Dr Alexander Fox (MBACP, Masters in Counselling, PhD (Eng Lit.))
Suite 5, Bannerman House
27 South Tay Street
2 Howard Place
When clients first seek out counselling, they can be confronted with a seemingly formidable number of different therapies to choose from. At present, there are over 400 approaches on offer, and, even if we were to narrow it down to the most common talking therapies (e.g. psychodynamic; person-centred; CBT; behaviour therapy; solution-focus therapy), choosing the right approach for you can still feel like walking around a maze and trying in vain to find a way out.
Welcome to my profile page. As a pluralistic counsellor (the approach is defined in depth below) I provide an innovative answer to the above dilemma that helps clients find the approach just right for them. Basically, pluralistic counselling believes that the easiest and safest way to ensure that a client gets just what they need is to put together elements from different mainstream therapies that create the combination that fits what they want from therapy. Let me detail a few advantages of this approach here and you can read on to get more information:
*Pluralistic therapy is a 21st century response to the current situation in the therapy world. At present, no therapy approach is the clear 'winner' for mental health problems, and so it is hard to say with certainty that a particular approach will be right for you in advance. Pluralistic therapy avoids this difficulty by being flexible enough to combine therapy approaches so you don't need to know in advance what kind of therapy you need-we can easily work that out together(an interesting article on this can be found here: https://www.forbes.com/sites/toddessig/2017/09/26/new-thinking-questions-gold-standard-status-for-cognitive-behavioral-therapy-cbt/#6ec413912b8b).
*How this works in practice is that your goals for therapy and the uniqueness of your problems will provide the guidelines for determining what approaches are right for you. The therapy process will fit you just like a tailor-made suit or custom-made dress.
* To maximize effectiveness, I will regularly ask for feedback about the interventions that I will use. This feedback allows me to amend, if need be, these techniques so that you can move safely towards achieving your goal.
So in a nutshell pluralistic therapy is a comprehensive, flexible and effective form of treatment. Please read the rest of my page for more detail about how I can help you.
(For those seeking a succinct definition of pluralism go to this page http://www.pluralistictherapy.com/)
1. How Counselling Can Help
Counselling is a form of mental health therapy that aims to address clients’ life problems. As an approach, it can be defined as flexible, pragmatic and effective, as it incorporates short-term therapy techniques like solution-focus coaching, while also being equally influenced by ideas and practices associated with longer-term psychotherapy. In essence, counselling welcomes those that want to address some specific issue in short-term therapy, while also welcoming those that wish to explore their psyche and relationships in greater depth.
Central to the practice of counselling is the creation of a safe, non-judgemental atmosphere where you can feel confident that you can talk about your troubles without any fear of being criticized or dismissed. Consequently, when you come to see me for a session, I will listen to your difficulties with utmost respect, attention and care. And together, we will create this privileged ‘space’ in your otherwise busy week, where we can explore what troubles you and find ways to resolve the issue, so you can move on with your life.
Here is a testimonial from a client where he emphasizes how I helped to create a safe, non-judgmental and egalitarian atmosphere that allowed him to know himself better and meet life’s challenges with greater resolve:
From my first session with Alex, I felt completely at ease and able to communicate with him on a very personal level. I’ve been quite taken aback by the amount I’m learning about myself through the positive counselling I am receiving. I’m finding over time that I’m capable of expressing my feelings and who I really am and what I really thought without having any feeling of being judged. The experience for me is enlightening and I really appreciate Alex's honesty. It's hard making that first step into admitting you need help, but Alex has and continues to help me.
(Other client testimonials can be found in 'further information' section)
2. How I can help you: my therapeutic approach
My counselling approach has been informed by my academic training in three disciplines: my undergraduate work in continental philosophy, my postgraduate training as a literary critic of modernist/postmodernist texts (my PhD is in English literature), and my postgraduate qualification in pluralistic counselling. Let me briefly define for you how these various strands of my eclectic influences shape the empowering work I do with clients:
a) Pluralistic Counselling: counselling as a bespoke service
Pluralistic counselling is one of the latest and most innovative responses in mental health to the research-based result that no one school of therapy has yet been shown to be demonstrably more effective than another with clients in general. To some extent, this result is commonsensical, as we have a variety of different ways of understanding mental health conditions, and it is unlikely that one explanation of depression, for example, will resonate with everyone.
