Insight… understanding relationship patterns…. managing anxiety and stress… challenging unhelpful thinking … mourning losses and moving on… helping unresolved or traumatic experiences to find their place … making changes… realising potential… finding a sense of purpose… exploring how the shadows of the past influence the present…
These are some of the aims of psychotherapy.
Psychotherapy has evolved into a complex field with many schools of thought. Integrative psychotherapy draws on a range of psychological theories and therapeutic traditions. It is based on the premise that no single approach has all the answers.
Broadly, my approach is influenced by psychodynamic thinking, which proposes that our lives are shaped by both conscious and unconscious processes. Psychodynamic psychotherapists are particularly interested in the connections between early events and current experience - and the ways in which the past leaves its imprint on the present. They are also interested in the way in which significant relationships and absent friends are internalised and continue to govern our thinking and exert a powerful hold on our personalities.
I also have an interest in attachment theory. This suggests that our earliest attachments remain hugely significant, often reverberating throughout adult relationships and affecting our approach to intimacy, independence, separation, conflict and loss. Attachment-based psychotherapists believe that insight into these formative attachments and their ongoing influence can open up new ways of relating.
Attention is also given to the therapeutic relationship, where the sequel to long-established beliefs and expectations may be replayed. Psychotherapy can assist in understanding habitual ways of relating and allowing more creative responses to dilemmas.
Integrative psychotherapy also seeks to embrace all the various ways in which we express ourselves – be it through thoughts, feelings, behaviour or the body.