I have experience in a vast array of issues, including family of origin issues and childhood trauma, grief, dealing with anxiety, domestic violence or abuse issues, addictions, illness, worker’s compensation experiences, injury recovery issues, parenting, and many more.
I like to use variety, playfulness and humour in my approaches as well as having a very strong belief in non judgemental acceptance, respect for all and a strong belief in the inner strengths and wisdoms we all have (especially my clients). I certainly aim to see my clients as the final experts on themselves and welcome feedback on how I am going with this, as we meet together.
In addition to talking, I can also use several modalities in my therapy work, such as Art Therapy, Symbol and Sand Tray Therapy and much more. I would discuss with you if I feel any would suit the circumstances.
As a counsellor I use a variety of approaches but especially like using:
A Narrative approach
This is a very respectful way and positively focussed way of having conversations with clients. This way also involves sharing my session notes directly with you (so all is open and honestly shared). No secret note taking! This helps us get on the same page, as you can provide me with feedback on the notes (in case I didn’t understand something quite right). And I can even ask you a few further questions after the session (if anything occurs to me).
“Narrative therapy seeks to be a respectful, non-blaming approach to counselling and community work, which centres people as the experts in their own lives. It views problems as separate from people and assumes people have many skills, competencies, beliefs, values, commitments and abilities that will assist them to reduce the influence of problems in their lives”.
I do not profess to be a Narrative Therapist but do lean to wards embracing this approach and way of thinking about issues. It certainly fits my values.
An Inner Child focus
I have found that working with a person’s inner child can be especially helpful where some trauma has occurred in childhood. “When our inner child is blocked, we are robbed of our natural spontaneity and zest for life” (Lucia Capacchione, 1991, Recovery of Your Inner Child). But I believe all of us can be aided by better understanding our ‘child’ within, our younger self.
“Definition of INNER CHILD: the childlike, usually hidden part of a person’s personality that is characterised by playfulness, spontaneity, and creativity often accompanied by anger, hurt, and fear attributable to childhood experiences”
“What exactly is our inner child? Is it the little child you once where who needed to be nurtured and loved, a free spirit you have tamed and controlled? Is it your emotions, sensitivity, creativity, the artistic you that you have controlled, silenced, organized and structured? Or is it the frustrated, confused, anxious, ignored, abused you hidden from view and denied existence so that it causes you to be worried and fearful of mistreatment? Maybe you have replaced the happy, loving, humorous and joyful you with maturity, seriousness and a sophisticated demeanour!
Your inner child is all of those things and more. It is also the childhood you have lost and forgotten yet it still resides within you in your subconscious. It is a person who knows how to have fun and play for play’s sake, who can help you prevent burnout and manage stress in your life. Your inner child is a person within you who needs healing, support, and reinforcement through a variety of coping tools.
Our parents didn’t know that they really helped to create this inner child. Most of us deny that there even exist such a part of us. When our inner child is not allowed to be heard, or acknowledged as real, a false self emerges and we begin to live as victims. Situations begin to arise that keep us with unresolved emotional trauma that can lead to chronic anxiety, fear, emptiness, unhappiness and confusion.
There are ways that you can connect with your inner child to bring about healing, happiness and the feeling of being loved.
It is through healing our inner child, by grieving the wounds that we suffered, that we can change our behaviour patterns and clear our emotional process. We can release the grief with its pent up rage, shame, terror and pain from those feeling places which exist within us.
We need to nurture, love and rescue our inner child. It is necessary to own and honour the child who we were in order to love the person we are. We do this by owning and honouring the child’s experiences and feelings and release the emotional grief energy that we are still carrying around.
Let your inner child come out to play often. When you feel that urge to do something silly, allow it. It’s your inner child trying to show you how to have fun and enjoy life in the moment and not to take life so serious”.
-From TOKEN ROCK-Inspiration centre website.