This issue might seem a trifle academic, but it is actually of vital import regarding your choice of therapy. Since there is no consensus yet on what therapies are the most effective-and it may be the case that no one therapy will ever dominate the field-when you are deciding on what kind of therapy to undertake, you are faced with a choice: either you already have an idea of what approach might suit you (and this is perfectly fine) or you can consult a pluralistic/integrative practitioner, who can work with you to find the approaches that will suit you best (pluralism means working with a wide range of different therapy models).The alternative is to undertake therapy with a practitioner who will adopt their one main approach, and this might prove unsuitable to what you need, even if it might be very effective with certain clients.
So the bottom line is that pluralistic counselling lets you, as an individual, define the course of therapy rather than you being defined (and possibly mislabeled) by one particular school of therapy. It is the most adaptive form of therapy for this very simple reason: no one therapy is (currently) the answer, so pluralism looks for answers.
How does this work in practice? Here are the essential steps:
* In our first few sessions together, we will work on getting a handle on the nature of your problem. In particular, we will focus on constructing a goal, which will provide a focus on what you want to change in therapy. This is a vital step, as it's hard to change if you don't know what you'd like to change ( I wish to add the proviso that some clients don't like specifying goals early in their therapy (if it all) and that is perfectly acceptable. It is keeping with the spirit of pluralism to never work in simply one way).
* After goals have been specified, I will help you break the goals into sub-goals so that you can reach your therapeutic destination. These sub-goals are like stepping stones along the way, and they turn what might seem an Olympian task into something much more manageable.
* After we have mapped out our therapeutic journey together, I will then suggest to you a variety of methods culled from different therapy approaches that might be helpful in you reaching your destination (my methods are mainly culled from the following schools: psychodynamic; person centred; solution focus therapy; narrative therapy; cognitive behavioral therapy and rational emotive behavior therapy).We will have a collaborative discussion on it, clarifying that which you don't understand and amending whatever we need so that it fits with what you want to do.
* Finally, periodically we will have check-ins where we ascertain how effective the given methods used have been. If they are working, we will continue in that vein; if they need to be amended, or if different methods are needed instead, we will tweak what we are doing together.
In metaphorical terms, then, pluralistic counselling is like obtaining a tailor-made suit or a custom-made dress, as the therapy process is made to fit what you need and your own specifications. My Masters training in pluralistic counselling can ensure that the experience of therapy is designed especially for you.
Here is a testimonial from a client attesting to me being a flexible, knowledgeable and insightful practitioner, who is acquainted with many therapy methods:
Alex is an exceptional counsellor. I was immediately put at ease when I first met with him and during our subsequent discussions he was patient, friendly, flexible and insightful. I think Alex’s vast knowledge of counselling theory makes him stand out as a practitioner; the discussion of this was incredibly helpful for me in establishing a perspective from which to view my personal emotional issues. The sessions with Alex had a significant and lasting impact on my life, and I would enthusiastically recommend him as a counsellor.
b) Narrative as therapy: the counsellor as ‘close reader’ and ‘co-writer’
There are various ways we can understand ourselves: through the objectifying lens of modern science and neuroscience to the more subjectivist constructions of narrative. Each has a fundamental role to play in how we understand the nature of therapy, and the process of therapeutic change.
In my view, the discipline of literary studies and the domain of therapy are fundamentally connected for the following reason: ultimately the understanding of our inner lives and our relationships over time is defined through the medium of narrative. Stories are indeed the way in which we describe and define our problems and our attempts to try and achieve-perhaps so far unsuccessfully-a happy ending. Problem; response; resolution is the three- act structure of Western drama that is encoded in our psyches, and which we instinctively follow when making sense of our lives. In most cases, I join my clients in act one or the beginning of act two of their dealing with a life crisis and I try and help them to move towards a constructively ‘resolving’ third act.
