Integrative counsellors offer a particular approach to counselling where the counsellor is trained to adapt their therapeutic approach to respond to the needs of each individual client with whom they are working.
The Integrative Approach was developed from the understanding that all people are unique. As such the Integrative counsellor recognises that each individual can vary in their engagement of each approach. During counselling sessions you may find that the counsellor will use more than one theoretical approach depending on your needs.
All Integrative Counsellors work in slightly different ways. However generally speaking the counsellor will be continually adapting their approach to meet your specific individual needs. Having said that we work in a very collaborative manner and frequently check with our clients that the approaches we are using feels right for them. You can read more here.
Detailed below is an explanation of some of the more well-known approaches.
Founded by Carl Rogers it is also known as Client-Centred or Rogerian counselling. It is based on the principle that the counsellor provides the three ‘Core Conditions’ in sessions to the client. These are known as:
- Unconditional Positive Regard where the counsellor accepts the person unconditionally in a warm positive manner.
- Empathic understanding which is the ability to imagine oneself in another person’s position.
- Congruence honestly and openness
The counsellor uses the relationship with the client in order to bring about healing and change.
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy
This is a directive way of counselling concerned with changing self-limiting beliefs and behaviours. This is done by changing negative ways of thinking to more positive ones. This combines Cognitive and Behavioural techniques. Clients are taught ways to change thoughts and expectations and relaxation techniques are used. It has been effective for stress-related ailments, phobias, obsessions, eating disorders and (at the same time as drug treatment) major depression.
This approach stresses the importance of the unconscious and past experience in shaping current behaviour. The client is encouraged to talk about childhood relationships with parents and other significant people and the therapist focuses on the client/therapist relationship (the dynamics) and in particular on the transference. Transference is when the client projects onto the therapist feelings experienced in previous significant relationships. The Psychodynamic approach is derived from Psychoanalysis but usually provides a quicker solution to emotional problems.
This approach emphasises people’s personal responsibility for their feelings thoughts and behaviour. It operates on the premise that people can change if they actively decide to change old patterns of behaviour with new ones.
Solution Focused Brief Therapy (SFBT)
This promotes positive change rather than dwelling on past problems. Clients are seen as the expert and are encouraged to focus positively on what they do well, set goals and work out how to achieve them. As little as 3 to 5 sessions may be beneficial.
Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP)
NLP is a behavioural model and a set of explicit skills and techniques. NLP studies the patterns or programming created by the interaction between the brain (neuro), language (linguistic) and the body. From an NLP perspective it is this interaction that creates positive and negative behaviours and thinking. It is also this interaction that can change any thinking and behaviours which may be limiting your potential.
Gestalt therapy is a holistic approach to counselling. It focuses on the whole of an individual’s experience; their thoughts, feelings and actions. The counsellor concentrates on the ‘here and now’ — what is happening from one moment to the next during sessions. It helps clients improve their own self awareness of how they deal with obstacles along life’s path.
Black Box Treatment
Black Box Treatment is known by various names including Acu-Stimulation Therapy and is used safely and effectively for the treatment of drug withdrawal symptoms caused by chemical dependence, use or mis-use. It can be administered alongside traditional drug treatment interventions.
Acu-Stimulation is similar to acupuncture but does not use needles and therefore no pain is felt. Gentle, tiny electrical pulses, rather like a pleasant tingling sensation are passed through the body’s natural Acu-point system using a simple TENS machine. Firstly a number of specific acupuncture points are stimulated on the ear and secondly a specific pulse speed is administered for 30 minutes via self-adhesive electrodes (small pads) which are positioned on master acupuncture points on the hands or feet.
The treatment enables the body to produce natural chemicals which are used by the body’s natural defence mechanism to reduce the effect of withdrawal symptoms including stress and physical aches and pain. The gentle pulse speed can also be increased to lift your mood or slowed down to calm and relax you. The choice is yours.
It is more beneficial to have a number of treatments in order to allow the treatment to be effective and offers the body’s own system time to adjust and therefore balance itself naturally.