is done on a moment-to-moment basis, by simly bringing your attention to whatever happens or is around in the present moment. Mindfulness does not have to follow a religious doctrine, nor have to be done through long hours of meditation!

Solution-Focused Therapy is goal-oriented therapy, aimed at drawing on resources you already possess in order to resolve the problem, rather than talking about the problem itself. The therapy involves working with imaginary scenarios set in the future that are problem-free. This enables you to think freely (without judgement) and to generate original solutions.

Narrative Therapy for Couples This helps couples to create a new narrative about themselves by investigating the history of their problems. In order to see their problems in a broader context, couples get individual time to talk about their thoughts and feelings.

You are the author of your own life!

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