Given that narratives define, shape, and sometimes limit us, this raises the issue of ensuring that the life story you are explicitly or unwittingly writing is an empowering one i.e. a story that honours your strengths, respects your complexities rather than caricaturing or condemning them, sympathises with the unique challenges you have faced, and is oriented toward resolving, as much as possible, your difficulties. This redemptive narrative is radically different to the tragic narrative that many of us who are ‘living lives of quiet desperation’ are unconsciously writing: this story is one that can end on a grim note, as it details a life dominated by self-deceptions and fears, which blind us to how our actions and attitudes are taking us down a self-destructive path. The writer Salman Rushdie echoes these sentiments when he intimates that it is necessary for you to control your life story, otherwise it controls you:
Those who do not have power over the story that dominates their lives, the power to retell it, rethink it, deconstruct it, joke about it, and change it as times change, truly are powerless, because they cannot think new thoughts.
My PhD in English literature was a psychoanalytic interpretation (more specifically it was an object-relations reading using theorists like Winnicott and Klein) of the work of the Nobel laureate Harold Pinter, who has often being described as a master of subtext. Consequently, I will be expert in the close ‘reading’ of your life story, as I will be attuned to the subtleties of what you say, helping you to put into words what could be essentially called the subtext of your life: the implicit knowledge of what is really going on in your inner world and in your relationships. After we have a better idea of the various factors, we can work together as ‘co-writers’ using a variety of different methods to ensure that a more empowering and redemptive life story emerges.
c) The therapist as Socratic midwife: helping you answer your own life questions
My undergraduate degree was in continental philosophy, where I studied many different thinkers, most notably existentialists like Kierkegaard, Nietzsche, and Sartre, as well as rationalists such as Spinoza and Blanshard. This training has shaped how I will work with you, as philosophy is not only the art of rigorous thinking, but perhaps more relevantly, it is the discipline that encourages us to question long-held assumptions and to reflect on how we can make wise and ethical life choices. Therefore, in my work with clients, I use my philosophy training in a practical way, as I can help you examine your negative belief systems and change them to more helpful and realistic ones; furthermore, we can also reflect together on the nature of your life choices, and I will seek to help you come to a decision about what you want to do that respects you as an individual as well as honouring the other elements in your life.
3) Common problem areas
I undertake work with clients who suffer from different emotional difficulties, the most common being stress, anxiety and depression. Below I have highlighted some of the common thematic concerns that are found in the therapy room and how I would tackle them with you when we work together. As you will notice, I offer different understandings of these complaints, which is keeping with my pluralistic background (i.e. there isn't only one way of understanding emotional difficulties and that it's better to consider a number of them to see what best fits with you).
a) Break free from your dysfunctional relationship patterns
When it comes to considering our mental health, relationships are often the source of our deepest joy-and our greatest pain. Dysfunctional relationships are indeed one of the most common reasons that people seek counselling, as such relationships leave people not only stressed, but also bewildered as to how a seeming loving partnership could go awry. Enlightening answers are needed, yet they are not always forthcoming, as dysfunctional relationships usually expose the significant gaps in our self-knowledge.
My attitude towards helping you address your relationship difficulties is this: I don’t believe that the therapeutic task is to pronounce judgement on your behaviour towards others, but rather to understand it. This is because understanding your relationship patterns and choices provides a means to break free from the harmful aspects of the past, as rendering these patterns conscious allows you to then make more discerning and loving choices-choices that ensure that you are as respectful towards yourself as towards others.
To help you in this endeavour, I will work in essentially three ways. Firstly, we can explore key aspects of the early part of your autobiography-in particular, how your childhood relationships with your parents might have shaped your expectations of how you relate to others in general. Secondly, we can examine in a safe and non-judgemental way how your relationship with me in the therapy room can provide clues about how you relate to others in general (in therapy speak, this is called examining the transference and counter-transference). Thirdly, we can explore in detail how you relate to your partner, and come to some answers about how to enhance the relationship or how to leave it, if that is your choice.
b) Overcome addictions/compulsions
There are many things that we can become addicted to e.g. drugs, having serial affairs, gambling and the internet (including pornography). Likewise, there are many different kinds of compulsions that we can fall prey to such as hoarding, continually washing your hands, and having obsessive disturbing thoughts.
