The way I work
The theory that I use for my client work is an integration of Psychodynamic and Person Centred counselling. I studied these two important theories and realised that they complemented each other in explaining unconscious processes, different types of therapeutic relationships and mechanisms of change.
The person centred theory was developed by Carl Rogers. I believe that the basis of a good working alliance with the client is built on empathy, congruence and unconditional positive regard. When these conditions are met trust and understanding can be formed so that the client can feel that they can explore difficult emotions and issues.
1. I am congruent and genuine in the counselling relationship and develop a real relationship with the client. I don’t behave like an expert.
2. I show empathy by being with the client in their frame of reference. I imagine what it is like walking in their shoes.
3. I show unconditional positive regard, which means that I am positive and accepting of the client. I’m not judgemental.
The main theory I work with is psychodynamic and was developed by Sigmand Freud and later added to by many other theorists, such as Carl Jung and Melanie Klein. This therapy is mainly concerned with brining the unconscious into the conscious realm. The unconscious is an area of the psyche which holds repressed feeling, traumas and desires. Our behaviours and motives are often driven by ideas that we are unaware of. Once these thoughts and experiences are brought into consciousness we gain control of the here and now and are able to make changes in our lives. All of the following tools are used to uncover the processes and content of the unconscious mind of the client.
1. Analysis of the transference – this is where the client responds or directs emotions to you that belong to something/someone else, and the clients experience with that other person. When this happens you can wonder about the emotion and help the client to think about where it comes from.
2. Analysis of the countertransference – this is your response to the transference. A therapist must be careful as they can respond back with emotions that are about what has happened to them.
3. Working with the metaphor – where something represents something else. I often use this when young people are using art tools or sand play. The way that clients use objects of play often symbolise feelings and desires or have other meanings.
4. Archetypes – universal understanding of stories within our lives, such as mother, father, baby. This is often an unconscious understanding of the world and can help uncover desires and needs. These figures can be ideals like ‘the good mother.’
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