A mindfulness based approach
My psychotherapy training is in a mindfulness based approach called Core Process Psychotherapy (CPP). This particular approach integrates concepts of mindfulness and awareness with modern psychological perspectives and theories.
This approach to counselling and psychotherapy does not require you, as the client, to be familiar with what mindfulness is about. Instead, mindfulness supports me in the work that I do. My own mindfulness practice, for instance, helps bolster my resilience as a therapist. It also helps enhance the therapeutic space I provide.
Mindfulness is about bringing awareness to the present moment. Whatever arises in the here-an-now is met with compassion, warmth and non-judgement. Counsellors and psychotherapists aim to provide a therapeutic space imbued with the qualities of kindness, empathy and non-judging acceptance. Mindfulness-based therapists use the principles and practice of mindful awareness to help underpin these qualities in their work.
Mindfulness also comes into the work in other ways. We may, for instance, bring awareness to what comes up in the here-and-now as we talk and explore together. This could include noticing thoughts, feelings and sensations as they arise in the present moment.
If you were interested in exploring practical approaches to developing mindfulness, then this could be included in our work together.
I offer both short-term and open-ended therapy. Short term work typically lasts around 10 weeks.
In short-term therapy, the work tends to focus on the particular issue, or issues that have prompted you to seek therapy. You may for instance be experiencing, or be recovering from a period of transition in your life. This could be a home move, a bereavement, the end of a relationship, or the loss of a job. You may therefore have decided that you want to use therapy to support you in working through the thoughts and feelings arising from this event.
It could also be that there is no particular event or situation that has led you to explore the option of therapy. The therapy space can be used to work on feelings such as anxiety, depression, anger, stress and low self-esteem.
Open-ended therapy allows more time to explore the connections between your past experiences and your current thoughts, feelings and behaviour. It also allows space to notice and better understand your inner psychological processes and interpersonal dynamics. Insights from our work together also have the opportunity to further establish in your day-to-day life.
I offer open-ended therapy up to a maximum of three years.
While we may agree a notional length to our work at the start of therapy, this can be revisited at any time. Normally I would suggest meeting for six appointments to begin with and then for us to use the therapeutic space to reflect on where we want to go from there.
What goes into becoming a psychotherapist?
Psychotherapy trainings, such as Core Process Psychotherapy, are typically delivered to a postgraduate level. They often involve years of teaching, practice and personal and professional development. It was, for instance, a requirement of my psychotherapy training that students undertake personal therapy for at least a year prior to starting and for four years during the training itself. The training also expected students to develop mindful awareness through regular mindfulness practice. This commitment to deep self-work underpins a Core Process psychotherapist’s capacity to hold a client’s process and ability to provide a therapeutic space where in-depth inquiry can occur.