There are a number of different strategies needed to tackle these problems. The following three are the most fundamental and effective. Firstly, and most obviously, addictions and compulsions can be viewed from the perspective of learning theory as bad habits that you are continually reinforcing. We can work together for you to learn how to break these pernicious habits. Secondly, another way of viewing addictions and compulsions is that they are-often unconsciously-a form of avoidance tactics: usually there is something that you are frightened of and the addiction/compulsion is a distraction from it and/or the addiction/compulsion acts as a means to fill a void in your life. Through our exploratory work together, we can uncover what your are frightened of and what aspects of your life need to be addressed so you can lead a more fulfilling life. Finally, an idea that is common to Gestalt therapy and psychodynamic therapy is that to tackle addictions and compulsions the inner conflict between two parts has to be resolved. More fully, according to this theory, part of you wishes to change and part of you is deeply invested in maintaining the compulsion/addiction. Both parts have to be addressed before actual change is possible.
c) Conquering fear
Fear and anxiety are two of the most common emotional complaints, as they can severely limit us until our lives become more defined by what we don't do. Although fear/anxiety could be almost called the common cold of mental health problems, this doesn't detract from the fact that they can be hard to tackle on your own. The main reason for this is that when we are swamped with fear, it can be so difficult to distinguish between realistic and unrealistic threats.
When we work together, we will be able to come to understand better the nature of your fears, and then I will provide you with all the encouragement you need to face that which you find threatening. The key to conquering your anxieties is to face, in a gradual way, that which you are tempted to flee from. Related to this is also doing some CBT work on your beliefs, because they are responsible for overestimating the threats in the world.
d) Lifting mood: defeating depression
Depression is a very common mental health complaint, which can vary from a mild apathy to difficulty in getting out of bed and taking any kind of action.
There are many different ways of understanding and therefore treating depression. Here are a few: 1) according to psychodynamic theory, depression could be caused by repressed anger towards others that is then redirected at oneself; it can also be related to a form of mourning, where we are feeling down because we have lost something that was integral to our lives. The therapeutic work therefore entails uncovering the underlying emotions and helping you process them; 2) CBT therapies contend that depression is symptomatic of possessing overly pessimistic beliefs about oneself and about the world. If this resonates with you as an explanation, we can work on replacing these beliefs with more energizing and realistic ones; 3) person-centred/humanistic therapy proposes that depression is a function of feeling that one has failed to live up to some form of social expectation, and is therefore a sign of low self-esteem. This form of therapy addresses the problem by creating an encouraging and affirmative atmosphere that helps treat your feelings of demoralization; 4)solution-focus therapy addresses depression by considering those times when you feel less down and helps to create more of these moments in your life so that your mood lifts overall.
e) Achieve greater self-acceptance
Although it might seem simplistic, bordering on the saccharine, it is nevertheless true: one of the most fundamental undertakings in life is to learn to develop greater self-acceptance. While I do not believe that we can ever accept ourselves completely (and this itself might require self-acceptance!), we can, over time, become more adept at accepting what has been deemed our physical, mental and spiritual flaws. And with such acceptance comes greater confidence and achievement for essentially two reasons: 1) when we accept our imperfections, the spectre of failure has less power over us, and we can therefore achieve more; 2) those perceived failings we have relegated to our shadow side might contain some hidden advantages e.g. we might have denied our angry side, which when actualized can help us set healthy boundaries. In short, with greater self-acceptance all of you is ‘online’ to be used for your own self-advancement through life.
I have many innovative ways of working with you to achieve this goal from using techniques culled from compassion focused therapy (e.g. fostering better self-talk) to shadow transpersonal work with things like your dreams that can decode unactualized parts of your psyche and render them more usable. Together we can tackle a variety of difficulties relating to self-acceptance, such as the following: body image issues; perfectionism; sexuality; ageing.
f) Remove negative beliefs
Beliefs define our map of the world, as they delimit what is true, what is possible and therefore what you can 'realistically' expect from life. If your beliefs are genuinely rational and realistic, then you can feel sufficiently motivated to tackle life's challenges, while also being capable of happiness. However, if they are overly negative, they become a dark filter on how you see things (e.g. anxious people might look out for non-existent threats, whereas depressed people might see efforts to change their circumstances as futile).
Fortunately, harmful beliefs can be changed. What often proves curative is for you to work with me in uncovering these negative beliefs and then we can undertake the fundamental task of challenging and discrediting these beliefs so that they much less power over you.
g) Consolidate your successes
Much of therapy is depicted from a problem-centric focus, as clients might come to counselling for help with anxiety or depression, for example, and the goal is to resolve, as much as possible, the problem. This is a perfectly acceptable model of the therapy process.
