Integrative counselling and the therapeutic relationship
Integrative counselling is a type of training that allows a therapist to tailor the therapy to the clients needs. The counsellor is trained in many theoretical areas, such as transactional analysis (TA), cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), Gestalt, person centred counselling. Creative approaches lend themselves to this therapeutic standpoint. The therapist will then design the sessions around those issues.
Integrative counselling allows for supreme flexibility in approach. It opens up the communication between therapist and client that can help to move the individual into a new future, at a pace that is appropriate to them. Integrative counselling means that therapy is not formulaic, it is adaptable and responsive to the needs of the client.
Integrative counselling means that different theories can be blended together, dependent upon the issues presented. If the client does not wish to explore their early years, then that is okay. If they wish to explore early attachments and find peace with their inner child, then this is also okay.
At the root of integration is the relationship between the therapist and counsellor. There has to be mutual respect. Therapy can be a difficult road to travel, exposing past or present hurts. This exploration can be taxing and painful. The client must trust their therapist to navigate them safely through their journey. To walk beside them, at their pace. The therapist is not the expert, the client is.
The decision to seek counselling can be difficult. It is rarely a snap decision but one that ferments over time. Choosing a therapist is complex. Take time, talk and explore the options.
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