However, another form of counselling involves working with a client’s strengths and helping them to develop those strengths, so they can achieve more success. If you wish to hone your personal strengths, we can work in a solution focused way to aid you in creating your ideal future.
h) Loss: our greatest teacher
Viewed from one angle, life is a series of losses. Many are small (if not always trivial) and some are most significant: whether it be the loss of a partner, a child, our looks, or the heyday of our successes, we must learn to cope with the passing of time and the absence of what is still so precious to us.
To paraphrase psychologist Carl Jung, it is in our darkest moments where the gold is to be found, as life-changing losses may often be very painful, even debilitating; nevertheless, such bereavements teach us the need to re-evaluate our lives, to get better acquainted with our underlying inner resilience, and to find a means to still have a fulfilling life.
When we work together, we can find a way of understanding your grief that respects how important whatever you lost was to you, while also helping you to move forward in a constructive fashion. A key part of this process is being able to arrive at the point that you can give yourself permission to have a future, as grief can sometimes trick us into believing that moving on is a betrayal of what you have lost. Grief work will allow you to remember and honour the past, yet not be entirely defined by it.
i) Apathy and Suicidal thoughts/gestures: finding the 'why' again
I was standing in the snow by my car, looking up at the sky, when I realized that meaning had fled my life~ Allen Wheelis from his novel, "The Seeker."
Sometimes our problem is not so much a specific issue but more a general sense of malaise. What we used to enjoy no longer moves us, we can feel disconnected and indifferent to others, and our days seem to stretch out like some infinite grey plain.
Even worse than apathy is when we are at our most despairing and our painful indifference morphs into a compulsive, negative call to action. Suicidal thoughts and perhaps even attempts become a mainstay of our lives, as we are tempted by the seductively simple solution of ending it all.
In response, i would say that, as counter intuitive as it may seem, you don't actually want to end the existence of you as a person, but rather to end the pain that you are feeling. Suicide is seductive as a solution when you have equated you and your pain and you feel that both are forever entwined.
However, that is simply not the case. Through the right kind of therapeutic work, you can a) manage to come to terms with your pain; b) we can work together on finding what can be termed life-based solutions to your problems, which includes reconnecting with your fundamental values and what drives you in a positive direction (this can be called finding your 'why') c) we can also work on self-forgiveness for actions that you have taken in the past that you feel guilty about. Your regrets can indeed be honored and learnt from without them becoming some stick to beat yourself with.
Training, qualifications & experience
I am a member of BACP (British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy)
MA Honours Philosophy, First class, University of Dundee
MSc Literature and Modernism, University of Edinburgh
Diploma in Counselling, Abertay University
Masters in Counselling, Abertay University
PhD English Literature, University of Dundee (NB: Please note that my 'Dr' title refers to my PhD in English literature)
I have worked at a number of organizations providing short-term and long-term counselling, such as Insight Counselling service and Tayside Centre for Counselling at Abertay University.
Areas of counselling I deal with
- Domestic violence
- Low self-confidence
- Low self-esteem
- Obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD)
- Passive aggressive behaviour
- Personality disorders
- Pregnancy and birth
Photos & videos
Below are the fees for a 55 minute session. Each venue operates according to a sliding scale.
* £40 (annual income less than 35k, which includes students)
* £45 (annual income 35k or more but less than 60k)
* £50 (annual income 60k or more)
St. Andrews fees:
* £45 (annual income less than 35k, which includes students)
* £50 (annual income 35k or more but less than 60k)
* £55 (annual income 60k or more)
My availability times are as follows:
Thursday 5 pm-10 pm
Friday 5 pm-9 pm
Saturday 10 am-3 pm
Sunday 10 am-4 pm
Sat 5 pm-8 pm
Sunday 5 pm-9 pm
For those St. Andrews clients who cannot come during these times, you are welcome to attend the Dundee office.
- How to stop depressing yourself
- Don't shoot the messenger: on disowning anxiety
- How to listen better in your relationships
- On obsessing over disturbing thoughts
- Relationships - 2 key principles
- Questions that make you unhappy
- What we talk about when we talk about love
- Anxiety and your inner 'dictator'
- 'Tis the season to be quarrelling
- On damaging relationship styles - further considerations
- One way to work with your dreams
- The secret to achieving mental health
- Take a worry break
- Are you trying too hard to be happy?
These are a few more testimonials from clients about their experience of working with me:
"After a particularly rough time in my life, I came to Alex seeking help in better understanding the basis of my negative feelings about myself. From the first session, Alex was both inviting and insightful. His incredible knowledge of subjects ranging from literature to philosophy and media made me feel not only at ease – he was relatable and understood what I was saying to him – but also helped me to look further inside myself and to connect the dots between life events and current mindsets.
With his help I feel I have come a long way these last few months; I have a better understanding of my own mental health and with his advice and suggestions, I am now taking proactive steps to rectify some deep-rooted cognitive biases. Alex has listened to me and carefully considered which avenues would be beneficial to explore, based on his insight and professional opinion. He has helped me to come to terms with myself, and while I may not be 100% there, I am much closer to my goal than I was before our sessions.
For anyone searching for a warm, friendly and empathetic therapist, I would highly recommend Alex. I have felt that all of our work together was purposeful and valuable, and I look forward to continuing to get know both myself – and Alex – better in the future."
"Alex is an exceptionally insightful counselor. His empathetic approach combined with a highly rigorous intellectual foundation, helped me understand the personal issues I needed to address and the best ways for me to manage them. Without his guidance, I would not have been able to make important life decisions as sensitively nor as effectively for my own sake and for the well being of my family. His personalised approach was key to gaining my confidence and enabling me to move forward on issues with which I had struggled for years."
"For years I knew I had issues and finally plucked up the courage to find a counsellor. I had anxiety, feelings of guilt, and an inferiority complex. Family issues dominated my thoughts and I felt a sense of guilt, shame and blamed myself. Alex helped me look at these issues differently and with his knowledge and experience helped me break free from the past and stop feeling guilty and I now know my own personality. I felt very at ease, was not scared to open up, he was approachable. I would definitely recommend him".
"Alex was able to work with me to identify many underlying issues that I have struggled with. I have found the process to be interesting and enjoyable. He provides a relaxed and comfortable environment in which I feel I can be open and talk frankly. Alex has helped me considerably in exploring my thoughts and introduced me to a number of techniques and exercises that I can use on a day to day basis to deal with anxiety as it arises."
"I’ve found Alex to be very attentive, approachable and knowledgeable. Alex has helped me work through issues in both my personal and professional life, helping me gain insights that I would not have been able to reach on my own. In addition, Alex has also equipped me with the tools that will help me deal with any future difficulties that I may encounter. I found that Alex also takes the time to get to know you so that he has a deeper understanding of you as a person; which, I think, helps him to discover what will be the best and most effective way to help you. Alex also a deep understanding of philosophy and I’ve been impressed with how he’s managed to sometimes integrate this into my sessions, where appropriate, and make it relevant to my situation. Alex has helped me a great deal and I’ve learnt a lot from him; I can’t recommend him highly enough.
"I've been having counselling with Alex for several months now. Initially, I wasn't sure how long I wanted to go; I had planned just to get me through my 'crisis' at the time. However, the more I went, the more relaxed I became and felt there was more I definitely wanted to work through. I find Alex very calming, honest..and most importantly for me..logical! I also didn't know how I would be with a male counsellor, but I can genuinely say I've worked through a lot of issues. My main concern is trust, or lack of, however I already feel a difference in my thought pattern. Slowly but steadily, I'm noticing little changes in the way I'm thinking. I wouldn't hesitate to recommend Alex to anyone looking for counselling"
"Alex has helped me to create strategies to help with immediate anxiety problems as well as helping me to face long standing issues. Alex has helped me to explore many strategies in a safe, secure environment and encouraged me to seek out others in my own time. He has also helped me to vocalise my thoughts, feelings and ideas. Alex has a way of turning my thoughts back to me to help me make my own conclusions. Through these sessions I am learning how to manage on my own and in the sessions in a safe way. I feel I am being supported and guided through the wilderness of my own mind to some clarity. I am not constricted by a maximum (or minimum) number of sessions and am able to be supported in what I want to achieve, in whatever timescale that I need as an individual".
For clients who want to know a bit more about counselling, the counselling process or about the form of therapy I specifically practice, I've provided the following FAQ:
In what ways can counselling help?
Working with a trained counsellor can help in the following ways:
* Quite often, people find it a challenge to know what they are really feeling. Counselling can help clients explore their feelings and make sense of what they want from life. Indeed, the more you are in touch with your feelings, the better choices you can then make in your work and love life, and thus you can become more effective in those areas.
* As important as feelings are, they are not the complete picture. For you to live the best life that you can lead, you not only need to be in touch with your feelings, but you also need to be able to think effectively about problems and put things in the proper perspective. A good counsellor can help you understand more clearly and more rationally the nature of your problems and help you find the best solution to your difficulties.
*Good counselling can equip you with a multitude of different strategies and methods for tackling your problems. The methods that are right for you are ones that you can also use after your counselling.
* The best kind of counselling involves a great opportunity to learn more about the real you so that you can become more comfortable in your own skin. And when you feel more authentic and self-satisfied, you can then be more effective socially, romantically and career-wise. Also-and this is no small benefit-you will become more assertive and be able to stick up for what you really need
If you are feeling demotivated and stressed and confused, won't counselling be a hard going process?
This is a question that clients often ask, directly or indirectly. If this is one of your concerns, don't worry. It is only natural that when you are feeling down or anxious or angry that you are concerned about whether you have the motivation or the conviction to go through the process of exploring and coming to terms with your problems.
Let me dispel as much as I can these fears: you do not need to be super-motivated or knowledgeable and articulate about your problems to begin counselling. To come and see a professional counsellor and agree to work on your issues is more than enough commitment to begin with, so please don't worry.
The alternative to taking this small yet significant step of contacting me is to continue with having the problem. Now, counselling is not always the answer to people's problems and sometimes life itself conveniently provides a solution out of the blue. However, if you have had a problem for a long time and/or the problem is particularly distressing, then contacting me is one of the best ways of finally coming to grips with the issue rather than courting the possibility that the problem will get worse. Ultimately, contacting a trained professional is better than leaving a resolution to chance.
How frequent are your sessions?
This largely is up to you. Some clients, for example, want to come weekly, others twice weekly, some fortnightly and some once a month. Generally the majority of clients come once a week, but we can have a discussion at your first session about how often you wish to come for counselling, given the particular issues that you have.
What is also important to highlight is that the regularity that you come for counselling is perfectly open to change as you go through the process. Sometimes as clients feel their problems are getting resolved, they want to come less frequently; likewise, sometimes clients want to come more often when they feel their life has become more stressful.Nothing is set in stone as I intend at all times to be adaptable to your needs.
Where can you find this therapy practice and why 'CCounselling'?
CCounselling is a small private practice, consisting of myself and a colleague. The 'C' in CCounselling stands for the following: Caring; Collaborative; Compassionate; Client-led; Confidential. These represent the core values of this practice and of good counselling in general.
Our practice is in the West end of Dundee city centre on the same street as the Dundee Repertory Theatre. Parking is available on the street itself or in the small car park at one end of the street.
What kind of therapy do I practice?
A succinct definition of the pluralistic approach is the idea that no one therapy approach (whether it be psychoanalysis, person centred, CBT, Transactional Analysis etc.) works for all clients, all of the time. In practice, this means that pluralists possess a toolkit that 'contains' many different therapy methods and they collaborate with the client about what approach might best suit them at that stage. In many ways, then, they are the most flexible therapists.
Since I believe that it is best to combine a wide range of different approaches to effect the most lasting change, my theoretical influences are varied. Here are some of the books which have informed the creative way that I work with clients:
Pluralistic Counselling and Psychotherapy by Mick Cooper and John McLeod
On Becoming a Person by Carl Rogers
Gestalt therapy verbatim by Fritz Perls
Reading to heal: how to use bibliotherapy to improve your life by Jacqueline Stanley
Listening with the third ear by Theodor Reik
The New Rational Therapy by Eliot Cohen
Psychotherapy isn't what you think by James Bugental
Reason and Goodness by Brand Blanshard
Crazy talk/stupid talk: how we defeat ourselves by the way we talk and what to do about it by Neil Postman
Fundamentals of adaptive psychotherapy and counselling by Robert Langs
Solution Focused Therapy for the helping professions by Barry Winbolt
People in Quandaries by Wendell Johnson
- Also registered with Counselling Directory
Maps & Directions
Type of session
|Face to face counselling:||Yes|
Please see 'Fees' section for office hours. Evening and weekend appointments are available.
Types of client
|Employee Assistance Programme|